Managed Objects has launched a software add-on to its configuration management database product that incorporates social networking technologies. The software has been designed to allow more users to contribute to and gain value from their company's CMDB.

MyCMDB is an add-on application to the vendor's CMDB360 product, which collects and stores IT system data, such as hardware model, configuration details, patch information, user connections and operating systems. The database also identifies inter-dependencies among components and stores that type of relationship data as well.

Industry watchers consider CMDBs core to the success of IT service management, and best practice frameworks such as ITIL recommend deploying databases to hold such configuration data. For instance, if a server is downed by a configuration change, the CMDB could identify the change quickly and help IT managers restore the system before there was an impact on service levels.

Yet keeping one up-to-date, monolithic repository of all configuration data across varied components in a large, distributed environment challenges most companies, says Siki Giunta, Managed Objects president and CEO.

"CMDBs fail for two reasons: they are too hard to maintain, and the majority of the really important data about an environment still exists only in the heads of people," she says. "Plus getting buy-in for a CMDB is difficult because if the data is outdated or inaccurate, end users are immediately put off by it. We decided to use social networking to let people gain access to the CMDB and add their insight into the environment."

MyCMDB sits on top of Managed Objects' CMDB360, as well as BMC's Atrium and home grown configuration databases, to enable an interactive, community-based environment. The software features an interface that combines Facebook-like functionality with search and Wiki capabilities and Web 2.0 for modelling purposes to create a CMDB that can be customised to suit a variety of IT professionals.

The social networking capabilities enable myCMDB users to set permissions, roles and rules. The application will ease search capabilities and enable users to gain access to the data they need more quickly, says Kurt Westerfeld, Managed Objects CTO.

"Many times people need to be trained on the data model and product to get information from fielded searches," he says. "That represents a huge barrier to entry. This makes more information quickly accessible."

Speaking at a media product demonstration in London, Dustin McNabb of Managed Objects, said: "myCMDB brings a combination of the community aspect of Facebook, the searching models of Google and the data integrity capability of Wikipedia."

Giunta says Managed Objects in the future will apply this model to other areas of IT with applications such as myOps scheduled for December. Scheduled to be generally available 30 September, myCMDB is priced starting at $100,000 (£50,000).

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