Day 2: 9.30 - 10.15

Gene Kim - The Visible Ops Approach to Implementing CMDBs

In this session, Gene Kim will share with the audience how to apply five simple, self-fueling steps, defining how to do things within the IT organization that will ensure CMDB success.

Gene’s discussion will be framed by the IT Process Institute (ITPI) IT Controls Performance Study in which researchers unearthed specific metrics that make the difference between high, medium and low performance. Gene will share specific examples of how the 80/20 rule applies to building a CMDB strategy in support of key ITIL processes and the metrics that matter to help guide any IT organization to success.

These steps help control for drift, ensure availability across the service stack and protect key IT infrastructure.

Ian Preskett - Why Software Asset Management (SAM) and the CMDB need each other

SAM is often closely related to the IT procurement department in order to manage software compliance, and inventories are held in disparate and varied forms and not used efficiently. CMDBs are often built by ITIL trained service personnel with limited knowledge of the mysteries of the SAM requirements. This presentation will show how these can work together and help to build the bridge.

The session will help a configuration manager to understand what data is needed to manage SAM, where it is collected from, how it should be stored and verified, and how the reports are used.

It will describe what SAM is and review the key processes for ISO/IEC 19770, and map these against ITIL to show the relevance to the CMS/CMDB, and to other ITIL processes. It will also show how SAM fits with the CMS and knowledge management in ITIL V3.

Ivor Macfarlane - Service management requirements for the CMDB/CMS

Objective: Using case studies and shared experiences we will debate how to create alignment between stakeholder requirements and vendor products in CMDB/CMS implementation.

Outcome: Documented and structured strategies to close the gap between stake- holder needs and vendor offerings, again available for the participants to download immediately following the conference.

Jack Repenning - How open source Subversion is all grown up…standing shoulder to shoulder with proprietary solutions

Jack will explain the major new features of Subversion and how the open source community process works to get these Enterprise features into Subversion.

Subversion 1.5 is the biggest release since V1.0 and really takes head-on the capability for Subversion to be displacing proprietary solutions. Subversion 1.5 includes a number of significant changes that address long-standing limitations or enable powerful new workflows. New features particularly address auditing, traceability, and interruption management around critical work flows.

Day 2: 10.20 - 11.05

Amir Nooriala - CMDB in Practice - Real case-study of Implementing a CMDB in a large global institution

A presentation detailing the challenges involved with implementing a CMDB over a 2 year period, based around a real case-study.

The presentation covers topics such as; the service hierarchy under-pinning the CMDB, differentiation between manually maintained and federated data in the CMDB, the central ownership model implemented to ensure accuracy of data within the CMDB and the (performance) reporting structure built around the CMDB, tying into the Service Hierarchy.

Martyn Hobbs - Closing the gap between the Data Centre and the Customer

With the introduction of ITIL v3 the focus on delivering a service to the end user or customer has never been so focused for IT organisations. This session is designed to show how it is essential in today’s customer service IT Support culture, to be able to join the activity in the Data Centre to the front end Service interface, and in doing so illustrate that the conduit for this connection has to be the CMDB or CMS, essentially underpinned by good Configuration Management practice.

Mike Tomkinson - Service Asset & Configuration Management Vision

A stimulus presentation on setting the vision for BT will be followed by table discussions, brainstorming, theming and voting. The output will be a prioritised set of features for setting a vision and strategies for implementation.

Tom Gilb - Quantifying Top Management Objectives for IT Systems

This session will present practical methods for expressing any management improvement objectives quantitatively. No more nice sounding PowerPoint bullet points running your critical project. The small set of most critical objectives will be numeric, trackable, intelligible. Useful for contracting, project management and judging vendor alternatives.

The methods are based on the Tom’s methods in his books (Principles of Software Engineering management, Competitive Engineering). We identify a set of the top ten critical success factors. We identify critical stakeholders. We define scales of measure, constraint levels, target levels, and many other factors that help to manage the delivery of these desired results.

The methods are valid at any level of management or technical planning. Many concurrent and co-operating levels of organization can use the same language to communicate with each other.

Day 2: 11.35 - 12.05

Trevor Lea-Cox - A surprising lesson for the CMDB from Containerised Cargo Services

Benchmarks done on containerised cargo transportation services showed that similar services in other countries were providing faster turnaround times to unpack and clear containerised cargo through customs ready for delivery to the customer. The import leg of the service involved at least four companies and several subordinate services. A programme subsequently to reduce the turnaround time was very successful but was not without its surprises.

