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ServiceNow CMDB OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

ServiceNow CMDB is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Configuration Management Databases. It is most often compared to BMC Atrium CMDB: ServiceNow CMDB vs BMC Atrium CMDB

What is ServiceNow CMDB?

Configuration Management Database
To effectively manage and improve your systems, you need to know exactly what assets are in your IT environment and have current, accurate configuration data. With an accurate configuration management database (CMDB), it's easy to understand your organization's IT environment, particularly in the areas of service impact analysis, asset management, compliance, and configuration management.

The ServiceNow® CMDB provides a single system of record for IT. When paired with ServiceNow Service Mapping, the CMDB becomes service‑aware—which enables your ServiceNow applications to be service‑aware as well. Now with your CMDB, you gain full visibility of your infrastructure and services, leading to more control of your environment and better decisions.

ServiceNow CMDB Buyer's Guide

Download the ServiceNow CMDB Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

ServiceNow CMDB Customers
Wayfair, Siemens, Allianz, Experian, Vitas Healthcare
ServiceNow CMDB Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about ServiceNow CMDB pricing:
  • "It is really expensive. I don't know actually how much it costs, but in 2016, when a client decided to move from an old solution to ServiceNow and had to choose a supplier for ServiceNow, I had heard that it could cost $10 per hour, which is really expensive. I am not aware of any additional fees to the standard licensing fees. There is no standard ServiceNow solution. When a company wants to acquire ServiceNow, they already know which module they will choose. In a basic package, you would have Service Catalog, Incident Management, and Change Management. These modules are usually required in an IT company."
  • "I would like it to be cheaper. If you've got a large environment, it can get quite expensive quite quickly. You still get a return on investment, but everybody has a tight budget. In terms of licensing, everything is pretty much known upfront. Being SaaS-based, there are no real additional gotchas that we came across."

ServiceNow CMDB Reviews

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RD
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Top 10Leaderboard
Integrates well, has very good performance analytics and a nice health dashboard

Pros and Cons

  • "Portfolio management is very useful for us."
  • "If you have multiple tools that are going to ingest data into the CMDB, you need to be careful of what rules we write to ensure that they fall in place."

What is our primary use case?

We do a lot of stuff around Mapping. We do Discovery. We do Identification/Reconciliation rules. We do the Transforms and stuff like that. Then, we validate the CMDB Health dashboard and stuff like that. That's predominantly the main work that we do around the CMDB and the data ingestion kind of stuff.

How has it helped my organization?

I work for a client and we find CMDB pretty useful as it's being leveraged across the board for all other service management practices. When I say service management practices, I refer to the incident, problem, change management, et cetera. The content in CMDB is pretty useful for us as that's the basis on which many, many decisions can be made. We go right down to the extent of leveraging the application portfolio. We leverage stuff like this to go back to creating files and figuring out which business service is impacted as a result of which CI. That is at its most basic level. We leverage the Discovery to ensure maximum availability and CIs are discovered, preventing manual ingestion. Our Identification/Reconciliation rules help us in affecting and understanding duplicates, and correctly remediating them, and making sure that we are on the right track. The out-of-the-box rules set by ServiceNow are great. The better we blend into it, the better it is for us.

What is most valuable?

Service Mapping is very useful. We found the APM, which is also part of the configuration, to be helpful. The APM has been pretty phenomenal. 

Portfolio management is very useful for us. The Discovery aspect is great. 

The performance analytics and the health dashboard are amazing to work with. 

The CI Class Manager and its stuff around it; the IRE rules, the Integration/Reconciliation, the classes which are in there in the CI Class Manager are all pretty useful as well.

The data presidencies are pretty useful to me. The Reconciliation Engine appends to it. 

The CMDB Health results, which have been configured by ServiceNow are used out-of-the-box are great. It's pretty useful to us.

We also use a lot of service associations, which help us to do the top-down mapping and understanding of end-to-end aspects if you want to have a chronological view. 

Most importantly, I think I can see the CMDB of ServiceNow aligns very closely and very well with the CSDM model. 

What needs improvement?

There are costly changes here and there. For example, it becomes difficult for us to identify the volume of patents. What we do is we fundamentally de-market and compare against the best and to another product that we were using before, which had some features that we didn't. For example, we use BMC Discovery. BMC Discovery has heaps of patents written using the TPL. BMC Discovery is a primitive tool and it's been in the market for a while. You would expect a lot more packages to be there. In ServiceNow, we are not there yet. It's less mature. 

