No one in IT can have failed to notice the ServiceNow juggernaut. As of late 2016, ServiceNow has more than 2,500 customers, of which 735 are Global 2000 businesses. This equates to an installed base of more than 11 million users of its platform. And the juggernaut continues to roll so those numbers will likely continue to rise.
Recognising this growth and from listening to our customers, Cloudsoft now provides an ITSM (IT service management) integration between Cloudsoft’s Application Management Platform (AMP) and ServiceNow.
ServiceNow comes with a core set of applications such as Incident, Change, Problem, and Knowledge Management. But even if an organisation is running many of their processes on the ServiceNow platform, they still need to run their business applications elsewhere. Therefore being able to closely integrate ServiceNow with those business applications is important as it provides organisations with an efficient and visible workflow.
Figure 1 – Cloudsoft AMP
The Cloudsoft ITSM integration connects your ServiceNow instance with one or more of your Cloudsoft AMP servers to deploy, monitor and (eventually) decommission applications.
You might be wondering if this is a clash of different paradigms as opinions within the ITSM and DevOps communities, where ServiceNow and AMP respectively sit, can sometimes conflict. At Cloudsoft, we believe that ITSM, and the ITIL library, are dreadfully misunderstood. They actually fit very well with a fast-moving, automated (and autonomic) application landscape: there is nothing in ITIL which says processes can’t be automated, and nothing which says they have to be overblown and slow. The issue we see is that often, due to difficulties automating processes, they are implemented as tedious manual steps, but essentially ITSM is nothing more and nothing less than DevOps best practice.
Formalizing best practice is sometimes viewed as anathema to DevOps, and as a result DevOps is sometimes viewed as the wild-west, but what DevOps is really about is challenging inefficient processes and silos. Best-practice and consistency across teams are the things AMP excels at. AMP streamlines deployment, operations and governance for all applications across any infrastructure.
AMP unlocks developer productivity with best practices embedded in reusable blueprints resulting in greater velocity and more reliable environments. Policy-based management in AMP ensures consistent, up-to-the-minute control across traditional environments, hybrid cloud and new platforms.These best practice, reusable blueprints are available in ServiceNow in the Service Catalog.
Figure 2 – Pick the “Application via Cloudsoft AMP” catalog item
The integration allows ServiceNow users to pick applications from the Service Catalog so that the application can be deployed in an approved location (from one or many AMP servers) (see Figures 2 & 3).
Figure 3 – Complete your application order
A Service Catalog request can be approved through configurable workflows (see Figures 4 & 5).
Figure 4 – Deploy application workflow
The designated workflow approver can review the details of the submitted request and, once satisfied, approve the application request.
Figure 5 – Approve the application order
Immediately after approval, the application is automatically deployed and managed by AMP.
The deployment triggers the automatic population of the ServiceNow CMDB with the application’s underlying infrastructure – and this flexes dynamically as AMP provides autonomic management of the application to scale it up/down based on, e.g., system load.
Furthermore, the status of all AMP workloads are available in ServiceNow and these assets can be subject to integrated Incident, Change, Problem, and Knowledge Management.