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Fujitsu and Technology Leaders Release Specification for Federating and Accessing Multi-vendor IT Management Data


Fujitsu Limited today announced that the CMDB Federation (CMDBf) working group has drafted an industry-wide specification for sharing information between Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) and other management data repositories (MDRs), such as asset management systems and service desks. The specification, which the group plans to submit as a standard, is intended to enable organizations to federate and access information from complex, multi-vendor IT infrastructures. The CMDBf was founded in April 2006, and today consists of industry leaders Fujitsu Limited, BMC Software, CA, HP, IBM and Microsoft.

CMDBs give IT organizations complete visibility into the attributes, relationships, and dependencies of the components in their enterprise computing environments. An industry standard for federating and accessing IT information will integrate communication between IT management tools. With a standard way for vendors and tools to share and access configuration data, organizations can use their CMDBs to create a more complete and accurate view of IT information spread out across multiple data sources. This makes it easier to keep track of changes to an IT environment, such as the last time an application was updated or changes to critical configuration information. It also helps organizations better understand the impact of changes they make to the IT environment.

The draft specification defines query and registration web services for interaction between a federating CMDB and an MDR, based on HTTP, SOAP, WSDL, XML Schema, and Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) standards.

A federating CMDB can access data from a participating MDR using the query service defined in the specification and implemented by the MDR. A client of a federating CMDB can also use the query service to extract data from another federating CMDB, making it possible for a CMDB to hierarchically federate with other federating CMDBs. An MDR can also export data to a CMDB that has implemented a registration service.

Earlier this year, the group published a white paper to describe how data from multiple sources will be federated into a CMDB. The concepts provide the basis for industry-wide specifications to be subsequently written and proposed as formal standards. The specification and white paper are available at

Yasushi Ishida, Vice President, Software Strategy and Architecture, and Executive Architect of the Software Group of Fujitsu Limited said, “Standardization of CMDB federation provides significant benefits to both customers and vendors. By releasing the draft specification for CMDB federation, CMDBf working group activities are entering a new stage of technology innovation in enterprise IT management. Fujitsu will collaborate further with other industry leaders to accelerate standardization activities and the utilization of technologies based on the resulting standard in a wide range of customer environments.”

“CMDBs play a key role in helping customers connect IT with business priorities. By providing customers standard specifications that allow them to access and integrate information from a variety of data sources, the CMDB Federation is arming organizations with the tools necessary to most efficiently manage their IT environment"
-- Tom Bishop, Chief Technology Officer, BMC Software

“CMDBs have become one of the central elements of enterprise IT management, so a standards-based approach to this critical functionality is necessary and valuable. CA is pleased to collaborate with other industry leaders to advance the state-of-the-art around CMDBs while lowering the cost of adoption.”
-- Helge Scheil, Chief Architect, Business Service Optimization Business Unit, CA

“HP is encouraged by the progress of the CMDB Federation effort. The ability to federate configuration information and execute queries across distributed repositories helps enterprises fully leverage existing investments. The CMDB Federation efforts, as it becomes an industry standard, will further lower the barriers to deployment of these capabilities. Customers stand to benefit from this work in very direct and measurable ways.”
-- Mark Potts, HP Fellow & Chief Technologist, HP Software

“The release of this specification is a significant step closer towards much needed interoperability for CMDBs and other management data repositories. Such linkage is a critical element underpinning autonomic computing and a requirement for effective service management. By embracing this open standard approach, organizations will more easily be able to view, track and change information that is essential for efficient and compliant management of their IT infrastructure.”
-- Alan Ganek, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Tivoli Software and Vice President of Autonomic Computing, IBM

“CMDBs are core to customers’ ability to deliver service management capabilities. Considering the number of CMDB formats and interfaces, it is important to have an industry-standard approach to interoperability. Microsoft is excited that other vendors also support open interoperability and industry standards, and we are eager to participate in this effort alongside other industry leaders.”
-- Larry Orecklin, General Manager, Microsoft System Center Marketing & Virtualization, Microsoft


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