DevOps Configuration versus ITSM CMDB

Devops configuration tools means something quite different to ITIL configuration tools (cmdb).

This blog first gathered its following by saying that cmdb is an unhealthy aspiration for nearly all organisations.
I would like to rethink all this in the light of DevOps automation. But I don't have time right now :) Without having given it that deep consideration, I think my arguments against CMDB, and specifically against trying to automate assessing service impact, are still valid.

ITIL "configuration" refers to the bill-of-materials hierarchal breakdown of a logical business service.

DevOps "configuration" refers to all the parts of an environment, from Dev to Prod.

They are orthogonal to each other.

When ITIL defines a cmdb it is talking about a static repository tool to determine the impact of changes and incidents on the logical services delivered to the customer. Data is copied from reality into the bucket of the cmdb, both manually and via data feeds, so there is always the problem of the cmdb being incorrect or out of date.

When devops talks about a configuration tool it means an active agent which manages the configuration of the environments. In other words information in the DevOps configuration is used to automatically create the reality of the environments, and therefore it is a much better approximation of the truth. If you use immutable architecture then it is an exact representation of reality because the only way to change reality is to change the configuration information. In this way active devops configuration is a far more accurate tool than the static information of a cmdb.

Devops still does not automate the ITIL concept of a CMDB, though I'm sure it can much improve the data quality of the configuration items which it manages. I think I still argue that the ITIL concept of a cmdb is a bad business decision for 95% of organisations. Using human processes to determine the impact of changes and incidents is a more sensible alternative.
Their job will be much easier in the presence of DevOps configuration tools.

As I said at the beginning, I haven't given this enough thought yet so I am interested in your views.

(All my CMDB posts are on this thread

Syndicate content