CMS and the Cloud

What role will the Configuration Management System (CMS) have the in the new cloud computing world?  First the CMS is a pre-requisite to transition to the cloud computing realm.  A CMS is a planning and decision support tool for companies as they plan, design and transition to their cloud computing systems.  Once the IT management team decides which business services to transition to cloud computing their CMS will help determine which Configuration Items will be transitioned and when.  One could almost view / imagine that there would be CI cloud transition plan. 


Once companies have transitioned to the cloud computing world; what role does the CMS play?  It’s important to realize that large companies will likely subscribe to a mix of both private and public clouds.  Some of the clouds will be operated by third parties.  This for certain will require a federated set of CMDBs, a CMS in ITIL v3 speak, so that IT teams can effectively manage and control their IT outcomes.


Virtualization will be employed by both service providers and individual companies.  The CMS will help to manage virtualized CIs plus all other CIs.  This is important given how dynamic and frequent changes occur within virtualized environments.    Virtual machines are moved, decommissioned and created frequently within production environments.  The CMS must be able to perform event driven discovery when a new virtual machine is created or moved to understand which applications are running on the machine.  HP’s CMS has this ability to perform event driven discovery when new virtual machines are created.  Another consideration for companies in the cloud realm is how to accurately account for application instances on virtual machines for proper software contract management and charge back purposes.  Most software vendors have different licensing fees for virtualized environments.  It’s important for companies to ensure they are in compliance with said software contracts to avoid any penalties and to properly charge business units and departments for IT services.  HP CMS has the ability to discover virtualized environments and then can share the configuration information with HP Asset Manager to ensure contract compliance and charge back; all in an automated fashion.


One question I have for IT managers and outsourcers are what expectations do they have for sharing CMS or CMDB information from service provider to their clients?  So will service providers openly share and allow their customers to access & federate to the service providers CMDB for their client’s environment?  And will companies want to know how the service provider is delivering their services from a configuration perspective and will they truly want the details?   I suspect companies will want access to their service provider’s CMDB.  I also suspect there will be unforeseen benefits of providing open access to service providers CMDBs.  This transparency forces the discussion around industry standards for CMDB federation which were posited by the CMDB Federation working group.  CMS or CMDB vendors will need to deliver on the promise of a CMS as defined by ITIL v3 which is predicated on federating to trusted sources of configuration data.  We have much more to say on this topic so stay tuned.


Please let me know your thoughts on this popular topic.

Labels: Cloud| CMS| Federation
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About the Author
Jimmy Augustine is Director of Product Marketing within HP Software and leads the HP Application Performance Management and Configuration Ma...

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