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HPE Software is now Micro Focus
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Faster ITSM with Automation

Faster ITSM with Automation

 Honored Contributor... VesnaS  Honored Contributor...

Rapid innovations in digitization, automation, machine learning, AI and analytics have created efficiency and productivity possibilities for whole businesses and economies. IT is also benefitting from these innovations, but they need to be prepared to take advantage of them. These technical capabilities have profound implications on IT operations management because they enable IT to be automated, guided by analytics, smarter because of the reception of business insights and early warnings on the pending issues, and very collaborative—all from the ground up. In April, we launched the containerized versions of our IT Operations Management suites which address the core three requirements needed for the IT in digitized business, i.e. continuous operations.

The three requirements include:

  • Easier IT management
  • Faster IT in delivery and management of applications and services
  • Transformative in a way to be smarter IT, more proactive and predictive

In my last blog, I discussed how our software helps you to practice easier ITSM with automation. Today I will discuss how to achieve faster ITSM with automation.

If you are still not familiar with our software, let me very briefly introduce our IT Service Management Automation suite:  it provides an analytics-driven, highly automated and orchestrated service desk including ITIL processes and asset management. Our current shipping version is 2017.04 and we have been recently verified on this version on PINKverify and ITIL for 11 processes, including the Asset Management.

The ITSMA suite is based on micro-service architecture that leverages Docker Containers along with Kubernetes orchestration capabilities. This is combined with pre-built, out-of-the-box integrations with HPE and third-party tools, automation capabilities, open APIs and a choice in deployment options.

The key components, a.k.a micro services include:

  • Service portal
  • Service desk with automated ITIL processes
  • Asset Management
  • Automation with orchestration of processes and tasks
  • Automated discovery and service modeling

Containers accelerate time-to-value

The Container Deployment Foundation is one of the most recent and exciting new capabilities available within our ITSMA suite. It is an exciting feature and the architecture enables continuous operations. Our ITSM has been re-architected in a set of microservices and containers – and the suite can be deployed in containers.

This dramatically decreases the time to install or upgrade the suite. In my earlier blog, I talked about the capabilities of the Container Deployment Foundation and the benefits for the ITSMA suite. Here is a short summary of that discussion:

ITSMA is delivered as a set of pre-integrated containers. The micro service-based architecture enables our R&D teams to develop new capabilities faster, test faster and integrate faster. Our suite comes in two editions/flavors: Express and Premium. This allowed us to simplify the licensing models to one license per edition and user-type (name vs concurrent). We also offer the term licenses for one or three years, with support included.

Installation is very easy and takes only a few hours. We are working on automated upgrades, which will take just a few minutes with minimal downtime.

Some of the key capabilities in our software built with the Container Deployment Foundation include auto-scaling, built-in high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR).

The suite is extremely portable, rolling out on premise, on private, hybrid, or public clouds like AWS. (In the near feature it will be possible to install ITSMA suite in Azure too.)

Most of the above capabilities, which speed up deployment and delivery of ITSMA solution and other custom services, are inherited from Docker containers and the Kubernetes orchestration layer. Therefore here are a few basic “skills” that we get from containers and the containers orchestration.ITSMA-containers.png

In the diagram above the ITSMA suite functional areas (container groups) are listed above the description of the Container Deployment Foundation.

Why do software containers have such name?

Software containers were named as such because they have the same or very similar promise as physical containers.  We all know what containers are, how they look like and for what they are used for. Containers revolutionized the shipping of goods of all kinds because they can remain undamaged during shipping, storage and handling. They are also extremely strong and endurable. Containers are standardized. There is no art or creativity allowed here. There are just a small number of containers that are different in size but they all have hooks and holes in absolutely the same places. A standard container can be loaded with any goods, can be loaded, stacked, unloaded and transported via different transportation means, and will stay sealed until reaches its final destination. This is their key capability – portability. 

The promise behind software containers is same –vendors can pack the entire code and its dependencies into a container image that can run almost everywhere, on heterogeneous infrastructure and private and public cloud.

Containers are small so many of them are packed and run on a single computer. Docker defines container images as “a lightweight stand-alone, executable package of a piece of software that includes everything needed to run it: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, settings … [which] will always run the same, regardless of the environment. Containers isolate software from its surroundings, for example differences between development and staging environments and help reduce conflicts between teams running different software on the same infrastructure.”

 To manage multiple containers, you need to have orchestration among them. There are several companies will very good container orchestration offerings, and Kubernetes is among them. In our case, Kubernetes pushes the ITSMA containers to your machines, makes sure that they run and can add more containers if demand increases. Software containers are stateless – this means that all configuration and data are kept outside the container. This capability and the previous Kubernetes ability to spin up additional containers enables automated, horizontal scalability! Stateless enables rolling upgrades, which have further a positive effect of zero minimal downtime upgrades.

Software containers stand for portability, agility and modularity and above all, they symbolize the speed in delivery, deployment and operations.

 

Codeless configuration increases agility

The ITSM Automation suite has a capability process designer which allows for codeless configuration. The key benefit is that it helps IT organizations out of chaos. Instead of the high costs associated with configuring and maintaining process workflows manually, you can develop processes and workflows instantly—without programming. Processes can be complex, including branching and looping – users always just use the graphical interface. The designer comes with processes out of the box, 100 percent-ITIL aligned. This also simplifies future upgrades by enabling standardization and clarity of business logic. When organizations can speed up IT processes, it increases agility because the onboarding is much faster, upgrades are faster, and your total cost of ownership is drastically reduced.

codeless-1.jpg

Containers and codeless configuration enable IT to respond quickly to business needs, deploy faster and scale effortlessly. Modern IT has to evolve from a typical order delivery of weeks to now operating with continuous service delivery and operations in minutes. They need to be able to respond not only quickly but in an Agile way to all sorts of service requests immediately.

In my next blog will describe how to achieve transformative ITSM with automation.

Vesna Soraic

 

About the Author

VesnaS

Vesna is the senior product marketing manager at HPE Software. She has been with HPE for 17 years in R&D, product management and product marketing. At HPE she is responsible for go to market and enablement of the HPE ITOM software products.

Comments
Kristen Augurati
N/A

This is very interesting! I like the potential of codeless configuration, I can see how it would help get organizations out of tough spots. Thanks, I'm looking forward to hearing more in detail in your next blog post.

Trusted Contributor..

I like the codeless configuration part the most, since it is enabling to customize process to the customer needs