Tech-Assessing Business Impact of Change with Mercury Application Mappin

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Tech-Assessing Business Impact of Change with Mercury Application Mappin Powered By Docstoc

                  Whether providing services on the Internet or to internal customers,
                  using custom or packaged applications such as ERP or CRM, today’s IT
                  organizations are under increasing pressure to align themselves with
                  their company’s business processes. These processes are often
                  deployed across multiple global locations, traversing packaged, custom,
                  and legacy applications. With increasing business pressure to meet high
                  availability and performance requirements, and the increasing complexity
                  of the underlying systems that support these business processes, IT
                  organizations must be able to quickly isolate and resolve any problems
                  that may arise. In order to do so, they must maintain an accurate map of
                  the configuration of their environment. For most IT organizations this is a
                  difficult and time-consuming task. Mercury Application Mapping™
                  integrates with Mercury Business Availability Center™ to close this gap,
                  linking business processes with the applications and the infrastructure
                  elements that support them, providing an automated, continuously
                  updated map that can be used to quickly identify changes that threaten
                  SLAs. This powerful solution gives IT organizations the tools they need to
                  fully manage applications and their underlying infrastructure from a
                  business perspective, increasing performance and availability while
                  helping to reduce costs.


Aligning Business Processes with Information Technology ……………………3          Managing Information Technology with Application Maps ……………………10

Managing Constant Change is Difficult……………………………………………4                       Integration with Mercury Business Availability Center ……………………10

   Filling the Gap with Mercury Application Mapping …………………………5               Problem Isolation ………………………………………………………………11

Application Mapping is Essential …………………………………………………5                         Integration with Mercury System Availability Management ………………12

   Optimizing Business Availability with Mercury Application Mapping ……6   Application Mapping: Core Technology for Today’s Data Center ……………12

Introducing Mercury Application Mapping ………………………………………7

   Automated Infrastructure Discovery …………………………………………7

   Mapping Infrastructure Elements to Applications ……………………………8

   How it Works ……………………………………………………………………9

                   Aligning Business Processes with Information Technology
                   The rigors of today’s competitive business climate demand a near-perfect alignment of business
                   processes and the Information Technology (IT) that supports them. With organizations running on razor-
                   thin margins, the need to deliver business applications flawlessly has become ever more urgent,
                   whether they deliver services on the Internet, internally, or both. For organizations doing business on the
                   Internet, applications must instantly provide customers with the information and products they need
                   because the competition is only a click away. For financial institutions subject to government
                   regulations, some must meet stringent uptime requirements or face hefty fines. And for companies
                   using business applications internally – ranging from call-center support to Enterprise Resource
                   Planning (ERP) – applications that fail or do not give adequate response times drain time and money
                   from already tight budgets.

                   The state-of-the-art for aligning IT organizations with business objectives is for line-of-business (LOB)
                   units to negotiate SLAs that specify minimum uptime and performance requirements for their IT
                   organizations. Once established, sophisticated monitoring techniques can provide quantitative data on
                   how well the SLAs are being met. Using tools from Mercury, companies can use synthetic techniques to
                   execute specific business transactions and monitor response times. They can analyze network traffic
                   from clients on the Internet to measure true user experience. And they can integrate data from
                   infrastructure elements like load balancers to analyze transaction-level behavior.

                   Once a problem appears, however, IT organizations are often left without adequate tools to quickly
                   isolate the problem. This is because IT organizations typically manage infrastructure elements with low-
                   level information on system, network, and software status despite the fact that their organizations are
                   directly responsible for the performance of the overall business services they support. Today’s
                   enterprise management tools fail to map infrastructure elements to the applications they support, and
                   they fail to map the applications to the business processes for which the SLAs have been negotiated.
                   This results in a failure of monitoring policies to span the full breadth of application bills of materials
                   that they are intended to cover. Even when IT organizations make a conscientious effort to map
                   infrastructure to applications, the dynamic nature of today’s data centers make those maps obsolete in
                   hours, if not minutes. Organizations that manage systems and react to failures fall behind the curve,
                   putting their business at risk.

