In a previous blog, I touched on the topic of making infrastructure invisible allowing IT and organizations to focus on applications and initiatives — leverage constructs common in the cloud.
In the next two blogs, we discuss a general level framework for applications and business services, covering the following areas — cataloging applications, tools, and building a roadmap for modernization.
Building a CatalogIt may seem daunting to catalogue the different applications and workloads but done correctly well orchestrated auditing and subsequent cataloging of workloads make decisions on future strategy quick and simple. There are quite a few documented models for creating an application catalog. In conversations with Nutanix experts and our customers, I was captured a few key areas to consider, listed below:
Function: Honest description and classification of the app/workload functionality including history (age, rationale) and business criticality (core to business i.e revenue generating/impacting or equivalent for the organization or playing a supporting function). Some recommended best practices include:
- Pay attention to [the] origins of workloads, including those inherited through mergers and acquisitions, and identify overlapping or similar ones by business and IT function.
- Setup simple scoring mechanism based on factors like application criticality, immediate and future revenue and growth impact, user/personnel productivity, brand/external perception etc.
- Build out and share the RACI model for the application/service.
- Capture meetings and processes related to the workload (ex: planning meetings, scrum cycles, business reviews, etc)
- Leverage audit/assessment tools that can capture relevant metrics over a period of time. Also, capture seasonality (ex: some workloads may need to scale over periods while others).
- Capture underlying SW components including functions like databases or app servers (with specific versions). This may include cloud services like object storage or application functions.
- Capture budget and other resources needed to maintain and refresh/add new functionality.
- Identify constraints and challenges from both business and IT associated with the applications like uptime or availability, scaling, time to deploy, troubleshooting, and more.
- Understand other tools in IT touching the workload like identify management, self service portals, performance or network performance monitoring, and app/data migration tools. These may be outside of the application/workload — involving the operation teams.
- Understand the different infrastructure, cloud and application providers involved. As with the tools this may be outside the application/workload.
Nutanix services has a complementary workshop for qualified customers where they walk through the process. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to if you are interested in pursuing it with Nutanix. Also, discuss this topic on next.nutanix.com and share your thoughts note on our NEXT community including any resources you and your organization use. We’d love to hear from you!
Additional resources/reading on the topic:
- RACI model: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix
- Good overview on IT Service Catalog from Cherwell software: https://www.cherwell.com/library/essential-guides/essential-guide-to-creating-an-it-service-catalog/