How one company consolidated their IT tools to tame the multi-cloud tempest

Hear their story at VMworld2018.
New technology and IT service promises to increase business agility, they also bring unforeseen consequences as their ephemeral nature makes management and operation a daunting task.

Between clouds, containers, software-defined X, microservices, serverless computing and virtual machines, there’s no question that today’s IT operations (ITOps) are experiencing a historic shift.

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Russ Elsner

Just as each new technology and IT service promises to increase business agility, they also bring unforeseen consequences as their ephemeral nature makes management and operation a daunting task. No one understands this challenge better than Gary Slebrch, Enterprise IT Service Area Director at General Dynamics IT (GDIT).

GDIT, like many of its peers, used a number of tools to manage their infrastructure.

Here’s a visual breakdown:

Type Count
Financial applications 3
Orchestration 3
NPM and security 4
Cloud/big data 3
Total number: 23


That’s 23 tools that have mostly separate functions; 23 tools that are line-items in a budget; 23 tools that require a certain number of IT staff with specific skill sets; and at least 23 different panes of glass that demand constant attention from the ITOps team.

23 is too many.

To keep up with the pace of change and in anticipation of future needs, GDIT sought to reap benefits from a simplified, more robust multi-cloud architecture. By utilizing cloud technology, GDIT figured they could streamline and simplify IT processes while also taking advantage of the flexibility that it provides.

However, even relying on cloud services has its shortcomings.

Although it’s possible to reduce the burden of numerous processes and procedures, there’s still an element of manual intervention involved that costs time, money and additional resources. And as GDIT sought to leap from being a manual ITOps environment to a modern algorithmic IT operations (AIOps) environment, they quickly identified the need to include automation in every step of their operation.

Automation is the KEY to maximizing the value of new technologies. However, the mish-mash of different vendors, technologies, tools, and potentially fragmented data sets locked up in silos makes taming the multi-cloud tempest difficult. And it raises the million-dollar question for ITOps staff everywhere: how can you automate IT operations in a disjointed environment?

The first step is to build an integrated ecosystem – much like GDIT did with its ATLAS ecosystem – which has ScienceLogic’s signature platform, SL1, at its core. SL1-driven ecosystems can quickly exchange data among an unlimited number of tools and sources, provide context for the aggregate data, and uncover hidden insights that can drive business decisions.

It’s important to choose an open and flexible approach here for two reasons:

  • Every IT environment is different. You need a platform that can leverage seemingly incompatible tools in the existing ecosystem.
  • You should assume that the rapid pace of change will continue. Design an operational ecosystem that can quickly adapt to incorporate future technologies and needs.

ScienceLogic’s SL1 platform does just that. It is purpose-built to see, contextualize, and act in complex, heterogeneous, ephemeral, multi-cloud environments to support common and new use cases.

At the core of SL1 — and ATLAS-like ecosystems — are two powerful technologies, PowerSync and PowerMap. These are key components of ScienceLogic’s powerful automation engine for AIOps. They tie contextualized data together to drive automated actions based on both internal and external AI/ML rules and policies.

PowerSync discovers and collects data from different technologies, tools, and vendors. It then creates a real-time data lake that includes performance, events, fault, physical and virtual structure, configuration, and metadata.

PowerMap then applies crucial context to this combined data using a set of patented AI/ML techniques. Context, provided in the form of relationships and topology mapping, gives the underlying raw data meaning, so it becomes actionable and produces value for your business.

So, how did this turn out for GDIT?

If you’re attending VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas, stop by and find out! We’re hosting a presentation with GDIT on Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 11:50am-12: 10 pm PT in the Solutions Exchange Theater. You can also schedule a 1:1 meeting with us to learn how we can help your organization.

GDIT is proof positive that it’s possible to tame the multi-cloud tempest. We’re excited to help you become the next success story.

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