The IT Skeptic Looks at ITIL V2 and V3 CMDB

The IT Skeptic Looks at CMDB - cover Out now, a new book The IT Skeptic Looks at CMDB

Available on Amazon for $9.95+p&p, this book lays out the IT Skeptic's arguments against CMDB as defined in ITIL. Get yourself a concise, structured discussion of why CMDB is a bad idea for most businesses, and what the alternatives are. Wave this book around at the next meeting!

There is a podcast summarising this book.


One of the most authorative blogs on CMDBf has provided a comprehensive explanation of the emerging CMDBf standard, if you speak geek.

On-Demand CMDB reprise

We could be overdoing our solutions to reporting requirements in IT Operations, whether it be CMDB, historical trending or service level reporting. Consider the option of on-demand operational data, and a specialist team to provide it.

The CMDB Federation is a brilliant piece of vendor marketing smokescreen

[Updated May 2009] The CMDB Federation standards initiative must be the most over-hyped vendor marketing smokescreen ever. Whenever anyone raises the bogeyman of proprietary CMDBs, the vendors wheel this one out as the future promise of interoperability. It is pure vendor double-talk. It solves little and is taking forever to appear anyway. It solves little because the standard defines only how management tools can pass data between them- nothiong about what they pass. I bet the much-trumpeted demos seen so far involved data massaging and informal backroom agreements beyond that dictated by the standard in order to get it all to work. I am highly skeptical (surpise!) about the likelihood that this standard would enable or even faciltiate anything useful in a real-world implementation.

Simple useful rules for defining Configuration Items

We traditionally define what constitutes a CI in terms of Change Management but are there better ways?

In ITIL, an SLA is a set of SLTs

In ITIL, a Service Level Agreement is a set of Service Level Targets. Somebody please tell the vendors.

On demand CMDB

As promised in a comment recently, I have published an article on ITSM Watch about "on-demand CMDB". The idea is that we only need to keep a minimum of data in the CMDB and we assemble the rest as needed. [Updated: the article is now included and revised on this blog]

Those who would promote CMDB should promote CMDB

Much of what we read about CMDB is actually singing the praises of asset management, network discovery or other simpler technologies. Other benefits attributed to CMDB actually come from process improvement and do not depend on the technology at all. When all you want to sell is a hammer...

ITSM Watch reaches new skeptical heights on CMDB

ITSM Watch might do me out of business soon... but it is great to see some good IT skepticism. [Updated: fixed a link]

Crap Factoid Alert: one third of sites have completed a CMDB

Here is a high Crap Factoid alert from Chokey the Chimp:
We recently demolished the EMA paper on CMDB adoption but nevertheless the paper in question is being misquoted by bITaPlanet as saying that "there’s been a dramatic jump in the number of companies that have completed their CMDB, from just 9 percent in 2006 to one-third in 2008". This is nonsense but it is nonsense that is now turning up elsewhere. Be on alert and keep the CFirehose ready.

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