This retail banking client has a large network of nearly 1,000 branches and 3,400 cash machines across the UK. The bank offers 24-hour telephone and online banking services and has more than 7.5 million retail customers and 850,000 small business accounts.
small business accounts
Unsupported versions of APM and lack of internal expertise
Faced with diminished internal expertise, multiple and often unsupported versions of Application Performance Monitoring (APM), the added complexity of competing solutions and a perceived lack of value with its existing solutions, the client approached HCLTech to help implement a manageable APM solution.
The bank had been using the CA APM solution in the form of Wily Introscope for over ten years. Over this period, the original monitoring solution had evolved, including the addition of another company’s solution. As a result, the multi-layered solution was becoming difficult to manage and maintain.
The following areas were causes of concern:
- The bank used multiple instances of APM, many of which ran unsupported versions of APM.
- Some older APM implementations were running on unsupported operating systems, leaving the bank open to risk.
- The bank lost its internal key resource with skills in APM use and management.
- The bank’s APM management team had been reduced to two members, both with limited APM solution experience.
- The bank had begun to consider an alternative APM solution.
The long and the short of it was that the business was generally not happy with its overall APM solution.
Implement a manageable APM solution
Internally, leadership at the bank knew the answer to the chaos was a transformation to self-sufficiency and preparedness for future upgrades. The bank engaged us to help implement a manageable APM solution and upgrade its APM software to be fully supported by Broadcom.
A phased digital transformation
The HCLTech Enterprise Studio team consisted of a project manager, a solution architect, a senior consultant and two offshore resources. The team outlined a phased approach with clear outcomes that had to be met before moving to the next stage.
In the initial phase, HCLTech implemented two DX APM 10.7 clusters, one for pre-production monitoring and the other for production monitoring.
Once the clusters were in place, the team implemented a methodology for onboarding applications to the new solution:
- All new applications to be initially on-boarded to the pre-production cluster to enable agent configuration verification.
- Adoption of SaaS-compatible agent versions to mitigate compatibility issues in future upgrades.
- Adoption of universes to partition the solution and control the application teams’ access to metrics.
- A strict agent-naming convention to assist in allocating agents to universes.
- Building a library of how-to guides to educate the bank’s application teams in using the APM solution.
The goal of the second phase was to migrate legacy monitoring to the new platform. This included:
- Upgrading agents to SaaS-compatible versions.
- Migration of management modules.
- Adoption of the new on-boarding methodology and agent-naming convention.
Success in phases one and two led to a third phase—migrating DX APM on-premise to DX APM SaaS.
Expanded DX APM footprint, added automation and faster time-to-value for the bank
Successful adoption of the new methodology and introduction of the latest versions of the DX APM software led to several positive outcomes:
- As the bank began to derive value from the updated DX APM solution, more application teams chose DX APM as their monitoring solution. This brought consistency and continuity across teams and resulted in DX APM becoming the bank’s application monitoring solution of choice.
- Adoption of the new methodology has opened opportunities for automation. Increased automation freed up time for strategic thinking and execution across the organization.
- Broadcom Automic automated some on-boarding steps by pulling onboarding request details from ServiceNow and using this information to automate creation of DX APM universes via API calls.
- The bank has expanded the DX APM management team, removing the risk of limited expertise concentrated in one or two people and establishing stability. The HCLTech team’s knowledge transfer to the client means the bank is now self-sufficient and able to move forward on its own.
- The move to SaaS will save the client money and reduce maintenance overhead as it decommissions on-premise APM servers.
- The project was completed on a tight timeline, allowing a competing solution to be removed before its license renewal was due.
The long and the short of it, post-transformation: The bank is very pleased with its overall APM solution, and it’s well prepared for self-sufficiency and future upgrades.