Posted by: Ryan Shopp
BMC, DataCenter, Enigmatec, HP Software, IBM Tivoli, IT Process Automation, LANDesk, NetIQ, Opalis, OpTier, Optinuity, RBA, RealOps, Run Book Automation, Scapa Technologies, Stratavia
Alright, looking for feedback on this one. After talking about the players in the IT Process Orchestration space, I’m wondering what are the primary capabilities people are looking for?
Here are my top five, please feel free to throw down yours in the comments below:
- Drag/Drop graphical interface for designing process workflows
- Common, normalized Data Model of common/primary attributes
- Library of pre-defined, re-usable actions/triggers/processes for usage out-of-the-box (bigger the better – even a community that shares is a plus)
- Policy/Desired-state engine driving things
- Sandbox, simulator to help test workflows without impacting actual resources/instances within the production enterprise.
Beyond these five core capabilities, depending on the processes you wish to automate you need to verify what interaction/communications protocols are supported (e.g., SNMP, WMI, JMX, ODBC, Telnet/SSH/FTP to CLI, XML/Web Services). Make sure they have what you need to communicate with.
Of course, it also goes without saying (just like with any commercial product) table stakes require RBAC security, reporting, logging, appropriate hardware/software requirements.
Bottom line, I guarantee if your a medium to large enterprise you have current manual processes that these products can automate for you! Reducing errors due to the mundane nature of that task, freeing up people currently doing the task for other projects or tasks and also the intangible benefit of it’s simply faster which provides better customer service depending on the process that is automated. Make this a priority in 2008 and get one of these vendors in there to help out!
Disclosure: I have no relationships with any of the vendors in this space. The comments are all made based on my personal experiences and perspectives.