CMDB Product Requirements

The migration to commodity hardware has led to a huge increase in the number of configurations that need to be managed in the data center.  Grid technologies can be used to allow a cluster of commodity servers to perform a task that used to require specialist hardware.  This reduces the cost of the hardware required to perform the task but increases the number of configuration items that need to be managed. 

The use of virtualization techniques can make it difficult to identify the boundaries of each system.  A single server can support multiple virtual systems.  The use of nfs mounts and network attached storage can extend the scope of a system beyond the server.  For example, a virtual server could be configured to use a software image installed in a central location. Both components (the virtual server and the software image) are required to produce a system.  It can difficult to track the dependencies between them.

It is often difficult to identify unused hardware in a data center.  A system that was setup to serve more than one department may become redundant over time.  No one department feels they own the system so nobody has the authority to decommission it.  The IT department needs a way to identify redundant systems so that they can recover their hardware and software licenses.

Most large and medium sized IT departments have a number of different monitoring tools.  These tools provide status and configuration data for individual items but are unable to show the "big picture".