There should be a few more classes here and there. For example, there are people who keep talking about Apple devices. They need to be taken into account, and they are not. Sometimes, we have certain rules and regulations of CIs and how we can pick up only those CIs which are operational to a change and describe non-operational ones. When you work with load balancers, when they're off, they obviously go into a non-operational mode.

We, from a process side, need to understand certain areas where we need to blend in. I would think that, for example, Network Gear would be a separate class under the config item parent. However, now, it's come under the hardware. That makes sense. 

I see the table called serial number that should be a lot more efficient and maybe that's the way we have configured it. That's where we are doing a shabby job - our duplication rules were on the serial number and the serial number table. The serial number table itself is a volatile table that keeps fluctuating from time to time. Things like that have to be eventually delivered. They keep coming, they keep coming. 

I don't think there are any pain points. It's just that we love to understand from a process perspective where we need to rectify ourselves. The tool is made a little differently and we need to figure it out. Our process cannot be stubborn and say the tool has to blend with the process. As an organization, we are very strong in our process. We expect the tool to cater to us whenever we tweak things and mess them up. However, when you tweak something, you need to be able to go in and clean it up and not think it will sort itself out. You need to put a patch. However, if you put a patch on a patch on a patch you've entirely screwed up the tool.

The tool has given you the provision to do the customization, however, you need to be strategic about what you do. You need to be careful in terms of writing. When you say SCCM is a secondary source of truth, for example, you need to be sure what activities you want from there. If you have multiple tools that are going to ingest data into the CMDB, you need to be careful of what rules we write to ensure that they fall in place. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution until recently. We used the solution in the last 18 or so months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. ServiceNow is the way forward for many of us. I would just work on BMC Remedy as well, however, I've not been impressed as much as I'm impressed with ServiceNow. ServiceNow is definitely a lot more advanced. It's a lot more flexible and it's quite easy to use unlike BMC's product, which is pretty sophisticated. The Discovery is a little more complicated. If you want to understand how mapping is, it's all confusing in some places. They even recommend the SAAM and the CAM mapping. Whereas in ServiceNow, it's pretty straightforward. The complexities are not there. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is phenomenal. It's expandable, for sure. It's quite easy to do so as well. I've seen its integration with a lot of tools. We integrated it with analytical tools like Qlik Sense for various reasons. They are also integrated with tools like SCCM. We integrate pretty smartly and pretty extensively. It's scalable due to the fact that we can take and look at other modules which are the add-ons from ServiceNow itself, such as performance analytics, asset management, and whatnot. 

We have all kinds of users, from the bottom to the top, from the business owner to the business managers. We have business users. We have the technology users. Then, we have the IT users themselves. Across the organization, we definitely can say we have around 25,000 users. At any point in time, concurrent usage could be up to 10,000, for sure. 

ServiceNow is our single source of truth. That's the single service management tool that we're using right across the board. It is definitely being used extensively. We have plans in terms of extending the usage. The expansion may not be until we plan to acquire a new organization or something. Otherwise, now, it's pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

It took us about six months to set everything up, however, that's the organization. They're looking at a truckload of CIs in the CMDB. They're looking at about seven to eight million CIs, and therefore it was not going to be that straightforward and easy. It took us about three to six months due to the sheer volume. On top of that, we had our own organizational change that kept happening parallelly. People kept moving. People kept coming in. However, with something like this, it's all expected. It's part of the exercise.

There was complexity involved in the implementation, however, I can't blame it on the tool. Our thinking wasn't right. We didn't have the architects with the right frame of mind to put things together. The tool was in place. It's that we needed to know how to use it that held us back a bit. We needed to go and ask ourselves: "How do we use Discovery? How do we leverage on Mapping? How do we do things parallelly? What about other data? What about archive data? What are you going to keep? What are you going to flush out?" All those things, we needed to put in place. 

We had about 15 to 20 people on the implementation process for six months. We have to do some structural changes in the organization as well. At the same time, we weren't blending it into HR. We were blending into an HR framework, so we were restructuring the organization in a one-sided way. That's possibly one of the reasons why it took a little bit more time to get the whole thing fixed.

During implementation we did the configuration. Parallelly, we started the incident, problem, and change management. It was a full-fledged implementation across the entire organization and it was done together. It wasn't like incident first and then change second, and problem third or something. We did all of them together.

The solution does require maintenance from time to time. I'm not involved personally in that. I use only one part of that whole thing. There are people who do the maintenance for the entire solution. There's actually a team that's full-fledged and on maintenance. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I really do not know much about the pricing and licensing package. I'm not on top of that. It's no a part of the solution I directly deal with.

