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ITIL Foundation Certification Guide

ITIL Foundation Certification Guide


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Published by: api-3835332 on Oct 18, 2008
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With the increasing complexity of systems and a greater need for IT organizations to provide a
stable environment, the release of new software and hardware into the business must be closely
controlled. Quite often however a poor release strategy leads to the very thing that others in the IT
organization are working hard to avoid; downtime and loss of infrastructure stability.

The "Catch 22" however is that there in an ever increasing pressure to “have the release sooner”,
as it will deliver immediate “benefits” to the organization. External forces often drive the demand to
get the latest hardware of software into production as businesses strive to be first to market or to
help them gain a competitive edge.

This process within ITIL aims to provide a structured approach to the management of releases into
the infrastructure from release planning through to actual installation. The relationships with
Change Management and Configuration Management are key for this process as all three are very
closely related.

Release Management provides the physical management of software and hardware. Information
about the software and hardware components of the IT and their relationships with one another are
stored in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Release Management manages the
planned and applied changes to software and hardware in the IT infrastructure.

To support Change Management and Configuration Management, Release Management utilizes
the Definitive Software Library (DSL) and the Definitive Hardware Storage (DHS).

These secured libraries provide the physical storage location of all software Configuration
Items (CI's) (DSL) and spare parts for hardware (DHS).

Software comes in various forms such as source codes, loads, libraries and executables. The
different versions of the same software held in the DSL have been through authorization and quality
controls and are used for the construction and implementation of releases.

Spare hardware held will be dependant on a risk assessment (looking at the assets of the
organization and then the threats and vulnerabilities), as well as third party involvement regarding
support contracts (Underpinning Contracts). Changes to the production hardware environment
must flow through to the DHS, so that any held spares can be compatible with latest production

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