What is Configuration Management - ITIL Configuration Management

Configuration management (CM) is the detailed recording and updating of information that describes an enterprise's hardware and software. Such information typically includes the versions and updates that have been applied to installed software packages and the locations and network addresses of hardware devices.Special configuration management software is available. When a system needs hardware or software upgrade, a computer technician can accesses the configuration management program and database to see what is currently installed.The technician can then make a more informed decision about the upgrade needed.

An advantage of a configuration management application is that the entire collection of systems can be reviewed to make sure any changes made to one system do not adversely affect any of the other systems. A configuration management database (CMDB) is a that contains all relevant information about the components of the information system used in an organization's IT services and the relationships between those components.

A CMDB provides an organized view of data and a means of examining that data from any desired perspective. Within this context, components of an information system are referred to as configuration items (CI). A CI can be any conceivable IT component, including software, hardware, documentation, and personnel, as well as any combination of them. The processes of configuration management seek to specify, control, and track configuration items and any changes made to them in a comprehensive and systematic fashion.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices standards include specifications for configuration management. According to ITIL specifications, the four major tasks of configuration management are:

  • Identification of configuration items to be included in the CMDB
  • Control of data to ensure that it can only be changed by authorized individuals
  • Status maintenance, which involves ensuring that current status of any CI is consistently recorded and kept updated
  • Verification, through audits and reviews of the data to ensure that it is accurate.

Every process defined by ITIL gains benefit from benefits from accurate and timely configuration management data, and those other processes will never function effectively without configuration data. These key dependencies are facilitated by relating the configuration items (CIs) to key concepts in other processes, as shown in Figure . Once populated, your CMDB will be the most frequently accessed set of tables in the entire systems management solution.

Each other process interacts with configuration management.

Each other process interacts with configuration management.

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