Although this programme took place a few years ago (under ITIL v2 conditions) its lessons are as relevant today as they were then and perhaps even more so with ITIL v3 and more modern technology.The problems encountered did not only affect several types of service assets, they had a big impact on the CMDB and the way it was structured. Consequently, one of the most important results of this programme has been the recognition of the need for a consistent, multi-dimensional approach to the Service and SM architectures and their content across all services. These principles are the same for all complex services, even within an organisation and are likely to have a profound affect on the strategy of the SA and CM environment and the way it is implemented in many organisations.

Richard Croucher - The CMDB as the core component in creating agile infrastructures

The IT industry is challenged with the level of complexity in the systems we are now building and deploying. Automation is a key capability to reduce the human resources and to improve reliability. However, you can only automate to the extent that the environment is fully described. The CMDB is the place where these descriptions should reside. However to achieve this it needs to be much more than an Asset DB. The speaker will describe a model based deployment and automation approach that has been successfully used managing probably the world’s largest Windows server deployment. This approaches changes how one thinks about the level of detail needed for each CI and also the need for separate CI types for physical and virtual items.

Harvey Davison - How do you populate your CMDB?

There will be an interactive discussion on what makes good Process Design for a CMS. Using a series of interactive techniques the session will seek direct input from delegates on “How you populate your CMDB?”

  • Recording Item details: What kinds of data sources are available? What are the Pros and cons of each?
  • Tracking Item Status: What are the triggers we can use to identify status changes?
  • Relating Items to each-other - What is the best way of identifying item

Rainer Heinold - Make the most out of Subversion 1.5 in the Enterprise

Subversion 1.5 comes along with several new enterprise-class features. But, as always, there are many different ways to adopt them. The presentation gives you guidelines and hints to work out the most useful adoption of Subversion 1.5.

Including use cases, it will address features such as:

  • merge tracking, and associated branching strategies
  • sparse checkouts allowing faster access to data
  • write-through proxies for better distributed working

Day 2: 12.25 - 13.10

Cathy Brown - How to Keep Your Auditor Happy!

The session will cover the specific control points and governance for Configuration Management from a number of industry standards and frameworks.

You will take home a clear understanding of the key control points for configuration management. Cathy will also discuss why you should consider key controls as early as possible in your process and system design and implementation, and she will assess the standards, frameworks and guidelines an auditor might use (and the language they speak!).

John Tabeart - Intelligent Sat Nav for Service Management - How to drive business value from your CMDB/CMS

Service Management in general and ITIL in particular is the vehicle of choice for many organisations today, when embarking on journeys of organisational improvement. Many new and exciting journeys are possible, but what is the best way to navigate? This presentation will guide the audience through the options to realise business value, using the metaphor of satellite navigation:

1. Pioneer
2. Map reader
3. First generation Sat Nav
4. Intelligent Sat Nav

Attendees will be introduced to the concepts of continuous benefits realisation, enabling them to plan for, quantify, prioritise and realise benefits from the implementation of CMDB/CMS and their wider service management programme. Continuous benefits realisation focuses on why an organisation is undertaking a particular programme (i.e. what are the benefits to the business?) and is complementary to other approaches in common use today, such as:

1. ITIL (what)
2. PRINCE2 & MSP (who)
3. Best Practices (how)

Mark Bools - Bringing the CMS solution to fruition

Interactive Session

This session explores approaches for bringing the CMS solution to fruition. It will cover:

  • Architecture - what needs to be considered and in what order, using the ITIL CMS diagram
  • Designing and building the CMS - selecting the best options

Find out about the industry view on selecting different options such as:

1. One stop shop for the CMS solution
2. Leveraging your current investments and adding to this
3. Best of breed approach ( but expensive to integrate)
4. Integrating through common data standards and reporting tools
5. Incorporating open source solutions e.g. subversion
6. Evolutionary v. new solution
7. plus some of the ideas you had from your original paper
8. In house v. System integrator v. Primary supplier integrates CMDB layer
9. Outsourcing maintenance of the CMS.

Delegates will respond to challenging question(s) that shape a debate around their table.

Thiago H. Burgos de Olveira - Software Configuration Management Diversity - A Commercial Study Case

This presentation describes a commercial study case at C.E.S.A.R (Recife Center for Advanced Studies and Systems) and its Software Configuration Management (SCM) structure. C.E.S.A.R is a CMMI-3 company, established in Recife/Brazil, with approximately 600 employees, and most of its effort spent in innovation and research projects.

Due to its diversity of clients, such as Motorola Inc., Samsung and Dell, and projects (e.g. mobile, embedded, web, test execution), several different SCM environments had to be settled down to reach each project needs. The different SCM environments required by the C.E.S.A.R's projects go from a combination of open-source tools (for instance, Subversion/CVS, Mantis, Ant, RTH, Testlink and Luntbuild) to a combination of commercial and open source systems such as IBM Clearcase and ClearDDTS.

