Introduction to Collaborative Application Mapping

What is Collaborative Application Mapping?

Knowing what business services are supported by which part of the IT infrastructure is essential to effective Business Service Management (BSM). Typically, most organizations have a list of the most critical applications, most of them tied to Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The goal of Collaborative Application Mapping (CAM) is to find out what hardware and software support which business applications, and to build the applications into service maps that can automatically be maintained. This is true for both enterprise and mainframe environments.

A dynamic, automatically maintained, effective application map enables you to understand the key relationships between how your business operates and the infrastructure that supports it. It also becomes the initial, crucial part of Service Impact Analysis by maintaining accurate service models for BSM.
This diagram illustrates how collaborative application mapping helps you build automatic service maps.















The CAM approach is designed to capture the rules that define where an application is running, not to simply define that information statically. This means that as you deploy the applications more widely in your estate, or you migrate them around your infrastructure, your service maps will stay current.

Collaborative Application Mapping workflow

The following is an illustration of the CAM workflow:
This diagram illustrates the collaborative application mapping workflow from inception to model.

Video demonstrations

Each stage in the CAM workflow contains a video demonstration to illustrate the process. The following table describes the number of each video and the corresponding goals for each stage described.

Demonstration

Stages Described

Goals

Video 1

This illustration represents Video 1 of the collaborative application mapping process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Overview

Introduce the goal and characteristics of CAM.

Video 2

This illustration represents Video 2 of the CAM process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Seed Data; Search and Investigate; Prototype

  1. Obtain enough basic information from the application owner to begin searching and investigating the BMC Atrium Discovery datastore.
  2. Use the seed data as a starting point to search the datastore for the software and hardware components that support the application.
  3. Using the components found by searching and investigating, build a prototype application map. This is a manually built, static map that is used to assist in understanding the application. It is not the end goal of the process.

Video 3

This illustration represents Video 3 of the CAM process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Share

Share the prototype application map with the application owner by generating a preview report in PDF. This stage might involve revisiting the Prototype stage to redefine your working map based on feedback from the report.

Video 4

This illustration represents Video 4 of the collaborative application mapping process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Map Application (Part 1)

Configure rules by creating functional components that enable BMC Atrium Discovery to build and maintain the application map dynamically.

Video 5

This illustration represents Video 5 of the CAM process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Map Application (Part 2)

Divide the application into instances to enable BMC Atrium Discovery to identify the environment to build and maintain the application map dynamically.

Video 6

This illustration represents Video 6 of the CAM process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Map Application (Wrap Up)

Generate patterns to create the model in BMC Atrium Discovery.

Business roles

The following people are involved in the CAM process:

Application owner

The application owner is usually part of the application support team, and he might not have any knowledge of BMC Atrium Discovery. He handles trouble tickets and maintains the running application. Every application has an application owner; however, he takes direction from business owner of the application. The application owner has no stake in the mapping initiative, so getting full cooperation can be difficult. He is too busy maintaining the application and can only spare small increments of time to collaborate on the maps. Consequently, the application owners are the greatest single cause of failure in the application mapping process. The goal is to create the application map without a large initial investment by the application owner. An effective application mapping process minimizes the reliance on the application owner, and any interaction must be as non-intrusive as possible.

In the business examples used in this guide, the application owner is named George.

Application mapper

The application mapper is part of the team responsible for BMC Atrium Discovery rollout and maintenance. He knows BMC Atrium Discovery well, particularly how to report, search, analyze, and use the application mapping user tools. The application mapper is responsible for executing and driving the mapping process, and to do this he must be familiar with the way in which business applications are put together, such as the roles of middleware, databases, web infrastructure, and message brokers in application architectures.

The application mapper's collaboration with the application owner should be as limited as possible, requiring only the basic information at the outset of the process and some feedback during the Prototype and Share stages of the process.

In the business examples used in this guide, the application mapper is named Mike.

Example

George, the application owner, administers the Friends application, a web-based corporate social networking application. Mike, the application mapper, is the BMC Atrium Discovery guy.

George is always busy responding to requests from the business owners, reacting to incidents, performing software updates, rolling out new versions of Friends, and so on. Friends is not the only application that George maintains.

Mike knows that George is the guy to speak to, but George does not need a map of the Friends application, because he has one in his memory. It is difficult for Mike to get George to commit much of his time to the application mapping initiative.

Mike must keep George on his side, because he is going to need George's cooperation in the future.

Demonstration

This illustration represents Video 1 of the CAM process. It is the same caption you see on the Applications tab.
Video 1 that follows provides an overview of collaborative application mapping, and highlights its approach and benefits.

Where to go from here

You start the process by identifying the application owner and gathering seed data.

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