With enterprise business applications being developed at an ever-increasing pace, and computing environments adopting cloud-friendly, service-oriented architectures, it has become increasingly clear that the old way of running IT operations is inadequate for today’s dynamic world. Intigua technology addresses this problem head on. It enables IT operations teams to keep up with the demanding pace of applications, meeting the expectations of today’s line-of-business IT users, without compromising IT quality or security.
The key to running IT operations is building successful methodology that uses the right management tools. Application availability, performance and security are achieved by using best-of-breed tools for monitoring, backup, security and configuration management. Intigua transforms the typically cumbersome, error-prone and often painful routine of deploying and using management tools into dynamic, well-defined and easy-to-use management services, thereby dramatically improving efficiency, agility and user experience.
What Problems Do We Solve?
Enterprises investing in best-of-breed management tools quickly find out that making the most out of them is painful. Here are some of the problems they encounter:
Management tools need to be deployed to servers before they go live, delaying the server provisioning process. Moving servers between platforms or clouds requires further changes to management tools and their configuration, again slowing things down.
Configuring and upgrading the management tool agents that are installed on each server, requires privileged access to servers, which is costly to obtain and audit. Configuring the management tools servers to correctly handle all endpoints is also tedious and error-prone.
In most organizations, there isn’t a single place where the status of all management tools on all servers is visible. IT operations teams are struggling to ensure a healthy state of their own management tools, and consistently unable to reliably monitor, back up, manage configuration and take care of security for servers.
Management tools occasionally misbehave on servers, affecting application performance and even causing downtime. To maintain credibility with application teams, IT ops teams can’t have their own management tools being the root cause of application downtime.
In a typical IT environment, users other than specific IT ops teams do not have the access needed to check on their servers or perform basic management operations – not even for simple operations such as clearing logs or triggering backup. So every simple request by IT users requires much interaction and friction to get done.
Transforming Tools into Management Services
Intigua adds the missing pieces needed to make management tools effective, delivering the high-quality, enterprise-grade functionality offered by management tools, but in a consumable manner. The resulting management services eliminate friction and manual work, accelerate delivery and ongoing lifecycle management, and enable centralized, role-based visibility, control and operation of management tools with a consumer-grade user experience. The Intigua solution includes the following:
Each new service in the catalog is defined by selecting the management tool that it encapsulates, the management tool’s configuration both on individual servers and in respective backend consoles, and optionally, other fine-grained parameters. These implementation details may change and evolve with time, allowing operations team to avoid stagnation and lock-in to tool vendors.
After management services have been defined in the catalog, authorized IT users can use the service catalog to apply them to their servers. The underlying management tools are delivered and configured automatically, without waiting for manual handling, or with a minimal approval process in case change management is to be enforced. Once they have been delivered, management tools are tightly monitored, maintained, and operated centrally by operations teams, without any interruption to applications.
For example, authorized users may use this portal to request or initiate a recovery operation from a backup snapshot. The operations portal abstracts away tool-specific complexity, so users need not even be aware of which management tool is being used behind the scenes.
The key to building great management services is being able to encapsulate any management tool. To aid in this encapsulation process, ops teams use a packaging console that guides them through it, ensuring that all bases are covered before new management services are built for a new management tool. In addition to packaging tools on site, a growing library of pre-packaged management tools provides a solid starting point.
The delivery mechanism interacts with multiple management backends through whatever interfaces they provide – be it APIs, command-line interfaces, or even graphical user interfaces.
For management agents, the delivery mechanism adaptively uses multiple network protocols and other means of communication to get agents delivered. It is also able to use delivery mechanisms already existing in the enterprise, such as pre-existing configuration management tools, to further optimize agent delivery.
Agents belonging to management services have limits set on their resource consumption, both for each agent individually and for all agents together. Agents are constantly watched for health issues and failures, and issues are automatically fixed whenever possible. When issues cannot be fixed, they are reported to a central location for further review.
Tool issues and failure are identified, tracked and attended to. Operations teams are provided with controlled remote diagnostic access that allows them to drill deep and fix tool issues without ever requiring access to servers. Reports can be produced attesting to compliance with organizational and regulatory best practices regarding the deployment of management capabilities.
Or, it can be integrated and operated from automation consoles belonging to configuration management tools. Integrations use a comprehensive REST API, and pre-built integration plugins using this API are provided for leading tools such as vRealize Automation (vCAC), Puppet and ServiceNow.
The ability to define and maintain each management service is also open to authorized users only. And of course, any changes to these security settings, just like any other user action, are logged for auditing purposes.
Building your Management Services Platform
Do you recognize your day-to-day worries in this discussion? Start fixing it by building your management services platform today with Intigua technology. Download the product or contact us for more information.