Today’s technology-centric enterprises depend heavily on their business applications and the infrastructure that supports them. Unplanned outages, therefore, have a much larger impact on a typical enterprise’s ability to carry out business, and due to this this, the bottom line is heavily reliant on reliable systems, making every migration a complex undertaking that has the potential to have significant negative business impact. Accurate application mapping is thus critical to ensuring migrations can be effectively and efficiently planned, and proceed as such.
Reasons that drive migrations
Migrations take place for a variety of reasons. In the course of regular business, old hardware will be retired and applications migrated to new hardware, data centers can be moved or consolidated, and somewhat less commonly, mergers and acquisitions can require large, well planned migrations in absorbing or merging with another company’s technical assets.
Why is application mapping critical?
Application mapping is the process of gaining and documenting an understanding of all of a business’s applications, software, services, and supporting hardware (servers, storage, network infrastructure) and their various interdependencies. This information is usually recorded in a CMDB, or Configuration Management Data Base. In order to plan a migration, a clear understanding of exactly what is running in the existing environment and how these systems and applications communicate both with each other, with internal employees, and with the outside world is paramount. Every application must be understood from the point of view of both the systems it runs on, the agreed upon SLA of the system, and the users that rely on it.
When mapping applications, it is best to rely on a tool that can help the process along. Though manual mapping is possible, it’s not often realistic in larger environments, as the manpower required to obtain a point in time snapshot can be quite large and with the pace of change in the modern data center, the manually gathered data can become “stale” nearly as fast as it is gathered. If you don’t already have a tool, you’ll want to choose one that offers both flexibility and a high level of automation. You will also want to look for a tool that can accomplish the mapping primarily agentless-ly, as deploying an agent to every machine rarely makes sense. You’ll want a tool that can incorporate a variety of native mapping methods, and which plays off the strengths of each method to paint the most accurate picture of your environment.
The Device42 Mapping Solution
Once you have identified what you have running and where, and how it all interacts, identifying candidates for migration and creating a migration plan is a much more straightforward process. The hardest and most important part of any migration project is gaining a thorough understanding of the current state of your network.
If you are using Device42, all this information is at your fingertips and available in easy to understand visualizations, charts, graphs, and reports. Device42’s powerful, Continuous auto-discovery capabilities can help identify all data center assets and how they are connected.
Pop up an application dependency diagram to view what users and applications are dependent on a piece of equipment. Network connectivity, power chain, cabling, room, and rack visualizations each provide an instantaneous high-level view with drill-downs available for detail. When the time comes to actually move equipment, warranty information, service contracts, vendor contact information, remote url’s, root passwords, and much much more are right there at your fingertips for all your physical, virtual, and cloud devices.When planning IP allocations, view network diagrams and fragmentation charts or just click the “What’s the next available IP” button.
Device42 also tracks all cabling, including both electrical and network. Network SNMP discovery inventories switches, routers, and firewalls, and can even work out IP to MAC relationships to map MACs to ports. Tracking devices in transit is no problem, as Device42 tracks physical equipment transfers between locations, too. No need to log onto every server to check the config – Device42 can show you your configurations for popular applications.
Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post! We’ll be talking about using some of the new features that were released in v11.6.0 to create “Move Groups” to ease your next migration.