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New York, NY - 11 Apr 2006: BMC Software, Fujitsu Limited, HP and IBM today announced plans to create a new interoperability specification designed to enable customers to federate and access information from their complex, multi-vendor IT infrastructures. The companies plan to submit a draft specification to an industry standards organization later this year.
Working together, the companies will develop an open, industry-wide specification for sharing information between Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) and other data repositories. As a multi-vendor specification, it will provide companies with greater choice and flexibility in terms of adding new hardware, applications, and middleware.
Today, information about an IT infrastructure, such as which server runs a company's human resources application and who has access to the application, is scattered across the organization in different formats, making it difficult to access and share. Yet doing so is often critical, especially for organizations grappling with compliance and governance issues.
An industry standard for federating and accessing IT information will integrate communication between CMDBs, which hold details related to the components of an IT infrastructure, including information about servers, storage devices, networks, middleware, applications and data. An accurate CMDB can help an IT staff understand the relationships and dependencies among these various components. However, with no standard way for different vendors' CMDBs and other tools to share data, IT information must be collected manually -- a time-consuming and costly process.
With a standard way for vendors and tools to share and access configuration data, organizations can use their CMDBs to create a more complete and accurate view of IT information spread out across multiple data sources. This makes it easier to keep track of changes to an IT environment, such as when the last time an application was updated, or if there have been changes made to critical configuration information. It also helps organizations better understand the impact of changes they make to the IT environment. A financial services company, for example, could use its federated CMDBs to understand how deploying a new online banking program might impact other parts of the business that share the same resources -- even in a multi-vendor environment.
The specification is intended to support the procedures that organizations use to manage their IT operations, such as those described by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a customizable set of best practices.
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"As the CMDB continues to move toward the mainstream, the time is ripe to discuss standardizing across industries and organizations. As the value of a true, federated, non-proprietary CMDB continues to be tested and proven, enterprises will expect increasingly more efficient implementation, and will continue to look to industry-leading organizations to work together to meet their interoperability needs."
-- Tom Bishop, Chief Technology Officer, BMC Software
"Standardization of the CMDB is of critical importance to improve the efficiency of IT processes and to achieve the integration of tools and IT processes in multi-vendor environments. We believe that open standards in the area of IT management will benefit both the customer and the industry, and we welcome the opportunity to work with other industry leaders to accelerate CMDB standardization. We plan to provide Fujitsu Systemwalker IT management products incorporating the new CMDB standard."
-- Yasushi Ishida, Vice President, Software Strategy and Architecture, and Executive Architect, Software Group, Fujitsu Limited
"Every enterprise needs to manage its IT services delivery and CMDB is a critical component of the process. By working with our partners in developing industry standards for CMDB, HP is helping customers face the challenges of maintaining compliance, aligning with the business and automating IT processes."
-- Mark Potts, Chief Technologist, OpenView Business Unit, HP
"CMDBs are coming of age, yet interoperability isn't where it should be. That's why it's important that these companies, industry leaders in IT service management, are coming together to create an open model that will make it easier for organizations to view, track and change information that is essential for efficient and compliant management of their entire infrastructure."
-- Alan Ganek, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Tivoli Software and Vice President of Autonomic Computing, IBM
"itSMF sees this initiative as great news for organizations that are planning to implement ITIL best practices and supports this group of key IT leaders who are working together to forge standards in this area. Such standards will go a long way towards making CMDBs and other ITIL related software tools more effective in helping customers better understand and manage their complex IT environments and should be of significant benefit to all involved parties."
-- Brian Jennings, Chairman, itSMF International
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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source