Breaking News—Novell Enhances Configuration Management Databases With Social Networking Tool

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Novell today announced it is shipping a Web-based application that taps into social networking methodologies to enhance enterprise configuration management database (CMDB) usability, accessibility and accuracy. myCMDB, a part of Novell's recent acquisition of Managed Objects, employs a community-based architecture, similar to social networking applications, to provide a single view of federated data center resources across any physical or virtual environment.

A CMDB helps by serving as a repository of information for all the components that are part of a data center or an IT infrastructure, as well as the relationships across each. However, maintaining CMDBs that accurately map to the current state of data centers is frequently a challenge, Richard Whitehead, director of marketing, data center solutions for Novell, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "Large data centers are typically a complicated mixture of hardware, operating systems, workloads and IT resources," he says. "They have typically implemented a CMDB to assist in the management and control from frequent demands for both business and technical changes."

Using the principles of social networking, myCMDB delivers role-based "communities" where users can more easily and effectively update, view and interact with CMDB data and users. myCMDB users can quickly extract IT configuration and workload information in near real-time, model changes to the IT infrastructure, and generate reports that graphically show how proposed IT changes will affect not only the IT production environment, but also the business services it supports as well. "Using social networking principles, myCMDB is the only solution that allows organizations to significantly enhance CMDB usability, accessibility and accuracy," Whitehead says.

By delivering critical capabilities that make CMDB visualization, navigation, search, analysis and reporting measurably easier and more intuitive, myCMDB serves to make CMDBs more valuable, user-friendly tools. This drives greater usage and contributions, enabling the CMDB to become a more accurate representation of the actual IT infrastructure-much in the same way end users drive data accuracy in repositories such as Wikipedia.

"myCMDB positions internal IT organizations and service providers alike with the capability to tackle today's complex configuration management demands-one perfect example is the cloud computing infrastructure," says Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager of Systems and Resource Management at Novell. "With myCMDB, organizations have the power to effectively manage cloud-based configurations and answer critical infrastructure questions such as 'where and on what is my workload running?' This effectively lowers the risks inherent in changing these complex environments while at the same time offering greater transparency."

myCMDB integrates with all commercially available CMDBs, including Novell's CMDB360. Key features of myCMDB include a community-based architecture to provide meaningful role-based views of CMDB data. An additional feature includes role-based user profiles to personalize the community experience with tailored homepages, a community update feed and reports. Another feature includes an intelligent and intuitive Google-like context-based search to easily retrieve data on CI name, class, attribute, relationships and flags. For more information, visit the Novell website.