A Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is a database that stores IT asset configuration records and their relationships within the organization. CMDB software tracks and maintains this information, providing organizations with valuable insights into their business operations.
What is CMDB Software?
A configuration management database stores information on the configuration of items within an enterprise. This can include software, systems, hardware, facilities, and more. IT managers define the items to track and how to track them. The configuration data can include:
- Interdependencies and relationships between items
- Change history
- Attributes such as type, importance, and owner
Tracked items are referred to as configuration items (CIs) and are any item that needs to be managed to deliver an IT service.
The ultimate goal of having a CMDB is to provide management with the information they need to make good decisions and run efficient IT service management (ITSM) processes. By having all configuration information in one place, management can identify critical CIs and how they relate. CMDBs have proven invaluable for root cause analysis, legal compliance, incident management, impact analysis, and change management.
What is the Difference Between CMDB and IT Asset Management?
You are probably wondering how CMDB differs from IT Asset Management (ITAM). Things can get confusing because both deal with some of the same business components. However, they each deal with different aspects of these components.
Let’s use the analogy of a car in a company. A vehicle is an asset because it has financial value. It is also a configuration item because it must be configured (maintained) to operate correctly.
Asset management considerations would focus on the financial value of the vehicle. This would include maintaining records on the purchase price, depreciation, insurance, and license renewals.
Configuration management considerations would include the engine configuration, whether it is manual or automatic, when the next oil change is due, the history of engine modifications, etc.
How do CMDB Tools Work?
CMDB tools work by tracking and storing configuration data in a central repository. This data is typically stored in a relational database, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.
IT Managers can use the data stored in the CMDB to generate reports and diagrams that provide insights into the configuration of the IT environment. They can use these reports and charts to identify problems and improve processes.
Best CMDB Software & Tools
There are many CMDB software and tools available on the market. Here are five of the best CMDB software and tools for 2022:
Freshservice from Freshworks SaaS is a CMDB with additional IT service management capabilities such as auto discovery, visual relationship mapping, and asset tracking. All IT assets are tracked by an asset management module, including life history and the present owner or user information. This is maintained by scheduling regular auto-discovery scans. There’s also a QR and barcode scanner plugin for recording hardware details.
Freshservice’s auto-discovery module captures software data, and the contract management tool keeps track of service contracts and licenses. Freshservice also has robust analytics and reporting capability. More than 50,000 companies use Freshworks’ SaaS.
- With Freshservice, you can make your service management, request fulfillment, and operations management processes more efficient and safe by creating a foundation of infrastructure knowledge for them. In addition, you can perform fast change deployments and accurate root cause analyses by precisely assessing upstream and downstream impact with asset relationship data at your fingertips.
- The Freshservice CMDB is easily configurable to your business processes and doesn’t require you to replace your current ITSM solution. You can start tracking assets in days, not months.
- With the help of predictive asset intelligence, you can take automated actions on assets that are at risk of failure. You can also get actionable insights from the Freshservice analytics engine to improve your operational efficiency.
- With Freshservice’s change management module, you can streamline and automate your entire change management process, from request to approval to implementation.
- The incident management module in Freshservice helps you track, prioritize, and resolve incidents quickly and efficiently.
- The problem management module in Freshservice helps you identify, investigate, and resolve problems to prevent them from happening again.
- Easy-to-use and simple-to-configure
- The asset management module is comprehensive and includes a QR and barcode
- Device auto-discovery
- Change management
- A user-friendly mobile app
- Good support customer
- Basic packages lack some CMDB features
- No performance monitoring
Fresher has four pricing tiers as follows:
- Starter: $29 per month per user
- Growth: $59 per month per user
- Pro: $109 per month per user
- Enterprise: $129 per month per user
All plans come with a 21-day free trial.
BMC Atrium CMDB
BMC Atrium CMDB is a configuration management database that provides a single record system for IT assets and configurations. It enables you to track all changes to assets and configurations, identify relationships between them, and visualize the impact of changes.
BMC Atrium CMDB also provides integrations with other BMC solutions, such as BMC Remedy ITSM, BMC Atrium Orchestrator, and BMC BladeLogic Server Automation.
- BMC Atrium CMDB gives you a complete view of your IT infrastructure and the relationships between assets. You can also quickly track configurations, changes, and incidents to identify and resolve problems.
- BMC Atrium CMDB provides out-of-the-box reports and dashboards that give you visibility into your CMDB data. You can also use the reporting and analytics capabilities to measure the success of your configuration management process.
- BMC Atrium CMDB uses discovery tools like BMC Helix Client Management, BMC Helix Discovery, and other out-of-the-box connectors to automatically populate and update the CMDB with accurate data. IT professionals can schedule discovery jobs to run at regular intervals or triggered manually.
- BMC Atrium CMDB can import data from other sources, such as spreadsheets, CSV files, and BMC Atrium Discovery. You can also use the federation capabilities to share data with other CMDBs.
- BMC Atrium CMDB provides role-based access control that lets you define granular permissions for users. You can also create custom roles to give users access to only the data they need.
