The IT challenge
With so much of the modern enterprise powered by IT, visibility into IT infrastructure is mission critical. This sought-after visibility, however, is remarkably elusive. IT infrastructure continues to grow and become more complex, especially with the proliferation of hardware, software, appliances, virtual machines, cloud services, and mobile devices. This makes visibility into infrastructure a constantly moving target. For IT to gain visibility, it faces the challenge of consolidating, maintaining, and understanding complex data.
IT must first consolidate disparate configuration item (CI) data into a single configuration management database (CMDB). considering unknown Cis, inconsistent data quality, and ill-defined relationships. IT must then regularly maintain this complex data for accuracy. Finally, IT must be able to make sense of this complex data to drive business decisions and services. In general, CMDB projects have a reputation for failed starts, lengthy implementations, and ongoing maintenance challenges-often resulting in limited business value and unrewarded effort.
The ServiceNow solution
ServiceNow® Configuration Management Database is an easy-to-use, cloud- based single system of record for infrastructure and service data. The CMDB helps organizations better understand the IT environment particularly in the areas of business service impact analysis, asset management, compliance, and configuration management. When paired with ServiceNow® Service Mapping, the ServiceNow CMDB becomes service-aware and enables ServiceNow applications to also be service-aware.
The CMDB features a single data model with easy, accurate data acquisition through agentless auto-discovery of known and unknown Cis, existing integrations to third-party data sources, and additional integrations using web services or other methods. Built-in data reconciliation and normalization features ensure consistently accurate and useful data. A health dashboard provides a holistic view into the quality of CMDB data, and an auto-remediation framework improves data quality.
CMDB data certification enables IT to maintain data integrity within the single system of record by federating data administration. Data visualization turns complex data into clear, actionable information, providing insight into configuration items, business services, incidents, problems, and changes. Reporting is fully integrated with all data and tables, and is easily customizable for complex reporting without coding.
The CMDB is automatically integrated with all features, processes, and applications built on the Now Platform™. IT professionals use the ServiceNow CMDB to bring visibility to their IT infrastructure, so they can focus attention on making fact-based decisions and providing business-critical IT services that power the enterprise.
Single data model
ServiceNow CMDB utilizes a single data model, with common processes, standard taxonomy, and pre-negotiated semantics, format, and quality standards for exchanged data. As a result, every table, view, and application built on the Now Platform leverages a consolidated, single system of record. This data model is also easily extensible: out-of-the-box tables and views can be extended with a click; fields from other tables can be referenced and used to drive workflow; and data validation and normalization rules ensure that trusted data can be leveraged across any application, form, or workflow.
Easy, accurate data acquisition
CMDB may be easily and accurately populated with Cl data through ServiceNow® Discovery and other methods. Fully integrated and agentless, Discovery automatically identifies the type of Cl it is interacting with and then launches additional probes and sensors that are appropriate to that device to gather further information and attributes.
CMDB automatically checks the data for errors, normalizes and transforms the data, and then loads the data to ensure the most recent and accurate profile of that Cl. ServiceNow®; Service Mapping overlays service maps onto existing configuration data to connect Cis underlying a given service, making the CMDB service-aware. The CMDB also integrates with the most common infrastructure platforms such as VMware® vCenter™ and Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager™, as well as endpoint management products.
Additionally, data may be imported into the CMDB through web services, direct database imports, and Excel® files. Transform maps and business rules enable inbound data to be mapped to target tables and fields, transformed, merged, and coalesced.
Data health and certification
A health dashboard provides a single view of the quality of data at the CMDB, Cl class, and Cllevels using complete- ness, correctness, and compliance scores. The CMDB health benchmarks feature provides industry-standard benchmarks across these scores, so IT can measure CMDB health relative to similar ServiceNow customers.
An auto-remediation framework enables IT to take action to improve CMDB data quality. High-quality data may be regularly maintained through a built-in data certification capability, which assigns tasks to people and groups within IT to validate data models, attributes, non-discoverable information, and Cl relationships on a scheduled basis.
Powerful visualization and reporting
The CMDB’s business service manage- ment mapping functionality provides a clear, graphical view of complex IT infrastructure and service relationships. IT professionals can click through the data map, filtering data, focusing in on specific CIs, and viewing impact and risk alongside in-flight operational activities such as incident, problem, and change requests. A CI and service history timeline provides a visualization of planned and unplanned changes to CIs and alerts over time. A simple and flexible reporting engine enables IT to quickly create dashboards and generate reports, which may be scheduled to be distributed on a regular basis. A query builder provides a simple and intuitive way to query the CMDB for CIs and relationships across multiple CMDB tables, including service maps. Administrators, system owners, and service owners can quickly identify configuration drift, unplanned changes, and incident history to understand the health of CIs they are responsible for and the operational activities directly or indirectly impacting those CIs.
Single system of record on a single platform
The CMDB automatically integrates with all applications and features built on the Now Platform, making it rich in functionality and value. IT can use the CMDB with Discovery, Service Mapping, and other applications to gain an end-to-end, service-aware view of CI lifecycles. CMDB acts a single system of record for all on-premise, multi-cloud, and serverless infrastructure data. Where desired, IT can control access to CI classes, entire records, individual fields, and attributes to ensure only authorized users can update CI records.
An integrated &SLA engine enables IT to track CIs against service levels and operational agreements. Information may be shared in chat channels and the Live Feed social stream. End users may subscribe to the services and CIs they are interested in, choose from several notification options, and receive messages on all types of mobile devices.