What is ITIL Background - ITIL Configuration Management

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides a systematic approach to the provision and management of IT services, from inception through design, implementation, operation and continual improvement.

ITIL was developed by the United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the late 1980s, and its original goal was to help improve IT Service Management in the UK central government.ITIL was not widely adopted until the mid-1990s.Where possible, the OGC defined processes that are found in an IT service organization.Because of the broad scope covered by ITIL, it is a useful guide for setting up new service improvement objectives for all functions within the IT organization.

In June of 2007, ITIL was expanded and reorganized as an IT service management Lifecycle, known as ITIL Version 3 (ITIL V3). This new version covers the initial conception, development, transition, operations, and improvement of a service. ITIL V3 views the activity of managing service as a Lifecycle, which is a shift in focus from the individualized process/function view of the previous version.

ITIL serves as a source of good practice standards in IT Service Management (ITSM).It is used as a reference by organizations worldwide for managing and improving IT services. ITIL defines service management as “a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.The capabilities take the form of functions and processes that are used to manage services over their Lifecycle. Five processes are described in service support.

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Release Management
  • Configuration Management

Five additional processes are defined in service delivery:

  • Capacity Management
  • Availability Management
  • Service Continuity Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Financial Management

The guidelines offered for these ten process areas cover what any IT shop, large or small, must do to effectively provide service to the enterprise it supports.this categorization of the ITIL service management processes.

ITIL service management

ITIL categorizes service management processes into two groups.

The service delivery processes are those that directly impact the running of servers and software.

  • Service Level Management
  • This is arguably the most important set of processes within the ITIL framework. Service Level Management (SLM) processes provide a framework by which services are defined, levels of service required to support business processes agreed upon, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) developed to satisfy the agreements, and costs for the service developed. Using SLM processes, you can clearly define IT and business roles and responsibilities and establish clear goals for service delivery so success factors can be established, measured and reported. SLM ensures that the business receives appropriate levels of service at a reasonable cost that satisfies their needs.

  • Financial Management for IT Services
  • Where Service Level Management defines and manages the services, Financial Management determines the costs of those services and provides financial accounting support to ensure expenditures fall within approved plans and that funds are well-spent. The role of Financial Management varies depending upon the view of IT within the corporation. Some companies view it as an expense center, some as a profit center and some as a cost recovery center, so different best practices are offered for each role.

  • Capacity Management
  • Capacity Management (CM) is responsible for ensuring that IT infrastructure resources are in place to satisfy planned business needs and that those infrastructure assets are effectively used. CM is responsible for building the annual infrastructure growth plan. CM gets involved very early in the application life cycle to assist in determining the implementation and ongoing support costs of new applications or releases. Activities in this service area are proactive rather than reactive, finding application and infrastructure bottlenecks at future business volumes so that corrective actions can occur before service issues are experienced by the end user.

  • Availability Management
  • Availability Management is responsible for ensuring application systems are up and available for use in accordance with the conditions of the respective Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The process reviews business process availability requirements and ensures the most cost effective contingency plans are put in place and tested on a regular basis to ensure business needs are met. Availability Management also provides a lead role in Component Failure Impact Analysis and Service Outage Analysis initiatives.

  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Also known as DCP, DRP, DCT, or just plain DR, IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) takes standard disaster recovery planning to the next level. ITSCM provides a framework for developing IT infrastructure recovery plans in support of Business Continuity Management plans and timeframes. ITSCM plans vary greatly by region as different areas have different risks, such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, and/or terrorist activities.

    The service support processes are centered on the record keeping, tracking, and process improvements that make IT successful.

  • Incident management
  • The primary goal of incident management is to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse impact on business operations, thus ensuring the maintenance of the best possible quality and availability of levels of service within the limits of the SLA.

  • Problem management
  • The goal of Problem Management is to minimize the adverse impact of Incidents and Problems on the business. Problem Management process maximizes IT services by putting right what is wrong and preventing recurrences. In other words it follows a philosophy of cure reactively and prevent proactively. Problem Management proactively analyses and trends Incidents and Problems to prevent the occurrence of further Incidents and Problems.

  • Change management
  • Goal of Change Management process is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes,in order to minimize the impact of change related problems upon IT service quality and consequently to improve the day to day operations of the organization. The Change Management process is responsible for managing changes to ensure that all parties affected by a given change are aware of and understand the impact of the impending change. It is also responsible for minimizing or mitigating disruptions or adverse effects due to change. Change management should be applied to any asset in the environment that is necessary for meeting the service level requirements of the solution.

  • Release management
  • The Release Management process facilitates the introduction of software and hardware releases into managed IT environments. Release management coordinates with the change and configuration management processes to ensure that the shared CMDB is kept up-to-date with changes implemented by new releases and that the software content of those releases is stored in the definitive software library (DSL). Release management builds and manages release rollout plans and works with development teams and the customer during planning and development in order to facilitate a smooth rollout.

  • Configuration management
  • The Configuration Management process is responsible for identifying, recording, tracking, and reporting of key IT components or assets called configuration items (CIs). The information captured and tracked depends on the specific CI, but often includes a description of the CI, the version, constituent components, relationships to other CIs, location/assignment, and current status. Configuration items typically correspond to each of the assets placed under the control of the Change Management process. CIs are typically recorded in a configuration management database (CMDB). The Configuration Management process is concerned with establishing, maintaining, and managing the CIs and CMDB.

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ITIL Configuration Management Topics