By Enzo Signore
Introduction – The Importance of a Single Accurate View of IT Infrastructure
As organizations transform digitally, the systems and processes required to manage their dynamic, hybrid IT infrastructures often can’t keep pace. So, it’s natural for IT executives to want new solutions that help them understand and anticipate how different IT components will interact while delivering critical business applications. Not only is this understanding useful for effective system diagnostics, it’s critical for forecasting the impact of infrastructure changes.
Having an accurate and up-to-date view of what IT assets you have, where they are located, how they are configured, and the relationships existing between them are all vital functions for system management and business scaling. But building and maintaining a single accurate source of this information is problematic. In response, many IT departments have created a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), a database that contains all relevant information about IT assets installed across the IT environment, as well as data describing the relationship between specific items and how they interconnect.
Done right, the CMDB can provide a trusted source for information and a total up-to-date view of your IT configuration items, their attributes, and relationships. Done wrong, and the CMDB can end up with incorrect or redundant data, leading to ineffective decision making, inaccurate configurations, and duplication of effort. As with any database project, the analogy “garbage in, garbage out” is appropriate here and a main factor in CMDB projects failing. If the CMDB isn’t populated with accurate and timely information, and if that data isn’t kept clean, the CMDB project won’t deliver its potential value, wasting time and money. But without the right tools, this is a difficult task. No wonder that, by 2019, up to 90% of organizations are forecast to get their CMDB implementation wrong, according to Gartner.
The FixStream/Cherwell Software Partnership – Turning Information into Insight
In response, FixStream, a pioneer of Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps), is working with Cherwell Software, a global leader in enterprise service management and CMDB software. Together, the two companies will deliver a next-generation integrated IT Operations solution that combines machine learning with workflow automation to help find, predict and resolve ITSM issues better and faster.
The joint solution, demonstrated at Cherwell Global Conference in Colorado Springs (Sept. 18-20), integrates FixStream’s AIOps solution with Cherwell’s workflow automation software to automate the discovery of entities across data-centers. Once the entities are identified, the FixStream solution will facilitate the ingestion of accurate inventory information into Cherwell’s CMDB, so the data stored there is correct and updated as needed.
How does the solution work? After creating an accurate and real-time inventory of the physical, logical, and virtual entity across the IT stack via an agent-less auto-discovery process, the FixStream software will automatically update the Cherwell CMDB. FixStream will also correlate business transactions with applications and infrastructure, visualizing operational issues in the context of the business applications. It will then apply machine learning to detect patterns, enabling IT teams to predict and prevent outages with over 80% probability across the entire system stack.
Armed with this deep insight, enterprises will be able to prioritize and proactively resolve issues and vulnerabilities across their IT infrastructure before they cause business outages and lost revenue. IT staff will be able to identify and visualize in seconds the sequence of correlated events across datacenters, as well as automate the root cause analysis of critical business processes, increasing Configuration Management Databases (CMDB) accuracy.
How will this integrated solution improve IT Operations? The ability for IT organizations to understand how applications, servers, middleware, databases, networking devices, and storage devices interact to deliver business services is critical for anticipating the impact of infrastructure changes. By improving the accuracy and currency of the database’s data, the FixStream-Cherwell joint solution will improve the diagnostic analysis capabilities of the CMDB itself. Using real-time insights and powerful analytics to more quickly and accurately identify issues across the IT infrastructure will allow customers to better monitor and maintain critical business processes and avoid expensive downtime.
The integration of FixStream and Cherwell technology will create an integrated next-generation IT Operations solution that will provide insight into the IT infrastructure’s topology and vulnerabilities. The integration solution is designed to help IT teams to prioritize incidents’ resolution by forecasting their potential impact on business operations with the goal of avoiding damaging business outages and lost revenue.
For more information about the FixStream and Cherwell integration, read our press release here.