What other advice do I have?

We are partners with ServiceNow.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

I'd advise other companies that, when you start using the tool, first, of course, you should have an architectural understanding of your organization. You need to have an understanding of what is it that you want to achieve, and an understanding of the end-to-end setup from the business to the end infrastructure layer. You want to know what you want and what you don't want, and have that well-built, and have an architectural view, and understand where your data comes in and how it comes in. CMDB can't help with that part. 

Don't go and expect the CMDB to do all the magic for you. You need architectural brains to blend in with the tool and that's how this whole thing works. CMDB blends very nicely if you have the architectural brain and if you have a logical understanding of what you want. Don't expect the tool to do it for you by throwing in junk and saying, "Yeah, do it for me."

If you have this, you have a good process in the works already. You will be able to blend in with asset management. Config and asset work hand in glove as a second function. When you know how these two blend with each other, you know what the architectural view is, and if you have the right people and the right sense, the tool will help. If your base is weak, I don't think the other process will work at all. 

If you really want to go down to the topmost to the bottom-most level, there are a lot of people on the business side who swill say, "I don't understand my application landscape. I don't understand this. I don't know why do we have so many products. Why do we have this? Why do we have that?" People don't understand. However, if you have a CMDB in place that actually manifests what the entire application landscape is, it's on top to bottom very comfortably. If you don't have CMDB, you'll regret it. I have seen many times it just cost the organization real money not having it in place. There has been financial loss, revenue loss, et cetera. 

I've realized that if you have a good full-fledged CMDB, being involved in understanding what causes problems is not very difficult. You don't have to go searching. You can look at the devices. You can go pinpoint. We can narrow the search. What it means is we can enable faster resolutions. Obviously, you can have better and higher availability.

That's the impact of a good quality CMDB. Traceability is good. You're able to pinpoint to the bottom-most of the problem. You know where to go. With CMDB you no longer say "I don't understand my IT landscape. I don't understand why we have so many applications. I don't know what we're doing." In a split second, you can actually go and say, "You know what? There's a network problem, and I know that the glitches. Please go look at it." You can go right down to that level very quickly.

That's the advantage of having good quality CMDB. Good quality CMDB equals good quality data, which equals the ability to diagnose and sort out issues. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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KD
ServiceNow Developer / Analyst / Administrator
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use, almost 100% performance, and great reliability and scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of ServiceNow is the user interface because you can customize or configure it directly from the user interface by using the mouse. It is easy to use even for non-IT people. You can also directly plug your ServiceNow instance within your Microsoft Active Directory and then retrieve all your users and groups. So, you can use the users and groups to put automation inside the application. When you have new hires, you can automate the group security and group attribution. It is very good in terms of performance. Its performance is almost 100%. Once, it took less than two minutes to back up and run an instance. It has very good reliability."
  • "They can improve the mobile application and the TGO tool, which is a built-in tool for development and implementation. As a developer, it is very frustrating to configure or customize the mobile app. In my opinion, this part of the application needs full rework and re-engineering."

What is our primary use case?

When I was a student, I worked on a prototype for an app, and my main tasks were directly in CMDB. I had done a synchronization implementation to retrieve inventories from Excel files and put them into CMDB with automation.

I also used it in my previous company. This company is a supplier of ServiceNow for several clients in Canada and the USA, and we did a lot of customization and configuration for the clients. We worked with all ServiceNow platforms and not only with CMDB. If you want ServiceNow within your company, you've got to find a supplier or go with ServiceNow directly. 

It was on-premises, but ServiceNow is cloud-based. It is software as a platform. 

How has it helped my organization?

It helped us to synchronize some of the files containing the inventory of assets. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of ServiceNow is the user interface because you can customize or configure it directly from the user interface by using the mouse. It is easy to use even for non-IT people.

You can also directly plug your ServiceNow instance within your Microsoft Active Directory and then retrieve all your users and groups. So, you can use the users and groups to put automation inside the application. When you have new hires, you can automate the group security and group attribution.

It is very good in terms of performance. Its performance is almost 100%. Once, it took less than two minutes to back up and run an instance. It has very good reliability.

What needs improvement?

