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InfoQ Homepage News Unified Service Discovery Announced by OpsRamp

Unified Service Discovery Announced by OpsRamp

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At the May 2018 Gartner IT Operations Strategies and Solutions Summit in Orlando, Florida, OpsRamp announced a new solution, Unified Service Discovery, and a 48-hour IT Asset Visibility Challenge for hybrid environments.

OpsRamp’s Unified Service Discovery capabilty helps technology teams see the hybrid environments that support their business services, from cloud to datacenter workloads, including shadow IT, cloud-native services, and forgotten applications. In using the service, organisations can reduce the need for manual processes or expensive professional services.

Alongside the Unified Service Discovery announcement OpsRamp has also introduced the 48-hour IT Asset Visibility Challenge, designed to provide insights into where to host workloads by understanding how assets and cloud resources are shifting over time.

The new Unified Service Discovery solution includes features for live asset inventory, asset inventory analytics, service dependency maps and multi-cloud spend visibility. InfoQ asked Bhanu Singh, VP of engineering at OpsRamp, several questions about the announcement:

InfoQ: How does OpsRamp perform the discovery?

Bhanu Singh: With Unified Service Discovery, you can onboard and group a specific device or cloud service, IT assets present in a specific IP range, and even multiple devices/workloads at once. We offer a policy-based approach to discovering all your hybrid infrastructure using agent or agentless technologies for datacenters and API integrations for cloud-native services. For datacenter workloads, we use a Discovery Profile, which defines the range of devices that you want to discover and lets you select the devices that you need to manage.

It's also possible to create multiple Discovery Profiles, each for a different set of devices. For cloud-native discovery, our Discovery Profile APIs for AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform help you automatically assign cloud services to device groups and service groups for logically organizing your cloud infrastructure. Whenever a device is discovered, our onboarding policy lets you add the newly discovered IT asset to a specific device group. When a network device (say a load balancer) is discovered, you can automatically assign the load balancer to network device groups.

InfoQ: How is it able, for example, to identify a cloud solution that the business may have purchased independently or a Jira installation the development team has spun up?

Singh: We can discover a range of multi-cloud services across leading cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google. For cloud discovery, you’ll need to provide credential sets, define the policy, and configure the discovery schedule (time intervals) for cloud discovery. The local Jira installation will be identified as part of your on-premise discovery of resources that your development team is using. As long as we have the right credentials for your enterprise multi-cloud accounts, we can discover any new cloud workload that your business unit or development team spins up. We provide you complete transparency of your cloud landscape through our multi-cloud executive dashboard.

InfoQ: What if the development teams are spinning up and down multiple environments in AWS/Azure/GCP on a daily basis?

Singh: Unified Service Discovery has the ability to perform continuous/incremental discovery of multi-cloud services as they are being commissioned and retired. OpsRamp serves as the extended system of record for cloud assets, long after they are deprovisioned from the cloud. This is important for audit purposes and cloud vendors (AWS, Azure, Google) simply do not provide this. If you have a number of ephemeral workloads that are spun up and down on a daily basis, you can create schedules based on how fast your cloud environment is changing and track your ephemeral workloads on a continuous basis.

InfoQ: How is the data collected displayed, and how does it drive insights?

Singh: We have dashboards and reports that allow IT teams to understand their infrastructure landscape by legacy and modern workloads, business units, logical sites and business services. Our dashboards help you track which of your IT assets are being underutilized, overutilized, or anything in-between.

InfoQ: How can OpsRamp intelligently predict what services multiple development teams might need? How would the IT operations and development teams work together using a tool like this?

Singh: With Unified Service Discovery, development and IT operations teams can collaborate across multiple areas. For example, with capacity management; Unified Service Discovery is about aligning the supply of IT assets with the demands for those assets that are imposed by the business.

When developers build new services, it’s ideal to understand how much a particular app or service is costing the company in terms of infrastructure build-out. With Unified Service Discovery, IT Operations staff can share contextual IT asset dashboards that help their developers visualize workload or asset consumption for their services. When an outage hits a critical service, developers using situational awareness can quickly understand underlying infrastructure workloads that support their IT service or application. Service maps help manage business services as logical entities by visualizing the relationships between services and infrastructure. Developers can troubleshoot issues faster by analysing application interdependencies using visual workflows.

InfoQ: How does OpRamp know what infrastructure applies to which applications?

Singh: IT teams need to clearly understand how groups of related IT assets across datacenter and cloud come together to deliver a business service. A service map is a graphical representation of services based upon interrelated dependencies of different infrastructure components that support a service. Service maps are created using flexible rule based policies that allow for hybrid applications that expand and shrink dynamically. Users define policies to dynamically populate service maps as new IT assets are provisioned or decommissioned.

InfoQ: What level of technical detail does the platform supply?

Singh: Our Discovery report for datacenter workloads display the following asset information: Description, Device Name, Device_Type, Domain, Domain Role, Remote Access Controller IP, Firmware Version, Hardware Version, Interface IP address, Interface MAC Address, Interface Name, Interface Speed, IP_Address, Last Discovered Time, MAC Address, Make, Model, Operating_System, Physical_Memory, Processor, Processor_Name, Product_Key, Serial_Number. Our Discovery Profile APIs for public cloud providers displays the following details: Instances (Total, Managed, Unmanaged), Resources (Compute, Storage, Network, Platform Services, Apps, Databases), Cloud Spend Visibility (Time Period, Time To Date, Spend by Service, Spend by Region) and Cloud Utilization Analysis (Unused Volumes, Unused Elastic IPs).

InfoQ: What integrations does OpsRamp have with environment provisioning and deployment pipeline tools?

Singh: OpsRamp supports open Restful API integration with most standard tools with a published Restful API. It has a custom integration framework that allows customers/partners to build any custom integrations. The custom integrations can be built for environment provisioning and deployment pipeline tools like Jenkins, Chef, Puppet, Saltstack, etc. OpsRamp provides out of the box integration with Jenkins.

InfoQ:  Does the platform have an integrated service desk capability? If so, can it link to backlogs in places such as Jira if a ticket needs to become a user story?

Singh: OpsRamp’s service management capabilities help streamline service delivery and better support the business. For example, it’s possible to create a ticket, incident, problem, or change request as appropriate to manage issues through resolution and tie service management to operations management with one-click creation of tickets from alert. OpsRamp can display the entire queue of service requests across the organization with role based access to assigned support engineers. We take a store and forward model to integrate with best of breed service management tools like ServiceNow, BMC Remedy, Cherwell and we have open APIs to integrate with other third party service desk solutions.

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