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5 key consideration for overcoming app and computing sprawl – the way forward for Ops teams

In my last post, I discussed how enterprise application sprawl, if left unchecked, puts organizations at risk. In this post, I’m going to discuss what to do about the problem.

Today, any single department within even a mid-market enterprise will have more applications deployed than was standard – organization wide – just a dozen or so years ago. These apps include everything from cloud-based CRM to social media tools to AWS workloads to various big data tools to collaboration suites, and on and on and on. Anyone with a corporate credit card can deploy a SaaS-based tool, often even connecting it through APIs to other critical apps, in minutes.

Adding to the chaos is the fact that developers have numerous automated shortcuts at their disposal -- such as Serena for app deployment and Testroid for mobile app testing -- which dramatically compresses the time it takes to roll out a new app. Add this all up, and application and IT infrastructure is sprawling out of control.  

Suffering from alert fatigue, Ops needs new tools to keep up with today’s dynamic computing environments

Enterprise application and computing environments have changed radically over the past fifteen years. Anyone who has spent even a day in an IT role can tell you that.

What gets less attention, however, is how those changes undermine the ability of operations teams to do their jobs. The problem is that as computing and application environments have changed dramatically, workflows and org charts have not.

As virtualization, cloud, and mobility have moved into the mainstream, Ops teams have been forced into a reactive, firefighting role. Adding to the burden are other developments that look positive at first glance, such as the rise of open-source software and the emergence of DevOps, but which carry with them serious risks that threaten to undermine operational stability.  

Ops teams still follow incident response workflows designed for dotcom-era production environments, and they typically have the personnel that would map to that circa-2000 reality. Ops budgets have also remained flat (or have decreased), which further erodes the Ops team’s ability to monitor, maintain, secure, and manage all of the moving parts that make up today’s complex IT infrastructures. 

BigPanda is attending our first ServiceNow Knowledge15 event, April 21-24, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. We’re hoping, though, that the relationships we build in Vegas, don’t stay in Vegas…

ServiceNow is in the forefront of what they like to refer to as the “consumerization” of enterprise technology. Just as there is an “app for everything” in our daily lives, ServiceNow is working to help make Enterprise IT management a little more manageable by changing the way people work. Through defining, structuring and automating work, they are creating an agile service experience for everyone in the enterprise. And, they’re taking it one step further. 

Because the activities, tasks and processes that make up our day-to-day work life can happen through a common service model, ServiceNow is opening an online store. The ServiceNow Store, announced today, is a commercial enterprise application marketplace that allows customers to purchase and download a broad-range of third-party applications - including ours -  and integrations to improve their IT and business operations. Using the ServiceNow Store, customers can now access apps that consumerize their service experience, automate workflows across departments, integrate IT operations and deliver performance analytics. 

By making service management from across the enterprise available on one easy to access platform, organizations can improve efficiency and lower the cost of their service delivery. 

For BigPanda, we’re making a leap forward in bringing our industry-leading IT alert management platform openly available on the ServiceNow Store. Now, IT and NOC teams can part the sea of monitoring alerts from their cloud and data center environments by going online to https://store.servicenow.com . 

A recent Forbes article based on IDC research of DevOps groups across multiple industries in the Fortune 1000 found that the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year ranges from $1.25 to $2.5 billion. Billion. 

Worse yet, the average number of deployments per month is expected to double in two years. And, IT organizations that have tried to custom adjust current tools to meet DevOps practices have a failure rate of 80 percent, making system management a nightmare. 

There are many great products on the market today to help manage these systems by providing alerts to potential or actual failures.  But, the lack of process, procedures, and just the simple ability to sift through one’s inbox to determine which problem needs to be handled first, can be overwhelming. It can bring out the animal in all of us. 

That’s when you know it’s time to send in the BigPanda. 

The data science behind our platform helps bring order to the chaos and avalanche of IT alert noise. By centralizing and normalizing your monitoring alerts from any system, data center or Cloud, BigPanda can reduce your MTTR by 80 to 90 percent, with less resources. 

To find out more, come see us in our booth at Knowledge15 and we’ll give you one of our latest BigPanda t-shirts. Or, come visit us at www.bigpanda.io for a free trial

We’re excited to announce BigPanda Environments, a powerful new feature that enables IT teams to create customized monitoring views for any slice of their IT infrastructure. From application to team – by cloud, customer or data center – create custom monitoring views for virtually any logical grouping of an IT environment.

Environments

Whether we practice more traditional operations processes with a 24x7 NOC and well-documented processes, or we’re embracing DevOps-styles with cross-functional teams and highly iterative methodologies, one problem we all face is the growing disconnect between our monitoring systems, the alerts they fire off, and the processes we’re using to handle operational issues. We log incidents in a ticket, but are the folks working on that ticket aware of the real-time status of the underlying incident? This doesn’t matter so much for help desk tasks like resetting passwords, ordering replacement hardware, or fixing a user’s phone. But for today’s complex environments and multi-level monitoring stacks, keeping teams in sync with dynamic service issues as they unfold is a real challenge.

Earlier this month at BigPanda we released our new Sharing feature, which allows NOC teams to quickly share active and critical incidents with the right teams and subject-matter experts.

BigPanda already helps NOC teams today by giving them instant visibility into incoming related alerts so that they don’t have to sift through dozens of emails and web pages with every outage or disruption. They can also attach playbooks and timeseries graphs directly to BigPanda, which means no more navigating around, combing through bookmarks, trying to find the right wiki page for that memory issue, or the right Graphite link for that misbehaving database host.

collaboration

Now you can connect your monitoring stack with your workflow stack! BigPanda is excited to announce seamless IT incident sharing with the rest of your team in HipChat, Slack, JIRA, ServiceNow, & Asana.

We're excited to announce the release of a major new feature in BigPanda called Sharing!!

As you know BigPanda intelligently clusters your noisy alerts into high-level incidents. With our new Sharing feature, it's now easy to notify and collaborate with anyone on your team about critical incidents.

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