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ServiceNow wasteful expense mitigation product for Micrososft Azure (AzureNow):

As adoption to Azure accelerate, many organizations are migrating to Azure without proper management and governance in place. One of the major cost items in Azure is virtual machines (VMs). Improper management, results in expensive wastes that are attributed to lack of management, visibility, controls, and governance of their Azure instance. Our ServiceNow based Azure management and governance solution, mitigates majority of these problems and these wasteful expenses saving companies, providing an average ROI of over 100% within the first year.

The most expensive asset on Azure is Virtual Machine (VM). Our solution provides best ROI by mitigating three common and high cost wasteful expenses on VM. They are:

Let us address one problem at a time:

    1. Duplicate Provisioning of VM
    2. Oversized provisioning of VM and
    3. Forgetting to turn off a VM after it’s intended use or lifetime.
    1. Duplicate provisioning:

    We utilize ServiceNow request management to allow a project manager to request a VM that he or she needs to provision for his or her project. The project manager will be required to fill in a ServiceNow based request form. After the project is selected for which the VM is requested for, our solution provides visibility of all of the VMs that are provisioned for that project. This visibility allows the PM to determine if there are adequate VMs running for the project or if there is a need to provision additional VM. This visibility mitigates the duplicate provisioning problem. In case, PM decide to request additional VM. The request then goes to an approver. The VMs running for the project requested for is also visible for the approver. This provides 2nd level control where the approver can reject the request if approver thinks the project has adequate VMs running. In case, request gets approved, our solution goes to Azure provisions the requested VM, notifies the stakeholders about success/fail status of provisioning the requested VM. Once successful, our solution updates CMDB along with data on who requested VM for what project and who approved-for audit purposes.

    1. Oversized provisioning of VMs:

    We use ServiceNow built-in capability of Service Catalogs to limit the VMs available for requestor either based on the role or based on the project level. This can be configured to client’s requirements during the implementation phase.

    1. Forgetting to turn off a VM after its’ intended use:

    Many times, Project Managers forget to turn off a VM they provisioned after their intended use. To mitigate this problem, we have developed a dashboard on ServiceNow platform to provide visibility of all the VMs running for their instance. This visibility provided to a Azure admin, allows the Azure admin to either resize or stop an VM right from the dashboard by clicking the resize/ stop buttons. We can customize these button actions during implementation phase, where these actions can be deferred for future notifying Project Managers to either accept the action or request extensions on these actions. Also, in our next version we will add consumption rates to this dashboard that provides Azure Admins more data points to decide on the appropriate action required.

    Currently, our solution addresses these issues for Azure, we will soon cover AWS and Google, as well. In our road map, we will also bring auto-metering functionalities by developing heuristics onto our dashboard.

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