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ITIL :: View topic - Evaluating Software for CMS
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Evaluating Software for CMS

 
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sseliquini
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Evaluating Software for CMS Reply with quote

Hello all,


I understand that the Configuration Management System is not a "thing" that can be purchased and is more of a combination of software and process with the emphasis on process.

With that premise, I am currently evaluating different vendors' solutions for the CMDB and would like the ITIL Community's view and/or advice with different vendor solutions and the N(i)2 solution in particular.

Thanks for your advice and views.

SS
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OhioScott
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Joined: Oct 29, 2007
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started researching N(i)2 myself. It looks good on paper and their insight regarding CMDBs in general is on target. But as you said, there is more to consider.

They talk about being able to integrate with various applications/databases to create a federated CMDB, but after years of being burned and seeing others burned by paper promises and salesmen, I want to see an actual demo of this capability.

Between change and incident management tools, asset management tools (somethings are still maintained outside of CM) and self-discovery tools, I would like to see a company demonstrate its abilities with various components not just talk about the capability... that's a theory till proven.

Even Gartner in 2007 while recognizing their premise stated that its too early to make a statement without more client experience with the tool.
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the problem with evaluating an application that will do a cmdb

is what CIs are you concerned and what CI / CMDB structure the tool has dbeen designed

if you are a hosting company, you are concerned about servers in the data center, network gear etc

you are not too concerned about desktops, laptops etc so if the cmdb tool is designed for help desks yadda yadda
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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sseliquini
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our company is now engaging N(i)2 to demonstrate their capabilities at our site. We have the following systems in house:

Cisco NCM for the network

MS Active Directory and Oracel's Oracle Identity Manager for LDAP user provisioning

HP's ServiceCenter for our Incident and Change tracking system

HP's Asset Center for our asset and procurement process

Configuresoft's Enterprise Configuration Manager for server management

Marimba/SCCM for software packaging and distribution

NetApp Storage Manager, and EMC Storage Manager for our storage systems

BMC's Event Manager for our monitoring system

N(i)2 for the Integrated CMDB. This will federate to the siloed CMDBs to provide a single source of truth.

I will post my findings after the proof of concept is completed if anyone is interested.
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UrgentJensen
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

All very good but as Viking was saying what are CIs are you measuring and why?

You could buy a whole ton of these apps and end up with too much data or too difficult processes to maintain. Do you have business requirements?

Cheers,

Urgent
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sseliquini
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do have defined business requirements for our integrated cmdb. Our initial implementation will be focused on our top 10 business services to:

1. Assessing technology changes for business impact - Better Change Management
2. Targeted notifications to business users with potential impact of technology changes - More meaningful business communication
3. Targeted notifications to business users with impact during planned or unplanned outages - More meaningful, faster business communication
4. Understand what business applications and/or business uint functions are impacted by a current or potential new technology - Better Change Management
5. Use existing tools as much as possible to accomplish these goals - Cost minded requirement

The CIs that we will be managing are Business services, systems associated to those services, infrastructure associated to the systems. Again, we are starting with the top 10 critical business services.
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Azard
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Joined: Apr 26, 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, based on your business requirements listed above, this seems s to be concentrated around reporting requirements. Business requirements may entail, ease of use; service impacts not only from a change management perspective, but also when an incident occurs; how well does the CMDB integrate with the other processes; who is the authoritative source of data; what information is important to track; etc.

A few questions:

Have you defined your configuration management process, or have you just delved into the CMDB and using that as your process?

If you have defined the process, are there other business requirements that match your Configuration Management process to assist in tool selection?

One thing I have found many of my clients start off first by looking for a tool and then trying to define the process around the tool. Ultimately, they find they fall short. If you spend the time up front planning the Configuration Management Process, you will have a better understanding of what the tool needs to do to fit your needs, rather than you trying to fit the tools needs. Many of the big CMDB products still need a lot of work. But with time, effort and money, you can get most tools to do what you need.

Cheers,
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sseliquini
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have defined the configuration and change management policies and processes. We have completed a Proof Of Concept with the N(i)2 product to ensure that it will meed our configuration process needs and are now engaging in an initial implementation to prove out the integration with our existing tools. Many of the integration efforts were manual during the POC so we could focus on the processes.
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Azard
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Joined: Apr 26, 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, as you are now taking the tool to the implementation phase, I suspect it has met the criterias you set out.

Doing a proof of concept certainly is my preferred approach as you can determine how it will interact with your incident, problem and change management systems. You can also determine how to reconcile, audit and verify your CI data as well as show the service maps for a particular CI.

I think you are on the right track.


PS. I am not familar with N(i)2 product.
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Azard Omardeen
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MVPS
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I will post my findings after the proof of concept is completed if anyone is interested.


Did you? Could you? :)
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