They can improve the mobile application and the TGO tool, which is a built-in tool for development and implementation. As a developer, it is very frustrating to configure or customize the mobile app. In my opinion, this part of the application needs full rework and re-engineering.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable with very good reliability. Its performance is almost 100%. ServiceNow has very high standards.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. You will be able to scale it irrespective of the size of the infrastructures. It should work with really big IT infrastructure. You can adapt it for every kind of infrastructure. You can work with Windows infrastructure as well as with Linux infrastructure. You can do pretty much what you want with it. However, you can't do any implementations that are not ITIL compliant.

In terms of users, you might have an IT project manager, user services people, supervisors, and contract managers. ServiceNow provides Service Catalog to add every user of your company. You will add them into CMDB as assets. The real users are only the IT people of the company who have a license to use the backend.

Its usage is growing, and it is being used more and more. When I worked with it for the first time, I was not aware that you can also manage contracts with it. For me, it was just an ITSM solution with CMDB workflow, etc. In the last year, I have seen clients saying that they would like to add the Contracts module to manage their contracts within the platform. It is being used more widely now because you can do contract management and service catalog. You can also do IT support within the platform. It can be used as a ticketing tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have interacted with the technical support of ServiceNow only twice. It is very easy to contact them. You log into the client portal, and you can send them the query or request. In my previous job, I was kind of providing support for our customers, and the company I was working for was kind of an interface between ServiceNow and clients.

It has a big community, which is a very cool thing about the ServiceNow platform. There is a lot of community and developer information. You can open a ticket directly with ServiceNow to ask them for new features or new releases, and they do respond.

How was the initial setup?

It is really easy to deploy and add features. There are two ways of adding features inside the platform. You can go via their own built-in tools for developments or via the repository store. Basically, when you first start making changes inside an instance, there will be a tool to capture the modifications. When you are done with the modification, you close the repository and deploy it to the next instance. For instance, you would have one development instance, one pre-production instance, and one live or production instance. After you make a change in the development instance, you close the development repository and upload it to the pre-production instance. After that, you can do quality assurance, and if all is good, you can just deploy it to the production instance. It is really easy to work with.

Once you have your license, you can deploy it in five minutes, but it also depends on whether you are moving from an existing system to ServiceNow. In such a case, you will have to move your assets from your old system to the new system. I don't really have the experience of doing this, but, from my point of view, for a company with 20K employees, it will take eight months to one year to plan it and achieve it. There is a lot of work that you need to do before deploying it.

What about the implementation team?

For its deployment, you would need an ITIL expert because ServiceNow is built around ITIL. You would also need a ServiceNow administrator, and you might require a project manager depending on the size of the enterprise.

In terms of maintenance, you don't have to do anything because all updates are mandatory, and they are deployed by ServiceNow. When you purchase the ServiceNow license, you agree to them updating it. You can choose the date on which you want to update. They don't force you to update it at a fixed date unless there is a security failure or a big issue. They send an email to your ServiceNow administrator or a message on the portal. You can then choose a date. They take care of the update, and you don't have to do anything. However, if you're located in Quebec or Canada and you are dealing with both French and English UI, you may have to do some maintenance after each update. Every time I saw an update, I had to deal with a problem related to translation in French, but it happened only in Quebec. I did not see this in France, and I don't know why.

What was our ROI?

I'm not 100% certain. My boss, who was kind of a ServiceNow director, used to think that we were making a profit with the solution, but I don't think it was a direct financial profit. It was more in terms of becoming more efficient. For instance, the whole user service department worked better with this platform.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is really expensive. I don't know actually how much it costs, but in 2016, when a client decided to move from an old solution to ServiceNow and had to choose a supplier for ServiceNow, I had heard that it could cost $10 per hour, which is really expensive. 

I am not aware of any additional fees to the standard licensing fees. There is no standard ServiceNow solution. When a company wants to acquire ServiceNow, they already know which module they will choose. In a basic package, you would have Service Catalog, Incident Management, and Change Management. These modules are usually required in an IT company.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to go for it. I would also recommend having at least one ServiceNow administrator in the company who is certified. Its certification is not very difficult to get. If you have an IT degree, you can go for it very easily.

I would rate ServiceNow CMDB an eight out of ten in spite of the fact that it was a bit frustrating to work with as a developer.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about ServiceNow CMDB. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,823 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Ian Hill
Service Architect at IDH Consulting Limited
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy OOB functionality with minimum setup required to replace MS Excel spreadsheets

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup isn't too complicated."
  • "I would like to see them partner with some key scanning technology companies to give them a real end-to-end offering."

What is our primary use case?

Implemented into DWP to manage all technical towers including the EUC tower that manages 120,000 x users. 