                   IT organizations need tools to manage the applications on which their company’s business processes
                   depend, bridging the gap between managing infrastructure elements and SLAs. Mercury Business
                   Availability Center™ 5.0 is now integrated with another potent new solution from Mercury that empowers
                   IT organizations to manage their applications and their infrastructure within a business context: Mercury
                   Application Mapping™. Mercury Application Mapping gives complete and accurate insight into the
                   mapping between infrastructure elements and the applications they support, helping to increase
                   business process performance and availability. Companies using Mercury Application Mapping can

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                              3

                   more closely align their information technology with their business objectives by giving their IT
                   organizations the tools they need to get the job done. When used in conjunction with Mercury
                   Business Availability Center, Mercury Application Mapping allows IT personnel to instantly drill down
                   from a high-level application problem to the infrastructure elements responsible for causing the

                   Managing Constant Change is Difficult
                   Managing today’s data center is an exercise in managing constant change. Every day, administrators
                   change network components, add or remove servers that support load-balanced applications,
                   consolidate servers, patch software, and manage storage systems. With the mapping of infrastructure
                   to applications in a state of constant flux, IT organizations have trouble keeping track of the existence
                   and location of all of their assets, let alone being able to map them to the applications they support and
                   manage them from an application perspective.

                   The result is that LOB managers who monitor application availability and performance characteristics
                   cannot simply pick up the phone and quickly isolate the problem affecting the business they are
                   responsible for supporting. With this fundamental disconnect, aligning IT organizations with business
                   requirements becomes even more challenging.

                   Organizational structures within IT departments can make it even more difficult to manage at the
                   application level. Often organized by specialty, network, system, and database administrators have a
                   domain-specific focus that isolates them from knowing how their work impacts the business
                   applications they support. Indeed, it can be difficult even to know what application performance they
                   are being evaluated on supporting. Database administrators, for example, manage a significant number
                   of database management systems, but may not be able to identify which business processes and SLAs
                   are affected by which of their databases. Without this key piece of information, it’s no wonder that it’s
                   nearly impossible to prioritize their work on the basis of how it affects the ability of their company to
                   conduct its business.

                   Companies need a more application-centric way of managing their business. They need to be able to
                   map from business processes to the applications that support them. They also need to be able to map
                   downward from applications all the way to the Configuration Items (CIs) that they depend on. And they
                   need not only an enterprise management system view of their infrastructure but also an application
                   view that links them to business processes, a view that helps to determine and define precisely what
                   should be monitored and then applying a monitoring policy based on application maps.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                          4

                   Filling the Gap with Mercury Application Mapping
                   Mercury Application Mapping bridges just that gap, completing Mercury’s four-tier, hierarchical vision for
                   managing applications, not just infrastructure elements (Figure 1).

                   Mercury Business Availability Center gives LOB managers a dashboard-level view of their operations,
                   with the ability to drill down into a problem area to reveal exactly which business processes are
                   involved. For example, if the dashboard reveals a problem with Order Review, a drill-down into business
                   processes might reveal a problem with the Review Quote function. Examining the application map, one
                   component is highlighted in red, leading IT staff through the discovered and mapped environment to
                   view the relevant element’s status using their network management system.

                                                          LINE OF BUSINESS                                             CIO, IT OPS MGMT

                             Proactively Manage
                               from a Business

                              Deep Application
                               and Business
                              Process Insight

                              Dynamically Map
                               to Underlying

                              Manage Systems

                   Figure 1: Mercury Application Mapping bridges the gap between managing business processes and network elements that support them.

                   Application Mapping is Essential
                   Integrating enterprise management and business process management with dynamic application
                   relationship management gives LOB managers, CIOs, and IT managers complete visibility into their
                   operations. Application mapping gives all stakeholders the tools they need to proactively manage their
                   applications, helping IT organizations to align with their organizations’ business objectives as well as the
                   objectives on which they are actually being measured. Having a consistent, unified solution helps to
                   provide a common language for both LOB and IT operations managers to communicate their needs,
                   requirements, and relative priorities. It helps the entire organization work using a common collaboration
                   channel to proactively resolve application problems with full knowledge of how individual infrastructure

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                                    5

                   elements affect business objectives. For example, the same map would help an administrator to define
                   precisely what should be monitored in order to secure monitoring coverage of a given application, a
                   procedure nearly impossible to undertake when managing from a silo perspective.

                   Application mapping helps IT organizations know what applications are in operation, how they map to
                   the business processes above, and what dynamic infrastructure components support them at a given
                   time. It helps them manage the constant change that typifies today’s data center environments.

