and maintain the logical service configurations of the infrastructure and application domains that
support a service.
These logical service configurations are mapped with the physical configuration / inventory
data of the supporting infrastructure and application elements in the respective domains. They
track the physical and logical state of IT service elements and associate incidents to the state
of service elements, which helps in analyzing trends and reducing problems and incidents.
The configurations are stored in a configuration management database (ServiceNow® CMDB) which consists of
entities, called Configuration Items (CI), that are part of your environment. A CI may be:
- A physical entity, such as a computer or router
- A logical entity, such as an instance of a database
- Conceptual, such as a Requisition Service
In each case, there are attributes about the CI that you want to maintain, and there is
control you want to have over the CI. There are changes that may need to be made and tracked
against the CI. Also, a CI does not exist on its own. CI's have dependencies and relationship
with other CI's. For example, the loss of a bank of disk drives may take a database instance
down, which affects the requisition service that the HR department uses to order equipment for
It is this relationship data that makes the CMDB a powerful decision support tool.
Understanding the dependencies and other relationships among your CIs can tell you, for example,
exactly who and what is affected by the loss of that bank of disk drives. When you find out that
a router has failed, you will be able to assess the effect of that outage. When you decide to
upgrade the processor in a server, you can tell who or what will be affected during the
Configuration items are a personal issue, because each customer has a unique environment.
Details about the exact physical attributes of a computer may be needed by one customer, but may
represent meaningless data to another. The ServiceNow platform provides a mechanism to
easily define new classes of configuration items and new relationships that may exist between
CI's. New classes can be defined that extend other classes. For example, a laptop class exists
that extends the computer class. The computer class itself extends the base CI class. Customer
class extensions are automatically part of the ServiceNow environment and blend seamlessly
into the integration points for other ITIL processes.
Relationships between CI's can be displayed in a hierarchical fashion, and adding or removing
relationship instances is done with a simple double-click of your
Roles requiredFor viewing CMDB-related records in the user interface, the
itil role is usually sufficient. For updating records and for other manipulation of records,
roles with higher credentials are usually required, as noted.