Populating the CMDB

One of the areas of greatest fear for organisations who are implementing ITIL® is Configuration Management, or more precisely, the question of how to go about populating the CMDB. This is a recurring issue that we hear in many organisations, and often the reason that configuration management gets left until last and often poorly executed.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Much of the information required to start the population of a CMDB is often already available through Asset Management. With a well laid plan for population that looks at the Configuration Item levels that are going to be captured and what the scope of the process will be, this information can provide a good basis for your CMDB. Along with understanding where you are going to find the information is the all important process of planning for this task of capturing all you CI’s and their relationships in the CMDB, this will take much of the pain out of the process. One of the most important things to consider is how to maintain changes to the infrastructure while populating the CMDB, any changes to the infrastructure that aren’t captured during the population process will limit the value of the CMDB. You can elect to freeze all changes to the infrastructure, or put in place a system of capturing all changes to be updates once the CMDB comes on-line.

The main emphasis here is planning, with a strong plan for the population of the CMDB it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Also keeping in mind that in the first instance you may elect to capture high level CI’s and then move down the CI levels in future iterations of your CMDB.