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2021 Blog

RLCatalyst AppInsights Now Available for AWS & ServiceNow Customers to provide Dynamic Application-Centric View of Cost, Health, and Security

September, 2021

Relevance Lab announces the availability of a new product RLCatalyst AppInsights on ServiceNow Store. The certified standalone application will be ava...

2021 Blog

RLCatalyst AppInsights-Dynamic Application CMDB with AWS and ServiceNow

June, 2021

Many AWS customers either integrate ServiceNow into their existing AWS services or set up both ServiceNow and AWS services for simultaneous use. Custo...

2021 Blog

Are you using your AWS Cloud, “The Right Way”?

March, 2021

Governance360 is an integrated and automated solution using the Control Tower Customization methodology. The solution is focussed on the entire lifecy...

Customers have multiple applications deployed in different regions that constitute sub-applications, underlying web services, and related infrastructure. The dynamic nature of cloud assets and automated provisioning with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) makes the discovery process of the applications and their underlying resources a non-trivial problem. In addition, customers must also have the ability to keep their Configuration Management Database (CMDB) updated. RLCatalyst AppInsights solves this problem by providing actionable intelligence that helps you track cost, health, and security information of all your cloud assets with dynamic Application-Centric view.
Relevance Lab, in partnership with AWS, created the RLCatalyst AppInsights product built on AWS Service Management AppRegistry that achieves dynamic application CMDB. This product allows customers to gain integrated visibility into their infrastructures to break down silos and facilitate better decision-making. From an end-user perspective as well, there is a need for an Application-Centric view rather than an “Infrastructure/Assets” view as better visibility ultimately enhances their experience. Read more about the joint product on this APN Blog.
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An Application-Centric view provides the following insights:
  • Application master for the enterprise
  • Application linked infrastructure currently deployed and in use
  • Actionable Insights that help you take proactive remediations
  • Cost allocation at application levels (useful for chargebacks)
  • Current health, issues, and security findings with application context for better management
  • Better aligned with existing enterprise context of business units, projects, and costs codes for budget planning and tracking
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Modeling a Common Customer Use Case - A Typical E-Commerce Application View 
Most customers have multiple applications deployed in different regions constituting sub-applications, underlying web services, and related infrastructure, as explained in the figure above. A typical customer setup would also consist of different business units deploying applications in different market regions across a complex and hybrid infrastructure. Most existing CMDB applications provide a static view of assets that’s incomplete and not well-aligned with growing needs for real-time Application-Centric analysis, cost allocation, and application health insights.
Customers need to be able to see the information across their AWS accounts with details of application, infrastructure, and costs in a simple and elegant manner. The basic KPIs tracked in the dashboard are following:
  • Dashboard per AWS Account provided (aggregated information across accounts will be added as part of the future roadmap)
  • Ability to track an Application-View with active application instances, AWS active resources, and associated costs
  • Trend charts for application, infrastructure, and cost details
  • Drill-down ability to view all applications and associated resources that are updated dynamically by scheduled or manual sync.
  • Security findings with severity levels
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What is RLCatalyst AppInsights?
RLCatalyst AppInsights provides Application-Centric views of cloud resources combining infrastructure, applications, and services to support a dynamic CMDB for operational excellence and cost governance in ServiceNow. This capability provides actionable intelligence for capacity tracking, health, compliance, security, and cost of all assets in near real-time. The capability of tracking application metrics across multi-accounts to provide organization aggregated details helps in Total Cost of Application Management (TCAM).
The RLCatalyst AppInsights product is built as a scoped application in ServiceNow and uses the standard ITSM licenses. This makes it easier for customers to adopt and share the details with business users without needing AWS access. The product provides dashboards and drill-down information for relationship views with issue detection and resolution using automation runbooks and BOTs. The product provides the capability to add additional functionality and customization of the user interface, functional features, and data integration to external third-party systems using RL DataBridge.
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Architecture and Key Features include the following:
  • ServiceNow ITSM, AWS Account with service management connector and RL DataBridge
  • AWS multi-account Application-Centric view with an ability to aggregate across accounts and search for keywords on AppRegistry attributes
  • Cost allocations per application
  • Detection of orphaned instances (not linked to AppRegistry resources)
  • Relationship Structure/Business Service Mapping that helps define the dependency view
  • Actionable Insights - Automated Remediation with BOTs
  • Ability to integrate AppInsights with additional third-party tools using RL DataBridge (CloudHealth, Opsgenie, Qualys)
  • Ability to add additional service registry information with a dynamic view with containers, services, and third-party services tracking
Key Screenshots of RLCatalyst AppInsights
How to Get Started for AWS and ServiceNow Customers?
A typical implementation of RLCatalyst AppInsights can be rolled out for a new customer in four to six weeks. It provides significant business benefits for multiple groups, enabling better operations support, self-service requests, application-specific diagnostics, asset usage, and cost management.
  • Install and configure AWS Service Management Connector version 3.7.1 or later from the ServiceNow store.
  • Install the RLCatalyst AppInsights app from the ServiceNow store along with Amazon API Gateway and Lambda functions from the Relevance Lab Git Repo.
  • Define the AppRegistry data using AppRegistry.
  • Link the app to infra templates – AWS CloudFormation template / AWS Service Catalog.
  • Ensure all assets provisioned have app and service tagging (enforced with guardrails).
  • Update the scheduler to Scheduled Sync or On-demand refresh from ServiceNow.
  • Set up AppInsights Data Lake refresh with static and dynamic updates (aggregated across accounts).
  • Get asset, cost, health, and security views from the main dashboard.
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Summary
RLCatalyst AppInsights is a product that provides an Application-Centric view of cloud resources combining infrastructure, applications, and services. This supports a dynamic CMDB for operational excellence that includes near-real-time tracking of health, compliance, security, and cost governance in ServiceNow. The product provides the capability to add additional functionality and customization of the user interface, functional features, and data integration to external third-party systems using RL DataBridge adapters.
Benefits include cost planning, tracking, and optimization across Application-Centric views aligned with business needs. The product provides dynamic asset, health, security, and compliance-driven operational excellence. It also helps in the detection of idle capacity and orphaned resources, helping to address cost and security leakages. Customers can automate remediations using a single pane of control for Cloud Application Management with ServiceNow.
To see a demo of RLCatalyst AppInsights, a product built on AWS AppRegistry, click here.

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