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ALDERSTONE CMT

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We’re delighted to share that Alderstone CMT can now be used as an onboarding tool for migrations, implementations and other services related to BMC Helix FedRAMP offerings.

 

US Federal customers with on-premise Remedy ITSM systems can now seamlessly migrate to BMC Helix with no data loss, no operational impact and with the peace of mind that their security is assured.

 

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“We have included Alderstone CMT as a component within the FedRAMP Moderate authorization boundary.  It has been specifically documented as a migration utility for the purpose of onboarding.  For comparison purposes, it is similar to DevStudio (for development and integrations) and Messaging Services (email integration), since they are considered an integral part of the complete BMC cloud service offering.”

Scot Shepard , Sr Manager & SaaS Information Security Officer

https://www.linkedin.com/in/scot-shepard/

 

What is FedRAMP?

FedRAMP simplifies security for the digital age by providing a standardized approach to security for the cloud.

FedRAMP facilitates the shift from insecure, tethered, tedious IT to secure, mobile, nimble, and quick IT.

The FedRAMP Program Management Office (PMO) mission is to promote the adoption of secure cloud services across the Federal Government by providing a standardized approach to security and risk assessment.

 

BMC Helix & FedRAMP

BMC Helix services for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) are designed to comply with U.S. federal agency-specific processes for assessing and authorizing federal cloud computing products and services. FedRAMP consists of a subset of National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication (NIST SP) 800-53 security controls specifically selected to provide protection in cloud environments. BMC's FedRAMP certification is defined for the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 199 Moderate impact level. The FedRAMP services are staffed by U.S. personnel in U.S. data centers.

BMC obtained its FedRAMP authority to operate (ATO) authorization in April of 2016. Led by the SaaS Chief Information Security Officer, the FedRAMP team works continually to insure the latest releases of Helix applications and supporting components meet the compliance standards set by the FedRAMP program. FedRAMP testing is conducted annually by a third-party. BMC offers the following services with the ATO:

  • BMC Helix ITSM
  • BMC Helix Digital Workplace Basic
  • BMC Helix Digital Workplace Advanced
  • BMC Helix Custom Applications
  • BMC Helix Premium Connector
  • BMC Helix Business Workflows
  • BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management

Read more here: https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/helixsubscriber/BMC+Helix+services+overview

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Alderstone are excited to present the second in a series of technical demonstrations of our ServiceNow to BMC Helix migration capability using Alderstone CMT.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE0l0kCCyGc

 

This video showcases our ability to migrate the complex Change and CMDB data from ServiceNow, including in-flight approvals.

The ability to move historical and in-flight data enables ServiceNow customers to move to a richer, lower-cost iTSM solution on BMC Helix without disrupting business operations and without data loss. This seamless migration makes the transition easier for end users and engineers to manage without impacting business productivity.

 

In this demonstration we will use Alderstone CMT to migrate all Foundation, Change and CMDB data from a developer ServiceNow instance to BMC Helix.

 

  • in Servicenow we log a Change with three tasks, which will impact a complex SAP Service in ServiceNow, and which has an open approval
  • Then, we use Alderstone CMT to migrate the data to Helix
  • After the migration and transformation with CMT, we then login as a migrated user and then review and approve the in-flight CAB approval, including a conflict in the change calendar
  • Finally we review the CMDB data to prove that all of the CI details and relationships are correctly migrated to BMC Helix

 

Alderstone CMT enables you to migrate all of your data from ServiceNow to Helix.

 

To find out more contact us at info@alderstone.com or at https://www.alderstone.com/cmt.

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Alderstone CMT can now migrate :

 

  • Historic Change Requests, with full history of Approvals and Worklogs
  • Live Change Requests with associated in-flight Approvals
  • The full CMDB including all Configuration Items (Cis) and Relationships between Cis and to Tickets

 

It’s been a few weeks since our last demonstration where we shared an end-to-end migration from ServiceNow of Foundation and Live Incidents, along with Incident SLAs.

If you missed that you can catch up with it here: ServiceNow to Remedy – Incident & SLA Migration.

 

We’re already working on our next demo which will show the migration of live Change Requests and Approvals along with a full CMDB migration. This should be published in the next week or so, but we were so excited about how cool the CMDB data looks in BMC Helix that we wanted to share these screenshots now!

 

ServiceNow Related Services & CIs

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Related Services & Cis after migration to BMC Helix

BMC Helix CIs migrated from ServiceNow.png

 

 

Stay posted for our next update video!

 

If you’re considering migrating from ServiceNow to Helix, please get in touch at info@alderstone.com

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Last year we teased a small demo of our work in progress migration from ServiceNow to Helix capability for CMT.

 

Now, having completed a major migration with a major UK company we are pleased to show you an updated demo, of our CMT 2.6 based ServiceNow migration capability.

