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Configuration Management is the implementation of a database (Configuration Management Database – CMDB) that contains details of the organisation’s elements that are used in the provision and management of its IT services. This is more than just an ‘asset register’, as it will contain information that relates to the maintenance, movement, and problems experienced with the Configuration Items.
The CMDB also holds a much wider range of information about items that the organisation’s IT Services are dependant upon. This range of information includes:
Configuration Management essentially consists of 4 tasks:
Identification – this is the specification, identification of all IT components and their inclusion in the CMDB.
Control – this is the management of each Configuration Item, specifying who is authorised to ‘change’ it.
Status – this task is the recording of the status of all Configuration Items in the CMDB, and the maintenance of this information.
Verification – this task involves reviews and audits to ensure the information contained in the CMDB is accurate.
See the ITIL Toolkit for more information on Configuration Management within the ITIL context.
Configuration Management and IT Security
Without the definition of all configuration items that are used to provide an organisation’s IT services, it can be very difficult to identify which items are used for which services. This could result in critical configuration items being stolen, moved or misplaced, affecting the availability of the services dependant upon them. It could also result in unauthorised items being used in the provision of IT services.
General CM Planning and Support
Development of the configuration management plan is of course is a complex task and requires a great deal of effort. To assist in this process a specific support kit has recently been launched: The Configuration Management Planning Toolkit. This comprises a number of descrete materials, similar to the ITIL Toolkit, but focused entirely upon configuration management plans and how to create them.
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