Can you build a Configuration Management OBA?

As you can see from my previous post I was asked if you could build an OBA to address CM concerns. This is actually a great idea. If you build an OBA to address configuration management it would definitely work. Now I am not going to give CM enough justice with this post however I promise I’ll revisit these aspects as it relates to EA.

To build a CMDB and a configuration management process around OBA you have to look at a few areas.

  • First, the repository. That’s the easy part and you can use SQL Server for that. The only trick here is figuring out a schema. However if you use ITIL that wouldn’t be much of an issue.
  • The second piece of the puzzle is the modeling of the process and your assets. and multiple other tools to model your assets. Whether that is a shape tool like Visio (which in the new version can support ITIL shapes).

Other options include commercial Add-Ins for Visio from http://en.it-processmaps.com

  • Third is the support of the process. This is where OBA’s excel with Human Workflow. It is very easy to integrate into existing processes such as approval and escalation processes can integrate into productivity tools easily. Using Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) you can intelligently route issues to appropriate users based on their role within an identity store. Task management is simplified with MOSS since we can build these lists centrally to manage. It also makes a compelling story around management of these issues such as if they are open too long, past due, or stagnant, WF can notify appropriate IT or issue owners. This makes the process as unobtrusive as possible in a process intensive environment.
  • Forth is the visualization of your assets in many different views. Using Visio you can visualize the infrastructure in a variety of ways even if the clients do not have Visio on the desktop. Additionally, with PerformancePoint or Excel Services you can create enterprise templates that support your process or can enable your IT to create self-service report creation, event simulation and KPIs. 
  • And lastly, reconcilement of data across existing CMDB’s is a function easily preformed by SSIS (or any ELT/ETL tool you may have) and or reaching out to federated data. The latter option can be achieve by using the CMDB as partly a metadata repository.

Tags: OBA EA ITIL Frameworks

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