Manage your cloud with ServiceNow

Viraj Indasrao
Posted by Viraj Indasrao on February 1, 2018

The IT challenge

Cloud has been the hottest commodity for past two decades now, and everyone is embracing the cloud to stay ahead of the competition. Apart from the inherent advantages, the cloud is turning out to be the most economical way to operate your business. In addition to this, there is an ever-increasing arsenal of services, to support the cloud initiatives, by giants like AWS, Azure, and VMware. All these services are making it easy to use the cloud even for a layman. But this is coming at a price of increasing complexity to manage resources through common cloud platform to ensure the excellence in service.

On the other hand, every cloud provider has its own flow to manage such as day 1 (deploy and destroy an instance) and day 2 operations (reconfigure, power-off/power-on an instance) on all resources. In addition, they have to take care of permission levels to access and/or modify instances in order to manage the security. Also, dependency, orders, and approvals of the deployment and management of the environment are way too tricky for system admins, if we follow each cloud provider's flow separately. In the current scenario, this particular area needs a lot to be addressed in order to improve the quality of service. From the point of accountability, limited visibility in the cloud can lead to wastage of cloud resources and can consume a big chunk out of your IT budget. A lot of cloud users have high expectations from their cloud providers when it comes to readiness and responsiveness, which means “right away” approach for the business which needs quick results. To overcome these challenges IT giants need a platform that can ensure faster turnaround time while continuing the ability to achieve excellence in service.

The ServiceNow solution

ServiceNow provides a solution to this problem with a cloud management platform that can deliver service excellence to your cloud operating model and at the same time create an on-demand service environment that optimizes the cloud resource utilization that minimizes the resource costs. Talking from the technical perspective, it provides faster and reliable way to attend service requests, approvals, access specification and provision of cloud resources.

ServiceNow provides a platform to manage multi-cloud environment continuously and to work in an organized and competent way. It also ensures the excessive acquiescence and security. ServiceNow has CMP for Amazon Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and VMware environments. And if you are looking for a cloud environment other than these, you can extend ServiceNow features to manage other public and private cloud environments, which provide a common platform for service excellence. Okay, we have had a lot about ‘what’ ServiceNow can do, let’s see ‘how’ you can do it.

Manage your cloud with ServiceNow

Developer environment

ServiceNow allows you to try your hands on all its features without spending a dime with personal developer instance, where you can run your imaginary horses up to the edges. As these instances have all the features, you can build and extend the apps as well as integrate them. You can try and experiment with the inbuilt technical features. Also, there is a good library written by ServiceNow experts, which comes in handy.

Online training. Yeah! ServiceNow provides online training to newbies who are really eager to learn new things. This is one of the best support feature provided by ServiceNow. When I started trying my hands on ServiceNow custom applications, I started right from googling ServiceNow and its solutions. But with the technical library, online training, and the developer community I was very much able to get along with the custom application development using ServiceNow. And if you are really willing to dive deep into ServiceNow then you can join ‘Creatorcon at knowledge’ which includes virtual and local events including hackathons and sessions from ServiceNow technocrats.

Coming back to the developer instances, you can extend the functionality of ServiceNow further using studio (which is inbuilt IDE provided by ServiceNow). I am not going too deep into the technical specifications but the highlighting feature is business rules with server-side/client-side scripting and APIs. ServiceNow provides JS APIs to use within scripts, which are executable on ServiceNow platform to deliver common functionality. It provides a client-side JS scripting that allows you to control the end user experience. It also provides JavaScript APIs that you can use within scripts running on the ServiceNow platform to deliver common functionality. The client-side JavaScript APIs allow you to control aspects of how ServiceNow is displayed and how it functions within the web browser. This reference lists available classes and methods along with parameters, descriptions, and examples make it easy to control the end user experience. With ServiceNow’s REST APIs and Table APIs, you can perform create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations on existing tables. The combination of server-side/client-side scripting and REST APIs become a great deal which allows developers to think of flexible solutions around these features.

Developer community and learning program

These days, for any platform, product, or technology to be successful, it is very important to have a community of developers that share the enthusiasm. ServiceNow developer community fits this description. My personal experience with the ServiceNow community is really good. I always get quick answers and perfect solutions. In the initial phase, when I was getting accustomed to ServiceNow, most of my questions were not specific. The learning program helped me with the hands-on basics of ServiceNow app development. In learning program, there is a step by step description and demonstration of development features. You get answers to the most basic questions like - what is the studio, how to get started, basics of scripting, CMDB tutorials, etc.

As of now, yes you won’t find specific solutions outside ServiceNow community. But looking at the speed with which it is being adopted by developers, you can expect much expanded online support for ServiceNow.

ServiceNow provides a one-stop solution for your cloud environment. It is better to manage multiple things using a centralized service model and ServiceNow is providing just the thing to cloud users. It is easy, flexible and capable enough to deal with challenges you might face with your cloud. ServiceNow is a milestone in cloud environment setup and makes life easy for end users. It saves your time, efforts, and most important of all "the expenses". All in all, it is a great tool and I can say is the ‘future’ of cloud management.

Topics: Cloud, DevOps, & Containers, AWS, Cloud, Cloud Management, vRealize Automation, VMware, ServiceNow, Azure

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