Incident Management involves restoring normal business operations as quickly as possible after an incident (a server meltdown, for instance) -- in other words, doing whatever is necessary to get services back into a normal operational state after they are disrupted. Problem Management, on the other hand, focuses on finding and removing the root causes for the incident in order to prevent its recurrence.
ITIL is unique in separating “problems” from “incidents.” Too often, IT organizations will allow services to remain down while support staff tries to find the root cause of an incident, instead of focusing on fast work-arounds to minimize impact on the business. ITIL puts priority on serving the business first and then on fixing the root cause in the background.
Change Management is the process that coordinates and controls changes to the IT infrastructure itself. ITIL views this process as a coordinated effort to obtain the proper approvals, authorization, and quality assurance steps.
Release Management refers to the actual implementation of IT changes, including people, processes, technology, training, rollout, communications, and business area activities, as well as the design build, test, and release of the change. The notion of packaging changes into release units to minimize disruption to the business is new to most IT operations. Release activities occur under the guidance and approval of Change Management.
Configuration Management includes the process of logging, tracking, controlling, and verifying infrastructure information that describes every component in the IT infrastructure -- and their relationships. Emphasis is placed on how these items, known as CIs (configuration items), relate to one another. All this information is stored in a logical CMDB (configuration management database).
3. This CMDB sounds important.
The CMDB will serve as the blueprint for how the entire IT infrastructure is structured, how various CIs -- hardware, software, incidents, agreements, service levels, documentation, and so on -- are related, and how the entire metasystem functions. The CMDB becomes the basis for finding infrastructure information quickly, and making effective management decisions based on it. Under ideal circumstances, every CI will have configurable attributes -- for example, it might be a computer, a purchasing process, or an individual IT staffer. If possible, the CMDB should be designed to automatically discover information about the CIs and to track changes as they happen in order to minimize the administrative labor necessary to maintain it.
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Not at all. Whereas the Service Support book is focused on how effective IT services should be operated and maintained, the Service Delivery volume looks at how those services are provisioned and enhanced. This book also highlights five critical processes: Service Level Management, Availability Management, Capacity Management, IT Service Continuity Management, and IT Financial Management.