Although configuration management is vitally important, it can easily turn into a devourer of resources if excessively ambitious criteria are laid down. Therefore, the management of "Cater Matters" initially decided to limit the scope of the configuration database to the systems it felt to be critical:
- LAN servers.
- Internet servers.
- Service Centre computing infrastructure.
To simplify management yet further, they decided to harmonise their configurations in a series of "reference configurations" applicable to the CIs described above.
Although this was a significant initial investment, it was felt that its had clear advantages:
- Medium-to-long term reduction in the associated costs.
- Improving the consistency of the services delivered.
- Simplification of all the processes associated with service support: Incidents, problems, changes, versions, etc.
Opting for a series of standard configurations allows a high level of detail to be achieved without the effort involved's being excessive. The following items were therefore entered on the database:
- Software configurations:
- Operating Systems:
- Installed applications.
- Interdependencies: parent-child relationships, owners, etc.
- Associated documentation.
- Hardware configurations:
- Servers and work stations.
- Sub-components, with their interrelations: parent-child relationships, interdependencies, etc.
- Associated documentation and controllers.
- Associated SLAs and monitoring reports.
At the same time, management tools were installed to allow all these configurations to be monitored remotely and periodic automatic audits to be carried out.