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest benefactors are the financial team in delivering financial controls and transparency of asset transactions. The finance team can actually manage the asset, and the depreciation of the asset from cradle to grave. 

The Operational delivery teams benefit too from understanding what stock assets they have ready to support live operations - i.e. Assets operationally ready (Goldstock), assets under repair, assets under staging (Build Image install & Asset tag) & Assets under Disposal, Goods-in & RTB. Operational teams with viability of their Stock Management can deliver demand management, meet Service Request SLA targets (joiners and Leavers & Refresh) & Incident SLA targets (B&F Swap)

What is most valuable?

The Out of the Box (OOB) functionality where you can manage the hardware, asset and the whole stock management is very useful to me. 

As soon as you buy some assets by raising a PO, you can actually track it in the toolsuite. The asset is manage through the whole stock management life cycle. Then the asset becomes a live CI out on the network until it comes back into stock management as faulty or end-of-life. The returning assets it gets managed through stock management and either is re-cycled through repair and staging or follows the disposal route. 

The ServiceNow OOB toolsuite functionality allows you to manage the whole asset life cycle, which is really powerful.

The initial setup isn't too complicated.

The solution is extremely stable.

We've found the solution to be very scalable.

It replaces MS Excel spreadsheets as the tracking tool.

What needs improvement?

Within the CMDB and managing the assets, ServiceNow works really well. However, it needs to integrate with other toolsets, such as scanning tools. That way, you can bulk upload and bulk transfer assets between sort location and sort location. The E2E solution has a huge dependency on scanning tools and ServiceNow lacks integration with scanning tools. That is actually one of the biggest challenges.

I would like to see them partner with some key scanning technology companies to give them a real end-to-end offering.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for at least the last 18 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and very reliable. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. The performance is very good. It underpins all the other protocols within the tool suite and it's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

ServiceNow has the scalability for enterprise products. It is the best in the market from what I see. A lot of my customers use other tool feeds such as My Top Desk and other options that are a lot smaller, so to speak. They do not have the out the Box functionality, for example. ServiceNow is definitely the leading product.

Over the last 10 years, I would say 90% of my clients have been using ServiceNow. Of the big organizations, 90% are using ServiceNow. The other 10% are smaller companies. If I deal with an SME, and they tend to go for a cheaper and smaller ServiceNow kind of product.

How are customer service and technical support?

All positive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Most organisations manage Stock Management utilising MS Excel spreadsheets or Google Docs which is very manual and results in non-accurate reporting and poor controls 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't overly complex.  The out of the Box functionality is very straightforward. You do not need to do any software development. You can just use the Box functionality to manage the asset end to end.

Organisations need a resource overhead to manage Configuration Management of HAM & SAM either manually through spreadsheets or a SMTS such as ServiceNow. ServiceNow delivers OOB functionality that deliver huge operational efficiencies.

The solution does require maintenance. There needs to be an in-house team that will manage the maintenance. There is an annual big release, and likely quarterly releases as well, and maybe a patch release that would need to be managed. There is definitely a maintenance release cycle maintenance overhead.

What about the implementation team?

Delivered through an external consultancy as a capex project 

What was our ROI?

Difficult to quantify, but enterprise organisation will get a payback with 3 years through operational efficiencies and financial regulatory reporting 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

ServiceNow is expensive but you get what you pay for. Any organisation 5000 x seats and above will get pay-back from utilising the ServiceNow OOB functionality with best practise ITIL processes.

The biggest challenge and cost is the integration of scanning tools with ServiceNow

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No - customer had bought and had been using ServiceNow for 3 x years without tapping into the true OOB functionality. The only real option was to implement the OOB servicenow functionality and capability.

What other advice do I have?

Any organization with a user population of 5,000 and above should consider the product as they will get a return on investment. It's not just the cost of the licenses; it's all the maturity and the efficiencies and the capability that will give them a huge return on investment.

The management and control of information and the reporting capability is huge. 

I have worked across a number of customers, where they utilise other Service Management tool suites which do not have OOB functionality to assist the operational teams to manage stock management - this results in managing the process utilising MS Excel spreadsheets which results in poor information and management decisions.

 In general, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MH
Solution Sales Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Dependable source of data, scales with demand, and stable

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a dependable source of data. If I want to understand what technologies are used to deliver certain business outcomes, this is what I would use. I can know that this particular server is being used to deliver this business application or business service."
  • "There are some gaps in the technologies that can be solved. Operational technology isn't quite 100% there yet, but I hear it is on the roadmap. I would also like it to be cheaper."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it as the foundation of the ServiceNow platform. It allows you to mature other processes such as ITSM, ISAM, and security operations. It is a SaaS solution.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to reduce the number of outages and the duration of outages.

