By Dick Stark
On June 16, Gartner released a report, “Critical Capabilities for the Configuration Management Database,” evaluating ten ITSM CMDB products. BMC’s Atrium CMDB, along with FootPrints and Remedyforce were included as well as products from HP, CA, ServiceNow, IBM, EasyVista, Axios, and Landesk. The winner: BMC Atrium, which scored significantly higher in all five use cases. This is no surprise since BMC has continued to lead this space since Atrium was first announced more than ten years ago. What follows is a brief summary of that report.
Gartner research analysts Ronnie Colville and Jarod Greene put CMDB offerings into two camps:
Configuration Repository CMDB. These primarily integrate with management data repositories. They require organizations to manually establish relationships or configuration items and attributes for applications and IT services.
IT Service View CMDB. These primarily integrate with IT SDM tools (like ADDM) to establish peer-to-peer and hierarchal relationships among components. They also enable IT organizations to integrate various management data repositories.
FootPrints Service Core v 11.6 and Remedyforce Summer 13 scored significantly lower because they are considered configuration repository CMDBs. For example, Service Core is tightly integrated with BMC Client Management (BMC) formerly Asset Core and supports physical topology configuration items. This means that users must manually create relationships and dependency mappings.
Service Core may also import ADDM Data into the Service Core CMDB. Using ADDM, Service Core customers gain similar functionality as Remedy customers, with ADDM providing the data relationships and mapping, with views into the Service Core CMDB.
According to Gartner, Remedyforce “meets the basic needs of IT organizations that require insight into the configuration items they support and the associated attributes, but not service models and relationships.” This is changing as Remedyforce, starting with the Winter 14 version now supports CMDB 2.0, Remedyforce’s Atrium like database. Customers who buy ADDM automatically get Atrium. Remedyforce supports a Pentaho package for use with Atrium to import data into Remedyforce, for example, from ADDM. Since the Remedyforce CMDB 2.0 now supports functionality similar to Atrium, like Service Core, views in the Remedyforce CMDB are possible. Additionally, Remedyforce Summer 14 supports better searching, reporting, collision detection and impact analysis, and mapping.
The value of having the industry’s leading CMDB is real and apparent. For example at an intelligence agency, ADDM has made a significant difference, not just by identifying what’s in their data center or on the network, but how applications are mapped to related hardware and software.
At the agency, one ADDM use case, all newly discovered, newly removed (not seen for a minimum 7 days) and changed (moved) assets are tracked and compared to see if a Change Request was indeed created for these installs and moves. If a Change Request was not created, an alert is sent to the administrator to investigate.
The result is not just improved asset management effectiveness and a reduction in cost, but risk mitigation when making changes, due to a better understanding of the change and its impact to the affected underlying infrastructure.
This is a significant advantage for BMC Remedy customers, with similar functionality now available in both Service Core and Remedyforce.