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Amit Gandhi

Transform your Application in 30 days with 360-degree scaling to Avoid Crashes

Transform your Application in 30 days with 360-degree scaling to Avoid Crashes

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How many questions do you face when you plan to scale your business by upgrading your applications? How can you decrease technical debt? Which are the best technologies you can adopt? Is there any assurance that you’ll survive the pace with the industry changes? What apps do you rebuild new in the cloud? What will be the cost? And most importantly, how can you do it all faster?

Working with Parkar Consultant, you’ll have an expert partner to guide you in the apps transformation journey.

A Parkar Approach-Parker NexGen Cloud Platform

Parkar works with you throughout the whole application transformation journey. The transformation journey starts with modernizing the existing infrastructure, development & deployment of the applications on the cloud, and ends with running the cloud platforms conforming to the all on-time demands & loads. We develop an ROI-based strategy to align with business goals and deliver a fast win. Moreover, we guide you with a 360-degree business scaling using avant-garde processes like hybrid cloud migration, containerization & microservices, and AI-driven automation.

Our app transformation approach includes:

Modernizing the Legacy Platform

The modernization starts after assessing your legacy and monolith app architecture. We create a strategy to divide your application into smaller parts by containerizing them. Each part is one container and we orchestrate them with Red Hat OpenShift. It allows your development team to manage the works of individual containers with an automated process. Further, it allows your developers to create new containers as per future demands with few clicks. In short, we transform your monolith architecture into a microservice architecture by simplifying all functions with greater scalability.

Due to this app transformation:

  • You don’t need to deploy the whole application for minor changes. Microservices enables you to deploy any change in any container independently without affecting the whole application.
  • Microservices deployment reduces your application release time from months to days. Containerization of your application helps with simple & faster deployment.
  • Container orchestration automates the scheduling or managing work process for individual containers within multiple clusters.

Cloud Migration

When you move to the cloud from your conventional on-premise server, you significantly reduce the time of application development. In general, the cloud infrastructure is highly reliable, scalable, and available on demand. There is no one-size-fits cloud migration strategy for business in general. Depending on the ‘type’ of your business we plan the strategy without affecting your current business environment with a feasible change management approach.

The common cloud migration strategy includes moving your data from the on-premise or local data center to a public cloud.

When you move your application to the cloud:

  • Your application runs seamlessly during high traffic.
  • A cloud server reduces your operational cost.
  • You can deploy applications faster with enhanced security features.

Hybrid cloud

It is a cloud infrastructure mixed with private and public clouds. The hybrid cloud comprises some amount of orchestration, management, and workload portability across two or more environments. These environments include:

  • Minimum one private cloud and one public cloud
  • Two or more private clouds and two or more public clouds.

In short, the hybrid cloud is a combination of computing, storage, and services atmosphere made-up of public & private clouds. Some of the benefits of hybrid cloud are:

  • Hybrid cloud saves costs by making an easy switch from one to another cloud.
  • It paces up your digital transformation journey.
  • It gives you the agility to change and adapt fast in the digital business.
  • Hybrid cloud is a major component of business continuity as it offers data insurance for all disasters with minimum downtime & cost.
  • Hybrid clouds speed up the Time to Market (TTM) by automated deployment.

Why Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform for your application transformation?

Proven Approach with Unique Attributes!

Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform is an unparalleled cloud platform empowered with cutting-edge technologies like Microsoft Azure, AWS, Redhat OpenShift, Redhat Ansible, agile, DevOps, AI-powered automation, etc. Collaborating with these technologies, we transform your applications in less than 30 days with 360-degree scaling.

Why Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform application transformation:

  • Containerization scales your apps by faster deployment and decreasing releasing time from months to days.
  • Hybrid cloud saves costs by making future migration cost-effective with tremendous scalability.
  • DevOps automats testing, releasing, deployment, and monitoring and significantly reduces the Time to Market.
  • Saved cost & time by automating the app development lifecycle and repetitive processes.
  • NexGen platform is a Polyglot platform that can grow with ever-changing technology.

Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform and Healthcare Industry

In this pandemic time of COVID-19, telehealth is playing an immense role in providing the best-in-class treatment in remote areas. However, some healthcare apps are not able to cope up with this pandemic time. The IT infrastructure is struggling to handle increasing traffic as during lockdown and isolation, people are searching for safety tips, health support, and remedies online. Some healthcare providers are struggling even to release AI-enabled chatbot to help people.

Legacy application and fast app releasing are major issues facing by the IT team of these healthcare institutions now.

Download this case study to know how Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform used Redhat OpenShift to modernize the legacy system in a healthcare institution.

Parkar is closely working with the healthcare industry to revamp the legacy system and reengineer the applications. The NexGen Cloud Platform empowers the healthcare institutions to release applications in days whereas it took them months to release the same, earlier. Moreover, this platform is empowered with cloud, containerization, automation, and AI to scale your applications both vertically and horizontally to avoid any crash.

Download this case study to know how the Parkar Data Management Platform used Microsoft Azure to integrate data in a healthcare institution.

If you want to transform your application call us today or request a demo. Let’s begin the conversation on new opportunities for 2020.

About Parkar Consulting & Labs

At Parkar, we revolutionize how great software is built. Our vision is to be a catalyst for customer success by harnessing the unlimited passion of our people and innovation.

Our expertise in Cloud and Data technologies has enabled over 50+ corporations to deliver better customer experiences and lower their business costs.

Powered by our NexGen Cloud Platform, customers unlock the power of technology to accelerate solutions in Application Engineering and AIOps.

Faster-Time-to-Market-with-Application-Development-using-Parkar-NexGen-Platform

Faster Time to Market with Application Development using Parkar NexGen Platform

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The last few years have seen companies revolutionizing how technology infrastructure is built and maintained, and how software applications are developed and deployed. These new-age companies have been the early ones to integrate their SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle)  with their IT operations and focus on Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CICD) of small changes, where teams design, integrate, test, deliver, and monitor software changes at speed, real-time and at scale.

