Configuration Management


Configuration Management is understanding the mix of resources which make up an Implementation and their appropriate or approved configurations.

We must use tools that capture and assess your corporate asset data for both financial and regulatory compliance needs.

Configuration Management is an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 2 and an IT Service Management (ITSM) process that tracks all of the individual Configuration Items (CI) in an IT system which may be as simple as a single server, or as complex as the entire Information Technology department. In large organizations a configuration manager may be appointed to oversee and manage the CM process. In ITIL version 3, this process has been renamed as Service Asset and Configuration Management.

The Goals of Configuration Management#

The Goals of Configuration Management there should be a number of goals that are fairly consistent across the board when implementing a configuration management solution within any organization. They are:
  • Deciding which IT components should be tracked.
  • Collecting and readily reporting on IT-related assets within the organization. This allows you to both document and account for assets on an ongoing basis. Many organizations fall behind on collecting and recording their corporate-sponsored applications and they struggle to pull this information together when they need it.
  • Providing asset and configuration information for other ITIL components, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management and Release Management. Remember, part of Configuration Management defines a central repository where you store all IT asset information and easily retrieve it.
  • Reconciling of the recorded configuration against the existing infrastructure and the correction of any inconsistencies.

Common Activities#

Several activities surround proper Configuration Management creating a formal structure around it:

Configuration Management Planning#

Planning must establish not only the goals and objectives of this effort, but also all required scoping, policies, procedures and tools. Processes, with needed approval and schedules, should be established as well as goals, roles and responsibilities.

Configuration Management also requires that all tracked items are identified by an organizationally accepted naming convention. Configuration Items are those items that will be identified and tracked throughout the system. These items are the components used to deliver a service and include hardware, software, documentation and service.

Ownership of Configuration Items is important to establish as part of the process. Once Configuration Items are created, they provide a permanent identity from which other processes can work, such as the recording of incidents, resolutions, problems and financial information.

Control of Configuration Items#

The objective of configuration control is to ensure that only authorized and identifiable Configuration Items are recorded in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

Configuration Status Accounting#

You should run status reports on a regular basis that list all Configuration Items' current version and historical states. You should also include status accounting reports on the current, previous and planned states of the Configuration Items.

Configuration Verification and Audit#

Your Service Desk, building techs and automated inventory systems can all be used to routinely verify and perform Configuration audits. You should perform audits on a regular basis as well as after significant events, such as before and after major changes in infrastructure, in response to recovery activities and in random intervals.

Benefits of Configuration Management#

Benefits of having a formal Configuration Management methodology in place include:
  • providing accurate information
  • controlling valuable Configuration Items
  • facilitating adherence to legal obligations
  • helping with financial and contingency planning
  • making software Changes visible
  • improved network security and reliability by controlling the versions of Configuration Items in use
  • elimination of unauthorized software
  • providing Problem Management with data

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: