Configuration management database (CMDB) software manages and stores information about an organization’s IT assets. 

Whether it is a small business or a large enterprise, everyone relies on hardware and software to keep their operations running smoothly. All organizations need to track their devices and licenses in their IT environments.

CMDB allows you to monitor your entire business’s hardware and software stack through a single platform. This also provides a great way to understand past and future incidents by monitoring each progress. 

The term configuration management database has been popularized since ITIL has become an industry standard. CMDB systems are crucial for configuration management, DevOps coordination, and governance. 

In this article, I’ll discuss CMDB, how it works, and why it is essential for businesses. Later, I’ll show you some of the best CMDB software solutions.

What Is CMDB?

A configuration management database (CMDB) is essentially a database that stores data in your IT environment. This contains all the relevant information about software and hardware components that are used in every organization’s IT services. It also tells about the relationships between configuration items. 

CMDB is referred to as the heart of the ITSM system. The core of modern IT operations enables your company to manage data in a single place. Furthermore, it helps businesses make crucial business decisions in real time. 

Since CMDB can show you the relations between the assets, it will be easy to determine which services are connected to the down router to migrate services to different networks quickly. Moreover, it indirectly helps with compliance and security by ensuring you understand all the servers’ interactions and sensitive information. 

What Is CMDB Software?

A CMDB software is an application or platform that provides you with suitable features and options to easily deploy your component into the list and find the relationships between them.

It also allows your business to integrate your business tools with third-party tools you already use. It offers greater visibility, correct calculations, enhanced communication, a better understanding of the graph, and much more.

How Does CMDB Work?

CMDB is only useful when it contains up-to-date information.

But the question here arises – where does it receive the information from?

Let’s understand how.

There is an option for manually entering all the information in your infrastructure. But does this sound practical? The answer is, of course no. Since an enterprise contains much information about the devices, it is not practical to do the job manually. 

The better option would be uploading your information through an Excel spreadsheet that a company uses to keep track of all the configuration items. Here, the information that is only updated in the spreadsheet seems to be up-to-date in CMDB. 

There is another option that is considered the best option for modern enterprises. It is a discovery tool. Using this tool can effectively bring out information from the infrastructure in a very short time. You can easily scan and identify the IP-enabled device on the network. In addition, set time intervals to check and view the devices that have been added or removed from the infrastructure network. 

Once the CMDB is filled with up-to-date information, you are ready to access it. Now, you can run ITSM processes and make business decisions on the go. 

What Is CMDB Discovery?

You will find many ways to fill in up-to-date information in your CMDB, such as manual entry, uploading data from spreadsheets, etc. But, the CMDB discovery tool is the most effective way to connect with all your devices in your infrastructure network, and you can bring all the data quickly into your CMDB.

Example: SNMP works for switches, WMI works for Windows, SSH works for Linux, and SNMP works for networking hardware and routers. 

This is not it.

CMDB discovery helps IT operations or service management teams not to store the list of configuration items in your excel or workbook but rather import the information from the discovery tool in the form of .CSV format. 

Why Do Businesses Need CMDB Software?

In modern infrastructures, you will find a lot of complex combinations of hardware and software. To make a note of each device in your infrastructure network needed to be managed in real-time, an enterprise needs an effective solution. 

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of using CMDB software for your business.

  • CMDB software acts as a reference point for all your IT assets.
  • It can provide you with transparency and visibility while managing IT assets.
  • The tool allows you to track the changes in your infrastructure.
  • CMDB software works well in the knowledge management process.
  • It can aid in the ITSM processes.

Now, let’s check out some of the best CMDB software solutions to understand how they can benefit your business in managing your IT assets.

ManageEngine

Organize all your configuration items in a centralized repository with ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus. With this CMDB, you can gain complete visibility of your reliable and improved system along with your IT infrastructure. 

Maintain all the business critical configuration items in a single place and allow your technicians to view accumulated IT services and assets. You can also use simplified relationship maps between the business entities to understand how they webbed with each other. 

Easily import relationship maps with the help of CMDB APIs and fetch CIs into an application through .CSV files. You can also define and organize CIs under specific types for instant reference. In addition, you can add custom CI relationships or use predefined relationship maps according to your requirement. 

ManageEngine’s CMDB allows you to configure inverse and direct relationships between the configuration items. While building a CMDB, inverse and direct relationships act as the fundamental connectors that could relate to multiple CIs. 

Use a simplified interface with a drag and drop option so that you can easily draw the CI relationship maps. By referring to CMDB, you can understand the impact of incidents in the case of incident analysis. The tool will also help you easily track the root cause. This way, you can quickly fix issues and minimize recurrence.

To get started, simply sign up in the cloud and start using ServiceDesk Plus. You can download the file and install it on Windows or Linux machines. 

SolarWinds

Get complete visibility into the organization’s technology infrastructure with SolarWinds Service Desk CMDB. It includes dependencies between multiple components of the IT environment. This tool can help you analyze the effects of past and future changes on your company and employees. 

With a better understanding of the impact, you can easily minimize the possibilities of making changes in communicating to employees you think might get affected. SolarWinds CMDB also lets you associate problems and incidents with configuration items and dependencies. This will further help you investigate the issues clearly and diagnose the issues in real time.

Identify the potential solutions and workarounds to prevent future issues. In the end, you can speed up incident management and minimize resolution times. SolarWinds CMDB can automatically detect, map, and visualize dependencies between the configuration items in your IT environment. As a result, you can quickly understand the relationship between various components in your infrastructure. 

