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ITIL and CMDB in the Data Center

Developed by England’s Office of Government Commerce in the late 1980s, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has become the most widely adopted best practice framework for the planning, provisioning and support of IT services. ITIL, which recently launched its third major revision, provides a set of standards and recommendations on how to deliver IT services more efficiently and effectively through improved management processes across the IT organization - including those that support networks, systems, applications and databases. Most commonly known as an IT Service Management framework, ITIL provides high-level guidance on how to best align the IT organization with overall business objectives and drive IT operational improvements.

Aperture solutions extend the ITIL best practice framework and the overall IT Service Management discipline directly into the physical infrastructure of the data center to assist organizations achieve higher levels of process maturity within the data center. Coined Data Center Service Management™ (DCSM™), this framework helps organizations employ an integrated set of systems and processes to holistically manage the data center from a business service perspective — including all physical infrastructure components, such as equipment, space, power, cooling and connectivity.

Aperture is a comprehensive data center infrastructure resource management system that revolutionizes the manner in which organizations manage today’s increasingly complex and ever-changing data center environment. It is the only enterprise-wide solution with the capabilities and tools to deliver all aspects of Data Center Service Management to assist organizations with the challenges they face.

Aperture and ITIL
Aperture provides an integrated solution to manage and automate processes identified by ITIL - such as configuration management, change management, problem/incident management, financial management and capacity management - as they relate to the data center (physical) infrastructure.

Configuration Management: Aperture Data Center Configuration Management
Aperture contains a central, visual repository of all data center infrastructure information to model the complete data center physical environment. The visual repository aggregates configuration information on data center equipment in a hierarchy of scaled drawings, including device location, power and cooling infrastructure, network and storage connectivity. Aperture manages the relationships between these assets down to the detail of individual port and power connectivity. The Aperture configuration repository is the system of record for data center physical infrastructure information and integrates into a federated model of a configuration management database (CMDB).

Change Management: Aperture Infrastructure Process Management
As changes are planned and made, Aperture tracks the status of the changes and updates the repository as part of the process. Through a Web-based process management system, it automates the equipment installation, move, change and decommission processes within the data center. Its seamless integration with the configuration repository provides fast access to the required information to reduce risks associated with changes and improve operational efficiency as specified by ITIL.

Capacity Management and Financial Management: Aperture Capacity Management
Aperture Capacity Management aligns business forecasts with the current state and consumption trends for the infrastructure to proactively manage data center capacity and accurately predict future data center requirements such that service delivery is optimized, costs are controlled and the objectives of the business are supported. Given the soaring power and cooling costs associated with running the overall data center, employing strict Financial Management processes that control the data center operational environment can lower data center operational costs significantly.

Problem/Incident Management: Aperture Infrastructure Monitoring
Monitoring and Automation provides information on the real-time state of the data center, including power consumption and environmental data for improved change and capacity management as well as alerts and alarms for the IT organization to perform root-cause analysis and respond to potential issues before they impact service delivery. It provides planning and operational process feedback to enable management analysis and verification for services to meet business demands as economically as possible. Aperture Infrastructure Monitoring monitors the status and impact of the critical data center infrastructure through a “single pane of glass.” It provides a vendor-independent monitoring platform, which interfaces with the broader enterprise monitoring systems to extend monitoring of the data center facility with an IT perspective. 

Aperture support for ITIL
Organizations can achieve best practice processes, as identified by ITIL, by efficiently coordinating the work across data center groups, improving communications with customers and analyzing performance history. Key benefits of Aperture include:

  • Standardized and repeatable process to capture and communicate changes within the data center
  • Increased operational efficiency through the coordination of the tasks required to provision and manage change of equipment, while providing constant, up-to-date status
  • Disciplined engineering process to ensure every change made to the data center is documented and performed according to specification, minimizing the possibility of future outages due to errors
  • Detailed information on how each device must be configured and connected for the specific request based on the business (customer) requirements

Organizations are continually turning to ITIL for guidance in aligning the IT infrastructure with business objectives and driving operational improvements to deliver IT value. Aperture directly supports the ITIL standards and definitions for Data Center Service Management and its frameworks for managing the physical infrastructure of the data center. Learn more about how Aperture is the leading data center planning and management system for today’s space, power and cooling challenges.