NetApp IT has integrated the storage performance data and capacity metrics from NetApp OnCommand Insight (OCI) into a real-time, self-service portal in their Configuration Management Database (CMDB) within ServiceNow. The result has been a fully integrated configuration mapping of assets from business services down to the exact storage volume.
The integration between the NetApp OCI and ServiceNow CMDB technologies has been very beneficial, especially for our storage team when trying to assess if storage has contributed to a priority outage. By having OCI data integrated into the CMDB, the storage team can quickly improve their “mean-time-to innocence” by determining if storage is the culprit. This capability quickly allows our IT Incident Managers to redirect their troubleshooting efforts to other layers of stack during an outage scenario.
Do the Integration in Steps
While planning to integrate OnCommand Insight with a ServiceNow CMDB can seem like an arduous process, we recommend you break it down into four steps. The first two steps are straightforward and can be done exclusively by the storage administration team.
By performing a JDBC table import and providing OnCommand Insight credentials to the JDBC connector in ServiceNow, we were able to understand which servers were impacted by storage problems or incidents. This step allowed the team to identify the relationship between the server and the respective storage mount point, improve the ability to assess risk in change management, and reduce time to restore services more efficiently.
After performing a JDBC integration, the team created a direct URL link from ServiceNow to OCI. This link reduces the time between discovering mount-point server relationships and accessing storage-level reporting. It’s proven very helpful for improving our storage team’s mean-time-to-innocence during priority outages.
The next step was to develop a naming convention (shown below) that clearly delineated the relationship between the server and the application. Obscure server names were replaced with standard ones to reduce chaos and increase visibility.
Finally, the IT team mapped applications to business services. This grants users access and visibility to a full spectrum of business services. This step took the most time and required patience with a long-term plan. Today we have a direct relationship between storage, servers and applications.
As demonstrated in the infographic below, each stage of the NetApp OCI and ServiceNow CMDB integration has had its own set of immediate benefits and provided business value to the IT teams supporting the NetApp enterprise.