Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

CMDB for agents

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What is a CMDB?

A CMDB (Configuration Management Database) stores up-to-date information about all the technological components used by an organization and the relationships between those components. The database is organized in a way that clearly defines the relationships and dependencies of the components stored. Each component is defined as a Configuration Item (CI) and is often associated with other CIs to show how the CIs work together to help deliver IT services.

Get to know your CMDB

The SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) CMDB data model has a parent/child hierarchy and provides out-of-the-box CIs. You can also create additional custom CI types to ensure your data model accurately reflects your physical and virtual IT infrastructure. You first define your CIs, then use the SWSD CMDB data model to assist you in defining the relationships and dependencies of your CIs.

The CMDB data model is built so that each CI type inherits the layout and fields of its parent CI type. This allows for time efficient customization of the data model to meet each organization's business needs. For example, when you add a custom field to the System CI type layout, that field will display on all of its child layouts as well, such as computer, network device, and router.

For additional information on CI Types, see Configuration item (CI) types.

Configuration Items (CI) index page

From the Configuration Items index pages you are able to view all the configuration items entered into your database. You can customize, edit and filter your view to best meet your needs. For more information on index pages and customization, see List view.

Create/add a new CI

  1. Navigate to Service Desk > CMDB.

  2. Click Add and select the relevant CI type from the dropdown menu.

  3. Enter the requested details and notice the tabs at the bottom of the window.

    • Dependencies. Select the Attach button and mark all relevant CIs, then click Attach.

    • Related. Click Attach and select which type of ITSM object you wish to attach. For example, select Incidents and then select the relevant incidents that should be attached to the CI. Click Attach when completed.

    • Audit. Shows which fields were edited on the record, by whom the edits were made, and the time and date of the edit.

  4. After all the information is entered and the relevant dependencies and ITSM objects are attached, click Create.

    You will notice:

    • CIs including computer, mobile, and other assets reflect an information window that will be updated soon to match the flow of ITSM objects and other CIs.

    • CIs such as contract, person, group, and vendor can only be created from their dedicated page (for example, Contracts, Groups), therefore they cannot be created from the CI index page.

    • When you manually create any CI that is a network device, access point, firewall, router, switch, or printer, you see the updated redesign page. However, when these CIs are discovered via automatic scanning, they are associated with the previous setup of the Network Device page.

For instructions on viewing, creating, and editing CI Types, see Configuration item (CI) types.


In SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) it is important to create associations that describe the nature of the relationship between two or more configuration items (CIs). For example, if a network router has an interruption of service, then all servers and PCs connected to that router will also experience an interruption of service. CI dependencies between the router and all servers and PCs connected to it help you in understanding the impact of the interruption of service.

Each relationship has a forward and inverse dependency.

For more information, see CI Dependencies.

Visual map

To increase visibility of your IT infrastructure, the SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) Premier package includes a CMDB Visual Map. A clear visualization provides you with a greater understanding of the how relationships between Configuration Items (CIs) can impact dependent CIs.

For more information, see CMDB visual map.

Export a list of CIs

From the All Configuration Items index page you can export a list of CIs. Using the Actions button in the upper right lists the available formats:

  • All columns to CSV
  • Current view to CSV
  • XML
  • PDF
  • Print

When you select an export option you receive an alert onscreen informing you that you will be notified via email when your export is ready.

The email notification with the subject line Your export request is ready contains a link from which you can download the file. The link is available for 14 days.

When you click the link, the download begins automatically.

Connect CIs to tickets, assets, processes, and more

You can connect CIs with current incidents, problems, changes, releases, computers and/or other ITSM processes. See Attach CIs to ITSM objects or processes.

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