Speed up Time to Market of your Applications with Parkar NexGen Platform

Time to Market (TTM) is essentially the time an organization takes to bring a product or a feature in the hands of its users and is often a very critical factor in determining its success. This time includes the time taken for idea generation along with the entire design cycle and development as well as its launch.

When you have better control over the development process, it becomes easier to plan the perfect roll-out for your product. While everyone agrees on the importance of improving time to market, there are still quite a few companies that have not upped their digital landscape. It is digital transformation that’s changing the game for most players out there and those who have understood it, are now looking for ways to empower their developers. The result is enhanced customer engagement and experiences.

Today, businesses face many challenges to speed up the time to market. Some of the common challenges are unplanned product development strategy, low market research, vague approach, waterfall methodology, irregular testing, lack of documentation, etc.

Speed Up your TTM with Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform 

No matter which vertical you belong to, you are always on the lookout for app development companies and platforms that ensure profitability, productivity and the fastest time to market. While doing so, it is important for enterprises to solve the pain points of customers and raise their ROI to leapfrog the competition.

For one of the major healthcare providers in the USA, Parkar got engaged in the legacy application modernization to help them respond to the spikes and needed scale.

This leading healthcare organization from the US known for its excellent services and quality care faced the challenge of data management. It had a large scale enterprise network it relied on for providing better services and creating rich user experiences. The expanding network brought along the challenge of monitoring and administering networks, managing traffic issues, and fixing application malfunctions.

Struggling with the legacy system and fragmented data management, the client was in the need of a thoughtful digital transformation to enhance patient care, treatment, day-to-day operations, and governance with innovation and seamless management. It was hard for them to maintain the legacy architecture while using analytics for secure data mining that further helped in collecting smart business insights.

Business Benefits:

  1. Boosted app release time from months to days.
  2. Ensured scalable & hassle-free governance for multiple applications.
  3. Strengthen the API security of the legacy system and third-party interoperability.
  4. Auto-scaled the deployment configuration based on real-time metrics.
  5. Established a seamless connection between physicians and patients with integrated flawless operations.
  6. Simplified and streamlined clinical disruption to offer best-in-class healthcare support.

Business Values:

  1. 40% reduction in time-to-market (TTM)
  2. 20% boost in  productivity
  3. 30% reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO )

One of the ways to have faster TTM, a lot of tech platforms are coming up with low-code support. Low-code is a new software development methodology that facilitates faster delivery of applications and with minimum hand-coding. It is similar to an assembly line to software development. It frees up people by automating the manual tasks and allows them to focus on more essential tasks.

Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform: a low-code Platform  

A Gartner report says, “By 2024, three-quarters of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives. By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65 percent of application development activity.”

ResearchAndMarkets.com predicts the low-code development market will grow to $27.23 billion by 2022, a huge jump from the current $4.32 billion.

Low-code application platforms or LCAP support rapid application development, one-step deployment, execution, and management while ensuring better productivity, reduced time to market and improved business process automation. Moreover, such a platform also enhances user experience phenomenally.

Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform, based on Red Hat OpenShift Platform and Ansible, is the Application development accelerator in-a-box. It’s a variant of Low-code application platform.

Fig: Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform

How to improve TTM with a strategic application development process?  

Collaborate 

The key is to have better collaboration between developers and end-users using agile methodologies. There is a huge advantage in doing so. The more you are able to keep end-users engaged in the application development process, the greater would be your chances of staying focused on what the business is meant to achieve. Only when you are able to meet business expectations bang on the very first time, you can reduce your time to market drastically.

Frequent prototyping 

There are specific app prototyping tools that empower developers as well as users to see the look and flow of applications as they are built. With respect to app readiness, this is important and it also ensures user acceptance. So every time a new element is added to the app, users can be given access to it to test drive and comment upon via a working prototype. Any changes required can be incorporated early on before the app is scheduled to move into the production phase.

Appropriate development and testing environments 

It is important for app developers to have dedicated test and development teams. Organizations can provide it by virtualizing their own development and test environments or use a cloud service. Virtualization is often preferred because virtual systems are faster to deploy.

Shared responsibilities 

When you collaborate with end-users they are often prone to walk away from the app development process after they provide their requirements. However, things can be way more streamlined and effective if users are as accountable as developers.

Usability matters 

It is important to maintain a balance between usability and features. While incorporating the best features and functions, usability is sometimes overlooked and may lead to a multitude of data errors. Development teams, therefore, should pay equal attention to usability and technical design.

Standardized routines 

It is critical that there is compatibility between the app and the software being used. The simplest way to achieve this is by standardizing routines so that they can be pulled from a common library for repetitive use.

Quality assurance 

Both technical performance and usability matter and can be best ensured by having quality assurance measures in place.  Inability to ensure optimal app performance leads to a tremendous loss of time in rectification and maintenance. Organizations would rather work on all aspects the very first time and ensure that the app does everything it’s expected to do each and every time.

The right testing 

Failing to check whether the app can handle all the transaction load before pushing it into production can lead to failure and major embarrassment. This can, however, be avoided using regression testing.

Prior training

Both users, as well as support staff, should be properly trained on app features and functionality. The support staff should be trained prior to the app going live so that they are equipped to handle all kinds of queries. On the other hand, user training will ensure a more satisfactory experience and lesser load on the support staff.

Let’s reiterate the key points here.

Fig: How application developers can help enterprises improve their time to market (TTM)

Grow with fast time to market via Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform

User-friendly applications are the need of the hour and the fastest way to connect with users worldwide. A modular design structure is what’s preferred but there are several other aspects too that need to be taken into account to ensure that the app is efficient and works well not only towards elevating customer experiences but also the organization’s image in the minds of its customers. Only then would a faster time to market be justified.

At Parkar, we work on a host of things to ensure not just effective app development but also a satisfactory user experience that just gets better with time.

Call us today to explore what we can do to create more synergy and tide over challenges in these very difficult circumstances we are currently going through.

