Federating Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs)
Technology Leaders Release Specification for Federating and Accessing Multi-Vendor IT Management Data
Collaborative Effort by BMC Software, CA, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and Microsoft Helps Ensure that CMDBs Can Draw from All Enterprise Sources
New York, NY, USA. August 20, 2007.
The CMDB Federation (CMDBf) working group today announced it has drafted an industry-wide specification for sharing information between Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) and other management data repositories (MDRs), such as asset management systems and service desks. The specification, which the group plans to submit as a standard, is intended to enable organizations to federate and access information from complex, multi-vendor IT infrastructures. The CMDBf was founded in April 2006, and today consists of industry leaders BMC Software, CA, Fujitsu Limited, HP, IBM and Microsoft.
CMDBs give IT organizations complete visibility into the attributes, relationships, and dependencies of the components in their enterprise computing environments. An industry standard for federating and accessing IT information will integrate communication between IT management tools. With a standard way for vendors and tools to share and access configuration data, organizations can use their CMDBs to create a more complete and accurate view of IT information spread out across multiple data sources. This makes it easier to keep track of changes to an IT environment, such as the last time an application was updated or changes to critical configuration information. It also helps organizations better understand the impact of changes they make to the IT environment.
The draft specification defines query and registration web services for interaction between a federating CMDB and an MDR, based on HTTP, SOAP, WSDL, XML Schema, and Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) standards.
A federating CMDB can access data from a participating MDR using the query service defined in the specification and implemented by the MDR. A client of a federating CMDB can also use the query service to extract data from another federating CMDB, making it possible for a CMDB to hierarchically federate with other federating CMDBs. An MDR can also export data to a CMDB that has implemented a registration service.
Earlier this year, the group published a white paper to describe how data from multiple sources will be federated into a CMDB. The concepts provide the basis for industry-wide specifications to be subsequently written and proposed as formal standards. The specification and white paper are available at:
Support for CMDB Federation
"CMDBs play a key role in helping customers connect IT with
business priorities. By providing customers standard specifications
that allow them to access and integrate information from a variety of
data sources, the CMDB Federation is arming organizations with the
tools necessary to most efficiently manage their IT environment."
— Tom Bishop, Chief Technology Officer, BMC Software
"CMDBs have become one of the central elements of enterprise IT
management, so a standards-based approach to this critical
functionality is necessary and valuable. CA is pleased to collaborate
with other industry leaders to advance the state-of-the-art around
CMDBs while lowering the cost of adoption."
— Helge Scheil, Chief Architect, Business Service Optimization Business Unit, CA
"Standardization of CMDB federation provides significant benefits
to both customers and vendors. By releasing the draft specification
for CMDB federation, CMDBf working group activities are entering a
new stage of technology innovation in enterprise IT management.
Fujitsu will collaborate further with other industry leaders to
accelerate standardization activities and the utilization of
technologies based on the resulting standard in a wide range of
— Yasushi Ishida, Vice President, Software Strategy and Architecture, and Executive Architect, Software group, Fujitsu Limited
"HP is encouraged by the progress of the CMDB Federation effort.
The ability to federate configuration information and execute queries
across distributed repositories helps enterprises fully leverage
existing investments. The CMDB Federation efforts, as it becomes an
industry standard, will further lower the barriers to deployment of
these capabilities. Customers stand to benefit from this work in very
direct and measurable ways."
— Mark Potts, HP Fellow & Chief Technologist, HP Software
"The release of this specification is a significant step closer
towards much needed interoperability for CMDBs and other management
data repositories. Such linkage is a critical element underpinning
autonomic computing and a requirement for effective service
management. By embracing this open standard approach, organizations
will more easily be able to view, track and change information that
is essential for efficient and compliant management of their IT
— Alan Ganek, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Tivoli Software and Vice President of Autonomic Computing, IBM
"CMDBs are core to customers' ability to deliver service management
capabilities. Considering the number of CMDB formats and interfaces,
it is important to have an industry-standard approach to
interoperability. Microsoft is excited that other vendors also support
open interoperability and industry standards, and we are eager to
participate in this effort alongside other industry leaders."
— Larry Orecklin, General Manager, Microsoft System Center Marketing and Virtualization, Microsoft
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- CMDB Federation (CMDBf). Public Interim Draft. Version 0.95. 01-August-2007. Copyright: BMC Software, CA, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft. [source]
- The Federated CMDB Vision. A Joint White Paper from BMC, CA, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, and Microsoft. Version 1.0. 25-Jan-2007.
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.