Automatic Dependency Mapping with Service Map and Live Maps

The following is a special guest blog from Savision

Modern enterprise IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly difficult to manage as the deployment of new services and applications continues to grow.  Applications tend to rely on many other services and applications to function, which often span many server and network components.  In order to fully understand the performance and availability of any particular application, a complete picture of all dependent services and applications is needed.  Without this picture, troubleshooting and root cause analysis are long, tedious, and typically involve many manual steps and processes.

Using Service Map

Service Map is an Azure management solution that automatically discovers and builds a common reference map of dependencies across servers, processes, and third-party services in real-time.  Using Service Map, IT organizations have access to the complete picture of application and system dependencies across Windows and Linux, whether running in an on-premises, pure cloud, or hybrid environment.

In addition to application and system dependencies, Service Map is also able to leverage other management solutions such as Log Analytics, Change Tracking, Update Management, and Security, providing a truly comprehensive view, all in the context of your service or application.

Discovered dependencies and contextual performance metrics from Service Map in Azure

Integration with System Center Operations Manager

Many organizations who are planning to or are already using Service Map may also have System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) deployed on-premises.  SCOM provides the most comprehensive cross-platform data center monitoring for operating systems, applications, and hypervisors.  For organizations who already rely on SCOM for critical IT operations, having visibility into the application and system dependencies discovered by Service Map is an essential feature. Thankfully, Microsoft has provided an integration between SCOM and Service Map, which automatically creates distributed application (DA) diagrams in SCOM based on the dynamic dependency maps in Service Map.  The Azure team has published a detailed article on how to setup the integration between SCOM and Service Map here.

This integration enables organizations that rely on SCOM to have a complete picture of all application and system dependencies in their IT infrastructure.  However, there are still more questions to be answered.  What if exceptions need to be made to the dependencies that are discovered?  There are cases where explicit inclusions or exclusions need to be made to the dependencies that are discovered.  What if service-level tracking is needed for these discovered applications and services?  How does an organization visualize all of these discovered services and applications in a single, dynamic, easy-to-understand dashboard?  This is where the integration with Savision Live Maps comes in.

Introducing Savision Live Maps

Savision Live Maps empowers organizations to create compelling visualizations and dashboards based on any information collected and stored by SCOM.  From executive-level service and application overviews, to detailed technical dashboards for critical IT infrastructure, any visualization or dashboard that can be imagined can be made a reality with Live Maps.  SCOM provides a role-based access control (RBAC) system to control what users are able to do and see within SCOM.  Live Maps provides full support for this RBAC model ensuring that users only see the visualizations and dashboards that they are entitled to see.

As mentioned in the previous section, Service Map can create DA diagrams right within SCOM detailing the application and system dependencies that have been discovered.  Live Maps is able to import any DA within SCOM and transform that flat model into a rich ITIL-based business service model.  This model provides many benefits above and beyond what is provided with native SCOM DA’s.  Better still, Live Maps automatically keeps this model up to date, so as Service Map discovers new dependencies, they are dynamically updated and shown in the business service models provided by Live Maps.

You can read more about how Live Maps dynamically updates SCOM DA’s in the following blog article:

https://www.savision.com/resources/blogs/new-features-in-live-maps-dynamically-updating-services/

Import Distributed Application Wizard from Savision Live Maps Authoring Console

Live Maps’ business service model provides different health perspectives for each service: end-user, application, and infrastructure.  This provides another level of visibility, ensuring that issues that impact end-users are highlighted for immediate attention and timely resolution.  Service-level tracking is a great capability offered by SCOM, however it can be difficult to configure and maintain.  Live Maps automatically creates service level agreements (SLA) for all business service models, and provides an intuitive user experience for configuring these SLA’s.  Organizations are able to easily define a goal for each business service and then view the real-time SLA and operational health of all business services from a single dynamic dashboard.

Services Overview from Savision Live Maps

In addition to the rich business service model provide by Live Maps, inclusions and exclusions can also be easily defined by Live Maps.  This allows organizations to make custom changes to what is discovered by Service Map.  These changes are intelligently applied to the model, so that new changes discovered by Service Map are respected, while also ensuring the inclusions and exclusions that have been defined are enforced.  IT organizations are highly-dynamic, so Live Maps doesn’t just provide manual inclusions and exclusions, but rather a rich rule system is available, allowing organizations to define complex rules to ensure the inclusions and exclusions they need can be achieved.

Conclusion

Through his article, you’ve seen how Service Map can discover application and system dependencies, and overlay other useful information from other Azure management solutions to provide a complete picture of discovered services and applications.  You’ve also seen how Service Map can feed this information back into SCOM, and how Live Maps can further enrich this model by providing end-user visibility, SLA monitoring, and executive-level overview dashboards.  We encourage you to check out Service Map to learn more about how your critical services and applications are interconnected.  Finally, to obtain visibility into this valuable information from within your SCOM environment, we encourage you to also request an evaluation of Live Maps and achieve 100% coverage of your business services, delivered via dynamic executive-level service and application dashboards.

You can easily explore the power of Live Maps through our online demo here, or request a free trial key using this link:

https://www.savision.com/trial

You can also watch a webinar that Savision recently released which focuses on the integration between Service Map and SCOM.  You can view the on-demand webinar here:

https://www.savision.com/resources/online-session-not-scomplicated-oms/