Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Eli Eyal, Operational Support Services Manager at Playtech, the world’s largest supplier of online gaming and sports betting software and a customer.
As part of my role as OSS manager at Playtech, I regularly present to our external customers an overview of our advanced and more-than-capable monitoring system. Part of my presentation focuses on our CMDB (Configuration Management Database) and the principles of automatic discovery and its advantages. I particularly focus on improving IT monitoring to better support business goals.
On one occasion, a customer interrupted my presentation to ask a question: Could I help him use the CMDB automated discovery to reveal what he has in his own datacenter? It turned out that his organization had very little knowledge of what specific infrastructure components existed in the datacenter, and what purposes they served.
Knowing what you don’t know
To someone outside IT, that may sound preposterous (How could he not know?!). But I think to some degree, this is a common challenge for many IT managers in larger environments. If you have an IT environment of 10 servers and 20 applications, and you’re good with an Excel table, then sure, you can manage on your own. But IT managers with hundreds or thousands of servers, applications and other IT resources can’t know every detail about their IT ecosystems. It is almost impossible to know every VM that is inserted into their environments and every application that’s being installed. Even if you do get notified of any changes (and you and I both know that will never happen), you still won’t be able to track them all in a huge or even a medium-scale environment.
This lack of visibility and knowledge can be a big problem. Misconfigurations can end up costing you a lot in extended downtimes as you try to understand the impact of the changes that are responsible and how to prioritize repairs and to whom.
So as I told my customer, yes, CMDB and auto-discovery definitely help you know what’s really inside your datacenter. But its real value lies in what you can then do with that information.
Find out how you can get this information and what you can do to make it work for you in this post. You can also learn how CMDB powers Playtech’s installation of Operations Bridge IT event management software.