The IT environment has become more complicated as organizations begin hosting vital applications in cloud environments. There has never been a more critical time for businesses to gain a holistic view and complete control of their IT infrastructure. However, for many organizations, it’s intensive and cost prohibitive to acquire the right hardware, licensing and know how to achieve and optimally manage IT infrastructure. This is the case for many of our clients looking to modernize their IT environment and take on an internal service provider model.
Enter System Center, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure Pack.
As discussed in Part 1 of my Windows Azure Pack Blog Series, Windows Azure Pack: A Hidden Gem in the World of Virtualization, these technologies extend the functionality of Microsoft Azure to private data centers. System Center and Windows Server 2012 technologies have been the foundation of delivering Microsoft Azure-consistent cloud services. While Windows Azure Pack, which sits on top of System Center, provides one single web based portal where end users can sign-up for those services offered by administrators as well as provision and manage resources such as Virtual Machines or databases.
However, we discovered a gap while working with these technologies and many of our managed services clients. These are clients whose applications, sites and other workloads are hosted in the Navantis OnCloud Data Centre and clients who have us monitor and manage applications in their environment and in Microsoft Azure. The gap was that our end users – our clients in this case – had no visibility into the health of the applications and workloads we monitored for them, nor were they aware of when we were working on a fix. The same thinking could be applied to an enterprise running an internal service provider model. They’ve made the smart, albeit costly, investment in SCOM and have installed Windows Azure Pack to streamline the traditional resource procurement process, but tenants or end users don’t actually know when their applications are broken or at risk – unless someone brings it to their attention. System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) is designed for operations analysts to monitor their environment, their workloads, instances and applications – not tenants.
Management and visibility at the customer level – the single pane of glass promise – across this suite of technologies is limited. It requires a complex installation of System Center on a desktop at the client environment meaning end users cannot manage their environment from anywhere or on any device. These organizations are in need of a solution which will ensure optimum performance of mission-critical business services and applications by improving visibility and facilitating proactive management of their IT environment.
Manage 360 OnCloud was Born
As our platform of choice, we are dedicated to evolving this technology set. Manage 360 OnCloud was built to extend the value our customers see from their investments in System Center by creating a 360 degree view of the health of their applications for all users. Our unique, one-of-a-kind management tool is layered on top of Windows Azure Pack and provides visibility, manageability and control for workloads on premise, in the Navantis OnCloud Data Center and in Azure. Navantis’ Manage 360 OnCloud delivers the benefits of mature IT management processes at a price point they can afford.
Manage 360 OnCloud was developed using HTML 5.0 instead of Silverlight which makes it faster, more robust and accessible from any device. Why is this important? It means that IT can view and manage their full infrastructure and workloads from any device, anywhere. Android, iOS, or Windows devices. They can see their on-premise infrastructure, their workloads at the Navantis OnCloud Data Center or right into Azure. Before Manage 360 OnCloud, this was not possible from a single pane of glass, or from multiple devices including non-Windows devices.
By layering Manage 360 OnCloud on top of the extension of Windows Azure Pack services, we are delivering:
- Self-service capabilities to spin up environments, procure resources and sign up for services on demand
- Customers can manage their own applications in the cloud, creating hybrid applications.
- A “single pane of glass” view of all managed services across any device including non-Windows devices
- Options for single sign-on with on-premises and other public and private hybrid cloud solutions
How It Works
The beauty of this product is that it doesn’t matter where the application is sitting, as long as you have a SCOM agent in your environment. Whether it’s running in your own private data center, in the Navantis OnCloud Data Centre or in Microsoft Azure, Manage 360 OnCloud can pull the data from SCOM and deliver on the single pane of glass promise.
Fully functional with alerts, workflows and automation, this extends true value for customers who want a completely manageable hybrid environment that combines specialized services and workloads running in the Navantis OnCloud Data Center with the customers own on-premises infrastructure along with the functionality of Microsoft Azure.
Our Managed Services clients now have full visibility into the applications we manage and monitor for them. Users are able to “subscribe” to the applications that they want to monitor using Manage 360 OnCloud so when they log in they instantly get a complete view of the health of those applications, and know right away if something is wrong. For our managed services clients, when an issue arises we take care of the fix but our customer is automatically notified of the issue, is aware of the progress (including what’s being done and who is responsible for the fix) and when it is completed.
Currently, over 100 clients in a variety of industries from Canada to Kuwait to the Netherlands rely on Navantis OnCloud Data Center Managed Services to efficiently run their operations. Specifically, one Manage 360 OnCloud client has saved an estimated $72,000 a year in report time alone and also believe they have reclaimed 5%-10% employee productivity.
Extending Manage 360 OnCloud and Windows Azure pack into customer offerings lets us deliver more service at better pricing. To learn more about Manage 360 OnCloud and our Managed Services practice contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.navantis.com.