- This is a new platform with many improvements compared to the BMC Remedy build
- One-click CMDB sync feature
- Good process automation
- Intelligent chatbots feature
- It takes a while to figure out the connectors.
- No free trial
Pricing is provided upon request.
Micro Focus Enterprise View is a comprehensive CMDB for enterprises. It’s designed for hybrid cloud apps that include legacy and cloud-based solutions. The program can identify on-premises and cloud-based, physical, virtual, and containerized infrastructure configurations. Mapping tools powered by AI assistants help IT engineers visualize how their infrastructure services are provided to customers. Its modular architecture supports networks with up to 200,000 servers and 300,000 desktops.
It uses artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to guarantee company IT policy compliance with industry standards and norms.
- Enterprise View provides IT managers with a single source of truth for physical, virtual, and containerized infrastructure configurations. The program can also identify on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure configurations and potential vulnerabilities.
- Micro Focus Enterprise View’s mapping tools help IT engineers visualize how their infrastructure services are provided to customers. This ensures faster incident management and better change management.
- Through its simulation tools, Enterprise View allows IT professionals to manage IT changes proactively. This helps avoid disruptions and downtime.
- The program uses artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to assure company IT policy compliance with industry regulations. IT managers get notifications when there are compliance violations and avoid costly fines.
- With its intuitive user interface, Enterprise View makes it easy for IT managers to communicate, share, and report on CMDB data.
- Seamless integration with other Micro Focus products
- Flexible deployment options
- Highly scalable
- Premium support costs extra
Pricing information is provided via a custom quote, and you can request a free live demo.
ServiceNow Configuration Management Database
The ServiceNow CMDB is a single record system for all IT assets and service data. This implies that each piece of equipment and configuration has only one correct record. In addition, the solution can consolidate data from several sources and has a powerful transformation engine and an identification and reconciliation engine to guarantee data health.
ServiceNow Discovery helps you automatically connect devices in multi-cloud and on-premises environments. Additionally, you can integrate third-party sources into ServiceNow CMDB with accurate certified data.
- Dedicated workspace for CMDB data and configuration items (CIs). The workspace includes a CI table, form, and related lists.
- Pre-built connectors to discover IT assets in ServiceNow Discovery or third-party data sources. Data is imported into the CMDB through these connectors.
- Discovery identifies and imports data about assets into the CMDB. You can also import data manually or through integrations with third-party sources.
- The reporting query builder helps you build reports on CMDB data. Additionally, the ServiceNow Visual Task Boards help you visualize workflows.
- Pre-built discovery connectors
- Flexible data import options
- Visual task boards for workflow visualization
- No free trial is available.
Pricing is not available on the ServiceNow website, and you will need to contact the sales team for a custom quote. However, you can sign up for a free demo.
Device42 CMDB is a cloud-based IT management system that includes all of the features you’d expect from such a program. Device42 CMDB discovers and manages physical, virtual, and cloud-based IT networks with auto-discovery tools. In addition, it tracks IP addresses and local area networks.
Users can see data centers and IT networks as they relate to one another. Users can use change management software to keep track of modifications, cabling, and patches. Tracking, managing, and monitoring data center power systems is particularly advantageous. Heat maps that display power capacity are used to avoid overloads and outages in the power distribution system. In addition, IT managers can access and analyze IT configuration using the program’s bespoke reporting tools.
- Device42’s robust auto-discovery capabilities load CIs quickly and easily into your CMDB.
- Device42 comes with a pre-configured CMDB that includes out-of-the-box integrations, making it easy to get started with configuration management.
- The Device42 CMDB visualization tool helps you see the relationships between CIs, and understand the impact of changes.
- Device42 integrates with various IT management tools, making it easy to get started with configuration management.
- ITSM Integrations with Jira, Zendesk, and ServiceNow: Device42 integrates with leading ITSM tools, making it easy to manage incidents, problems, and changes.
- Configuration Management Integrations with Puppet, CHEF, ANSIBLE, and System Center: Device42 integrates with popular configuration management tools, making it easy to manage configurations.
- SIEM Integrations like Splunk and Logstash: Device42 integrates with leading SIEM tools, making it easy to monitor and manage your IT infrastructure.
- Device42 can be deployed in minutes.
- A pre-configured CMDB that includes out-of-the-box integrations
- A wide variety of IT management tool integrations
- Fast and easy deployment
- No free trial is available.
- It can be expensive because pricing is dependent on the number of devices or IP addresses.
Device42 CMDB has four pricing tiers as follows:
- Free trial: 14-day full trial
- Standard: $20 per device per year
- Premium: $36 per device per year
- Enterprise: Custom quote
Choosing What to Manage in Your CMDB
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to which CIs you should track using your CMDB software. Instead, the degree of breadth and depth that makes sense for a given CMDB set-up should be determined by your company’s use cases and goals. In general, it’s best to start at a high level and get things right before going wider or deeper if necessary to meet organizational objectives.