Configuration items

A Configuration Item (CI) is any service component, infrastructure element, or other item that needs to be managed in order to ensure the successful delivery of services.

Each CI has several characteristics:
  • A classification, or type, which indicates what kind of item it is.
  • Attributes, which vary by classification and describe the characteristics of the individual CI.
  • A status value, which represents the CI's state in the lifecycle used for CIs of this classification.
  • Relationships, which indicate how the CI is related to other CIs.
  • An owner, the person who is responsible for the CI.
CIs vary in complexity, size, and type. They can range from an entire service, which may consist of hardware, software, and documentation, to a single program module or a minor hardware component. The lowest-level CI is usually the smallest unit that will be changed independently of other components.

Actual and authorized CIs

An actual CI represents an item in the environment; its attributes reflect its condition as determined by the discovery process. An authorized CI is a representation of a corresponding actual CI, reflecting only the attributes that you want to manage through the change management and configuration management processes. You can create authorized CIs from actual CIs using the promotion process. You can also create authorized CIs that do not correspond to actual CIs. For example, you might have a CI that represents a service or other logical object that would not be discovered.

Actual CIs are imported from IBM® Tivoli® Application Dependency Discovery Manager (TADDM), or from another discovery program or source, into Maximo IT and cannot be modified in Maximo IT. Authorized CIs can be chosen as targets of a change request or other process. You can run audits, or reconciliation reports, to check on the differences between actual and authorized versions of configuration items, and then take corrective actions as needed.

CI classifications

The classifications, or types, of actual configuration items are defined in the Common Data Model. This model defines the types of CIs along with their attributes and relationships. You cannot create, change, or delete the CI types that are defined in the Common Data Model. However, you can create your own classifications for authorized configuration items, and you can determine which types of CIs you want to manage using the configuration management and change management processes. This determination is an important part of planning for effective use of these processes.

Top-level configuration items

A top-level configuration item is a CI used as the starting point for organizing and promoting a set of related configuration items.

An example of a top-level CI is a computer system. It can have many child CIs, such as an operating system, application software, and hardware components.

When viewing a list of CIs in the Configuration Items or Actual Configuration Items application, you can see which ones are top-level CIs by checking the Top-level column.

Knowing which CIs are top-level is important because when you create authorized CIs by promoting actual CIs, you must choose actual CIs that correspond to the top-level authorized CIs for which you have defined promotion templates.