As mentioned in the Going Deeper page, ArenaCore can serve as a unification layer for solution design and management activities across a range of infrastructure and technology types.
Common architecture across technology types
A ‘common architecture’ may sound like a grand idea but within ArenaCore it is handled via a common data model that allows technologies of differing types to be described by customisable rules for containment and connection of resource items. Flexible product specification definitions can be developed using a common pattern that describe how instances of each of these resource types may be layered and connected among each other.
This approach enables common handling of visual manipulation, access control, business process management, version control and event management etc.
Whilst the common patterns described above are a good foundation, complex cloud / ICT products and environments have many different types of attributes and rules that must be accommodated. Consequently, ArenaCore supports detailed customisation of product management behaviours including at the visual interface and business logic layers. This enables complex product attributes and rules to be presented, managed and/or enforced as needed.
Solution designs can be developed that incorporate product elements provided by different vendors, courtesy of the ArenaCore data model pattern and use of common / standard Resource Roles.
Customisation is possible also at the integration layer for associated management platform systems – please refer to the DevOps & Open Source subsections regarding this.
Review/Approve/Ordering cycle management
Solution designs are developed initially through the ArenaCore management page design user interface. As solution designs are completed and sent for review and approval, a background workflow process manages the notification process to relevant team members. If the flow results in approval then automated processing of new, changed and removed items will occur through to the current operations inventory database and appropriate events will be sent to associated management system platforms.
Management system platform integration
The ArenaCore approach for integration of management system platforms enables the use of both industry leading and customer developed management system platforms to perform actual infrastructure management tasks. This pattern/approach also supports integration of discovery, monitoring/usage, help desk/trouble ticketing and billing platforms.
Product Specification management
In order to work with technology products from a solution design perspective, it is necessary to have first created the specification definitions of these products. The ArenaCore administration application supports design definition of physical equipment (resource) products, logical resource products, and certain types of Service products.
Product Catalog Management
Once Product Specification definitions have been created, they may next be added to Product Catalogs. This activity enables utilisation of those Products subsequently within ArenaCore Infrastructure Manager (i.e. solution design) screens.
ArenaCore Product Catalog management enables products from across multiple manufacturers and vendors to be incorporated into any given new catalog (where appropriate access is allowed), enabling rapid catalog development.
ArenaCore supports solution design activities in an organisational context where ownership of infrastructure resources may be divided among numerous sub-organisations. The ArenaCore Directory Manager supports the creation and management of these organisational structures, any users within them, and access rights to objects of various types including Management Pages (i.e. solution designs).
All ArenaCore ‘back office’ capabilities including product specification, product catalog and directory management are supported via a thick client administration application that must be downloaded and installed locally. This client application communicates with the ArenaCore platform via the Internet, and does not store any information locally.
(In the future this application will likely be replaced by an HTML5 based application).
The ArenaCore management page design front end capability is integrated into a broader document management environment. This is because solution design by nature is a document-oriented activity that usually requires a good deal of inter-related diagrammatic, tabular and textual information to be developed in close proximity.
(This scenario may not be directly relevant to all ArenaCore users, however more on this to come!)
The items described above are a quick introduction to the fundamental application capabilities of the ArenaCore platform. These capabilities may be customised and applied in what we think will be a number of quite interesting and exciting ways, across existing and future technology types!
From here please continue to the Using ArenaCore section.