 

If you want to find out more, please contact us at info@alderstone.com or talk to your existing account manager.

 

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Alderstone is pleased to announce the release of the latest version of our industry leading Upgrade and Migration tool for BMC Remedy, CMT.

 

 

Version 2.6 highlights include:

 

  • Support for Postgres and AWS Aurora databases
  • Support for Sybase as a migration source
  • Enhanced Workflow discovery
  • Database sizing discovery
  • Multiple migration tree support
  • Transportable Migration Packages
  • Simplified file-system setup
  • Improved performance
  • > 45% reduction in export file sizes

 

If you want to find out more, please contact us at info@alderstone.com or come and visit us at stand #6 at BMC Exchange in London on November 12.

 

www.alderstone.com

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Alderstone is pleased to announce that our CMT case studies are now no longer behind a sign up form and are now publicly available on the website as HTML and as PDF Downloads.

 

The initial batch of Case Studies cover the following:

 

 

We will be releasing more case studies in the coming weeks including, but not limited to:

 

  • Migrate to Helix
  • Partner Led Multi System Upgrades
  • Migration of Remedy System from Sybase to MSSQL

 

You can find all the case studies, as well as overviews of the CMT product at alderstone.com

 

As always, if you want to know more about CMT please contact us at info@alderstone.com

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CMT 2.5 is a consolidated patch release bringing together a fresh new look for the application with an emphasis on stability and long term supportability.

As part of this release, we have addressed over 50 minor issues, mostly concerning some UI niggles and edge cases for data migration.

 

However, the development team have not been resting on their laurels. While the main focus for our development team is currently the 3.0 release which will add support for ServiceNow and Sybase based Remedy systems as a source, based on feedback from our consultants in the field and from our partner community, we have added a number of small enhancements from 3.0 into this release to address some of the niggles encountered on real projects.

 

  • Updated Workbench for Alderstone's 10th Anniversary Rebranding
  • Reimport failed for Cancelled Jobs and Incremental Imports
  • Allow SID or ServiceName to be used for Oracle System connections
  • Exported versus Imported view now available when migrating to Helix or between two different instances of CMT
  • Multi-Threaded Staging
  • Data Enrichment Enhancements
  • Able to select a Join Form as the primary Form for a Source or Target Data Enrichment
  • Data Enrichment Field Limit of 10 for mapping enrichment increased to 20
  • Able to map a field in a data enrichment to NULL
  • NLS Sort Parameter for use when exporting from Oracle databases with Case Insensitivity
  • Incremental Import now shows a list of all Form Deletions applied by Delete Checking
  • Negative Number Sorting working correctly for Form Count Reconciliation
  • Prevent export without the character set defined for the system.

 

Existing customers can download the upgrade from Alderstone FTP site using your usual login or by contacting us at support@alderstone.com

 

Please contact us at sales@alderstone.com for more information.

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Alderstone are pleased to announce that we have added official support for 19.02 to our standard migration packs. The Out-of-The-Box packs enable you to migrate from 7.6.03* or above straight to 19.02.

 

These are available on our ftp site now, for all licensed users of CMT – the world's fastest and most reliable data migration and upgrade solution for the BMC Remedy platform.

 

As always, you can use these packs to migrate from on-premise or cloud based systems to on-premise or helix in the cloud and from any source database type.

 

Using CMT will allow you to quickly get up and running with BMC's latest Helix offering.

 

Highlights of the 19.02 release include:

 

Remedy IT Service Management 19.02 highlights

  • Java 11 and OpenJDK support for Remedy ITSM Suite
    All components of the Remedy ITSM Suite now support Java 11 and OpenJDK. This enables you to stay on a free version of Java. Remedy ITSM Suite continues to support Java 8 and Oracle JRE.
  • Enhancements to the Remedy ITSM applications
    You can now easily define approval mapping rules that define different approvers based on article criteria, such as article template, language, region, site, owner company, owner group, or the internal use flag. Using a Machine Learning service integrated with Remedy, you can now automatically analyze incoming emails and auto-create work orders with the applicable work order template.


Remedy AR System 19.02 highlights

  • Improved look and feel for Remedy Flashboards
    Remedy AR System enables you to render flashboards in HTML, which have an improved look and feel.
  • Multi-threaded archiving in the AR System server
    You can configure multiple threads to increase the throughput of the archive operation in the AR System server. This is helpful when you perform bulk archival of a large number of records.
  • Swagger specifications for BMC Remedy AR System REST APIs
    You can use the getField and getFields REST APIs to retrieve field metadata for a form. This helps in performing faster design level integrations. All the REST endpoints exposed by the Remedy AR System server are now documented by using Swagger specifications.


