App Modeling

Business Application Modeling

Written by Warner Schlais | President, Technology Services | Datatrend Technologies, Inc.

Business Application Modeling refers to the creation of a reference mapping of components for an application, including software and physical hardware (servers, routers, switches, gateways, etc.). It provides a MapQuest-like visualization of your application, representing the current state of software application component dependencies and relationships in your data center topology.

The Datatrend approach to application modeling uses BMC’s ADDM (Application Discovery and Dependency Mapping) data collection tool and its TPL scripting language. Our proven processes deliver rapidly-created, high-quality application models, built to a proven set of Datatrend standards, which we have refined over the course of modeling thousands of applications. As a result, these models require minimal maintenance on an ongoing basis. The Datatrend modeling architecture enables easy migration to Service Impact Modeling, with no “throw away” code.

Our Approach

Pre-Initiation

Datatrend works together with customer teams to select sets of target applications to be modeled, contact appropriate SME’s for each application, and schedule review meetings of data provided.

Data Collection

Datatrend conducts the data collection tasks, with our lead engineer validating Business Application Modeling questionnaires.

For each iteration, Datatrend contacts SME’s, fills out information required in the templates for each application, follows up with SME’s to bridge gaps in information, and formats application for input to modeling phase.

The Data Collection and Modeling phases are performed iteratively, with strong engineering resource utilization and continuous processes and tools improvement, resulting in greater productivity, efficiency and quality in later iterations.

Modeling

The Datatrend Technical Lead will oversee the modeling process tasks including, identification of key executables, packages, services, files, and usernames utilized by the application components; creation of pattern modules, software instances and business application instances; identification of key dependencies; and documentation of additional application details on BMC ADDM to ensure all fields about applications are adequately filled in.

Validation and Gap Analysis

The Technical Lead and Project Manager sends modeling reports to application teams for validation of data, compiles discovered hosts not aligned to any business applications for reconciliation, and refines initial models based upon input from application subject matter experts until satisfactory report resolution is achieved. This may include additional software instances, files, or even the discovery of additional hosts.

Business Application Modeling by Datatrend Creates Efficiencies
A sample deliverable: an application dependency map

Key Benefits:

Application models are used for a variety of reasons including but not limited to the following:

  • Improved change management is realized by knowing all components requiring applied changes.
  • Process improvement by using the CMDB as a source for identifying which application software/hardware to focus on regarding problem resolution, ultimately reducing:
    • cycle time
    • staff required to solve problems
    • application down time
  • Identify critical components, such as routers or switches, and potential single points of failure in a data center topology.
  • Improve disaster recovery since all components are identified as application participants and recovered as a complete set following loss of a component.
  • Rationalization of applications, as well as software and platform components, once identified as part of an application.
  • Eliminate redundancy and un-needed components.
  • Enable standardization: software and operating system versioning can be standardized once back levels are identified.
  • Enhance vendor and policy compliance, as counts of licenses of various types used are identified.
  • Enhance security by assuring all security software is deployed correctly and installed with the correct version.
  • Enables service impact modeling.

Application management often represents a major operational budget cost; though, the process of Business Application Modeling can help to reduce application management costs, while improving organizational effectiveness through streamlined problem identification and management.

For more information on Application Modeling, please contact Warner Schlais, President of IT Services for Datatrend Technologies, at warner.schlais@datatrend.com or call 1-800-367-7472.

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