Integrate CMDB with CA Service Catalog

This article contains the following topics:
This article contains the following topics:
CMDB Overview
A configuration management database (CMDB) is a repository of asset information defining the critical configuration items in your environment and their relationships. A service catalog fits into that framework as a tool to help with financial governance, workflow, management of service requests, and service definition. The closer the relationship between the infrastructure assets that are represented by the configuration items and the logical services that the users  consume, the more useful the integration between the CMDB and the service catalog is to your organization.
CMDB is a comprehensive, integrated solution for managing the IT components and services and their relationships. You can store reliable, up-to-date details on assets, which are known as configuration items, and their relationships with each other. These relationships form the basis for impact analysis, an important tool for controlling change within an organization.
When the two are integrated, the CA Service Catalog services are associated with CMDB configuration items. Using the CMDB Visualizer, you can trace the dependencies of the services on other configuration items. You can therefore determine the impact of configuration items on services. An important application is when a configuration item used by one or more services either suffers loss of performance or stops working. You can visually pinpoint the impact of this event to the service.
When a specific change affects a configuration item, use the CMDB impact analysis tools to figure out how the change affects the services. Then you can use CA Service Catalog to determine the organizations and users that have subscribed to the impacted services. This information helps you plan the change that is required. Also, you can use the service level agreements between the subscribing organization and the providers to help plan the change. For example, if a heavily used server slows down or crashes, determine the impact on CA Service Catalog services by using the integration. You can answer the following questions:
  • Which specific services use that server?
  • Do those services use any other server?
  • Are other servers available to replace the affected server?
  • Which accounts and subscriptions are affected?
  • What are the possible financial risks? For example: do the affected services or configuration items have associated service-level agreements (SLAs)? Do the impacted services help generate revenue?
Your analysis can include impact analysis, efficiency analysis, financial analysis and profitability, and ITIL considerations. Both CMDB and CA Service Catalog support ITIL principles.
Key Terms
Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
is a functional data repository that unifies and simplifies the management of configuration information. CMDB consolidates and reconciles disparate sources of IT-related data in the context of business priorities. CMDB provides visibility into configuration item information such as resource attributes, relationships and dependencies.
Configuration items
form the basis of configuration management solutions. Typically, a configuration item is a collection of objects that are related to the specific functionality of a larger system. Examples of these objects are requirements, code, documentation, models, and other files.
provides a unified graphical view of relationships between configuration items and inter-dependencies of business processes. It helps you determine which CA Service Catalog services are connected to which CMDB configuration items.
Types of Association Between Services and Configuration Items
You can view, modify, and create associations between any CA Service Catalog services and any CMDB configuration items. Typically, the most suitable configuration items belong to the Business Service class in the Enterprise Services family. Several configuration items in this family and class are provided by default. You can create any new ones that you require.
The following types of association between CA Service Catalog services and CMDB configuration items are possible:
  • One service to one configuration item
  • One service to many configuration items
  • Many services to one configuration item
  • Many services to many configuration items
The many-to-many relationship between CA Service Catalog services and CMDB configuration items is the most commonly used.
You can also:
  • Associate existing services to existing configuration items.
  • Use an existing service to create one or more new configuration items.
  • Create a service for one or more existing configuration items.
Prerequisites for CMDB - CA Service Catalog Integration
  • Be familiar with basic functions and administration of CMDB, such as families, classes, configuration items, and relationships between configuration items. Understand how to use the analysis tools, such as root cause analysis and impact analysis.
  • You must be familiar with basic functions and administration of CA Service Catalog.
  • Ensure that both CA Service Catalog and CMDB are installed, configured, and running.
  • If you are using Service Accounting Component, ensure that it is installed, configured, and running.
  • Use the same MDB installation for CMDB and CA Service Catalog.
After you have installed and configured CA Service Catalog and CMDB, integrate them by performing the setup tasks first.