What is a Federated CMDB ?
If we look up a reference library we can find the definition for federated as “being or joined into a single entity , under a central government “. A CMDB is defined in ITIL® as “a repository of data regarding IT components and their relationships” . ITIL® also provides guidelines for the Configuration Management process ie “Configuration management provides a logical model of the infrastructure or a service by identifying, controlling, maintaining and verifying the versions of Configuration items (CIs) in existence.”
So with all this information the real question is “What value does the term federated bring to the description of a CMDB, when ITIL® doesn’t prescribe that a CMDB should be ONE physical DB?”
The answer is it’s a great new marketing term to help people think outside of the normal DB methodologies of ONE PHYSICAL central repository for all information. And if by calling a CMDB federated we achieve this goal, then lets continue to re-invent terminolgy to assist peoples perceptions of what ITIL® has alrady published in its guidelines. I think the next vendor catchphrase should be the Coalescent CMDB, which adds a much more united flavour to the ITIL® terminology.