ASG updates its MetaCMDB software

* Accurate configuration information is the foundation of every decision in IT

IT industry watchers embrace the premise of a configuration management database as the necessary foundation to a savvy service management strategy, but the practice of establishing an effective CMDB has yet to be standardized.

"The importance of CMDB/[configuration management system] success cannot be overemphasized. Because it's heavily influential on operational process discipline, thorough planning and methodical execution are compulsory," writes Forrester Research senior analyst Glenn O'Donnell. "Accurate configuration information is the foundation of every decision in IT, whether manual or automatic."

One vendor that says it differentiates itself based on the configuration data it collects is ASG Software Solutions. The company recently updated its MetaCMDB product with improved discovery capabilities that the vendor says helps customers understand the applications they have, how they interact and how they depend upon the infrastructure. This update also strengthens ASG's ability to federate data from more resources.

And according to O'Donnell, federation is key to a successful CMDB implementation. "A refined direction is a federated approach to the CMDB, with raw data distributed across the enterprise and linked with object models and metadata," the report "A Federated CMDB Remains Distant, But Start Now" reads. "Federation offers far more flexibility for service adaptation. … Targeted capabilities exist today, and you must begin the evolution now to be ready for the onslaught."

For ASG, the idea of federation means the approach to collecting metadata with the vendor's ASG Rochade metadata repository puts them ahead of the pack in terms of vendor offerings. Competitors such as BMC, CA, HP and IBM each other their take on a CMDB, but ASG says their versions aren't built to handle configuration items that have attributes that are metadata. Still, customers who are experimenting with ITIL Version 3 or looking to automate some IT service management processes are looking to a CMDB to serve as the underlying foundation of bigger IT initiatives.

"Some customers, frankly, are still trying to get a handle on basic configuration information, but others are seeing the value the MetaCMDB offers in demonstrating the relationship between business and IT. For instance, how can a CMDB help with disaster recovery planning or virtualization," says Ian Rowlands, senior director of product management.

MetaCMDB 3.2.0 is available now and pricing begins at $600,000.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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