Christian Bilien’s Oracle performance and tuning blog

July 27, 2007

Oracle DB operations (cautiously) venturing into the ITIL world

Filed under: ITIL,Oracle — christianbilien @ 9:16 pm

My interest in ITIL started a couple of years ago when activities I practiced routinely for more than 15 years started to appear in the large IT departments as processes within a larger framework of best practices. My initial interest went to Availability, IT Service Continuity and Capacity Management which are ITIL processes I had practiced from the technical side. I then expanded my knowledge to the other processes and I am now running for the Service Manager certification. Although I am an ITIL practitioner, I reckon I’ll need 2/3 months of evening time to get ready for the exams. Incidentally, this does not help me to keep up with my other nightly activities such as blogging…

ITIL is big in the UK and in the North of Europe and a number of organizations I know in the financial world in the US also adopted ITIL years ago and have now achieved the first degrees of maturity in several key ITIL processes.

It is beyond the scope of this post to explain what ITIL is (look at for the official version – V3 came out in April 2007). ITIL is also one those buzzwords used out of context in many articles in the press when a link has to be established between the IT user perception and the IT deliverables. Just out of curiosity, I tried to figure out where ITIL stands in the Oracle Database world.

  • My first encounter with ITIL within the Oracle community was in January 2007 when I downloaded from the RAC SIG site a presentation from Kirk McGowan, the “Rac Pack” technical Director at Oracle ( He called his presentation “Rac & ASM best practices”, which led me to initially believe this would be the usual blurb about the installation procedures one can otherwise find in the Oracle books. But it wasn’t. I hope I do not over summarize his presentation by saying it boiled down to “why do RAC implementations fail ?”. The answer was : “Operational Process Requirements were not met” in terms of change management, availability and capacity planning, SLAs, etc. despite the fact that the ITIL framework had been there (among others) for years.
  • Second encounter: the Siebel Help Desk. It is hardly surprising ITIL gets mentioned all over the place in the marketing materials as Service Desk is one of the ITIL functions.
  • Third, Oracle started to label some existing functions of the Enterprise Manager (see ) as contributors to ITIL processes. Incident and problem Management are also shown within the Siebel perimeter, but you’ll find the EM servicing configuration, change and release management as well as monitoring service level compliance.
  • Fourth: the marketing stuff. On demand, grid, virtualization, etc. “ITIL ready” labeled (what on earth could that mean?). No need to elaborate.

A somewhat more sarcastic view for the ITIL skeptics:

I occasionally write in “IT-Expert”, a French IT magazine. I wrote an article about coherence and relationships of the ITIL function and processes in the July-August issue:


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