The Importance of a CMDB

Have you ever find yourself in a situation where you asked or heard one of the following questions :


  • “Who supports this application?”

  • “Are we sure we can reboot this server without impacts? Who uses it?”

  • “There’s a lot of stuff installed on this virtual machine. Anybody knows if that’s production?”

  • “Wait, who changed the version number of this software installation?”

  • “I was asked to decommission this router but it looks heavily used, doesn't it?”

  • “There are suspicious data streams from this IP address. Does anyone know what’s it connected to?”

  • “This database is becoming huge. What is it used for?”

  • etc.


If so, setting up a CMDB might be an excellent idea!

The concept comes from the ITIL framework, used in IT management for decades, but it can very well be applied to other business domains such as mechanical engineering for buildings which are getting increasingly cyber-connected, for example.

You would quickly find answers to all of those questions. And have you ever come to realize that they usually come up in important, if not critical, phases of projects or operation activities. Moments when we would really need to understand the impacts of what we’re about to do in our infrastructure.

The purpose of a CMDB is to enable you to manage the inventory of all important items, regardless of their nature, composing your different services as well as their interdependencies.

Be aware though that implementing this kind of tool is a demanding endeavour requiring considerable efforts and doesn’t happen in a day. It requires a strong community of practice (processes, roles and people with the right skill set to lead it), investment in proper tools and a great deal of efforts to organize the information it will contain. The results of a thorough approach, however, are well worth the efforts and will benefit all other management processes along with all operation teams.

We helped many organizations to acquire, organize and maintain a reliable CMDB in various business sectors :


  • Banking and insurance

  • Manufacturing

  • Energy

  • Railroads

  • Healthcare


We apply our own recommendations. The Synairgis team manages every detail of its IT and building services in the same open source services management tools we offer and specialize in.


Some Terms and Definitions


ITIL: Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a framework of IT services management best practises.

CMDB: Configuration Management Database

CMS: Configuration Management System.

SACM (process): Services Assets and Configurations Management is the discipline which defines and manages the technological and business services configuration in maintaining inventory of and the relationships between items and assets composing them.

CI: Configuration Item (or managed items) is any kind of identifiable item, asset or not, for which relationships and dependencies with other CI are managed and that is part of an one or many of an organization’s products and services.

Asset: An asset (or asset item) is an tangible or intangible (physical, logical, contractual, etc.) item obtained from a vendor as part of a procurement process, managed in the organization’s asset inventory system, and for which cost and financial information can be managed.

Tool: Synairgis recommends iTop for its excellent customizable CMDB and its powerful functionalities. 

The Synairgis consulting team cumulates a wide experience in the field, whether on the aspect of processes, tools or service tree data organization. Got a project? Contact us! We’re passionate about it!

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