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Establishing a Consolidated View of CIs for Capacity Management

A configuration item (CI) is the “smallest meaningful item/part of any IT environment,” according to Mohamed Zohair in an article for Yet its thoughtful consolidation may have a disproportionately large impact on IT’s ability to deliver value to the business.

The Complex Company

A company’s IT infrastructure is a complex and dizzying web of interdependencies – small wonder that simplification is in high demand. Imagine an organization that runs 300 servers connected through 500 networks in two data centers. Even simple billing services require network devices, storage elements, database instances, applications, middleware, and more:

Working in such [an]environment may cause a lot of headache[s], especially when each team works in a silo. When [a]problem happen[s], each team [will]firstly try to defend its area and finger out…other teams. [This] end[s]up increase[ing][the]time [it takes]to repair service outages and [this, in turn] negatively impact[s]…overall company service and customer satisfaction.

Benefits of CI “Balance”

IT needs to be a facilitator of strategic business goals, and not an obstruction. Yet while the act of “balancer” is traditionally filled by the role of business administrator, it is capacity management that enables business requirements to be adequately paired with IT operations and infrastructure. CM involves the fateful consolidation of many CIs under a central repository that provides a global view of the service landscape. From a management perspective (top-down) this view is indispensable, and supports some of the following benefits:

  • Monitoring
  • Performance
  • Service configuration
  • Availability
  • Service level management

The consolidation of CIs not only maximizes IT efficiency, but also helps to manage business needs and expectations regarding service availability, thus providing the perfect balancing companion to IT governance.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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