When you connect CIs to the IT service management items, such as problems, releases, changes, and incidents, you can better view the whole IT landscape and its working. Additionally, view and analyze the data, including hardware, networks, business sites, contracts, SaaS licensing, software, users, and more, by integrating with SolarWinds Discovery.

Populate your CMDB and get a single source of truth for the configuration items. Start your FREE trial for 30 days with any pack you use starting from $19/month/technician. 

Device42

Device42 offers you a single source of truth within your company with its CMDB. You will get a clear view of the IT environment to easily identify, verify, and manage all the configuration items in your infrastructure. 

Load your configuration items faster with the robust Auto-Discovery tool. All the tools are agentless and can be scheduled ideally so that you always stay up-to-date. Get native support for private and public platforms, virtualization platforms, and blade chassis. 

Quickly deploy granular APIs with the sample scripts for the custom discovery and, in return get an audit-ready system. You will find preconfigured CMDB, so you won’t need the long design process. But still, you have the option to create your CIs and relationships and then implement them in your infrastructure. In addition, you can define groups, users, object-level permissions, and passwords.

Once the data are loaded, you can reap the benefits of using Device42. It offers a highly customizable and extensive set of inquiry screens and reports to access CI data. Device42 also provides a powerful set of visualizations, including computer rooms, racks, capacity heat maps, IP connectivity, power chain, hardware, application dependencies, and software.

Furthermore, you will get a secure and granular set of RESTful APIs for integrating the software with your applications. Its pricing is flexible and simple where you get an annual subscription model which is based on the number of devices discovered in the environment. 

ServiceNow

Gain 360-degree visibility into your environment and make effective decisions in real-time with ServiceNow’s CMDB software. You can extend the CMDB with a next-generation system of record and Service Graph.

Integrate and connect the digital products across the digital lifecycle with the help of Service Graph. You can also break down the silos with a system of action across views, applications, and tables. You can make this easier for your teams to understand the risk and impact based on the actual data. In addition, import certified and accurate data from external sources to use them in your form, application, and workflow. 

Use the central CMDB workspace to understand health, view activity trends, and search the CMDB. You can import and standardize incoming data accurately into your CMDB. Additionally, make use of tools, such as IntegrationHub ETL and Discovery to populate your whole data in a single place. 

Moreover, you will get a clear and graphical presentation of the configuration items to understand the complex CI relationship maps. The tool also delivers workflows that connect functions, systems, and people with the platforms for digital business.

Get started with ServiceNow today and understand how it can transform your business. 

GLPI-Project

Get an open-source service management software to manage IT assets and Helpdesk with GLPI-Project. It offers excellent CMDB software for your organization so that you can manage software, data centers, and hardware all in a single place. 

Link all the asset inventory to the Helpdesk and gain 360-degree control of your business and IT infrastructure. It will also help you understand the relationship maps of all your configuration items and their impacts on your environment. In addition, you can easily manage your complete configuration items in a single dashboard.

Organize your support with GLPI to manage requests and incidents, define SLAs, create forms, and deliver the best experience to the users. With GLPI, you can also manage and inventory computers, monitors, network devices, software, devices, printers, cartridges, consumables, phones, sim cards, PDUs, and data centers.

For each device, there is specific information available so that you can add each component to the list and gain a clear view of all the risks for past and future changes. Apart from this, you can allow your team to understand the impact and take action accordingly.

You get both options – cloud and on-premises. Whichever option you like, choose it and start managing your configuration items with a click of a few buttons.

i-doit

i-doit is an open-source CMDB software for your configuration items. It can help you manage your IT environment according to your ITIL best practices and easily configure all the components of your IT ecosystem with an IT documentation solution. 

You can visualize the relationships between the configuration items and keep track of hardware and software assets along with their relations. i-doit is quick and easy to install and allows you to populate your database with rich data. 

Import data from different sources through auto-discovery of the network and instantly create a CMDB data model. You can consider i-doit as an efficient and flexible configuration management engine as a result of its open API. 

The common use of i-doit is professional configuration management database, IT infrastructure management, network documentation, IT inventory, technical documentation, IP address management, IT asset management, and file import. 

Furthermore, i-doit offers professional functions, including customizable reports, advanced graphical displays, complex rights management, and more. You can also extend the functionality by using add-ons like JDisc, OTRS, Floorplan, and security add-ons. 

Test it now for FREE.

CMW Lab

Get an efficient configuration management database (CMDB) software – CMW Lab for your configuration items and view technologies, services, and IT assets. This tool will help you handle your ITSM processes, such as problem management, asset management, configuration management, and change management. 

CMW Lab provides a graphical representation of all the resources so that you can focus on impact analysis and quality analysis of the service through configuration lifecycle management. Comindware CMDB, CMW ElasticData, and Service Inventory support small businesses and enterprises by providing unlimited data and processing scaling. 

You can serve multiple internal and external customers by delivering next-generation ITSM functionality and ITIL CMDB. The tool offers plenty of benefits like a single point of reference, the ability to support complex hybrid networks as well as service infrastructure, seamless integration, and more. 

CMW’s CMDB software will allow you to correlate customer-facing services and related SLAs with infrastructure events. It provides impact analysis results and calculates potential penalties due to system fallout. You can flexibly configure problem and incident prioritization based on customer-specific areas, SLAs, and business requirements. 

Get the FREE trial today and choose from different license options. 

Conclusion

Modern enterprises rely on complex hardware and software combinations to enhance their efficiency. However, managing all the assets can be challenging.

This is where CMDB software can prove to be a viable option. It will empower your business with advanced tools to manage all your data and assets so you can enjoy streamlined business processes.

Thus, choose the best CMDB software based on your organization’s asset management needs and have a piece of mind knowing that everything is being managed as it is supposed to.