                   Understanding that application maps change frequently due to both planned and un-planned events,
                   Mercury Application Mapping continuously discovers and maps the dependencies between infrastructure
                   and applications. This gives organizations an up-to-the-minute view of their topology, and also helps them
                   to manage change by making it easy to pinpoint the changes that might have led to an application-level
                   problem. Armed with the right tools to do their jobs, IT organizations can better manage the constant
                   change in their environment, proactively manage application performance, and more quickly isolate
                   problems when they occur. Having this visibility helps to increase overall application availability and
                   performance, the very factors for which IT organizations are held accountable.

                                                                             MERCURY BUSINESS
                                                                             PROCESS MONITOR

                                                                                                                        UNIFIED VIEW
                                   MERCURY SITESCOPE                        MERCURY BUSINESS
                                                                                                                       OF APPLICATIONS
                                    (OR OTHER EMS)                          AVAILABILITY CENTER
                                                                                                                     AND INFRASTRUCTURE

                                                                           APPLICATION MAPPING

                   Figure 2: Mercury Business Availability Center integrates application maps with business processes and infrastructure element status.

                   Optimizing Business Availability with Mercury Application Mapping
                   One of the many ways customers use Mercury Application Mapping is in conjunction with Mercury
                   Business Availability Center. When used in this manner, Mercury Business Availability Center gives a top-
                   down view into application infrastructure, integrating information from three sources to give a unified,
                   hierarchical view that spans from business processes to infrastructure elements (Figure 2).

                   • Mercury Application Mapping continuously maps infrastructure to applications, providing an overall
                      blueprint that integrates into higher- and lower-level views, outlining potential monitoring holes, or
                      components that might have been missed from a monitoring standpoint.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                                       6

                   • Mercury Business Process Monitor provides end-user experience measurements for integration with
                      the application maps.

                   • Real-time status information from enterprise management systems, including Mercury SiteScope®
                      and other supported third-party products, automatically maps onto elements that are discovered and
                      mapped by Mercury Application Mapping. This allows application maps to be color-coded to reflect
                      the operational status of each element, and it allows Mercury Application Mapping to propagate
                      issues up the topology map from applications into status of the business processes themselves.

                   The result of this data integration is the ability to manage at the application level with complete insight
                   into the relationship between business processes and the applications that support them, and
                   applications and the infrastructure elements that they use to get the job done.

                   Introducing Mercury Application Mapping
                   Mercury Application Mapping provides the foundation for a new generation of configuration
                   management solutions. Unlike manual techniques, Mercury Application Mapping continuously and
                   automatically discovers and maps IT services to the underlying infrastructure elements that support
                   them. Mercury Application Mapping provides IT organizations with complete and accurate topology
                   maps that include elements that might not have been recognized as having a role in a particular
                   application, using either agent-less or agent-based discovery. Indeed, unexpected infrastructure
                   elements are often the ones causing problems because they can be overlooked as configurations are
                   changed, and their failure isn’t otherwise linked to the applications they support. Mercury Application
                   Mapping eliminates this problem because all infrastructure elements are automatically discovered and
                   included in topology maps.

                   Automated Infrastructure Discovery
                   Unlike other network-oriented discovery tools, Mercury Application Mapping continuously explores
                   every configuration item from Layers 2-7 of the OSI model within a running production environment,
                   mapping the relationships between resources and the applications that they support. Mercury
                   Application Mapping accomplishes this either with or without the use of agents, depending on the
                   specific environment or mode of use. It locates resources, including:

                   • SAP and Siebel,

                   • Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) components and interdependencies,

                   • Database components such as tablespaces, users, and jobs,

                   • Software assets such as installed products, patches,

                   • System resources such as servers, CPUs, memory, network interfaces, and storage devices, and

                   • Network devices such as routers, switches, and load balancers, switch ports, VLANs, and firewalls.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                         7

                   Mapping Infrastructure Elements to Applications
                   Once Mercury Application Mapping discovers infrastructure
                   elements, it maps relationships and dependencies between them,
                   including network connectivity between servers and switches,
                   logical connectivity between network-based services, and internal
                   relationships such as message queues and inter-process
                   communication mechanisms. The result is a highly accurate,
                   comprehensive topology map of applications and business

                   The key technology behind Mercury Application Mapping is its
                   Topology Query Language (TQL), an intuitive, drag-and-drop
                   mechanism for creating application or service definitions that
                   describe resources and applications that have been discovered.
                   Providing out-of-the-box intelligence, Mercury Application
                   Mapping includes pre-defined TQL templates for anything from
                   complete J2EE applications, Siebel, SAP, or Microsoft Exchange
                   environments, all the way down to single Oracle databases, IBM
                                                                                          Figure 3: TQL allows application descriptions
                   WebLogic, or BEA servers. If a needed pre-defined template is          to be built using fundamental components
                                                                                          provided with Mercury Application Mapping.
                   not available out-of-the-box, TQL’s drag-and-drop interface can
                   be used to create customized models that describe entire
                   applications. A custom description of a bond trading application is illustrated in Figure 3.