IT automation_ Improving speed, agility, and productivity with open source solutions and strategy

IT automation – Improving speed, agility, and productivity with open source solutions and strategy

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IT automation is a decisive step toward advancing the efficiency of any company. With fewer resources wasted on mindless busywork, the employees can divert their energy toward the forward-thinking initiative. Open source is the way forward for enterprises that are on the lookout for smart, agile automation solutions that put them on the road to progress and prosperity. Parkar with its NexGen platform helps such enterprises transition to open source with strategies and solutions that are sustainable for every architecture and environment.

IT automation: Improving speed, agility, and productivity with open source solutions and strategy

If we had to pinpoint any one capability that’s a must-have for a modern IT enterprise, it has to be automation. What’s even more important is that it should help scale, collaborate and rev up things. Modern enterprises are more in favor of using open source solutions and strategies for their diverse needs.

A classic case in point?

Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform. We’ve already covered it in great detail in our previous blog.

The key takeaway here is that everyone is eager to jump on the ‘Open Source’ bandwagon. So let’s look into the factors that make open source so popular.

The first choice of DevOps

DevOps teams absolutely rely on open source for agility and capability. Open source and DevOps in that sense are inseparable. Explains Chris Short, principal product manager for Red Hat Ansible, “Open source software and the processes and tooling around it are what necessitated the birth of agile and DevOps. Having the ability to edit and share code in real-time with the rest of the world (or only your internal teams) can be a significant productivity boost.

The folks working in these spaces are force multipliers in the right conditions. They focus on the tasks that solve the next series of problems the organization will face.”

With the power of open-source, IT teams find themselves more equipped to learn, automate and tackle new challenges faster than ever. Enterprises are keeping up with this increasing velocity of change by embracing agile practices. The landscape is dynamic and a lot that we are achieving today is impossible to imagine in a closed source world.

The majority of the middleware and development tools out there is open source. With DevOps and agile practices gaining momentum, the spotlight now is undoubtedly on open source.

A recently released Red Hat 2020 enterprise open source report where 1000 enterprise leaders participated has some great stats.

Most felt that the top benefit of having it was higher quality software.

difference_between_open_source

In this context, Red Hat’s 2019 survey findings are interesting too. According to the survey, 55% of respondents’ software was still proprietary and in a couple of years expected it to be down to 32%. 33% felt open-source software was so much better than proprietary.

Open_source_technologies

Be it for their operating system, middleware or cloud needs, enterprises think open source solutions offer the perfect fit.

Outlined below are the top 7 reasons why open source is a must-have for ambitious enterprises:

Productivity

Solving complex problems necessitates a whole lot of flexibility for developers and test engineers that are very rare to find in commercial tools. Open source enjoys access to a vast pool of practitioners who share good practices and code.

In a DevOps world where different teams come together for multiple projects that are often tight on time and budget, open-source solutions that offer free and flexible resources make a huge difference. It’s just what enterprises need to boost their productivity.

The faster resolution gives teams the edge to overcome limitations in their software development cycles that are posed by traditional commercial tools. Also, the fact that teams do not have to struggle with software licenses is an added advantage that’s missing in the case of commercial tools. This ensures better collaboration as all they need to do is download a free repository online and proceed to work immediately.

Independence

At the end of the day, enterprises want their DevOps teams to have autonomy and feel empowered enough to explore and experiment. With open source solutions, this becomes easily possible no matter what they are doing – whether integrating tools to build a toolchain or using open source components in their applications.

Cost-effectiveness

All those who are using open source solutions cannot stop raving about its cost-effectiveness in the modern software development scenario. Open source is ubiquitous – whether you are writing software to deploy it or already running software and supporting it.

As compared to proprietary solutions, open-source ones are less expensive and more competent. The biggest advantage is that they allow all enterprises to start small and scale up with time. This works incredibly well for enterprises that are budget-challenged (almost all enterprises work on tight budgets).

Using open source solutions that allow them to start small with community versions and then migrate to commercially-supported ones makes financial sense.

Flexibility

Agile and adaptive automation is just what we need for a flexible software development environment. Open source solutions make plugins and APIs easily available to enterprises to build custom pipelines for specific resources and requirements.

This, in turn, helps them build their own suites rather than depending on those being offered by a single vendor. Open source in that sense works for vendors as well as organizations. While organizations get to deliver software and how they need it, open-source help vendors deliver flexible solutions.

Basically, what an open-source strategy does is that it offers organizations multiple ways to deal with problems. It, therefore, keeps it from being blocked due to the unavailability of a particular tool or capability from a vendor and empowers it to build it on its own. Whether it is for building a project or a platform or testing feasibility or developing new skills, open source provides the much-needed agility and flexibility to do what you want.

Adaptability 

While high flexibility and cost-benefit are important reasons to choose open source, enterprises go the open source way for its unmatched adaptability too. So when low-cost, closed source, third party solutions give you basic functionality, open-source allows you to branch the source code and make changes that are aligned with the project you are working on.

So rather than being content with what the vendor gives, teams have the option of writing such code on their own to match the exact needs of customers or projects.

Better workflow

When it comes to inner-sourcing, an open-source strategy can save enterprises a lot of work. Teams are familiar with the ‘wait’ states they often detest wherein they are left waiting for others to approve or make a change because the application is owned by a different team.

Rather than waiting for those teams to assign resources and priority to do so, it is easier to let teams first complete the task and then use a Git pull request to have the code change approved by the team that owns it. Open source, thus, allows teams to add value in an expedited manner and improve overall efficiency.

Security

Open source has often been appreciated for its solid information security. Besides, the open-source community is extremely responsive which is critical for the challenging environment we live in. This has, in turn, helped address security concerns early on and fix problems as soon as they become apparent.

Lower maintenance cost 

Rather than writing an application and sustaining it yourself, open-source makes it possible to share the cost of maintenance among multiple parties. This is possible due to the community involvement open sources allows its users.

These 7 points are so crucial, hereby reiterating the 7 reasons why open source is a must-have for an ambitious project.

Open_source_ambitious_enterprises

Fig: 7 Reasons why open source is must-have for ambitious enterprises

Is open source strategy ideal for you?

