In this second installment of my blog series on discovery and service mapping 2.0, I explain how iQCloud is the first zero-knowledge discovery and service mapping solution. You don’t have to have significant prior knowledge of your IT estate to start getting value from it. Start with iQCloud and some basic information, such as an IP address. In a short time, you’ll understand your applications and business services with a depth and breadth you may have thought was impossible. – Paul Redmond

(*See the first blog in the series here.) 

A Mixed Bag

Understanding what resources are at work in your data center, including applications and infrastructure, is foundational knowledge for effective service delivery, business continuity and data center modernization—including migration to the cloud. It’s also critical to maintaining a meaningful CMDB.

But most organizations still rely on a mixed bag of tools—combined with a patchwork of tribal knowledge—to discover their IT resources and map them to business services. This approach has serious limitations. The tools used typically only rely on matching patterns provided by the end user to find applications and infrastructure and map services. While this information can offer some insight, you can only find what some call the “known unknowns.” There’s no easy way to find the “unknown unknowns”—the pieces of the IT estate that you don’t know that you don’t know about.

What’s Really There?

What makes iQCloud remarkably different is that it doesn’t require users to know exactly what they’re looking for to find it. Our solution goes through a series of three unique steps to help build your knowledge from the ground up.

Three Steps to Understanding

  • First, it gathers data from your entire IT estate—across physical, virtual and cloud-based resources. It examines the configurations of hardware and software along with the all-important data about the communications between these items.
  • Next, iQCloud takes this staggering amount of raw data applies a layer of context. It compares it to a large catalog of fingerprints that identify process types. Then it automatically identifies and classifies every process on every scanned server, so that the system knows exactly what every workload is. Whether it’s a database, web server, application server or messaging service. Once the system identifies the workload, iQCloud aggregates and categorizes the communications it detects. It removes the noise of the maelstrom of communications in the data center to only show the dependencies and communications you need to see.
  • Finally, by applying advanced algorithms to this contextualized data, iQCloud automatically identifies patterns based on a large set of rules. These patterns map components that work together to provide a service or application. This approach replaces traditional application “blueprints” or user-defined “patterns,” and enables the system to automatically and intelligently group the discovered components together into application clusters. Together, these clusters build detailed, high-resolution maps of the applications along with their internal and external dependencies.

iQCloud combines visibility of the web of dependencies with communications together with grouping engines that find new patterns and once-invisible components of your IT estate. By combining this with the use of pre-designed application fingerprints, users can discover both the known and unknown unknowns.