Configuration Management Answers Basic Infrastructure Questions

Today’s enterprise CIO is hard pressed for allocating time and budget to address infrastructure management challenges. While appropriately defending their networks from security challenges, they are also well aware of the fragile state of configuration management.  While many discovery solutions assist with real-time security, they often have limited or no connection to the needs of service, facility and asset managers who are struggling to answer basic questions including who, what, where, and when.

While these issues are faced, the enterprise is further challenged by increased requests for data, which has both accelerated servers and virtualization.  Due to rising concerns for utility costs and cyber security constraints, data center consolidation and centralization of facilities and assets is well underway.

The focus on cyber security and asset discovery, while important, has not taken into account the importance of IT physical infrastructure devices, circuits, cabling, and connectivity as important configuration items.  Though rarely admitted, most IT organizations are poorly equipped when it comes to understanding all of the physical infrastructure dependencies which are necessary to support their IT Services.  In other words, the core physical IT infrastructure (passive, active and visual-based elements) is rarely sufficiently mapped logically or physically to critical IT services, which leaves a gaping hole with respect to performing successful network configuration and service management.

Data center consolidations, building renovations and merger activities represent perfect opportunities to capture new configuration item baselines.  Organizations that invest in baselines and an integrated configuration management system (utilizing ITIL framework that incorporates physical infrastructure) will recoup many benefits, including the ability to address the previously mentioned who, what, where, and when.

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