Remedy Smart Reporting 19.02 highlights

  • Creating more powerful reports
    You can create more powerful reports by using an expanded set of AR JDBC functions. An Assisted Insight gives you proactive insights into the correlation of metrics.
  • Ability to present business metrics using Stories
    You can now communicate analytics results by using Stories.


Smart IT 19.02 highlights

  • Support for swarming with Smart IT Chat
    You can use the Smart IT chat capability to interact with other IT users by using a new set of functions. This supports the swarming concept, which is a collaborative approach to ticket resolution.
  • Expanded support for Smart IT dynamic provider actions
    You can use the Smart IT dynamic provider actions, which are executed automatically based on certain conditions for change requests, work orders, and tasks.


CMDB 19.02 highlights

  • Ability to perform write operations by using the new CMDB interface
    You can use the new CMDB UI to perform write operations on the CIs and on the service model (relationships) in CMDB.
  • Ability to archive CMDB data
    You can now remove obsolete data from production datasets in your CMDB, and archive them for future reference. This helps in improving performance, reducing overall footprint, and storing data.


Remedy Single Sign-On 19.02 highlights

  • Ability to configure Remedy SSO agent and Remedy SSO server for applications hosted on different domains
    Applications hosted on different domains can use the same Remedy SSO server for authentication.
  • Enabling signed SAML metadata for security
    You can provide more security by providing access specifically to the issuing domain and by enabling signed SAML metadata.
  • Using Kerberos authentication for a pre-defined IP range
    You can authenticate requests coming from a set of predefined IP addresses by using the Kerberos authentication.

 

Contact us at info@alderstone.com to find out more about how quickly we can get you up and running on BMC Helix 19.02.

 

*If you are on a version prior to 7.6.03 of ITSM then our consultancy team will happily develop a bespoke pack for you as part of the upgrade project. For example, We recently upgraded a large customer from 7.0.0.3 to 9.1.

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While we have been busy with the rebrand for our 10th anniversary, we have received a number of questions regarding our Out-of-the-box migration packs.

 

Rest assured that we fully support migration to 18.05 and 18.08, whether your old or new remedy platform is on-premise, on an existing cloud solution or deployed as part of BMC's exciting new Helix platform either on the BMC Cloud, AWS or Azure.

 

As always, CMT can migrate you straight from ITSM versions as far back as 7.0.0.3 straight to these new versions.

 

If you want to find out more, please get in touch at www.alderstone.com/contact

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Our development team are hard at work on the next release of Alderstone CMT, but we were so excited about an upcoming new feature that we asked them to record a short demonstration.

 

Here's a preview of the Alderstone CMT capability to migrate customers back from ServiceNow to BMC Remedy ITSM, presented by Steve Upton, Alderstone CEO.

 

Please contact us at info@alderstone.com or via our website at alderstone.com/cmt if you'd like to learn more.

 

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TUI Group had a business requirement to merge an existing BMC Remedy ITSM 8.1 system into their larger ITSM 9.1 Production system. By sharing a common process and data this would result in savings on infrastructure and software licenses as well reducing total cost of ownership.

Upgrading to the latest Remedy ITSM 9.1 would allow them to benefit from BMC Digital Service Management functionality such as MyIT, SmartIT and Smart Reporting.

 

What is Consolidation?

Consolidation is the process of merging one or more BMC Remedy ITSM systems together. All users and integrations of the old Remedy systems will use the new consolidated Remedy system.

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This process is technically complex and logistically challenging. However, a successful consolidation can result in significant cost savings and operational benefits. Please see our Remedy System Consolidation - An Introduction for more details on the benefits and challenges of Remedy system Consolidation.

 

 

 

The Challenge: Short timescales, impossible technical challenges

The TUI 8.1 Production system had over 100 ITSM companies to be merged with the 200 companies on the existing BMC Remedy ITSM 9.1 Production environment.

This meant that TUI had to consolidate over 300 ITSM Companies and ensure everything functioned flawlessly without any business disruption.

As experienced users of BMC ITSM, TUI use almost all modules of the ITSM suite and understood the risks to their business if this consolidation was not successful.

After starting the consolidation project TUI identified a number of technical challenges associated with merging multiple Remedy Systems using the legacy Remedy data migration tools which they were unable to overcome using the legacy Remedy data migration tools, these included;

 

Poor Performance

Using legacy API tools, it would have taken TUI a minimum of 21 days to perform a one-off data migration of the data and it was essential to the business that TUI migrated all this data. Without the ability to transfer data rapidly TUI would have needed to abandon their data causing significant business & operational impact.

 

Identifer Clashes

In both of the TUI systems, a large proportion of Ticket Numbers, Request IDs and Group IDs clashed with records held in the other system. Merging this data without reconciling these unique keys would result in unrecoverable loss of data, compromising data integrity, and security; and ultimately impact the viability of the core Remedy system. Legacy tools are unable to translate these unique identifiers and could not be used for consolidation.

