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How intimate are you with your business services?

May 2, 2017

People often ask us why current, up-to-date business context matters. Why is it important to know exactly in which business services each server participates. One sentence that we hear every now and then is “but I KNOW how my business services are built, and what they depend on! And if not me personally – then the application owners KNOW it. They have it all sorted out. In Excel/Visio, or in some other tool”.

This might be true to some extent. Each application owner knows on which servers his/her application is deployed, which database it uses, and which communication methods it uses.

However, here’s what they don’t always know:

  • Are there any other applications that use the same resources? The same database server, for example? This is important, because dependency on the same resource leads to mutual dependency, where an application’s uptime can be affected by a problem caused by another application.
  • Are there other, hidden dependencies? Does the database server use some authentication server, creating a dependency that is not visible to the application owner?
  • In many cases, you assume that a specific resource is dedicated to your business service. How can you confirm that other people, or other applications, are not using it in parallel to you?

True, they might have a pretty good idea of this at some point in time. But it is highly unlikely to keep track of all the above on a daily basis. And that’s where these drawings/lists get out of sync, unless ongoing mapping of business services is performed. That’s how our customers discover surprises such as important application servers being accessed by different teams for different purposes, or dependencies on LDAP servers which have been ignored so far.

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