This variability of solutions in SCM needed by our projects, led us to a set of SCM environments, adapted well known patterns and a definition of high level standards that can be instantiated in any kind of project and/or product.

Day 2: Lunchtime 13.50 - 14.35

Rob Addy - Discover the truth about discovery

Automated discovery was, and indeed still is, seen by many as the holy configuration grail and yet over the past couple of years it has become apparent that it poses as many questions as it answers. Sure, it will tell you what you have, some tools will even tell you where it is and what it talks to, others will tell you how it’s being used and even how the stuff is configured… But the advent of agent-less discovery and context sensitive intelligent discovery sensors have also raised many questions regarding their use and how they should be implemented in conjunction with the configuration management process. Like the chicken and the egg, there is much debate over whether the change closure, CMDB update or the automated discovery reconciliation should come first - although this presentation will not necessarily answer that particular question, hopefully it may answer a few others.

John Metcalfe - Selecting a CMS Tool

This interactive session will identify the tasks that need to be considered when selecting a CMS solution. The session will present the CMS model and consider the influence of stakeholders, eliciting requirements, and dealing with the technological decisions on the selection process.

The selection of a CMS solution impacts many areas of a service orientated business environment: The session will allow attendees to question, identify benefits and challenges when devising an action to plan to select a CMS solution. The session will address:

1. Defining the plan scope
2. Approaches for defining the requirements
3. Soliciting objective information from both users and vendors
4. Reaching an objective decision on solution selection.

The outcome of this session will be presented for question / comment by the wider conference attendees.

Robin Fawcett - Identifying and sharing best practices for implementing configuration management

Software development and deployment is becoming increasingly complex as we move from monolithic to component based solutions. The flexibility introduced through component based and parallel development increases the dependencies between different components and versions N-squared.

Factors such as system architecture, choice of technology stack and the experience and organization of the project team influence performance and the suitability of processes and tools. Identifying the critical factors to efficiently maintain and control the integrity of all releasable artefacts is fundamental to success.

Before implementing an SCM consideration for the process and workflow to be used for identifying software configuration items, configuration structure, controlling and implementing changes and configuration status accounting are crucial to success. Once these have been defined, implementation and appropriate automation can be used to enable and enforce these.

This paper discusses the implementation of SCM as an integral component of the software development process and a means of determining the Cost of Quality of using an “as is” system and performing root cause analysis of issues arising during software development projects. Using the root cause analysis to identify where processes or integration with other tools should be introduced improved or automated.

Day 2: 14.40 - 15.25

Keith Allen - Managing changes to applications services from requirements to production with ITIL, COBIT and the CMDB/CMS

The objective of this paper is to cover an End to End Application Service Life Cycle utilising ITIL and COBIT best practices and maturity models, introducing the CMDB as the linkage driver. The intended audience are IT and Business personnel who are looking at improving their application life cycle management through the usage of ITIL and COBIT best practices, and the potential linkage to a central CMDB for a ‘Service’ view.

David Cuthbertson - Applying Configuration Management to the Data Centre

Managing change in data centres is not easy, in addition to the need to understand services there needs to be controls at a detailed level to stay within technical design limits. This session covers the types of configuration data needed to plan and manage a data centre as part of an overall CMS solution.

With many organisations using a mixture of hosting, co-location and their own data centres, ensuring changes do not compromise services requires power, cooling, cabling and hardware to be covered by configuration management techniques. Understanding dependencies and relationships is difficult mapping servers to services, even more difficult if we extend our CMS down to the wires that connect and power the critical systems.

While the data centres may be running out of space, power and cooling, we need to decide if they should be covered by an overall CMS solution or kept separate?

Shirley Lacy and Ian Salvage - Implementation - What works and what doesn’t

A stimulus presentation based on a summary of real life experiences will kick off
this interactive session. Following this each table will brainstorm, discuss, define and prioritise:

  • what works, what doesn’t
  • who can help us to deliver the vision e.g, vendors, integrators, implementers
  • How do we measure success?

The results of the session will be displayed immediately on the screen and will be
available after the conference for delegates.

Gerald Tombs - Creating an integrated Open Source CM solution

Many companies have gone through the process of implementing some of the heavy weight CM tools such as ClearCase, Dimensions etc and are now seeking something far less complex and something which fits into their agile development process. Although development costs have always been scrutinized, the pressure for better value tools has never been so strong. Both Subversion and Mercurial appears to fulfil both the above requirements. This presents a challenge for those companies who have already invested in expensive, well embedded commercial solutions. We will talk about how we have helped companies migrate or run a hybrid environment.