                   Customers can use TQL application descriptions directly or modify them to suit their own environments.
                   Once constructed, TQL definitions provide an automated mechanism for mapping discovered resources
                   to dynamic application models. The result is an efficient, directed exploration of data center
                   environments even as they evolve and change.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                         8

                   How it Works
                   In a nutshell, Mercury Application Mapping uses a set of fundamental object models and TQL
                   descriptions of the environment to be explored. It discovers infrastructure elements according to the
                   object models, matches elements to TQL application descriptions, and provides discovered application
                   maps for use by higher-level tools (Figure 4):

                              CONFIGURATION                     DATA CENTER                           SERVICE                          BUSINESS
                               MANAGEMENT                      CONSOLIDATION                           LEVEL                          AVAILABILITY

                                   POLICY                           IMPACT                           END USER                           SYSTEM
                                 COMPLIANCE                        ANALYSIS                         MANAGEMENT                        AVAILABILITY

                             J2EE APPS               3-TIER APPS              EXCHANGE           SIEBEL          WEBLOGIC              NT            DB

                                                                          TOPOLOGY QUERY LANGUAGE

                                                                                                                     OPEN MODEL


                                              APPLICATIONS     DESKTOPS       SWITCHES/ROUTERS     FILES   DATABASES        SERVERS

                   Figure 4. Mercury Application Mapping uses TQL models to drive the discovery process, storing results in a configuration database for
                   use by applications like Mercury Business Availability Center.

                   • At the lowest level, many common infrastructure elements are discovered using out-of-the-box
                      discovery patterns. Mercury Application Mapping uses more than 130 discovery patterns that span
                      levels 2-7 of the OSI model.

                   • Application templates are created using the drag-and-drop TQL interface using the basic object
                      models provided with the product. Additional application packages support the mapping of custom
                      and additional application classes.

                   • The discovery process efficiently explores the IT environment, locating all infrastructure elements (or
                      configuration items) described by the object models. The discovery process maps basic
                      infrastructure elements first, and successively spirals in to each element to further discover its
                      attributes and interdependencies.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                                          9

                   • Once the discovery process is complete, the infrastructure elements and their interdependencies are
                      pattern-matched against the TQL application descriptions to provide a complete and accurate map
                      of the application environment. An example of how the TQL description of the bond trading
                      application might yield multiple instances of the application is illustrated in Figure 5.

                   • The discovered topology is stored in a repository designed to support high-speed and high-volume
                      queries of object types, their attributes, and interrelationships. This repository is available to
                      applications that then integrate the application maps with external data to provide specific insights
                      into the IT environment. For example, application maps from two different times can be compared
                      and their differences highlighted.

                   Figure 5: Discovery using the bond application description yields a production, staging, and test instance of the application.

                   Managing Information Technology with Application Maps
                   Once Mercury Application Mapping has discovered an IT organization’s infrastructure, customers can
                   view application maps directly, revealing the mapping of infrastructure elements to applications at
                   whatever depth of detail is appropriate. The greatest value of Mercury Application Mapping, however, is
                   when its application maps are used to analyze business and dependency impacts, manage change, and
                   isolate problems.

                   Integration with Mercury Business Availability Center
                   Mercury Application Mapping can integrate application maps with real-time infrastructure element
                   status from enterprise management systems like Mercury SiteScope or third-party solutions including
                   HP Open View, BMC Patrol, and IBM Tivoli. It can integrate end-user experience measurements from
                   tools like Mercury Business Process Monitor, integrating the information from Mercury Application
                   Mapping with real-time monitors and relevant user experience information. The result is that Application
                   Mapping can display a complete hierarchical view from business processes to applications and all the
                   way down to the infrastructure elements that support them. Mercury Application Mapping can color

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                                        10

                   configuration elements (Cis), for example, based on status reported by enterprise management
                   systems. Status indications can automatically be percolated up the hierarchy to instantly identify the
                   business process that is potentially at risk from a low-level failure. LOB managers can see which
                   applications are responsible for supporting their business processes. Likewise, IT organizations can
                   instantly see the impact of component failures on overall business objectives and SLAs. With Mercury
                   Application Mapping, different organizations can work together more effectively to provide higher levels
                   of service at lower cost.