Whether the open source is a good fit for your organization or not will depend on multiple things. First, you need to identify what problems you are trying to solve and the opportunities you are vying through this transition.

You need to consider open source solutions available to you. We at Parkar, for instance, have been leveraging Red Hat solutions with incredible success and strongly recommend it.

Our open-source NexGen platform offers you complete support and capability for your goals. You will also have to determine how sustainable the transition to open source is going to be.

Open source is the way forward for enterprises that are on the lookout for smart, agile automation solutions that put them on the road to progress and prosperity. Parkar with its NexGen platform helps such enterprises transition to open source with strategies and solutions that are sustainable for every architecture and environment.

If you think you are ready for open-source or want to know if open source is for you, allow us to help you take the leap. Call us today or request a demo. Let’s begin the conversation on new opportunities for 2020.

Parkar NexGen Platform

Create, scale, and implement automation across your enterprise with Parkar NexGen Platform

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People, time and technology are the three key investments to transform an organization through automation. In essence, a true enterprise automation platform is more than just a tool. It delivers flexibility and agility to your IT organization and empowers it to solve the problem once, scale automation and then collaborate across the business with the right governance and policy.

In a technology-driven world of today, it comes as no surprise to see enterprises pulling up their act to make technology and automation the core of all their initiatives. The focus is therefore on digital transformation and identifying areas that can be swiftly transformed digitally in a fast-changing business ecosystem.

What enterprises need is quick decision making based on the streaming of data in real-time to keep up with the disruptive competition. On their digital journey, enterprises are finding themselves leaning towards deployment-centric application platforms and DevOps initiatives. What they need is automation at its best.

Fig: https://www.forrester.com/report/Predictions+2019+Automation/-/E-RES144739

Forrester Research predicted that “automation will become the tip of the digital transformation spear, impacting everything from infrastructure to customers to business models.” As per Forrester, organizations will shift focus from point solutions to more comprehensive offerings that will offer best-in-class features and also address integration challenges while doing so.

Ansible automation has been found particularly effective for ensuring greater agility and faster time to market. Both ITOps and DevOps have seen incredible results following Ansible automation. It’s time we delved deeper into the world of Ansible automation and understand how it’s giving businesses a new high.

Ansible automation business values

To understand what’s driving enterprises towards ansible automation, it is important to look at the business values it offers. These include:

Increased IT operational productivity across infrastructure teams due to standardization and automation of several operations processes and configuration tasks.

The figures look promising so to speak from the research so far.

Fig: Ansible automation business values

  • Faster deployment of infrastructure resources.
  • More efficient and secure application lifecycle management
  • $1.13 million in additional new revenue gained per year.
  • 68% faster deployment of new storage resources
  • 41% more efficient application environment management teams
  • 135% more applications developed per year
  • 25% more efficient IT security teams
  • 53% reduction in unplanned downtime

Understanding the environment

Operational complexity is increasing for IT infrastructure environments. The inclination to adopt multi-cloud, hybrid IT architectures, DevOps integration and deployment lifecycles, along with deployment of the container and Kubernetes platforms for production applications has put the pressure on the alignment and resiliency of these interconnected and interdependent components. Traditional approaches that were manual and script-based are clearly not working and modern applications are being deployed using microservices. Automation remains the answer to match pace with the changing demands of every business.

Says Padraig Byrne, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, “IT operations are challenged by the rapid growth in data volumes generated by IT infrastructure and applications that must be captured, analyzed and acted on. Coupled with the reality that IT operations teams often work in disconnected silos, this makes it challenging to ensure that the most urgent incident at any given time is being addressed.”

Smarter organizations are setting sail for their digital journey with open source solutions. The Ansible community is playing its part perfectly in this journey with playbooks and roles – the reusable automation building blocks that can be easily customized and integrated to create easily manageable templates and workflows.

While trying to offer them rapid innovation, several open-source communities fail to offer them class support, testing, hardening or validation – all of which are critical in ensuring enterprise-scale capabilities. The more evolved ones, therefore, rely on Red Hat Ansible Automation for several use cases including but not limited to network, security, public clouds, etc.

A library of tested and supported Ansible modules, playbooks and roles ensure enterprise-scale operations, analytics, and security. The Red Hat Ansible Tower, in particular, is worth a mention and rightfully deserves to be called the centerpiece of the Red Hat Ansible Automation family thanks to the extraordinary support it offers for large-scale and cross-domain environments.

Some of the most prominent benefits it offers include:

  • An open REST API that facilitates integration with source control systems to maintain Ansible modules, playbooks and roles and also to help developers and third-party platforms integrate with Ansible workflows by means of API calls.
  • A visual dashboard for a multitude of tasks including creating and managing automation templates, generating compliance and usage reports, and connecting different Tower clusters in complex environments.

Fig: What you get out of Red Hat Ansible automation

Red Hat Ansible Automation ensures:

  • Log monitoring
  • Integrations with third-party log analytics tools
  • Inventory synchronization
  • More agile IT operations
  • Standardized infrastructure configuration
  • Robust foundation for DevOps
  • On-time delivery
  • Improved infrastructure management

Analyzing the impact of Ansible Automations 

Ansible automation is changing the way enterprises conduct their business. In an IT-intensive environment, enterprises are now effectively putting automation at the forefront of everything they do and scaling it more than ever before.

Says Thomas Anderson, Ansible business owner, Red Hat, “At a global level we have seen organizations choose Red Hat Ansible Automation not only because of the simplicity, scalability, and composability it provides but also for its ability to drive cultural transformation within organizations. We’re now working to make it even easier to collaborate across teams, helping to break down automation silos and embrace automation across an organization.”

From reducing downtime to cutting down on issue resolution time, enterprises are now able to ensure customer satisfaction in a lot of ways.

From a business perspective, Ansible Automation holds a lot of promise. Enterprises that have already deployed it have experienced huge savings.