What is most valuable?

It is a dependable source of data. If I want to understand what technologies are used to deliver certain business outcomes, this is what I would use. I can know that this particular server is being used to deliver this business application or business service.

What needs improvement?

There are some gaps in the technologies that can be solved. Operational technology isn't quite 100% there yet, but I hear it is on the roadmap.

I would also like it to be cheaper.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a technical perspective, we've had no issues. A lot of it comes down to just making sure that the processes are being followed properly, which is a process people's problem rather than a tool problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being a SaaS-based product, it scales with demand. We've had no issues on that front.

It covers a lot because we do employee self-service. We probably have over 300 users. They can be anything across IT because anybody who is interacting with the service desk is going to go through this solution, so everybody in the company has access to it.

In terms of increasing its overall usage, we identify any chances to bring it on board. We use it, and we have also got customers for our CRM to leverage it. We've basically got a philosophy of looking to identify whether they can be on the ServiceNow platform before moving in a different direction.

How are customer service and technical support?

We contacted them occasionally when we come across some form of bug or something. They've been quite responsive to the issues that we've had and helped us in moving forward.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm not certain about this organization because it was here when I came on board. At previous ones, they had HP or BMC that were replaced by ServiceNow.

How was the initial setup?

Essentially, it was about collecting the right data to store in the database. So, it involved understanding what it is that we cared about, identifying our use cases, and driving the automation to be able to collect that data and store it in the right place. I worked with the security teams to get the access that we needed at various endpoints to be able to allow the tool to function. To get it fully up and running and operational took about ten weeks.

What about the implementation team?

We used professional services to get it off the grounds, and then from there, roles were defined for the responsibility to be applied. It was a part of their job to ensure that it is performing as it should.

It requires participation from the network team and the security team to allow the tool to function. After that, somebody is required to adopt the role of a configuration manager or process owner. 

In terms of the number of people, five or six people were involved, but some of them were only for a handful of hours or for escalations. The security administrator and the network administrator were required quite a bit upfront, and then from there, they weren't involved as much.

What was our ROI?

It has provided the ROI. The consistency of processes has given dividends. Previously, you couldn't scale by just relying on emails and conversations to understand what tasks were being done. It gives us the transparency of everything that is being worked on. We have the whole audit trail as well as all tasks that are being accomplished.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would like it to be cheaper. If you've got a large environment, it can get quite expensive quite quickly. You still get a return on investment, but everybody has a tight budget.

In terms of licensing, everything is pretty much known upfront. Being SaaS-based, there are no real additional gotchas that we came across.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to try to remain as out of the box as possible. It is built for the solution that you're going after. I see a lot of people who try to make it look like their previous tool, and they were leaving that previous tool for a key reason.

I would rate ServiceNow CMDB a nine out of ten. There is always a little bit of room for improvements, but so far, it is much greater than what we had previously.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Tapan Kumar
Solution consultant at smithen nephew
Consultant
Top 20Leaderboard
Scalable and reliable with good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The different tables are available in ServiceNow CMDB are quite good. We don't need to create many custom tables."
  • "There is some customization we need from the customer side."

What is our primary use case?

We are just capturing all the services in CMDB, however, we can use that as a part of the change, incident, or problem management. We are just keeping configuration items like hardware and cloud resources like AWS and other infrastructure as on-prem cloud infrastructure. 

What is most valuable?

The way the CSDM model we have implemented works is great. They provide good structure and offer excellent services right out of the box, without the need to configure it. 

Our committed CMDB is now growing. Earlier we had only the probes and sensors.

The product is growing a lot and adding in lots of great features. 

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. 

The reliability is excellent. 

The scalability has been excellent in the past.

Technical support has been quite helpful. 

The different tables are available in ServiceNow CMDB are quite good. We don't need to create many custom tables.

ServiceNow is providing the frame only. Whatever you want, you can put it into the frame.

What needs improvement?

There is some customization we need from the customer side. 

In some cases, we are having issues. 

I can say one experience I had on the VMware side when we are using the change management we had to select from the VMware CI in the change management configuration items. A while back, we were having some issues with modifications and we tried to reach out to support and ServiceNow. They have some limitations on helping us. Apart from that, everything was allowed in terms of us modifying based on the requirements from the customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for the last five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and completely reliable. there are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've scaled in the past. I can remember when I was working with a British Telecom - one of the largest in the UK - and, at that point in time, we had to implement a lot of scripts. We added based on the requirements from the customer. It's the scalability is there and we can modify many things based on our needs.