 

 

The Solution: Alderstone CMT

With only 3 months remaining to complete the project TUI discovered Alderstone CMT.

TUI were able to overcome the technical challenges and meet their project deadline. CMT enabled TUI to migrate all of their ITSM data very quickly with no data loss or clashes. This ensured a smooth consolidation, a successful go live and no service impacting issue. TUI were able to realise the following benefits with CMT:

  • Upgrade of all ITSM modules directly to BMC ITSM v9.1
  • All data transformation performed by CMT to enable a successful consolidation
  • Only taking across customizations that were needed ensuring a clean ITSM system
  • Drastically reduced migration time and effort
  • No post migration issues after go-live ensuring a smooth transition for the business with no impact on operations

 

Quick Start

The CMT solution was also easy to install and get up and running with minimal training. This allowed TUI to save time as well as cost needing only a minimal amount of consultancy from Alderstone. This was key to ensuring the project was delivered on time and within the allocated budget.

 

No Change Freeze

No data change freeze was required during the upgrade process. However, conventional tools do not support migration of the data from all ITSM modules and require manual migration of some modules early in the upgrade process. Changes to the data model were not permitted during the project.

 

 

 

Technical Q & A

What would you say was the biggest benefit of using CMT for your consolidation?

For me the biggest benefits were of course the time savings in comparison to BMC’s migration tool. As well as that the ability to react to changes in data model/structure was a great benefit, CMT gave us the ability to map IDs and field content to prevent data collision and inconsistencies. Those issues had spoiled our first migration attempts with BMC default migration tool, with CMT this was no longer an issue.

 

How did you find CMT to use?

Really, I found it very nice, instead of reading many documents, how to configure and edit manually those BMC XML migration files, CMT was kind of self-explaining. It has a very easy to use user interface and understandable migration process. Any questions I had were quickly dealt with by Alderstone’s team.

 

Would you use CMT again?

Absolutely, CMT did a great job and we at TUI were very happy with the product.

 

 

 

Customer Satisfaction

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"Alderstone’s CMT software was exactly what we needed to ensure a successful project. Additionally, Alderstone were careful to minimise their consultancy costs and ensured we completed the project under budget."

Ulrich Eggert, Team Coordinator & Senior Consultant, TUI Group

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"Alderstone CMT was very simple to learn, with an intuitive interface and easy to use.  This simplicity allowed me to concentrate on the business requirements and transformations rather than struggling with unfamiliar software"

Andreas Wagner, Senior Consultant, TUI Group

 

Technica Q & A

tui_case_study.png

 

To find out more about how Alderstone CMT can enable you to consolidate your Remedy systems please contact us at https://www.alderstone.com/#contactUs  or mail us directly at info@alderstone.com.

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Capgemini provide ITSM as a service to over two hundred and thirty customers across four multi-tenant BMC Remedy ITSM systems hosted on Remedy OnDemand (RoD). These multiple systems result in operational inefficiencies for support processes and duplication of effort in managing the customized BMC Remedy ITSM platform.

 

Capgemini are consolidating these system into a single multi-tenant platform using Alderstone CMT.

 

 

Combining upgrades to the latest Capgemini ITSM Gold Build with consolidation of multiple Remedy system is driving real customer benefit in addition to significant operational savings.

 

 

What is Consolidation?

Consolidation is the process of merging one or more BMC Remedy ITSM systems together. All users and integrations of the old Remedy systems will use the new consolidated Remedy system.

pastedImage_5.png

 

This process is technically complex and logistically challenging. However, a successful consolidation can result in significant cost savings and operational benefits. Please see our Remedy System Consolidation - An Introduction for more details on the benefits and challenges of Remedy system Consolidation.

 

 

 

The Challenge: Impossible technical challenges using legacy tools

Using legacy Remedy data management tools, Capgemini found it impossible to consolidate systems due to fundamental technical issues.


 

Poor Performance

Capgemini’s four multi-tenant Remedy systems have over 600 million Remedy records. Using using legacy API tools, it would take over two years to perform a one-off data migration of all data from Capgemini’s systems, at which point the data would have been two years out of date! As incremental data migration is not possible in a Consolidation scenario, the cutover between systems would have required a service outage of several months.

 

Identifer Clashes

In each of the Capgemini systems, most Ticket Numbers, Request IDs and Group IDs clash with records held in one or more of the other systems. Merging this data without reconciling these unique keys would result in unrecoverable loss of data, compromising data integrity, and security; and ultimately impact the viability of the core Remedy system.

 

Lack of control

Legacy data migration tools do not provide essential capabilities for identifying, migrating or transforming related sets of Remedy data which are essential for Capgemini to ratify the different foundational data sets across the consolidated Remedy systems.

