Automation….maximizing margins in hosting services and cloud…drive it all from the CMDB

I cannot mention the customer name because I don’t have permission for this, but thought I’d share an email that I received from one of our SEs on Friday…..good stuff.

Since XX purchased NMS in September 2009 we have been working together to build the platform that will allow them to roll out NMS to their full estate of 25,000 servers. As XXX is a major hosting provider this estate is always growing and new servers are deployed on a continuous basis. The cost of deployment must be kept to a minimum in order to maximize the revenue margins of their hosting business. At the same time, the whole estate has to be accurately recorded in their configuration management system.

To achieve these objectives the team designed a deployment model that tightly links the configuration management database (CMDB) system to Nimsoft in such a way that all configuration of NMS is driven from the CMDB system.
When servers are deployed in the hosting network the Nimsoft robots (agents) are automatically validated (for security reasons). At this point no probes are installed.

Through the CMDB interface, the system administrators are able to turn on the appropriate monitoring simply by ticking boxes and setting values in the CMDB records. Once those values are defined, there is an automated Nimsoft process that causes the right probes to be deployed to the target servers. Those probes are automatically configured with the customer detail for multi-tenancy purposes i.e. they will show up in the right Dynamic View in the Service Delivery Portal and be accessible only by the right owners.

Nimsoft alarms from the monitored servers are automatically filtered with information from the CMDB (e.g. Support team, location etc.) in order that the right people are notified with the right alarms.

Status from the monitored servers is transferred back to the CMDB so that while browsing the service model in the CMDB the current state (monitored, not monitored, in alarm state etc.) of the servers is displayed.

And finally, Service Management reports are automatically generated from the Nimsoft performance database.

This situation is happening more and more with the shift to On-Demand models. Customers want to be able to have Nimsoft as “part of the infrastructure” not as a separate product. They do not want to administer monitoring separately – in this case everything is driven by the CMDB. Very nice….I have many other stories like this and will blog them when I get them.

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