In terms of users, for CMDB we have six resources including one delivery manager, one architect, two developers, and one admin.

We are always continuing to expand the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support is excellent. We can create a ticket and, in a matter of hours, especially if it is a high priority, we will get some sort of response within hours. We're quite satisfied with the level of support. They are extremely responsive. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have one customized database on BMC Remedy. I went for only one year with the BMC Remedy Configuration Management Database, then I just switched to ServiceNow.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was not overly complex. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process.

The solution does require maintenance. This is due to the fact that, on daily basis, CMDB is populating with some automated processes like Discovery and Service Mapping. Sometimes some issues come up and some matters are thrown due to some dependency on credentials or access for admission. On that basis, as a part of the team, we need to take care on weekly basis by looking at the list of retractors or the history.

We as solution consultants and architects are already maintaining it. We go through all the processes and we build some reports and the reports are taken care of by the admins on a weekly basis. The headache of the reports or the issues is completely on the admin side. If some issues come up, then the admin takes care of them.

What was our ROI?

I've never studied the ROI as I'm not at that level of knowledge with the company to get those kinds of details. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay for licensing on a yearly basis. We find the pricing to be reasonable. If you need certain customizations, you may need to pay extra for that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm just a customer.

I'm using the 2.0 version now. It's my understanding that they have a 3.0 version out as well. 

I'd recommend the resolution to other organizations. I already have in the past. 

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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RO
COO at a renewables & environment company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
A reliable solution for storing information relating to all technical services

Pros and Cons

  • "The centralization in general is great. You get one version of the truth when you have a CMDB because it's all centralized."
  • "You need to perform additional planning because their recommendation is not to add columns to the core tables."

What is our primary use case?

We use CMDB as a core solution for storing objects. You can still use your server information, your network information, all the characteristics of an infrastructure object, and use CMDB. We use it to provide reporting, change in management, and so forth.

What is most valuable?

The centralization in general is great. You get one version of the truth when you have a CMDB because it's all centralized.

What needs improvement?

You need to perform additional planning because their recommendation is not to add columns to the core tables. Their recommendation is always to add related lists, which is the best route to go. From an improvement standpoint, I like it because it can even maintain your upgrade pattern, but in some cases that may not be applicable. From a processing standpoint, a development standpoint, their processes of building the related lists is okay. It can be done right now; you just have to kind of think forward and you should make sure that people do it that way.

Every interface goes through updates and modifications. So right now, ServiceNow overall, in regards to having multiple screens open at the same time, you can do it, but if you try to go back, it loses its reference point as it uses a browser-based model as opposed to a tab-based model — it's window-based in other words.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for roughly three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Where we are right now, it's pretty stable. I mean, every system has its issues, but for the most part, we've had good success with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It works fine. Integrations have been pretty straightforward. There is a high level of functionality when integrating with third-party systems.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support has been fine — I've only had to reach out to them a couple of times. We kind of have a round table and communicate with one another when we run into a real bug, but it's on rare occasions that we have to contact them. 

How was the initial setup?

It's somewhat straightforward — If you've gone through it enough times. It just depends on your infrastructure and how you have it setup. 

In regards to deploying it, there's always planning involved — sizing up your systems is always a key factor. If you know your organization, you should have some reference of how much space you're going to need. Then, if you have your growth plan laid out, you should know, "Hey, I need this much space." 

What other advice do I have?

It's a good tool when it comes to RTSM, I think it has a lot of great functionality — planning. The biggest thing is communicating with the user base. It may sound a little cliche, but you're going to hear people complaining, "It's not like what we're used to." Well, we wouldn't be switching if the old situation worked. You need to get everybody on board and say, "Hey, you complain about this, this tool has that." You need to get them involved early. The sooner, the better, as far as testing, and training. Whoever signs the check is fine, but they're not the ones who are actually going to use the system. You should buy into the user community right away or near the beginning.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Justin Conway
Service Delivery Manager at Umicore
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
A great solution for controlling and keeping track of assets and configurations

Pros and Cons

  • "ServiceNow CMDB works great for large and small businesses."
  • "I don't think it's a failure of Service Now or something that they don't offer, but I haven't seen any training modules."

What is our primary use case?

We use the ServiceNow CMDB to keep track of users and assets.