 

 

The Solution: Alderstone CMT - designed to enable Consolidation

Capgemini used Alderstone CMT to enable the cost- effective consolidation of multiple BMC Remedy ITSM systems and overcome the technical challenges.

 

Fastest Data Migration

Alderstone CMT is the fastest data migration solution for Remedy ARS, enabling Capgemini to migrate all of the data in their multi-tenent BMC Remedy ITSM system within just a few hours. This performance enables Capgemini to rapidly iterate development and test cycles, keeping costs low, and ensuring that cutover outage durations are measured in hours not weeks!

 

Automatic Identifier Transformation

Capgemini used Alderstone CMT’s automatic transformation of all unique identifiers in their systems to ensure there were not clashesafter data migration. All primary and foreign keys and custom ARS Group IDs were consistently transformed, ensuring that there were no data integrity or data security issues after consolidation.

 

Advanced Data Transformation & Control

Capgemini leveraged Alderstone CMT powerful data selection and transformation capabilities to support the following consolidation scenarios.

  • Conversion of Global to Company-specific configuration
  • Staggered consolidation of waves of Customers
  • Migration of selected Customer data without migrating Global data
  • Harmonization of disparate data sets such as Company, Site, Support Group, Product and Operational Catalog conversions with pre- configured templates

 

 

 

 

Program Overview

Capgemini and BMC Software set up a new BMC Remedy ITSM system on the Remedy OnDemand platform. Five existing BMC Remedy OnDemand multi-tenant environments are being consolidated into this new Consolidated System.

 

 

Approach

Prior to migration of any system, the new Consolidated system was configured with the baseline Global data which met the global standard for Capgemini’s multi-tenant systems.

After all the data, users, and integrations are migrated to the Consolidated multi-tenant system, then the original Remedy system is decommissioned. In most cases, the consolidation migration is combined with an ITSM upgrade to provide real value to the customers using Capgemini’s ITSM service.

Consolidation migrations may include all customers currently hosted on the system or may include only a subset of the customers. The ability to selectively migrate a subset of customers will allow Capgemini to reduce the logistical impact on their internal operations, especially for the largest multi-tenant systems. When customers are selectively migrated, then CMT is used to remove those selected customers from the original system.


Benefits

Capgemini are using Alderstone CMT to combine and harmonize data from all four source systems to meet their global data standards, and to reduce support costs, operational overheads such as user administration and patch management. Capgemini will realize the following benefits from this program.

  • 4 million Euro saving over 5 years
  • 1.5 million Euros saving in duplicated licenses
  • Reduction of 17 Remedy environments to 6
  • Reduction of platform maintenance & support costs
  • Reduction of operational effort supporting customers across multiple systems

 

 

Customer Satisfaction
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"I’ve worked with Remedy systems for the past 15 years  and major upgrades have always been a struggle. I was really impressed with the way Alderstone CMT efficiently handled the intricate complexities of ITSM, resulting in a fast and successful upgrade with no service impact that delighted our customers and account teams."

Jim Lordan, Senior Architect, Capgemini

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"Consolidation of our BMC Remedy ITSM systems is a key objective for Capgemini. Alderstone CMT has proven its value to our business, enabling us to deliver tangible customer benefits as well as reducing our cost of ownership."

Luke Harrigan, Vice President, Capgemini

 

 

 

 

To find out more about how Alderstone CMT can enable you to consolidate your Remedy systems please contact us at https://www.alderstone.com/#contactUs  or mail us directly at info@alderstone.com.

 

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What is Consolidation?

Consolidation is the process of merging one or more BMC Remedy ITSM systems together. All users and integrations of the old Remedy systems will use the new consolidated Remedy system.

 

This process is technically complex and logistically challenging. However, a successful consolidation can result in significant cost savings and operational benefits. Examples of the reasons that businesses may choose to perform a consolidation include;

 

Reducing the number of multi-tenant BMC Remedy ITSM Systems

Customers who manage ITSM as a service on multi-tenant BMC Remedy ITSM systems, often have more than one multi- tenant system for various reasons including geographical performance or legal constraints. Reductions in hardware and software costs and/or improved operational efficiency can be realised by merging multi-tenant environments together to create fewer multi-tenant environments.

Typical approaches may be to;

    • Move Company(s) from an existing multi-tenant ITSM Remedy system into an existing, in-use multi-tenant system.
    • Move Company(s) from two or more multi-tenant ITSM Remedy systems into a new, clean Remedy system.

Any consolidation operation will cause some level of disruption for the customers of a multi-tenant system. If the benefit of

the disruption of a typical consolidation activity and accrues solely to the operator of the multi-tenant platform this can cause customer relationship issues. Combining the consolidation of multi-tenant systems with an ITSM application upgrade can offer clear business benefit to the customer, therefore this is a common component of these types of consolidations.

