Develop an aggregated asset management database to assist operations teams improve support and maintenance of services.
Up-to-date asset and configuration information in a single database, with a simple-to-use tool for updating and adding new information.
A single source of truth for any number of critical processes; streamlined planning for migrations and implementations; more cost-effective use of the department’s limited budget.
Network interruptions highlighted a number of issues affecting efficient management of the ICT infrastructure. These issues put a spotlight on the difficulties managing multiple network environments without a functioning change and configuration management regime or integrated asset and configuration management database.
The department was also running a number of projects which required accurate ICT asset and configuration information for their planning. This was essential to assist with data centre migration activities and to support a refresh of global ICT infrastructure. Also, it would be used to increase the level and improve the quality of business continuity planning documentation.
Frame was initially engaged to audit three of the department’s data centres. There was to be an online discovery and recording of all networked ICT assets, followed by a visual audit to confirm the online findings. The engagement was extended for Frame to depict, electronically, the relationship of the ICT infrastructure to the applications supported.
While the information may have existed, in some form, within various systems throughout the department, this was the first time it’s been aggregated. The result is a validated, single source of truth for any number of critical processes.
Now, project and operations teams are able to easily determine the best place for new equipment, as well as pinpoint equipment that’s not being used, freeing up their valuable time to concentrate on the most inefficient and under-utilised systems. This streamlines planning for migrations and implementations, and it means more cost-effective use of the department’s limited budget.
Teams can see where space and power is available and where it’s oversubscribed. This allows them to balance loads on supporting systems: power distribution, UPS, generators and related equipment. It also means they can manage the allocation of space and power more effectively. What’s more, they have the information necessary to better determine the impact of an implementation, while it’s in the planning stage.
Because information is presented graphically, it’s easy to see each application, its supporting infrastructure, the domain it’s installed in, the teams who manage it and the business users of the application. The information is further enhanced with a set of reports and ad hoc reporting capability which allows for scenario planning and preparations for their data centre migrations and other critical projects.
Despite the complex nature of the department’s ICT environment, the process was completed in a very short timeframe and with minimum effect on internal staff. 12,500 networked ICT assets were discovered and mapped in the database. This was achieved in a matter of weeks, whereas engagements of this kind can take more than a year.
Coupled with the low cost of entry for our solution, the outcome was seen as exemplary. Highly satisfied with the result, the department went on to purchase additional licences for its wider use.
Using Frame’s infrastructure and applications discovery tool, the project team determined the infrastructure and applications dependencies during a series of workshops. They then produced an online, graphical database of the results.
Following completion of the audit and discovery activities, Frame was engaged to provide ongoing service and support for the purchased solution. For this managed service, Frame handles all tasks required to create and maintain the asset and configuration records, at every point of the change and release process.
Our customised training used live data (in read-only mode) from the production system, to maximise familiarity. Training was delivered in two parts, so it was able to reach the widest audience possible. The first part was a half-day introductory session, covering all basic features of the system and how it’s been customised for the department. The second part was for system administrators and, over a day and half, delved into the specifics of creating custom configuration items, making linkages to applications and users, and generating ad hoc reports.