Application Consolidation – Typical Asset Management Questions / Scenarios
Application consolidation can save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. And reduce application management costs. And provide ‘enterprise wide’ insights into metrics that span across applications (show me the top 10 most expensive apps, show me the apps with the most sensitive data…).
Prior to considering application consolidation, one needs to have a system for tracking all agency assets. Such a system is called a CMDB.
The need for a CMDB (Centralized Master Database)
The base purpose of a master CMDB is to track all assets – physical and intellectual – across application development groups, branches, program areas, departments and other groupings within the company.
Typical QUESTIONS that decision makers need to ask of this agency wide system include:
Server Specific Questions
1. How many total Servers are being used to host production applications? What is the total cost of our production hosted servers?
2. How many of these production servers are running a specific OS (Linux, Windows, Novell, MacOS….)?
3. How many of our servers are maintained internally?
4. How many of our servers are underpowered? (processing power < under 2GHz , RAM < 4GB)
5. What is the maintenance level service agreement for each production server?
6. What is the asset claim code for each server?
7. What was the historical lifecycle of a given server (Commission Date, Decommission Date, End of Life Date…)?
Application Specific Questions
1. How many applications within the company are public facing? How many are intranet only?
2. What is the Disaster Recovery level for a given application?
3. How many applications are running a specific application platform (J2EE, Microsoft, LAMP…)?
4. How many apps are high volume apps (from a user session perspective)? ( > 1000 users per day)
5. How many apps are high volume apps (from a data perspective)? > 100 GB of transactional data?
6. How many apps are ready for mobile devices?
7. How many apps have yet to be tested (and approved) for Accessibility?
8. How many applications are on LEGACY platforms?
9. How many (and which applications) contain PHI / PII data?
10. How many applications require SSL?
Licensing Specific Questions
1. How many of our database servers have Enterprise licenses? What is the total annual cost of these licenses?
2. How many licenses are close to expiration?
3. Who (e.g. I.T.) is responsible for maintaining the licenses?
ITIL Specific Questions
1. What were some of the more problematic (most customer issues reported) apps over the last 12 month period?
2. What was the total downtime for mission critical apps? What was the cost to the company for the downtime of mission critical apps?
Network Assets Related Questions
1. How many AD domains are currently active? What is the relationship (trust) between these domains?
2. How many dedicated external connections does the company have?
Ability to DEFINE new fields (e.g. Cloud based Questions)
As technologies evolve, new assets come into existence. For e.g. – with a cloud based infrastructure, there is the possibility of asking a whole new set of questions.
How many of our databases are hosted as a service (e.g. AWS RDS or SQL Azure) ?
How many of our cluster farms were replaced by cloud instances?
What is the cost difference between datacenter hosting and cloud hosting for the same set of resource metrics?
Corporate Technology assets typically fall under the following main categories:
4. Software licensing
5. ITIL Change Management
Application consolidation can be a time consuming process. Without a bare minimum CMDB System, any consolidation effort is doomed to failure. A bare minimum system would capture information that could answer all the questions above. Such a system can be used to consolidate (group) like applications and result in an overall savings – both from a HOSTING perspective as well as ongoing application maintenance costs.