In our experience, many clients find their production IT department is something of a black hole. Knowing what applications, the business uses and which servers and software they depend on should, in theory, be straightforward. But, as IT managers are only too painfully aware, it rarely is.
With today's complex IT infrastructures, getting to grips with the ever-multiplying number of applications on which different parts of the business rely, let alone working out the numerous dependencies, is a considerable undertaking.
It is not hard to see why such a knowledge gap can lead to problems when it comes to successful testing and recovery, IT virtualization, IT audits, server consolidation, cost control and migrations.
Sungard Availability Services aims to remove these pain points with our new Discovery & Dependency Mapping (DDM) service.
The service uses an agentless probe(s), deployed at the customer's site, to scan the IT environment within scope and populates the discovered information into Sungard AS' centrally managed configuration management database (CMDB). We then analyze the discovery data, map application to infrastructure dependencies and collaboratively map business processes to applications before providing reports on the findings to the customer. This enables customers to make informed decisions on production and recovery services based on facts rather than a best guess.
Of course, production environments change all the time – just one change per month for each system can add up to more than 10,000 configuration changes a year. DDM's ongoing service provides customers with monthly change reports to ensure they always have an up-to-date picture of their IT environment.
While the Discovery & Dependency Mapping process is an integral part of Sungard AS' Managed Recovery Program (MRP), DDM will be available as a standalone service to all customers.
*One customer's VP of IT testifies to the value of the service: "We thought we had more infrastructure/apps than DDM said we had, so it justified the expense of the discovery mapping in cost savings so we did not over-scope our DR solution."