According to Forrester, an organization has already achieved operational efficiencies and cost savings to the tune of about $1.7 million in a period of over 3 years with the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. An organization achieved US$1,321,364 in operational efficiency savings, US$389,707 in infrastructure appliance software savings and 94% reduction in the resource hours needed to recover from security incidents with the platform as per Forrester

Fig: Broad benefits to the organizations because of Automation

Broad benefits to organizations

  • Ease of applying patches that too with no disruption or the need to work closely with development teams
  • Release automation that ensures consistency and minimal errors at the time of release
  • Support of applications irrespective of environments saving resource time in the management of application configurations
  • The superior quality of applications that ensures less staff time for fixing errors and addressing issues pertaining to apps
  • Faster delivery of applications and services for greater efficacy
  • Improved business operations that ensure greater productivity and more revenue
  • Predict markets more accurately and thus reach the market faster
  • Faster compliance through standardization
  • Reduced business risk as there is lesser coding which often leads to extra vulnerabilities

The Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform advantage

With technological initiatives like cloud migration, containerization, and microservices gaining momentum, it is more important than ever for organizations to deliver apps, features, and services quickly and effectively in diverse IT environments. It can be overwhelming for organizations to deliver at this speed unless they have the right platform. Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform built on Red Hat’s OpenShift platform offers the necessary convenience and capabilities.

With NexGen, organizations can achieve the following:

Create – Organizations can codify the entire infrastructure and share it across environments, whether you are running on-premise deployments or the cloud ones.

Scale – Transfer automation across domains and use cases so that staff can engage with automation in ways that are most suitable to them while sticking to their individual roles without wasting development time.

Engage – SaaS-based tools make daily chores easy for everyone allowing them to solve problems and share the results with different teams.

Fig: Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform Advantages

There’s a simple checklist you may want to consider in order to transition to a more efficient automated IT environment the way all major enterprises have. It’s the kind of preparation you need for successful automation. Take a look:

Embrace agility – In order to usher in some high-level enterprise automation, you need to become agile and adopt agile methodologies and scrum teams. Having a dedicated automation team for faster deployments would be a good idea. After all, it takes quite some time for complete automation and even when you are through, there will always be new updates.

Create awareness – In the early phase, it is important to evangelize the vision. You need to devote the necessary time to sharing information and relevant demos within the enterprise so as to make teams understand the value of automation.

Begin small – It’s always better to take baby steps and not try to achieve too much in one release. Also, it helps avoid costs pertaining to trial and errors or costly failures.

Pay attention to DevOps toolchain – It is important that both development and operations teams are working in tandem and their thoughts are aligned.

Be meticulous about standards – Whether it’s your playbooks, roles or other things pertaining to automation, make sure that you adhere to standards to maintain clean, readable and manageable code. Often times, failing to have the right standards result in syntax and runtime errors.

Fig: Checklist for successful Automation

Start your IT automation journey 

Parkar has been helping several organizations, both big and small, enjoy the speed of innovation through reduced manual effort, and bring simplicity to complex IT environments. With its NexGen cloud platform, Parkar has been offering great business value to all.

Start your automation journey with Parkar. Allow us to evaluate your business environment and we can help you chart your course. Call us today to enjoy speed, efficiency, and savings right away.

App Monitoring with deeper transaction traceability

Why Is Everyone Talking About App Monitoring with deeper transaction traceability

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Application monitoring with deep transaction traceability is critical to business success today. Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform works with market-leading IT Ops and AIOps tools to automatically monitor and analyze every single user transaction, all the time. All relevant metrics, environment changes, and application deployments are shown in real-time.

A whole lot of applications that we use today are multi-tiered and operate using myriad systems. So there is a heavy reliance on those such as application servers, databases, messaging systems, external web services, etc. that makes it critical to have deep-dive monitoring for a better grip on your transactions and business so to speak.

We’ve already discussed microservices application monitoring in our earlier blogs. It’s time we critically evaluated it from a transaction traceability point of view.

Why is deep transaction traceability so important?

In an environment where business transactions set the tone for application management, an advanced ‘tag and follow’ approach across servers becomes necessary. It gives you visibility to see how distributed business transactions are being executed and also the necessary clarity to identify problems and eliminate bottlenecks.

There are solid benefits to tracking business transactions. Firstly, it helps you identify SLAs and secondly, it allows you to discover your application’s performance baseline. It helps you pinpoint the exact location where problems occur to troubleshoot them and improve performance. This helps reduce the turnaround time as well as downtime.

Today, all modern applications are multi-tiered and may involve JVM or CLR tiers but there are those that can have a single application tier too as in the case of Java/.NET. So when we talk about tracing transactions, we are essentially tracking down a complete log of information that details even the smallest interaction between application systems. By doing so, we give you a complete synopsis of the transaction so as to give you complete data to help you diagnose failed or latent transactions. Such a detailed record helps isolate transaction issues and remediate them immediately.

Tracing capabilities should, therefore, offer a bird’s eye view of the transaction irrespective of whether it’s a single-tier or cross-tier or multiple tiers.

Deep dive monitoring

Deep dive monitoring will further lead us to trace a particular node or tier that is slow and investigate why it is slow. Most platforms require deep-dive transaction data to arrive at more conclusive findings. With underlying infrastructure getting more evolved and complex, it is becoming more and more important to get end-to-end visibility of transactions that occur during regular operations.

As per a survey by Riverbed, 98% of business decision-makers identify the need to optimize digital performance as a crucial aspect of business performance, but the irony is that very few of them manage application and digital performance well. The survey further states that almost 80% of the respondents have pointed towards poor performance impacting digital services at least once each month.

In an era of cloud, containerization, bring your own device (BYOD) and modern application architectures, it has become critical for technologies to deliver uncompromised services to end-users and consumers. The truth is that great customer experience can be created only when you know what they actually experience during business activity. For the same reason, it is important to know their transactions with every application.

What we need is the ability to see and analyze them at any given time. The metrics and deployments should be shown in real-time and there should be no blind spots or gaps. Parkar with its NexGen platform offers pre-configured dashboards that display all relevant metrics giving a clear understanding of SQL statement and code level. This helps manage and monitor an entire application stack effortlessly.

