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How VMware Cloud Management Helps You Get the Most out of Your ServiceNow Investment

First, a hat tip where it’s due: ServiceNow is a leader in the ITSSM space, claiming the #1 spot in the much-coveted magic quadrant in Gartner’s ITSSM Magic Quadrant (Gartner: 24 August 2016 G00291752), and with an easy to use GUI and out of the box integrations for popular vendors including VMware, it’s no wonder ServiceNow is so popular for self-service cataloging in the IT service delivery space. Indeed, many of our customers enjoy a complementary relationship between ServiceNow and VMware, using the former for ITSSM and VMware’s cross-cloud management platform to automate and orchestrate their fully integrated software-defined journey.

ServiceNow recently made a spate of announcements including a Cloud User Portal, apparently aimed at expanding their footprint beyond ITSSM.  To recap briefly, ServiceNow last month announced a roll-up dashboard of cloud services, costs and health information under its catalog hierarchy. It’s Cloud Services Catalog now includes additional governance over certain cloud resources and supports VMware-based clouds as well as others.

This is a good moment to reexamine the depth and breadth of VMware’s platform for complete cloud management, which I’ll expand on below.

For what it’s worth, in the same report that Gartner gave such high marks to ServiceNow for ITSSM leadership, the analysts wondered aloud whether the company wasn’t getting somewhat defocused away from its core competencies.

Briefly, here are 3 ways VMware’s Cloud Management remains the most compelling complement to ServiceNow’s deep catalog expertise for cloud management:

  1. VMware offers a fully integrated Software-Defined Data Center
  2. VMware features sophisticated automation and policy-based orchestration
  3. VMware Cloud Management avoids added risk of using third party tools at enterprise scale

Fully integrated Software-Defined Data Center

Introducing any ServiceNow cloud management abilities into a customer’s SDDC could degrade the benefits of software-defined initiatives by introducing custom work streams with added complexity and cost. Moreover, any attempt to work around vRealize Automation can negate the value of the SDDC, especially in areas such as policy automation, control and blueprints.

NSX Blueprint in vRealize Automation

To realize the vision of the self-healing data center requires a management control plane that delivers accurate and actionable data; only a policy-based approach, rather than a rules-based approach, can properly discern what is really critical.

Sophisticated automation and policy-based orchestration

vRealize Operations provides full polling, analysis, alerting and reporting for monitoring of vSphere and surrounding infrastructure. vRealize Operations includes machine learning and dynamic thresholding out of the box, capacity analysis including reclaimable space, and automated remediation. vRealize Operations can push discovered objects and attributes to ServiceNow APIs and can push Alerts and updates to ServiceNow APIs for incidents, including a URL for launch in context back to vRealize Operations for more information. Learn more on GitHub.

Minimize risk of third party tools at enterprise scale

As an enterprise evolves in its software-defined journey, the risk in using third party tools actually grows; this is because a fully virtualized stack, with storage, networking and compute, is a lot more complicated than just server virtualization. Orchestration and policy-based automation become critical and we’ve seen time and again that third party tools that work okay as you scale up—don’t work well as you scale out to the order of tens of thousands of VMs.

The only way to ensure the high levels of certainty needed for business-critical applications is with an automated control plane that’s natively integrated with your stack. In short, VMware and ServiceNow are a great combination, with VMware doing the heavy lifting for cloud management and offering deep integrations for the ServiceNow catalog.

As the undisputed leader in datacenter automation—IDC recently named VMware as the market share leader with 28 percent of a $2.3 billion market (June 2017, IDC #US41372217)—I offer a note of caution for enterprises considering using any third party tool, especially unproven ones, along with their cloud management platform.

ServiceNow + vRealize Automation Integration

For our part, VMware’s isn’t holding still either, by the way. Our recently-announced integration for ServiceNow in vRealize Automation delivers that much-coveted “single pane of glass” with best-of-breed prebuilt integrations.

I would share a lesson learned from the hard experiences of some less-than-lucky enterprises: it’s good to be cautious of depending on third party tools, especially unproven ones, for a cloud management platform.


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