Join Mark Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video Service Asset and Configuration Management, part of Cert Prep: ITIL Foundations.
- The first process we talked about was called transition planning and support as a part of service transition. Let's talk about what I feel is a very very important, very powerful, very complex process, Service Asset and Configuration Management. SACM, or Service Asset and Configuration Management, provides, what we call a logical model of the IT infrastructure by controlling, excuse me, by defining and controlling service assets and components, and maintaining accurate records in the Configuration Management System. Well, what does all that mean? Well, we're gonna talk about that over the next several pieces of this.
I think it's important to start off with the objective, to understand what the objective here of SACM is. It's ensuring that IT assets, are number one, identified. We've got a lot of assets out there, identify what those assets are. We control those, we care for them. So, when we look at this, we're talking about recording, reporting and auditing. So, you know, you always hear about this asset list, we've got an asset register, we've got PCs, we've got servers, we have key configuration items, or key components that are required for the delivery of an IT service.
But one of the things we have to do is make sure we can control those, identify those, and as changes are required on those we can control those changes. So we have to work a lot with another process called Change Management. So, making sure that we hit this, and it's very important that we understand that piece. So, the scope, therefore, when we talk about the scope of this, it's really the complete life cycle of every configuration item. And we'll talk more about what configuration items are here in just a little bit. They are service assets that are needed to manage the delivery of a service.
And so it's very important that we can look at this from a couple aspects, and we call those Assets, and we call those Configuration items, in this, Configuration Management. So, Asset Management, Configuration Management. So, we're gonna go up to the board, kind of walk through how I view Service Asset and Config. Now I've been through a couple of these types of deployments, and again, this is a very technical deployment, a lot of moving parts. But let's say, in my infrastructure, I've got servers, and again, this is just kind of a high level representation. I've got servers laying out there in the organization.
I also have network components. I might also have a certain, another, an asset, this might be a database, or it could be software, so we have different ways, and again, we're gonna identify those assets different ways, in here, in this example, I'm just using different colors, okay? And so, let's say that, those are what I call Assets in the organization, okay? They are assets because they're financial assets. Somebody needs to keep track of these. We need to know that because, generally, they're fixed assets, types of stuff, so we need to, have that, so we can report that through our financial tracking system.
Because we are either going to capitalize, amortize, those things, and so we need to know they're there, okay? Now, one of the things that's difficult is, when you look at this Configuration Management, well, you have all these assets out there. But a couple of things I need to know about those assets. I need to know, one, in configuration, I need to know, one, what their attributes are, those attributes being, I call that the license plate data, what do we need to know about that, serial number, purchase date, install date, those types of things. And I also need to know its relationship with other assets, or other CIs out there.
Why? Because now I can have a really have a powerful look and insight into what the risks are to making changes to certain CIs. Let me give you an story here. So let's say, let's say this server right here. We come to our change meeting and we're discussing upgrading the operating system on that server right there. So, in the old days, people looked around and said, "What do you think? Sound like a good plan?" Everybody says, "Yep, I'm good." So we deploy this new operating system on the server. Of course, we do it over the weekend, what happens on Monday morning? Incidents come up. Well, not only that server has an incident, has crashed on me, but we've got another issue up here.
This thing, this thing is having issues, this is having issues, and this is having issues. And we have no idea why or how that's taking place. Because we didn't have a good understanding of the relationships between those configuration items. So, what we like to do is first get a handle on the assets and then look at what the relationships between those assets are. And those relationships, there's different types of relationships you'll have. And you have to define what those are. So that you can now look at this and say, "Oh, if we make this change to this server, "here's the effect it's going to have." May not be first generation away, could be a couple generations away.
That's what Configuration Management is all about. Having that data, having that information available to us, so that we can use that in assessing changes, in planning releases, in looking at all those pieces. Things like technology refreshes, I can audit this information, we'll talk more through that here in just a little bit. But it's really important for you to understand that every CI, right, every CI that we have out here is a service asset, but not every service asset is a CI. What are we talking about there? It could be skills and knowledge of a system administrator, those types of things, may not be necessarily what we would classify as CI.
So, those CIs, we identify those, make sure that we baseline them, we baseline, we take that snapshot, so we know what the system of record is on that. Maintain control of these changes, through another process called Change Management. So, we've talked about the attributes a little bit of these things, so, and the attributes again, could be the unique identifier, the CI type, category, could be location, and so on, that might be a part of that. So that's overall what we're talking about in SACM, or Service Asset and Configuration Management.
So, a couple of key concepts, first we talked about a CI, what is a configuration item? Well, that CI is that asset that's required for the delivery of an IT service, okay? And it's something that we need to control and we need to keep track of and I want to know the attributes and relationships of that, and we just talked about that a few minutes ago. I want to also take that configuration baseline, so that if a change is made to this configuration model, we always know how we can get back to our original, original baseline, so that we can work back from there.
So, a couple of things from here down, we're gonna actually cover these pieces from here down, on a couple of other slides here. I can't get that one to work so, a Configuration Management System at a very high level for you. That is, that consists of one or more, what we call, CMDBs or Configuration Management Databases. We'll hit that in just a second, and we also have something in there called Definitive Media Library. These will be the next two sessions of these videos.
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