We use it for ticketing. We use it for quite a few things. We have a Knowledge base. We do incidents, we do requests. The CMDB looks at assets — what's tracked if those assets are terminated in use? It pretty much does all of our backend processes. For instance, if there's a request for software on a machine, It looks at the CMDB, checks if that machine is real, and checks what assets are tied to it. Most importantly, it checks what buffer instances and asset tracking is tied to it.

Every user in our company has access to it, and it's a global company. If I had to estimate, I'd say there are roughly 80,000 to 100,000 users.

A lot of our users use it for simple tasks, like submitting incidents or creating requests. Since we outsourced the help desk, the help desk uses it for initial triage, escalation, etc. I use it for reporting asset tracking. Everyone has various uses for it.

How has it helped my organization?

There's a lot of automation capabilities. There are process flows in ServiceNow that Edge didn't have. It has a great system for queries. Currently, everyone needs to be on the right version of Windows 10. Being able to look at assets and see which ones are in use and which ones are using an incorrect version. It's easy to cross-check SCCM with what's in ServiceNow to see who that device is tied to, if it's in use or if it's retired because the CMDB keeps checking that.

What is most valuable?

All of their features are valuable. I primarily use it for ticket tracking and seeing what the trends are. I go in there and make sure all the work is getting done. Checking and seeing what assets are showing up, what versions of software they have on them. That's kind of how I've been using it lately.

ServiceNow CMDB is also very user-friendly and they offer plenty of good training.

ServiceNow CMDB is extremely customizable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for roughly one year

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

ServiceNow CMDB is both very scalable and stable. It's a good product.

What other advice do I have?

ServiceNow CMDB works great for large and small businesses. If you're working with a vendor, just be sure it's a trusted vendor, and be sure to customize it how you want, not based on what the vendor typically does.

There are some little custom, customizable modules that you can integrate into ServiceNow, but I don't have too much experience with them. I work with our ServiceNow certified tech and he knows a little bit more about what features are available or what's coming out since he's involved with training.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give ServiceNow CMDB a rating of eight because it has everything I need to do my job.

I don't think it's a failure of Service Now or something that they don't offer, but I haven't seen any training modules. I feel like there are things that could be automated, but we just don't know how to go about doing it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Tarun Arora
Consultant at HCL Technologies.
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Stable with good documentation and good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a lot of documentation online regarding CMDB."
  • "The initial setup is a bit complex."

What is our primary use case?

CMDB is used for capturing all the IT hardware assets and configuration items. That includes computers, servers, virtual machines, phone devices, switches, et cetera. It's for the network and the front and back end.

What is most valuable?

There is a data mixer that's called Management and Commission and Discovery. What it does is it helps us auto-populate the information directly by pinging that particular CI and capturing that information. That's a very good feature. It makes it so that we don't have to go for manual updates every time.

There is a lot of documentation online regarding CMDB.

The solution is stable. 

The solution can scale to a certain extent. 

What needs improvement?

Right now, it's a one-sided integration, which means that whatever information is available in SLCN, for example, the mixer will capture the information. Therefore, there are scenarios where some of the CIs get retired. It does not really update their status. For example, We have 10 servers. Two were retired, so they were not updating anything. For the rest of the eight, they updated information. However, for the two which were retired, there needs to be a modern option for modifying the state as well in mid-server. 

The need to work on how the Virtual Machine Centers are being discovered, and how the Cloud's CI is being discovered and flagged.

The initial setup is a bit complex. 

The scalability capability could be improved. 

The pricing could be more competitive. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. there are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable, however, there is some room for improvement regarding the vCenter and the Virtual Machine Center, for which we are actually struggling right now.

In our organization, CMDB is used by everyone.

How was the initial setup?

The initial implementation is a bit complex compared to other modules as it's really technical in the back end. The steps are clearly defined on how to do it and there's a use case library available. That said, it's a bit of a tedious process.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You do have to pay for a license, however, I cannot speak to the exact details. It's not part of my responsibilities. My understanding, however, is that pricing could always be better. 

What other advice do I have?

I would advise that before a company starts implementing CMDB, they should look at the CSBM. They should understand CSBM as it is common, however, they need to understand the requirements, and how the structure should be set up before implementing anything. The reason being, there are scenarios where people put all the data into the system, and that causes a blockage, which means that you don't have to actually document every CI. A company should see what should be the scope of the CMDB, and only then start implementing it. Otherwise, it will be a lot of information available that serves no use. 

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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