                   The example illustrated in Figure 6 shows the Bond application and how its Bond Pricing component
                   depends on the underlying application infrastructure. The example also maps upward into the business
                   processes that it supports, including the Bond Client, Quote, Web, and Terms processes. As colored by
                   Mercury Application Mapping, a memory problem in the server NYCPROC01A is indicated in red and its
                   status is percolated up to show the application and the business processes at risk.

                   Figure 6: Data from enterprise management systems can be used to color application maps in Mercury Business Availability Center,
                   instantly showing how real-time status of an infrastructure element can affect application availability.


                   Problem Isolation
                   Mercury Application Mapping can use its dependency analysis technology to quickly isolate problems
                   based on real-time event inputs from enterprise management systems. Given that a low-level failure will
                   affect a number of higher-level functions, potentially causing a storm of event reports for components
                   all the way up the application hierarchy, Application Mapping can isolate the problem, and then
                   suppress events for higher-level, impacted functions. The result is that operations personnel can quickly
                   respond to the cause of a problem with minimal confusion due to event storms.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                                    11

                   Integration with Mercury System Availability Management
                   In addition to using Mercury Application Mapping as part of Mercury Business Availability Center,
                   Mercury offers an operations package that bundles Mercury Application Mapping with Mercury System
                   Availability Management™. This integrated application suite enables customers to incorporate
                   infrastructure element monitoring strategies with the application-level view that Mercury Application
                   Mapping provides. Unlike products that require application templates to be painstakingly created, the
                   operations package brings together automated application mapping with centralized monitoring.

                   Mercury System Availability Management enables the collection and monitoring of system availability
                   data from across the entire enterprise. Agentless monitoring and application maps coupled with
                   centralized administration can reduce the cost of implementing and operating an enterprise
                   infrastructure management environment. By using Mercury System Availability Management with
                   Mercury Application Mapping, IT organizations are better able to achieve optimal availability of
                   infrastructure elements, maximize user productivity, and ensure application service levels are met.

                   Application Mapping: Core Technology for Today’s Data Center
                   Mercury Application Mapping gives both LOB managers and IT organizations the tools they need to
                   work on the same team and focus on the business impact of their efforts. Mercury Application Mapping
                   gives LOB managers a top-down view of how their business processes map to the applications that
                   support them. It gives IT organizations the ability to see from the bottom-up how infrastructure
                   elements contribute to application availability and the service levels they have contracted to support.
                   With the ability to manage applications, rather than infrastructure elements, Mercury Application
                   Mapping allows customers to proactively manage their business rather than reactively managing
                   infrastructure elements. Application Mapping bridges this gap, helping organizations to increase
                   availability and performance while reducing costs in a constantly changing environment.

                   Mercury Application Mapping is more than just a new solution from Mercury. It is a core technology
                   that, over time, can be integrated with a wide range of solutions to more fully support the entire
                   application lifecycle from IT governance and demand management through application delivery and
                   capacity planning, and all the way to change and configuration management and operational
                   application management. Mercury’s application mapping engine can adapt to take inputs from a greater
                   number of source — not only enterprise management systems, but also problem management systems
                   and asset managers. This opens up new possibilities including application-level views for use by
                   operation managers, problem detection feeding directly to trouble-ticket systems, and asset managers
                   that can keep track of IT infrastructure based on the applications it supports. With cutting-edge
                   innovations like Mercury Application Mapping, Mercury customers can be assured that they will have
                   the best tools to stay ahead in a competitive marketplace both now and well into the future.

WWW.MERCURY.COM                                                           12
                                                          Mercury is the global leader in business technology optimization (BTO). We are committed to helping customers optimize the business value of IT.

© 2005 Mercury Interactive Corporation. Patents pending. All rights reserved. Mercury Interactive, the Mercury logo, Mercury Business Availability Center, Mercury Application Mapping, Mercury System Availability Management, and
Mercury SiteScope are trademarks of Mercury Interactive Corporation in the United States and/or other foreign countries. All other company, brand, and product names are marks of their respective holders. WP-1261-0205

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