Fig: application performance management should include these

There will be many other things too. The key is to follow every transaction end-to-end and drill into services and components that are evoked with every user interaction. This helps analyze response times and the impact of methods and database statements on user experience. Parkar NexGen Cloud Platform helps you get a clear idea as to how you are using your environment so as to have a better grip on productivity and efficiency.

Deeper visibility

Isn’t that just what you need when something goes wrong suddenly and you have no idea what happened? Unfortunately, not all tools give you the visibility that’s needed to spot and solve issues right away. Parkar with its extensive experience has worked with a wide range of customer problems to understand what it takes to create sound solutions.

Just the way your physician would have no idea what’s wrong with a part of your body by merely looking at it unless it has the necessary diagnosis reports, an APM tool also would not be able to attain much without proper investigation and analysis of the root cause of a problem. For deeper visibility, it is important to follow every transaction across every tier.

Parkar with its amazing NexGen capabilities helps you achieve the following:

Let’s delve into each of them one by one.

End-to-end visibility – Be it CPU Time, Execution Time, I/O Sync, Total Time or Wait Time, it measures everything. The same goes for method arguments and return values without which it would be impossible to analyze. Errors and exceptions, database execution, etc. are other aspects that need to be factored in too in order to know what’s happening in your environment. The platform offers all of these promptly and perfectly.

Every transaction covered – Whether it’s one issue or multiple ones, you are going to need the smallest detail for a thorough investigation. Mere aggregations and samples are never enough; what you need is each and every transaction. Parkar ensures full coverage of your transactions- every single one.

Easy to share – Considering the fact that enterprises operate in teams, it becomes important that observations be shared. Parkar allows you to share and analyze the failing transactions offline.

Consistency in information – It is important that there is consistency in the tools used and information shared. This helps avoid any form of miscommunication. In fact, it helps strengthen communication ensuring that all teams get the same information and solutions at any given time. So whether it’s the production team or developers, you can rest assured they are working on the same data.

Probable root cause automation – The platform ensures that both DevOps and ITOps teams have automated workflows to enable faster Mean Time to remediate incidents quickly. Public cloud services are a good example of the use cases the platform benefits. It analyses patterns, old scenarios, proximity and linguist of alerts to arrive at the causes and thus helps enterprises save time and resources.

How transaction monitoring works

Supervised machine learning techniques are used to evaluate the workflow of operators and the feedback they provide within a neural network. Alerts in combination with this feedback become the basis of analysis of real-time data. Alerts are then categorized to differentiate the casual ones from the critical ones.

Fig: Immediate benefits of Parkar’s platform

The Parkar edge

When one of the largest companies in the consumer internet space approached Parkar to help them manage their humongous volume of customer helpdesk calls, Parkar was quick to develop a custom integrated solution with leading AIOps platform that relied on AIOps algorithms to correlate events and get to the root cause.

As a client that was hassled by the overwhelming number of alerts and tickets, siloed teams and absence of context when an incident took place, finding a solution that too immediately seemed like the obvious thing to do. For the same purpose, Parkar aggregated and merged different events by determining certain rules and keys. Parkar integrated AIOps platform with APM, NPM, CMDB and other event sources and developed custom scripts and runbooks as an immediate remedial action.

The results were tangible.

Summing up

If productivity and agility are what you are looking for, look no further than Parkar. The type of data may vary but you will always require excellent transaction monitoring capabilities to improvise user experience. Merely having a solution that tells you a particular transaction is slow is not enough. You need to understand the ‘why’ and ‘where’ too along with ‘who’ can fix it to understand the bigger picture.

Parkar extensive and in-depth experience can help you address challenges and overcome problems associated with app monitoring with deeper transaction traceability.

Allow us to understand your environment and infrastructure. Rest assured, the perfect solution is just a call away.

Monitoring Strategy for Microservices

Upgrade Your Monitoring Strategy for Microservices

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Companies simply generate too much data for humans to monitor, so intelligent monitoring is crucial for IT incident management. Our platform covers every aspect of your business: accurately detecting anomalies, automatically surfacing important events from noise, alerting Ops teams to potential crashes, reducing MTTD and MTTR, and freeing people to focus on mission-critical tasks. When issues are resolved quickly and accurately, everyone is free to focus on core tasks and key business objectives.

Upgrade Your Monitoring Strategy for Microservices

Monitoring undoubtedly has always remained at the forefront when it comes to managing any IT system. But if we had to compare monitoring microservices to monitoring monolith applications, the challenges are pretty unique. As a single executable or library, a typical monolith system will have different points of failure and dependencies and therefore will greatly differ from traditional microservices architecture.

To understand the difference, it becomes imperative to understand what monitoring is all about and the unique challenges that it brings along while building a strategy. So let’s get down to know it better.

Understanding the ‘why’ of monitoring microservices

To begin with, there is no denying that the monitoring requirements of microservices-based applications are intensive. Tracking them requires collecting and correlating data from different services. It, therefore, becomes critical to understand what kind of data are we looking at, what monitoring tools are we considering and how can they be leveraged to publish, gather and store monitoring data.

At the core of the monitoring philosophy lies the fact that applications are likely to fail due to the nature of their complexities and the knowledge that all systems have a strong probability of failing. Also, the fact that system performance is not binary means that complex systems including monoliths are likely to get into a degraded state that can lead to very costly but inevitable failures. However, the right monitoring of microservices can ensure the good behavior of the systems and in turn notify operators well in time when they reach the degraded state to avoid a total failure.

Every service provided, whether internally or to external clients, will come with an agreement and only monitoring will help us determine if the Service Level Agreement was honored or violated. Not to forget the fact that monitoring systems over time produce valuable data that can be used in a number of ways for improving service performance.

This data will help operators look into details pertaining to performance as well as failures to analyze and pinpoint the exact patterns leading to system failures. So if you have sufficient data to prove that a new deployment has frequently led to total system failure, you will know that it is the deployment process that needs to be looked into critically.

