Top Three Must-Haves in Your Hybrid Cloud Strategy
By Dan Ryan, Vice President, Sales and Operations, CDI Southeast
Enterprises seek to understand the advantages of software-defined architectures and cloud computing. Major global firms, mid-size businesses, schools, government offices, and other organizations can leverage these technology shifts to drive cultural change within their organizations and drive dollars to the bottom line of their balance sheet. In this blog, discover how AppDynamics and ServiceNow deliver on the promise of tomorrow’s enterprise customer experience.
Around the world, enterprise conference rooms are littered with slideware from IT sales teams promising “application optimization”.
Following their traditional playbooks, infrastructure solution providers will promise to improve both performance and the end-user experience by selling you a faster appliance (virtual or otherwise). At the same time, application solution providers will tell you that their I/O interface improvements offer enhanced performance through a streamlined content delivery network (CDN).
As an IT leader, seated somewhere in the middle of these two narratives, you are tasked with delivering an application experience that your business can monetize and grow.
My advice, save yourself a lot of time by investing now in a CMDB through ServiceNow.
Which Way is Up?
We’ll get to that in a minute, but first…
…you’ll need to understand why you are reading a blog about any of this from a person who spent his career selling big iron network equipment before coming to a sophisticated operation like CDI, that, ironically, some of you might only know as a hardware reseller.
A few years ago, CDI saw a substantial disruptive market condition forming—the inevitable shift of enterprise workloads from the traditional data center to the public cloud. To remain relevant to our clients during this transformation, it was imperative for us to develop a set of solutions that would help clients through their transition to a hybrid cloud environment.
As we examined the market, the rising tide of digital transformation, and the value offered by hybrid cloud, it became clear to us that organizations could prepare themselves by learning about their own workloads including where they reside, the interdependencies within their environment, and ultimately the measurable performance of their enterprise applications.
Fast-forward to where we are today…
…you are here because you are searching for the best way to illustrate business relevancy to the C-suite.
You know hybrid cloud migration is up there somewhere, but which way is up?
I’ll offer you three life-lines on your journey up to the hybrid cloud.
Organizations simply cannot effectively manage this shifting paradigm without them.
#3: You Must Have an Advanced CMDB
Begin by procuring a robust configuration management database (CMDB). Later, I’ll try to remain objective and recommend one or two. Or, I might just cut to the chase and recommend ServiceNow. There, I said it, save yourself time and get your hands on ServiceNow CMDB.
Your CMDB stores all relevant information about the software, hardware, and other assets used by your organization to deliver IT services. Because it gives you a consistent view of your configuration items, you can monitor, report, and examine your CMDB data. For example, now you can identify component-level issues that might impact performance, operations, or infrastructure and make essential improvements.
Not just an isolated application, your CMDB will integrate with other systems and you should encourage its expansion. All of the following items are candidates for inclusion in your CMDB:
- staffing and ERP records
- documentation and policies
- dependencies or constraints
- maintenance items
- change logs
- monitoring tools
- workload automation tools
- incidents, ideas, risks, and issues
Your CMDB should not allow duplication; it is your one and only system-of-record and single source of truth! Your CMDB should support REST APIs, custom workflows, preset configuration item types, and real-time automatic data discovery. Some organizations might require advanced system or web integrations where custom forms, fields, and APIs might be needed. You can also buy, or if required, build your own analytics dashboards and reports.
The market leader in this space is ServiceNow. ServiceNow CMDB offers a unified data model that wraps around your organization and even encapsulates any custom integrations you might have in place (for example, RESTful API or Web Services). It also provides auto-discovery of your configuration items with the ServiceNow auto-remediation framework, a series of related functions that deliver improved quality, data normalization, and reconciliation.
The following benefits and advantages of CMDB through ServiceNow differentiate this offering from others in the market:
- Integrated reporting with stock reports, ad hoc views, and customization without coding
- System health dashboards with visualizations that transform complexity into actionable insight
- Federated CMDB information repository with certifications for optimum data integrity
Built on their robust platform, the ServiceNow CMDB smoothly integrates with your business applications, services, incident management systems, change control measures, problem reports, and other processes. Specifically, because of the way it integrates with AppDynamics, CDI has been impressed with this dynamic duo. If your IT staff wants to offer business users greater agility, start by demonstrating transparency across the enterprise. Make data-driven decisions that breathe new life into your IT infrastructure, enabling it to power the enterprise with smarter business services.
#2: You Need AppDynamics
Now part of Cisco, AppDynamics is an emerging market leader in end-user optimization, infrastructure intelligence, and application performance. AppDynamics has been recognized as an enterprise leader by Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Analytics.
With AppDynamics, you can capture a complete baseline view or snapshot of your entire application topology spanning public, private, on-premise, and hybrid cloud environments. A network of platform agents helps you discover detailed performance metrics about individual business transactions.
Because it includes machine-learning algorithms and scans all the way down to individual lines of code, AppDynamics can report in detail about past and current activities, and predict future events. In fact, some implementations serve as early-warning systems for business. AppDynamics delivers laser-beam precision for root cause analysis and issue containment.
The following examples demonstrate how your organization would benefit from a professional CDI-AppDynamics services engagement:
- Your product managers and business owners can monitor real-time business performance metrics. Imagine distributing a product through two separate vendors along four channels spanning ten countries and viewing sales and inventory data including hourly trending figures.
- Your application architects and software engineers can better understand how their code performs in staging and production environments. Imagine true SaaS user experience bug fixes, regression testing, validations, and continuous delivery without awkward unit tests, simulations, and virtualized environments that do not reflect the experience of major customer environments.
- Your DevOps, support, and business operations teams can receive alerts to help them identify problems with preset filters for the features and issues with top priority, the highest volume, or the biggest impact on other work. AppDynamics can also help you resolve the top issues in alignment with an applied SLA and other policies.
AppDynamics provides visibility, analytics, and intelligence that will drive the performance of your apps, shape the future of delivery, and enhance the customer experience.
#1: You Need CDI to Bring It All Together
- To build an application topology and audit every transaction, we can help you integrate ServiceNow with AppDynamics. You’ll enjoy access to a powerful integrated service model. To simplify the entire arrangement, I have summarized the major steps:
- We’ll help you configure the AppDynamics CMDB Sync and Event Management Integration for ServiceNow.
- We’ll set up AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring and load ServiceNow with your custom data.
- We’ll feed the data into a custom business service and use the CMDB reconciliation engine to establish links to your CMDB CIs.
- We’ll configure a series of alerts from multiple tools to help you respond to the event management module.
We can also customize various pieces of the system. For example, you want the integration to create incidents based on IT demand or service management activity on specific CIs. The moment a virtual node goes offline, you want a network team to receive an incident form with a unique ticket number, status, and details.
No problem. CDI can deliver. As a Cisco partner, CDI is pleased to remind you that we offer service and support for AppDynamics as well as CMDB deployments, migrations, and upgrades.
Existing CDI customers keep returning to us and new IT clients seek us out because of our experience. We know where it makes sense to recommend hybrid applications (data center and cloud). Our customers depend on us because they know we can build these environments from scratch and support your cloud-first goals with our managed service offerings and continuous platform enhancement capabilities.
Thanks for visiting our blog site today and we hope to see you again tomorrow.