 

Moving an customer from an on-premise ITSM Remedy System into an existing multi-tenant system

Onboarding a customer from an existing on-premise Remedy system into a multi-tenancy system managed by a different company is effectively a consolidation of the two Remedy environments. Multi-tenant BMC Remedy ITSM systems typically have a high level of control around the shared application data. On-premise customers usually make free use of the shared data configuration in ITSM. Onboarding a customer into a multi-tenant system usually involves analysis and transformation of the data to ensure there is no impact to existing customers.

 

Merging two businesses using BMC Remedy ITSM

When two companies, or business units within the same company, merge their operations, significant reductions in costs

can be achieved by consolidation of the Remedy ITSM systems. This operation is likely to involve high levels of data transformation as the use of Remedy ITSM in the two businesses is likely to have a number of differences with no shared data discipline in either system.

 

Technical Challenges

Historically, the major challenge for the consolidation of Remedy systems has been the data migration component. The three principal data migration challenges when performing consolidation are;

 

Poor Performance

The Remedy API, used by all legacy tools, is not engineered for data migration. It can take several, resource-intensive weeks to migrate all data in a Remedy application. This is of particular concern for consolidation into an live Production Remedy system where a large volume of data needs to be moved during a  short cutover window.

 

Unique Identifier Clashes

Application unique Identifiers such as Request IDs, Group IDs and Ticket Numbers are only unique within a single Remedy system. Merging data without reconciling these unique keys seriously compromises data integrity and security and impacts the viability of the core Remedy application.

For example

  • Two different Companies in two different systems may have been assigned the same Group ID. If they are merged without transforming the Group IDs throughout all data in the application then they would be able to see each others data.
  • Incident Tickets will be overwritten as they were assigned the same Request ID in two different systems.

 

Lack of control

Legacy data migration tools do not provide the capabilities for identifying, migrating or transforming related sets of Remedy data. Even with the investment of significant development effort, it is challenging to achieve the control necessary to support the complex data migration and transformation operations necessary for consolidation.

Data Transformation is a key component of Consolidation where often data such as Support Group and Company names or Categorizations have to realigned between two systems which requires very large scale data changes through configuration and ticket data need to be applied.

 

In short, Consolidation is technically very difficult and is not supported by legacy data migration tools. Developing home-grown solutions to these problems requires a high level of technical expertise, a good understanding of the Remedy application data model, months of development effort and testing and deep pockets!

 

The Solution: Alderstone CMT

Alderstone CMT is the only Remedy data migration tool designed to support consolidation of  Remedy ITSM systems.

Enabling you to consolidate multiple Remedy system without  data loss. Alderstone CMT provides the following unique capabilities to support the consolidation of Remedy systems;

  • CMT is the fastest data migration tool for the Remedy ITSM platform, and is the only solution enabling you to safely migrate all of the data from one live Production system into another during a short outage window
  • Selectively migrate individual ITSM Companies and Global between Remedy systems
  • Automatically transform Remedy application unique identifiers (Ticket Identifiers, Request IDs, Group IDs) throughout the application to prevent data being overwritten or compromising your application security
    • Referential integrity of the data is preserved
  • Transform data during data migration to align foundation data between the systems being consolidated. For example:
    • Change all Product or Operational Categorization data in all locations
    • Convert shared (Global) configuration data to Company specific data   
  • Ability to safely filter your data to reduce data volumes, while maintaining data integrity. For example:
    • Only migrate Foundation data
    • Only migrate Open Tickets and Closed Tickets logged in the last 2 years
  • Ability to incrementally migrate all changed or "Delta" data, including deletions, between Remedy systems
    • Deletions are performed safely ensuring that data belonging to Companies outside the scope of migration are not affected

 

 

Considering Consolidation?
Alderstone are (probably) the only Remedy consultancy with extensive experience of successfully consolidating multiple systems. We have supported several companies through multiple consolidation programs including one where  up to 5 different source systems were combined. Please get in touch for a no-obligation discussion to learn more about what you should be considering for your Remedy system consolidation and how Alderstone CMT can help.
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Remedy ITSM upgrades for Capgemini outsourcing’s customers were challenging. The complex upgrade process combined with resource-constraints resulted in long change freezes and a high frequency of post go-live issues. Customer perceptions of the service were negatively impacted.

Capgemini used Alderstone CMT to simplify the upgrade process and deliver an on-time, on-budget, ‘non-event’ upgrade for a customer, regarded as a major success by both the customer and account executives.

