23 May 2014 blogs Alexandre Verkinderen 9 min read
Introducing Live Maps
The key to becoming customer-centric and moving away from data stuck in silos is to find the common ground between your company’s information technology and business needs. This is only possible if your company’s IT department has complete visibility of the impact of disruptions and changes on business services, which has become even harder to achieve in today’s more complex and fluid IT environments. The transition from static client/server architectures to dynamic distributed architectures means that there are more components, technologies, and interdependencies for your team to integrate and manage than ever before. Your team needs a monitoring solution that lets them focus on the End User Experience by monitoring the health of your company’s business services from both the end user’s perspective and the perspective of the underlying infrastructure components and applications– in other words from both the top down and the bottom up.
90% of IT generated IT alerts are not critical. An average enterprise receives about 1.5 million IT alerts every year and according to Gartner during 2015, 80% of outages impacting mission-critical services will be caused by people and process issues. Over 50% will originate from IT changes.
These impressive data imply that nowadays around 70% of the IT budget is spent just on keeping the lights on. With LiveMaps we offer you the solution that will lead to:
- Reduction of incidents
- Less business downtime
- Lower System Center implementation and maintenance costs
- Optimized change management process
Our R&D department has been working hard to design a new solution that would enable a customer-centric approach to Service Management and align IT with business priorities. The result is a proactive end-to-end service health monitoring solution that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and Service Manager, providing an effective way to dynamically model business services.
The base of Live Maps is the service model. To understand the true impact of failing IT components on a service, we separate IT components into 3 categories:
- End User (transaction) Components
- Application Components
- Infrastructure Components
The different categories are called Service Perspectives because each category presents a different perspective on a service.
Finally Speak the Same Language
And it’s not just you and your IT team who can monitor the health of the End User Experience and compliance with service level agreements – any stakeholder can view as much or as little information about the status of the business service as they need. Not only are our dashboards and maps intuitive, comprehensive, and customizable or ready for use out of the box, but they also break down the language barrier between IT and business and give you all a common language to speak. Is the business service functioning properly? Can the baggage tags still be printed? Anyone with access to Live Maps can answer that question: from the service owner to the service desk employee to the CIO.
With Live Maps you can visualize your business service model with the new services dashboards and the service maps:
The Services Dashboard
The Services Dashboard presents the health of the services created with Live Maps. It shows the consolidated service health and the health of each of the Service Perspectives. Services that need attention are automatically placed at the top of the list. The list is ordered based on perspective weight; end users problems will be on top followed by application and infrastructure problems. If the Services Dashboard indicates a problem with a service, your team can easily go from there to the dynamically updated Service Map for more detailed information about the service including ownership, alerts, and service levels. In just a few clicks, your team will have enough information to determine the impact and priority of an incident and assign it to the right team, all without the distraction of unrelated and low priority incidents and alerts
The service dashboard is populated based on the services you have access to.
The Service Map
The service map provides a detailed overview of the current state of the service and also how the service has performed in the past. It filters the components per perspective that need attention.
The Service Dashboard
It is more important than ever for you and your IT team to understand the dependencies between your company’s business services and the IT infrastructure and applications you manage. Our holistic Live Maps solution provides a business context for every alert and incident so your team can see exactly which business services are affected and determine if the problem needs to be fixed quickly or not. The result is that time and effort are not wasted on lower priority service disruptions and your team can begin troubleshooting serious issues as soon as they occur. This means that downtime is minimalized and business service availability is maximized. From the service map you can drill down to each of the detailed component maps for an end-to-end view of the service perspective.
With the next step in the evolution of virtualization already around the corner, the software-defined data centre, change management is going to be more important than ever. All IT managers know that the majority of service desk incidents are caused by changes, and frequent configuration changes are a characteristic of virtualized data centres that is here to stay. Changes don’t have to be risky or cause headaches for your end users though. You and your team can proactively determine the impact of a proposed change on business services before it is implemented using the functionality provided in our Live Maps solution. So the next time you get a change request to install new service packs, you can quickly make an informed decision about the best time and way to roll out this change so that the impact on business-critical infrastructure and applications is minimized: a decision that takes into account the needs of both your internal and external customers.
Service Level Management
The solution also needs to provide the functionality to monitor compliance with service level and operational level agreements. Our holistic Live Maps solution meets these needs by transforming Microsoft System Center into an end-to-end service health monitoring solution: our service health dashboards and maps provide your team with an at-a-glance overview of the health and performance of defined business services. The Service Level tab in the details pane provides access to the Service Level Object (SLO) data. When a service is created with Live Maps it automatically creates a Service Level Tracking (SLT) object for that service including availability SLOs for each of the perspectives.
The alerts generated for availability, performance, configuration, and security by the Operations Manager component of Microsoft System Center are so numerous in scope that they make it hard for your team to tell if an alert is serious or not. Not only does Live Maps address this problem by providing your team with the functionality to group alerts by business service but we also help reduce the noise by making sure that they will only be alerted once for each business service even if multiple components fail.
By using Live Maps to define and visualize your business-critical services, you enable your team to focus on resolving high priority service-related incidents by pushing low priority incidents to the background. The result is that your team is able to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction by putting the End User Experience first.
If you would like to learn more on Savision’s Live Maps, you can find additional information on what’s new in Live Maps for System Center 2012.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog if you would like to know more about ‘What’s New with Live Maps from a Technical Perspective’ also written by Microsoft MVP, Alexandre Verkinderen.
On our next blog, Alex will delve into how Live Maps structures and visualizes your monitored IT components in System Center Operations Manager 2012 (OpsMgr) in a way that it becomes very easy for all stakeholders in your organization to understand what the impact and root cause of service outages are. He explains how the new Live Maps BSM offers out of the box dashboards for C-level management, Service Owners, IT management, Helpdesk and Application and Infrastructure Engineers.
Alexandre Verkinderen :Microsoft MVP, Savision Product Evangelist
Alexandre is responsible for providing Savision with feedback on product features to help shape its products based on customer experience and Microsoft relationships.
Alexandre is a 6 year Microsoft MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management. He has a strong focus on everything around the Microsoft System Center product family and Windows Azure. Additionally, he believes strongly in sharing knowledge amongst his peers. For this particular belief, he founded the System Center User Group Belgium. As an industry expert and MVP, he is a frequent speaker and ‘ask-the-expert’ guest on national and international events like TechEd, TechDays, MMS, etc.