Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 4:55 am Post subject: Is anyone using Service Center 6 and the CMDB module?
I have been tasked by my company to ask for some information regarding the implementation of the CMDB module that is a part of Service Center 6. Has anyone implemented this module recently and willing to share your experiences?
Hi I've worked with a few customers using PSC 6.1 and some who are upgrading to 6.2. In general it seems to work although it would be wise to check or get assurances on the performance, reporting and data import.
A big issue is validation as with 1000s of CIs it is easy to get lost and takes a long time to check relationships. As long as you try and map not too much, it is useable (not necessarily a PSC issue, but more for CMDBs in general).
Are you intending to use the IBM web accelerator and SCIM? You may find issues with reporting due to additional tables and attribute data storage.
We do a PSC addon that creates service maps from the CMDB data, integrates change/incident info etc. hence the knowledge.
Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:35 am Post subject: Implementing the CMDB module of Service Center 6
first I would like to thank you for the reply. What I am really seeking is information on the out of the box implementation of the CMDB module for Service Center 6.1. I would like to know how much effort has to be expended on customization and just what someone would have to do to get the CMDB useable or can it be effective with no customization?
Bad news, the out of the box solution is just like any service desk in that you have to work out for your own organisation how you categorise CIs and the rules / attributes etc. associated with them. The implementation I worked with has an attribute template which applies common and unique attributes to different types of CIs. You decide what you want as appropriate. While is good as it doesn't clutter up a CI with unncessary info such as "disk space" on a router but makes it a pain to do custom reports. Hence the feedback on reporting.
In the migration from a 5 to 6.1, much of the previous customisation around reports and workflow was lost, without being replaced due to the difficulties in "customising" the new version.
Can't be more specific, but if you know the questions to ask you might avoid potential disappointment.
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:26 am Post subject: Service Center 6.1 implementation of the CMDB module
So from the information I have been given by various parties, it leaves me to conclude that Service Center 6.1 and the CMDB module would require heavy customization to meet a companies requirements. Is this not the case? I have even been told that it would involve the hiring of a team of Service Center analysts and an Administrator in order to customize the module for our requirements. Since no one in my group has any experience with Service Center customization I would think that is a given. I have some database design experience but nothing on an enterprise level application. I do know that when the company implemented the Incident Management module and we started using Service Center for this a few years ago, we spent somewhere around a half a million dollars and ended up with a full time Administrator and a Service Center analyst just to maintain the application. Is this what we can look forward to with the CMDB module during the customization period?
I don't think it is maybe quite as daunting as you think. Essentially there are a number of key steps which don't require database skills and are fundemental in any cmdb, not just PSC.
Without going through a long winded "how to do a CMDB" the only thing I'll say is that it has been done, often by selective use of good advisers / guides to complement the internal project team.
The heavy customisation you refer to may only be necessary if you try and build in lots of devices types and attribute information. There is then the issue of how you populate, maintain and provide a user interface that suits the needs of the "users" of the system.
You are probably going to try and develop a CMDB which is a common knowledge base of how end to end services are delivered, for use across technical teams and process teams. It will be difficult because it is new, plus it involves changing processes - plus a technical bit based on PSC. Using these forums is ideal to start with, but then you will need the resources to deliver, which may involve professional advice and to administer the system as it beds in. A lot of trust and faith will be placed on suppliers to advise so it is time well spent to check them out.
In my experience, organisations with 5k-10K servers typically have 1-2 people only for ongoing support. Typically you have a process owner, with similar responsibilities to the ITIL books example, plus a technical analyst to manage reporting, verification and other admin tasks.
I'm writing another white paper on automating service maps out of a CMDB such as PSC (based on personal experience) which will be finished by the end of the week. This is another aspect of CMDB use which could be useful in justifying its development. If you check the web site or give me your email I'll send it on.
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:21 am Post subject: Service Center 6 and implementing the CMDB module
I think I need to clarify a few points. We are an ITIL shop and have been for about 5 years now. We have an in-house CMDB application currently in use. Future support and management concerns about scalability have driven this request for information. Most of us have ITIL IPRC certifications with myself also having the IPSR certification. What I am looking for is some data on the rough figure for the cost incurred for the implementation of the CMDB module and an opinion on how useable the product was with the out-of-the-box configuration or did the product have to undergo considerable customization before it was useable as a CMDB? Thanks for all the replies I have received so far because it all helps to paint the picture I need to present to my management.
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