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Key ArenaCore capabilities

Evan Linwood August 12, 2020

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

The above statement may sound like a grand proposition but in reality it is handled via a common application data model that allows each of these technology types to be described by customisable rules for containment and connection of associated resource types, and also relevant policy attributes. 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 in turn enables common handling of visual manipulation, access control, business process management, version control and event management across each of these items.

Customisation capability

Whilst the common patterns described above are a good start, they are not enough with respect to complex cloud / ICT products and environments, which have many different types of attributes and rules that must be accommodated. Consequently, ArenaCore supports detailed customisation of product definitions including at the visual interface and business logic layers, enabling complex product attributes and rules to be presented, managed and/or enforced as are needed.

Solution designs can be developed that incorporate product elements provided by different vendors, courtesy of the common pattern for ArenaCore Resource Roles that is used within ArenaCore (in conjunction with any product/technology specific customisations).

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 HTML5 user interface front end. As solution designs are completed and sent for review and approval, a background workflow process manages the notification process through to relevant team members. If the flow results in approval, then processing of new, changed and removed items will occur through to the current operations inventory database and appropriate automated 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. ArenaCore 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.

Directory Management

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).

Administration application

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 future this application will likely be replaced by an HTML5 based application.

Document Management

The ArenaCore HTML5 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 cross-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!

Wrap-up

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.