Application Discovery: Why it MattersNigel Stokes
Complying with new data protection regulations, such as the GDPR rules, which hit in late May 2018, requires that you discover all the apps running in your datacenter. Endless recent global corporate security breaches have also created a need to get a handle on what apps you’re running. If you consider that world wide, companies use approximately 39,000 apps to hold personal data, you’ll agree that we have a lot of app discovery to do and not much time to do it in.
You might think that discovering what apps you’re running and making a list are straightforward tasks, but it’s a daunting challenge. Imagine that you have 50, 100, or more servers or Virtual Machines. How do you discover which applications are running on each server? Run books are out of date, install scripts are missing, some applications are no longer used but have not been uninstalled, and new apps are added over time.
According to Matt Fisher, senior vice president at Snow Software, “As IT teams lose sight of the applications in use across the organisation, they lack overarching visibility into the applications that could threaten GDPR compliance.”
Fisher says. “As a first course of action, organisations must get a full picture of their entire IT infrastructure and inventory all applications in their estates. This, coupled with specific insight about which applications can process personal data, dramatically minimizes the scope of the project as well as the time spent on it.”
While addressing GDPR compliance and closing security breaches are compelling enough in their own rights, they aren’t the only reasons to get an inventory of all the applications in your network.
This is where intelligent application monitoring comes into play
So, how do you obtain a “full picture” of your entire IT infrastructure and “inventory all applications”? The only effective way is using software to dynamically discover apps. “Application discovery is a process through which the applications installed and used throughout an enterprise are identified and collected. This process enables the gathering, monitoring and management of the entire application portfolio used within an IT environment or on individual computers and networks, such as business/productivity applications, database applications, client/server applications and more.”
Application discovery is implemented using automated application performance monitoring (APM) software which reaches all systems, servers, and network nodes in a network. The data is then analysed by the APM software. Application discovery also helps with security by identifying any unverified application in a network.
Application visibility and control: the “need of the hour”
“Fast and accurate application visibility and control” have been called “the need of the hour” for today’s networking world. Application discovery can offer deep insight into what’s running in your digital estate, who is using which applications, and how applications are being used. If information is buried in your applications and databases, then this information can’t be leveraged by the organization. If you want to plan where to go, it’s essential to first know where you are.
What does application discovery get me?
Application discovery and monitoring let you track:
• applications that are being used on specific servers
• the users who are using the applications, and when they’re using them
• which functions or features of an application are used and how they’re being used
• the dataflows that are occurring between applications on different servers
• dependencies between applications running on different servers
What does application discovery really mean, in practical terms? It means that you get visibility into apps that are no longer being used, so you can decommission them with confidence. Discovery also shows which apps are in high demand and may need a server upgrade, and which apps might be candidates to move to the Cloud. Decommissioning, upgrading, and moving intelligently get you optimized performance, the right footprint, and big strides on your path to business agility.
Monitoring helps size applications and discovers how much memory, storage, and processing will be needed if you plan to move apps to new VMs or servers. When it’s time to move applications to new servers (both to the Cloud or in house), intelligent app discovery will show you all the dependencies and stack components that need to move too. These factors will help your IT team plan accurately and effectively.
Detailed app discovery and monitoring is the first step in any plan to modernize a datacenter and your app stacks. It makes the entire process of modernizing and moving applications much simpler and much smarter.
Call VirtaMove if you’d like to learn more about how app discovery can help address GDPR compliance, close security holes, save you time and money, and help you achieve a more agile datacenter.