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Demystifying The CMDB

Promise: CMDBs offer a definitive source of information about individual components of the IT infrastructure and how they're related. IT managers will better understand how changes to the components will affect each other and the business systems that rely on them.

Players: IBM, HP, Computer Associates, and BMC all provide some species of CMDB across their own product lines. Smaller vendors such as nLayers and Relicore provide mapping and discovery tools. No entity has yet emerged to drive CMDB standards.

Prospects: The CMDB is in its infancy. There are no standard definitions of what information goes into a CMDB, no schema for structuring that information, and no standards for integrating data from disparate vendors. That said, experts say enterprises can still get benefits from small-scale CMDB deployments from a single vendor.

The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a simple idea with powerful repercussions for enterprise management. Based on the premise that business processes should be served by technology rather than be at its mercy, the CMDB is a central and ideally accurate source of information for all components of an enterprise architecture. The hope is that such a database will streamline network management and enable new levels of service.

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