Service Mapping To The Rescue
Gone are the days when it was hard to keep track of your assets and databases being located at different locations and you faced difficulty in accessing the same from a single point. In this era of technological advancement, tools like Service Mapping have come to your rescue. With the help of this tool, we improved the CMDB usability and visibility of configuration items to ensure quality incident, change, and management processes for a client. It also helped to point out where outages occurred and what was the impact of those outages to make better-informed business decisions.
A lot of different company’s environments use the same kind of business service map. There are quite some technicalities involved in this process to get the end result. These include challenges like as following:
- Implemented Business Application’s entry point hosted on the load balancer device on which configured Mid Server was not able to retrieve the information from the load balancer and was not returning OIDs.
- After the entry point, the business application has the web tier applications which are functional IPs and the mid server can only access through the management IP. The configured mid server was having issues connecting to the functional web tier IPs.
- Some host devices that are already being discovered inside the CMDB table had duplicates that were creating the issues in Service Mapping because service map will get confused from the duplicates.
For this process of Service Mapping to be brought to the “virtual” reality, there were a couple of things needed like access to ServiceNow instance, MID Servers provisioned, IP Ranges defined or verified, server credential deployed, and so on. The implementation of Service Mapping was a long process which began with the entry points being configured and the top-level application being mapped. Then we had a couple of steps where the target host is discovered or already existed in the CMDB in which the service mapping process continued to determine whether there was a pattern match on the target application which was then added to CMDB with a connection relationship from the source host and application upon finding the match. In case of no match, the process stops itself. In this case, the service map was supported by an HAProxy, clustered Tomcat instances, and 2 Mongo databases.
For the challenges, we rediscovered the load balancers after getting proper access and permissions. De-duplications of duplicate CI and removed all duplicate entries and validated the service map. The Service Maps were validated by application owners and stakeholders. All the critical service maps were validated with SME’s to ensure the maps being configured properly and each dependency being captured accurately.
Service Mapping gave the customers visibility of all business services for each server in their supporting data. It gave the ability to determine the root cause of outages and related the top-down mapping of services in dynamically changing cloud environments.
Enhancing Employee Working Experience Through Mobile Applications
At Mirroar, we believe in providing the best of services to our clientele resulting in an enhanced experience for their employees. With the help of ServiceNow, Mirroar created a mobile application named SNOW App using Now Mobile service configured with instance and useful working modules. This application was designed for keeping track records of the company employees by providing them with a single platform for storing personal information, tasks, requests, approvals, etc. Our team was committed to designing a convenient and user-friendly application for the end-user that could be easily availed on the App Store or Google Play store.
While working on a mobile application, there are a few challenges that the team needs to take care of. Primarily, it needs to be ensured that the application is switched according to environment i.e. development, test, or production. The patch installation of the instance needs to be checked to make sure that Now Mobile App is configured in all patches. From high-speed internet for refreshing and testing the app to making the Navigation Tab available created on the studio as Applet Launchers, our team diligently works towards providing the best technological solutions while tackling all the challenges.
The broad range of tools available in ServiceNow spanned Mirroar’s services in the design and development process. To keep it simple and easily comprehendible for the end-user, we added tabs like Home Tab, My Profile Tab, and My Task with Applet Launchers while creating Applet for individual actions. The tabs included actions for information like name, designation, requests, approvals, etc. The categorical assignment of actions in these tabs made it easier for the customers to locate the required information instantly. After creating the app from studio and Applet Launchers, we double-check everything.
Once all the technical needs are met, we move on to the testing stage. Whether it’s downloading the Service Now Mobile App from the App Store or Play store, logging in through instance URL and credentials, checking the home and profile tabs, or all the applets under tabs and orders, we ensure the hassle-free working of the application.
The application brought the technological aspect to the otherwise traditional working system of the company. While the online storage of data ensured data security and compliance, it also made it highly convenient for the employees to keep track of their growth and performance. Be it notifying them about future tasks or checking the status of assigned tasks, the application proved to be a real time-saver and cost-effective for the organization.
Inventory Tracking Made Convenient Through Integration
In this very device-centric world, everything operates on different devices be it mobile, laptops, desktops, or any other system. Every organization needs an end number of devices to operate because of which a lot of unmanaged devices are trickling into their environment. To solve the issue being faced by a client for Mac devices, we brought in Jamf Pro for the management. We improved the CMDB for configuration items, the process to import hardware and software into ServiceNow with the JAMF Pro into the ServiceNow CMDB.
When there’s a wide range of devices, it tends to raise some issues in managing those devices. The common problems faced during the implementation of this integration include having the permissions for JAMF Pro Service Account, setting up Mid Server in the client network, and some host devices having multiple duplicates causing issues while importing via integrations.
For the successful integration of Mac devices, we began with creating properties for base URL API, username and Password for JAMF Pro Services after getting all the permissions required to operate those accounts. A technical approach was created to retrieve all the Mac Devices from the JAMF Pro into CMDB. Then the CMDB Identification was utilized along with the reconciliation of APIs in a transform map to remediate the duplicates and reconciliation. In the end, we created a scheduled job to import all the devices on a daily basis.
To finish off the process with testing, we ensured that all Mac devices were integrated successfully from JAMF Pro to ServiceNow CMDB for inventory tracking, no duplicated found after successful implementation of the integration, and asked stakeholders for data validation.
The integration helped to enrich the CMDB with Mac devices present in the customer’s environment. It used a dashboard for reporting purposes and management to validate the data. The custom REST API integration eliminated the use of expensive plugins offered by the vendor.