 

 

The Challenge: Long running, expensive upgrades, unhappy customers

 

Capgemini outsourcing provide BMC Remedy ITSM as a component of managed services to their customers. However, the conventional BMC Remedy ITSM upgrade process used by Capgemini was not working. The standard Remedy ITSM upgrade process was impacting the customer’s daily operations and costs.

 

  • Long running upgrade projects and difficult-to-manage change freezes lasting several months resulted in customer frustration at not being able to effectively use the service
  • Unexpected issues occurred during and after the project due to silent failures during the upgrade process
  • A high number of post-go-live issues required high levels of support and caused business disruption for the customer
  • Resource-intensive data synchronization using DDM

Customer satisfaction was frequently impacted by a Remedy ITSM upgrade, consequently upgrades were repeatedly postponed, particularly for sensitive clients.

 

 

The Solution:  transform the upgrade process using Alderstone CMT

Capgemini purchased Alderstone CMT to support a programme of consolidation and upgrades across their Global outsourcing division. Using Alderstone CMT, Capgemini were able to implement an alternative upgrade methodology for the upgrade of their customer’s BMC Remedy ITSM on-premise system that avoided the challenges of the conventional Copy & Upgrade approach.

 

Alderstone CMT enabled Capgemini to use the Fresh Install & Migrate methodology that has the following key benefits

  • Significantly reduced change freeze and impact on the customer
  • Simpler, cheaper and less resource intensive upgrade process
  • Fewer post-go-live issues

Rather than taking a copy of the existing system and upgrading it, Capgemini were able to rapidly build a standard out-of-the-box ITSM 8.1 system and transfer the customizations being used by the customer. This not only reduced the duration of the application change freeze to just two weeks, with a very limited scope and no impact to CMDB reconciliation, but also resulted in a clean and stable application platform.

This compared very favourably to the previous experience of silent and unpredictable failures during the upgrade process, post-go-live issues, and change freezes lasting several months.

Despite resource constraints for both the customer and Capgemini teams the upgrade was delivered using the new methodology on-time and to-budget and required no additional post-go-live support effort

 

 

Project Analysis

As with most real-world projects, this customer’s upgrade is not the perfect template for an ITSM upgrade project. Common issues such as customer resource constraints, production support and architecture issues impacted the timeline.

To provide a fair comparison, we contrasted the timeline and activities for the customer’s upgrade using the same Fresh Install & Migrate methodology with just one difference; substituting the conventional data migration tool (BMC DDM) instead of Alderstone CMT to perform the data migration.

Capgemini’s customer went live on BMC Remedy ITSM 8.1 in mid-July 2015, using the conventional BMC data migration tools the go-live would have been early-December 2015, a difference of over five months.

 

ComparisonDDM CMTReduction% Reduction
Overall Time To Live20310210150%
Change Freeze Duration1671015794%
Data Migration Effort1672014788%
Project Management Effort21010910148%

All durations are shown in working days

 

Alderstone CMT is able to migrate all data for all ITSM modules meaning that little to no change freeze is required during the upgrade process. However, conventional tools do not support migration of the data from all ITSM modules and require manual migration of some modules early in the upgrade process. Consequently a change freeze must be imposed at a very early stage.

The impact and challenges of managing an eight month change freeze on the user community should not be underestimated. In the worst case scenario, it may be necessary to restart an in-flight project due to a failure to adhere to an onerous change freeze.

 

 

 

 

 

Data Migration Performance

Alderstone CMT migrated the entire customer’s Remedy data set of 68 million Remedy records in less than ten hours.

Using the conventional BMC Remedy tools this would have taken 3 months running 24 x 7 to perform the initial migration, after which time the data would have been three months out of date, requiring additional catch-up data migrations to complete the same task.

The data migration of 18 million Remedy records during the cutover weekend was completed within 4 hours, performing the same migration with conventional BMC Remedy tools would have required an 24 day outage.

For a typical upgrade it is necessary to perform multiple “catch- up” or “delta” data migrations to ensure that data is up to date for testing and that the go-live outage time is kept to a reasonable limit. However, the customer’s upgrade was performed with only one delta data migration to ensure that during cutover, data could be migrated within a four hour window. Alderstone CMT significantly reduced the overall effort and complexity.

 

Data Migration
BMC Legacy ToolsAlderstone CMTImprovement with CMT
Full Data Migration3 months10 hours99.6% Reduction
Cutover Data Migration24 days4 hours

99.3% Reduction

 

 

Customer Satisfaction
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"Our cutover was incredibly smooth and fast, and the go-live has been a success with both end users and engineers with no service impacting issues. Using Alderstone CMT has resulted in this major upgrade being a non-event and our customer and account teams are delighted"

Roger Deblock, Technical Lead, Capgemini

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"Initially, we couldn't believe that Alderstone CMT could deliver everything that was promised, it just seemed too good to be true, However we were delighted to find that the results really did match the marketing...this thing really works!"