Precisely why application performance monitoring or APM has become a huge market in itself and the range of APM tools available today is simply overwhelming. The best ones are being deployed to publish, gather and store metrics data which in turn is used by operation teams, development teams, and others for analytical purposes. The right APM tools help them shift through data in real-time to get a bird’s eye view of events that can be monitored via dashboards.

Microservice monitoring

Microservices architecture is a methodology where the application is divided into a set of smaller services, known as Microservices. It is based on proven software engineering concepts around agility, APIs, and Continuous Integration (CI) continuous deployment (CD). Complex workflows are orchestrated through a series of microservices that correlate and interact to carry out the necessary tasks or units of work. There will be constant communication among dependencies, be it a disk or a database or something else, and this communication will be the reason for both its success as well as failure. Till such time that all dependent resources are performing as expected, things will go on smoothly like clockwork. But a failure of any dependency will lead to a degraded state of performance and a possible system failure.

It is therefore important to ensure that the microservices architecture is robust and addresses all concerns pertaining to dependencies and their interaction in an efficient manner. Needless to say, the monitoring has to be sound from development as well as an operations point of view. So development teams are expected to incorporate instrumentation during the design phase while operations teams are expected to utilize their skills to build and support infrastructure to collect and collate data at a granular level.

The data so collated can be used to address issues and identify patterns that lead to degradation and failure.

Monitoring Metrics and Events

When it comes to monitoring microservices, there are quite a few metrics to consider. Monitoring being a process of reporting, gathering and storing data, you need to first decide what data is useful for you. The size of the architecture will also matter. So, large systems will produce massive data about their behavior within a short span of time. Processing the massive gigabytes of data and creating alerts to rise above the noise is a herculean task so to speak. Planning, clarity of thought and execution and determining the metrics to be monitored are the key here.

Parkar NexGen platform excels in all these areas with solutions that are meant to keep you on top of your game.

Monitoring collected

Fig: DataDog: Monitoring 101: Collecting the right data

 

So let’s take a look at the various metrics in detail.

Application metrics 

Very specific to the application you are using, every time an application accepts user registrations, you would want to know how many was it able to process and complete in an hour. An insurance company might want to know how many forms were verified in a certain period of time. So if the number of forms verified in an hour drops down considerably as compared to the previous hour, it is obvious that an anomaly exists. The right monitoring will help you detect it and fix the problem to attain optimal efficiency and productivity.

Platform metrics 

These metrics are way more important than you would imagine. It can give you a solid grip on your performance if you handled them well. Imagine knowing the average execution time for the fastest as well as the slowest database queries, the number of requests received per minute, the average response time for each service endpoint, the success or failure ratio, and the overall system performance. Together, they create a dashboard that creates an exact picture of both performance and behavior, and how they contribute towards the overall success or failure of the system.

Recording events

Operations teams are well aware of the fact that new deployments can be highly disruptive. We are aware of the fact that all systems are vulnerable to outside forces. And the correlation between new deployments and system failures is well known. Precisely why, modern enterprises are extremely particular about logging these deployments along with those pertaining to scaling events, configuration updates among others. Once these details are recorded, it becomes easier to understand system behavior.

“Performance analysis vendors are responding to new challenges in monitoring systems with innovations including the wider adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Action, not just reaction, is key to Coolness,” Gartner writes in a 2019 report.

Says Daan Teunissen, CEO StackState, world’s leading monitoring AIOps platform for hybrid IT, “This is a solid validation of the rapid change we see in the IT operations landscape with the fast adoption of new infrastructures, including hybrid clouds, containers, and microservices. As organizations move towards these highly dynamic architectures, the requirements for monitoring change dramatically.”

The right approach to microservices monitoring & monitoring in general

Monitoring alone will not suffice when it comes to digital business challenges and would, therefore, call for observability too. This means just about everyone – including product managers, developers, operation teams – will cultivate a culture of observability and understand how their new service, function or code is going to be monitored, and how will they leverage data to monitor a function, feature or service. Asking how a feature or function can be made more observable for better monitoring is crucial from a monitoring perspective.

Full-stack coverage

When it comes to mapping customer experience, it is important to have greater visibility into the stack. The more context-rich data you have, the better it is to drive decisions. So rather than just knowing what’s going on, you are able to drive the right intelligent action too, that too automatically. This helps in instant scaling of infrastructure resources irrespective of the environment.

Microservices monitoring the Parkar way

The best monitoring is the one that gives you an explicit graphical display of relationships across elements within the architecture that can help enterprises foster the IT and business landscape in a more organized manner.

With Parkar NexGen Platform, it’s a collaborative workflow to boost the collective monitoring, Intelligence of your IT Operations and DevOps

Reference

Fig: Reference moogsoft.com

When issues are resolved quickly and accurately, everyone is free to focus on core tasks and key business objectives.

Parkar helps you identify the root causes faster giving you meaningful insights into both IT and business parlance through its NexGen platform. What’s interesting is the predictive analytics it offers at any given time.

highpoints NexGen Platform

What it actually monitors includes systems, infrastructure, networks, containers, applications, databases, web servers, multi-location services, cloud-scale monitoring, log consolidation, event correlation, and APIs. The platform offers complete visibility across all the data streams and ensures shorter build times for rapid deployment. Unlike in the past where apps would take several months to release, Parkar helps you do so in a matter of just a few days.

Parkar has a solution to every problem; just that we never perceive it as a problem but simply as an opportunity to scale up and offer better and more resourceful solutions.

If you are looking for production-ready microservices, we’ve got you covered.

In closing: Cover Every Aspect of Your Business

We are living in an era where technologies, solutions, and experiences have begun to converge. It’s time we maintain high monitoring standards to eliminate failures and improve business outcomes.

Companies simply generate too much data for humans to monitor, so intelligent monitoring is crucial for IT incident management. Our platform covers every aspect of your business: accurately detecting anomalies, automatically surfacing important events from noise, alerting Ops teams to potential crashes, reducing MTTD and MTTR, and freeing people to focus on mission-critical tasks.

