IT-Conductor Latest Automation Features Q1-2020


Adding to our growing list of best-in-class APM solution features, this Q1-2020 edition introduces features that will further ease the mode of managing and automating business processes.

  1. SAP Transport Automation
  2. IT-Conductor App Cluster/Failover Support
  3. IT-Conductor DevOps Automation

The very first edition of IT-Conductor Latest Automation Features in 2020 is coming amid the existential threat and angst caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and as the world grapples with the effect of this global crisis, businesses have activated various pandemic plans to ensure business continuity. One important component to consider is how to keep essential business services running during a pandemic of this magnitude, thus companies are turning to remote teams and leveraging different communication tools and business solutions to ensure business continuity.

IT-Conductor has since responded in anticipation of the business impact caused by this pandemic by waiving subscription fees and remote setup costs for the 24x7 service until June 30, 2020, to enable businesses to effectively manage and automate their mission-critical applications remotely.

To mitigate the effect of this unprecedented global crisis, there is no better tested and trusted solution out there for businesses that want to remain operational during this period than the IT-Conductor management and automation platform. This will enable you to have in-depth management and analysis of your business while providing insights that you never before thought existed and unlocking business opportunities that would otherwise have evaded you. IT-Conductor can support your organization’s operational resilience and continuity of operations during this time of uncertainty.

1) SAP Transport Automation

This new feature automates and simplifies the process of moving transport requests in SAP from the source system to the target system right from the addtobuffer step, all the way to the actual import of transports.

Once the requestor submits a simple form containing the necessary details of the transport request to be imported, a mail is automatically sent to the Requestor and other stakeholders involved. The sequential import of customizing requests is supported as well as the non-sequential import of Workbench transports with dependence check. This may be single or multiple transport requests at a time. After completion of the import process, all stakeholders, including the requestor, will be notified of the transport import status via mail.

IT-Conductor transport automation sits well within an organization’s existing change management process and it eases the job of the transport admin/project manager in coordinating the efforts of developers within any project. It is considered a more viable and simpler alternative to SAP ChaRM. Transport logs, return codes and other important information are also captured for auditing purposes.

Whatever your transport management process may be, we can adapt the feature to suit your process and ensure you are compliant with standard best practices.
The implementation of this entire process flow is made possible by the advanced IT-Conductor Gateway API-Server and its process orchestration designer.
This is all-encompassing in its functionalities and usefulness with the additional provision of an intuitive dashboard showing the source system, requestor, process flow chart, transport request submission table, import status, Activity log, pop-ups for a quick overview of transport details, status and so much more.

IT-Conductor SAP Transport AutomationFigure 1: IT-Conductor SAP Transport Process Automation
IT-Conductor-Process-ComposerFigure 2: IT-Conductor Process Composer
IT-Conductor SAP Transport Automation Dashboard

Figure 3: IT-Conductor SAP Transport Automation Dashboard

2) IT-Conductor App Cluster/Failover Support

IT-Conductor now provides native Cluster support for databases built on top of already existing IT-Conductor SAP Host Agent monitoring. This clustering support (failover/scale-out etc.) will make it easier for end-users to navigate and manage their systems within IT-Conductor. This provides more than direct monitoring and enables you to know when a system is not available and what the root cause of the problem may be. This is made possible by IT-Conductor cluster controller functionality which allows you to determine the System status, state, and current role of the HANA system. The cluster service also detects and alerts you when a switch occurs from Primary to Secondary and vice versa.

There are typically 2 types of clustering:

  • Failover: Primary and Secondary (Cold or Hot) – the primary goal is Availability and DR.

  • Scale-out: Multiple members, normally of equal affinity – the primary goal is Performance and Resilience. 

The failover cluster monitoring applies to any database or systems but using HANA DB as a case study, the nodes of a HANA system can be monitored to determine when a failover occurs. Multiple failovers are also supported.

The selection of members for inclusion in the cluster is limited to the Site or Role the HANA instance is associated with e.g. Production, QA, or Development. If the cluster has only been configured for Production then only Production-related HANA instances will be available for inclusion in the cluster and likewise for QA and Development roles.

Active and inactive systems are automatically discovered by the cluster service and inactive systems can be automatically set to Maintenance Mode and taken off it when the systems become active again without manual intervention.

Some other useful features of the cluster service include the Active count which shows the actual number of active systems available, and an Availability feature that displays the average availability of all the active instances in a scale-out cluster scenario.

IT-Conductor Cluster SupportFigure 4: IT-Conductor Cluster Support

3) IT-Conductor DevOps Automation

IT-Conductor as a monitoring and automation platform already offers you control over on-premise and cloud execution of jobs, scripts, monitoring, management, and automation of your applications. This automation capability has now been enhanced by the integration of IT-Conductor with Ansible and Terraform, to realize our objective of providing our customers with Infrastructure as Code service.

This allows you to take advantage of application discovery. Since IT-Conductor already has Linux and Windows machine configurations, their relationships, and access accounts (think CMDB) - Inventory and Variables are generated automatically with passwords encrypted. You can leverage IT-Conductor application discovery, monitoring, and access control - full RBAC and Audit-trail for critical actions to enforce accountability.

This circumvents the need for an additional jump-server, AWS, or Red Hat tower, and provides you with Ansible inventory while data access is derived from IT-Conductor monitoring inventory and configured accounts. You also have the option of performing playbook authoring in Git or IT-Conductor. This platform can trigger playbook executions on demand, on schedule, or as a recovery action in response to a monitoring exception. Playbook jobs can also be run individually or as a part of processes that can span applications and location boundaries.

It has full playbook execution traceability with each executed task recorded and available in real-time with notifications when playbooks complete or fail and logs sent over e-mail.

The platform is integrated with Git and the playbooks are synchronized with IT-Conductor to provide centrally managed playbook repositories, integrated scheduling, log analysis, and notification. This also includes multi-engine, multi-site, multi-cloud Ansible management with central dashboards. Full visibility is available - playbook execution results and logs are available in the UI with a single click and the option of e-mailing the execution output. Real-time, web GUI-based Ansible playbook execution monitoring down to a task level with integrated alerting and log delivery over e-mail is also available.

This gives you playbook execution as a part of enterprise-wide process flows spanning systems applications and clouds and integrated enterprise-grade alert management and notification. There is out-of-the-box integration with service desk and DevOps platforms with a highly customizable bi-directional integration platform to support enterprise unique requirements. Also included are fully integrated playbook file management, standalone or synchronized with git repositories, stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere.

IT-Conductor Ansible Integration LogicFigure 5: IT-Conductor Ansible Integration Logic

Detailed analysis of the integration of IT-Conductor with Ansible and Terraform will be covered in subsequent blogs.

Contact us if you would like to enable these new features in your account, or if you would like to try IT-Conductor.

IT-Conductor Signup