John Lantouris, Project Manager, Capgemini

To find out more about Capgemini's success using Alderstone CMT please request the full case study

 

To find out more about Alderstone CMT please contact us.

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Summary

Oracle 12C has made a major change to the default behavior of LOB fields which are now stored using the SecureFiles format.

Remedy ARS makes extensive use of CLOB fields which in Oracle 12C are now stored, by default, using SecureFiles.

Prior to Oracle 12C Release 2, Oracle will always store SecureFiles CLOB objects out-of-row which will result in serious performance impacts for data migration and Remedy application usage.

Alderstone recommends upgrading Oracle to 12C Release 2.

 

 

What is a CLOB?

CLOB stands for "Character Large Object." A CLOB is a data type used by various database management systems, including Oracle. It stores large amounts of character data. The CLOB data type is similar to a BLOB, but includes character encoding, which defines a character set and the way each character is represented. BLOB data, on the other hand, consists of unformatted binary data.

 

 

How does Remedy ARS use CLOBs?

Data in Character fields for your Remedy application running on an Oracle database is either stored in a column with a data type of either VARCHAR2 or CLOB column.

Remedy ITSM is a very heavy user of CLOBs to store data, largely for historical reasons.

 

Remedy Corporation was started in 1990 which makes Remedy ARS System what we'd call "mature" software.

 

Over this time the maximum length of a character field which can be stored in the VARCHAR2 field has dramatically increased:

 

Oracle VersionRelease DateMax Length Bytes VARCHAR2
Oracle 7June 20072000
Oracle 11GSept 20094000
Oracle 12GJuly 201332,767

 

The latest Remedy ARS System 9.1 will store any character field which has a maximum length of 4000 or more characters as a CLOB.

 

There are 2,888 Fields in an out-of-the-box ITSM System which will be stored as CLOBS. You can obtain this list for your application using the following SQL query:

 

select a.name, f.fieldname, maxlength from field_char c JOIN field f on f.schemaid = c.schemaid and f.fieldid =c.fieldid

JOIN arschema a on a.schemaid = f.schemaid

where ( maxlength >4000  OR maxlength = 0) AND f.fieldid != 15 and f.foption != 4

order by 1, 2 asc

 

Out-of-Row versus In-Row CLOBs

There are two places where the CLOB data may be stored:

  • In-Row - the CLOB data is stored with the rest of the data for a record. LOB data may only be stored in-row if its less than ~4000 bytes.
  • Out-of-Row - the CLOB data is stored in a separate location and the record only stores a reference to the CLOB data location. CLOB data will be stored out of row if the data is more than 4000 bytes or the database column is set to use out-of-row CLOB storage

 

Please see this very useful explanation.

 

The following SQL query can be used to show whether your Remedy system running on Oracle has columns set to always use out-of-row storage for CLOBS and which fields have this setting:

 

select a.name, l.table_name, l.column_name, l.in_row from all_lobs l, arschema a where l.table_name = ‘T’||a.schemaid and l.in_row = 'NO';

 

Storing CLOBs out of row has known a negative impact on performance of both data migration and the Remedy application.

BMC has issued a number of warnings about the performance impact and provide SQL scripts to convert out of row to in-row CLOB storage. Please see the following links for more details:

 

 

 

Oracle 12C Behavior

Oracle 12C prior to Release 2, appears to ignore the setting to store CLOBS in-row when using SecureFiles and will always store them out-of-row with the resulting known performance impact.

Upgrading to Oracle 12C Release 2 will fix this defect for SecureFiles. It will be necessary to run a number of database  scripts from Oracle to accomplish this conversion.

 

 

Performance Metrics

We tested merging the same data set of 1 million CIs  into the BMC.CORE:BaseElement T-Table. We used two copies of the T-Table, one with SecureFiles as the CLOB storage and the other using BasicFiles storage on Oracle 12C Release 1.

 

CLOB StorageMerge Duration
BasicFiles5 mins 40 seconds
SecureFiles51 mins 30 seconds

 

That makes SecureFiles 9 times slower than BasicFiles for the same operation. A significant difference was also seen in the storage requirements with SecureFiles using much more space in LOB segments and failing to reclaim space after a delete operation.

 

After patching this difference was significantly reduced:

 

CLOB StorageMerge Duration
BasicFiles5 mins 40 seconds
SecureFiles25 mins 5 seconds

 

Storage for SecureFiles after the patch reverted back to expected levels and we observed that the CLOB in-row storage setting was now being respected.

 

 

Further Investigation
Please be aware that in even after patching to Oracle 12C Release 2, Alderstone continue to see unexplained but significant performance differences when using SecureFiles versus BasicFiles for INSERT and MERGE operations. There is an open and ongoing investigation being performed by Oracle into these differences.

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