DMTF Releases CMDBf Standard for Federating Configuration Management Data

July 21, 2009, Portland, Ore - The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the industry organization bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, today announced it has approved the Configuration Management Database Federation (CMDBf) standard to facilitate information sharing between Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) and other management data repositories (MDRs). The new standard is the first technology to provide a cross-vendor, standardized solution for federating system management data.

The CMDBf standard enables organizations to federate and access information from complex, multi-vendor infrastructures. This simplifies the process of managing related configuration data stored in multiple CMDBs and MDRs and supports the creation of an ITIL v3 Configuration Management System (CMS). It also provides IT personnel with a more complete picture of their entire IT environment, allowing them to more effectively manage the components in their IT environment and better utilize configuration data to streamline management tasks and resolve issues without the need of creating a single monolithic repository of configuration data. With a standard way for vendors and tools to share and access configuration data, organizations can use their CMDBs to keep track of changes to an IT environment, such as the last time an application was updated or when a network asset is planned to be taken out of service, and to better understand the impact of proposed changes to the IT environment.

"Enterprise IT management has long been inhibited by the inability to share data between their CMDB and supporting MDRs," said Ronni Colville, vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner. "DMTF's CMDBf standard offers a standard way to federate management data stored in a variety of data models. This approach increases IT administrators' view into their IT environments, simplifying the management of their systems. For IT organizations with multiple CMDBs this will also help address their federation requirements as well."

By adopting solutions that support the CMDBf standard, IT administrators do not need to combine data from disparate and diverse sources into an additional database which requires additional maintenance and management. Instead, CMDBf enables data to be federated in place as a way to integrate a larger set of management information to be used when performing configuration management, change assessment or incident analysis.

"The CMDBf standard is the first industry standard to address the challenges of configuration data integration in multi-vendor, heterogeneous environments," said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president. "This standard will enable companies to access their management data without replicating or transforming data between multiple repositories. The completion of the CMDBf standard is a major milestone for DMTF as it continues to deliver on its mission of enabling more effective, interoperable IT management."

The DMTF CMDBf standard was developed based on a specification submitted by the CMDBf Working Group in November 2007.

To access the CMDBf standard, please click here.

Industry Support for the CMDBf Standard: "CA is proud to have helped the development of a new standard for interoperable, federated CMDB that will present a single unified query and data access capability from multiple management data providers," said Paul Lipton, vice president of industry standards and open source at CA. "CMDBf extends the value of CA solutions based on CMDB, providing our customers improved quantity of quality of data, reduced cost, and better alignment with industry best practices like COBIT and ITIL."

"Fujitsu welcomes the release of the CMDBf standard for federating system management data as a solution that enables simple and efficient interoperable operation and management of systems. Fujitsu has been an active contributor to DMTF standardization activities from the start, by collaborating with multiple vendors for specification development and standardization," said Masato Nitta, president, middleware business unit, Fujitsu Limited. "Adoption of the CMDBf standard will make multi-vendor interoperability possible, thus enabling integrated IT system management by customers. We will proceed with efforts to apply the standard to Fujitsu products and continue with product development to offer greater convenience to our customers."

"Publication of the CMDB Federation 1.0 specification allows customers to make more informed business decisions by accessing CMDBs and management data repositories that interoperate across multiple vendor offerings," said Jamie Erbes, vice president and chief technology officer, software & solutions, HP. "We look forward to working towards broadening the applicability and appeal of this and related future specifications."

"Hitachi is very pleased with the completion of the DMTF CMDBf standard that enables companies to more effectively manage their entire IT environment in complex, multi-vendor infrastructures," said Hideaki Sakaue, executive general manager, software division, Hitachi, Ltd. "We plan to support the CMDBf standard in future product offerings of Hitachi's system management software and are committed to continuing our contributions to the development of this standard."

"IBM helps organizations to align and automate their IT infrastructures and streamline business operations to enhance business performance," said Matt Ellis, vice president of autonomic computing, IBM. "CMDBf simplifies management system integration by facilitating direct access to data sources. CMDBf allows our clients to easily build their dynamic infrastructures using a federated CMDB and MDR ecosystem without having to migrate all their management data into one centralized repository."

"The ability to exchange data between the various CMDBs implemented within the industry is important in ensuring that customers with heterogeneous environments have the ability to effectively manage across them to reduce complexity and costs," said Larry Orecklin, general manager, system center and virtualization at Microsoft. "Microsoft is pleased to have worked with the DMTF and the participating companies during the standardization process for CMDBf and to see the release of the standard."

"Today's data centers are heterogeneous environments with multiple masters and stakeholders, but in order for any organization to make decisions or analyze business performance these mixed environments need to work together simply and seamlessly," said Alan Murray, vice president of product management at Novell. "Novell is a strong supporter of the Configuration Management Database Federation (CMDBf) standard, because it facilities the interoperability of data from multiple points of view. With a comprehensive view of the entire IT environment, administrators can utilize configuration data to streamline management tasks resolve issues and most importantly effectively manage the components in their IT infrastructure."

"BMC is proud to have taken a lead role in developing these standards which are critical to ensuring the widespread and successful adoption of configuration management," said Gerry Roy, director of solutions management at BMC Software. "These standards can help organizations lower costs by making better use of their existing investments, reduce risk associated with unmanaged configuration change and effectively prioritize efforts according to greatest business impact."

"As customers are virtualizing their data centers, they are more receptive than ever to technologies that simplify operations," said Guy Daley, director of product management for Cisco's Network Management Technology Group. "The CMDBf standard offers potential for customers and vendors alike, as it promises to reduce over time the number of required databases and vendor-specific interfaces in multivendor systems-management environments."

About DMTF DMTF enables more effective management of millions of IT systems worldwide by bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on the development, validation and promotion of systems management standards. The group spans the industry with 160 member companies and organizations, and more than 4,000 active participants crossing 43 countries. The DMTF board of directors is led by 16 innovative, industry-leading technology companies. They include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD); Broadcom Corporation; CA, Inc.; Dell; EMC; Fujitsu; HP; Hitachi, Ltd.; IBM; Intel Corporation; Microsoft Corporation; Novell; Oracle; Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Symantec Corporation and VMware, Inc. With this deep and broad reach, DMTF creates standards that enable interoperable IT management. DMTF management standards are critical to enabling management interoperability among multi-vendor systems, tools and solutions within the enterprise. Information about DMTF technologies and activities can be found at