Real world results

faster integrations using Parkar NexGen Toolkits

Achieve faster integrations using Parkar NexGen Toolkits

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Today, there’s an API for practically everything you need to do. APIs are the enablers, whether you are driving integration, automation or agility. According to Gartner, 65% of global infrastructure service providers’ revenue will be generated through services enabled by APIs by 2023, a significant jump for the very modest 15% in 2018. It further goes on to say that APIs have helped enterprises generate good revenue; Salesforce generated 50% of its revenue from APIs while eBay stands at 60% and Expedia at a whopping 90%.

Achieve faster integrations using Parkar NexGen Toolkits

As we see a rapid progression in an era of digital transformation, devices continue to get smaller. Not surprising then, the applications running on them are evolving too – changing in nature, form, and function. The changing enterprise software landscape now calls for sophisticated Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to integrate with back-end business processes and systems of records effortlessly.

After discussing healthcare digital transformations at length in our previous blog, we now delve deeper into the world of API and how you can leverage them perfectly using Parkar NexGen Toolkits. So let’s understand where API stands today. API management is being looked upon as a critical step towards going completely digital. The API marketplace is buzzing with solutions trying to help organizations tide over challenges in seeking customer information, conducting business transactions and making integrations with back-end processes easy and simple.

The need for API

The right API tools go beyond technology to interweave the human aspects along with business goals. The rationale is to build a connection between producers and consumers and ensure that the connection does a bit more than it intended to, helping enterprises create a seamless customer experience and work towards creating better solutions.

To know what we mean, look at companies like Apple and Netflix. They reinvented their businesses time and again not just keeping pace with the changing and trending market needs but also managed to become extremely popular with time.

As Apple CEO Tim Cook puts it, “We weren’t first on the MP3 player; we weren’t first on the tablet; we weren’t first on the smartphone. But we were arguably the first modern smartphone, and we will be the first modern smartwatch—the first one that matters.”

These companies bust the myth that only start-ups stand at an advantage and the traditional ones often fail to ride the digital wave. Of course, they do not carry the baggage of traditional ways of operating businesses but still, every enterprise’s lifespan largely depends on its ability to create new products and services and how effectively they serve their customers. In that sense, the traditional enterprises are data-rich and have a robust infrastructure that helps put a lot of things in perspective. This is where APIs come into the picture.

The sheer variety of available APIs is so extensive that it has become overwhelming for enterprises to choose the right ones for their business. The API security survey by Imperva suggests that companies on average manage 363 different APIs and two-thirds (69 percent) of organizations are actually exposing APIs to the public and their partners.

Today, APIs differ in technologies, and also the environment they are deployed in differs to a large extent. Cloud, serverless, data center, containers, etc. make for very challenging environments and diverse standards such as RPC, REST, SOAP, Socket, etc. call for unique but versatile APIs. There is a certain level of difficulty faced by enterprises in choosing the best ones that can be easily used by developers, product managers, and analysts while accessing both data and enterprise infrastructure. Parkar NexGen Toolkits have made a significant difference in the way enterprises think and operate and most importantly, integrate.

The proliferation of APIs

A 2018 report on API  integration compiled on the basis of data collected from 44 countries and 6 continents suggests it takes more than 60 days for the average API integration to build out and about 24% took more than 3 months for the same. The report also went on to explain that the evolving API integration also made it evident that not all API consumers were created equal. Different devices would necessitate modification of data objects, security measures might need a bit of tweaking and composition may require considerable alteration.

The report underlined this diversity by citing Netflix as an example.

So a desktop browser may require different things as compared to a mobile application or a smart television in terms of features and functionality. To optimize the API experience for app and device, an additional layer, or mediation on top of its existing API platform was added. And we are talking about 2018 here.

A lot has changed since then. API mediation is no longer new and now often used for enriching experiences.

Today, there’s an API for practically everything you need to do. APIs are the enablers, whether you are driving integration, automation or agility. According to Gartner, 65% of global infrastructure service providers’ revenue will be generated through services enabled by APIs by 2023, a significant jump for the very modest 15% in 2018. It further goes on to say that APIs have helped enterprises generate good revenue; Salesforce generated 50% of its revenue from APIs while eBay stands at 60% and Expedia at a whopping 90%.

The API construct

The benefits cited above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to underlining everything APIs can do. APIs are typically grouped into functional areas, capabilities and other categories to give enterprises a better grip on their usage. Right categorization is critical to ensure optimal usage. APIs should be such that they can be reused as required. APIs are both internal – the ones visible to and consumed by internal clients only, and external – the ones consumed by external clients including partners and long-tail app developers.

A connected enterprise rests on an API hub. While it is important for teams to easily discover and connect to the APIs that exist within the enterprise, it is also important that the API hub be self-service and easily accessible to all. This should include a set of customized access rules for other groups and individuals too depending on the role they play with respect to the enterprise. API hub should essentially break down the data and engineering silos so as to help the roll-out of new products in a more efficient manner, thus reducing their time to market.

When on the topic of API integration, one must understand that it’s all about adopting the best-of-breed apps and systems to deliver personalized experiences by enabling smart, agile integrations. In a consumer-driven market, this is important. The tools you use should be flexible and allow you to change integrations as often as you want.

Unlike traditional settings where the good ones were often built-to-last, the modern ones are more stable yet dynamic. Considering the fact that apps, processes, and workflows are perennially changing, having flexible integrations is the key to both success and survival.

Parkar endeavors to facilitate faster, smoother integrations with its NexGen toolkits made available via its open-source NexGen platform.

API economy

A realistic evaluation of assets now puts ‘data’ on top of the list of assets an organization possesses. A study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) confirms, “Data is now a form of capital, on the same level as financial capital in terms of generating new digital products and services. This development has implications for every company’s competitive strategy, as well as for the computing architecture that supports it.”

Needless to say, if APIs are the doors to these assets, they also provide the coveted opportunity to enterprises to monetize them. As Bernard Harguindeguy, CTO – Ping Identity, rightly puts it, “The prospects for the API economy are exponential. APIs are creating powerful ways for businesses to streamline how they engage with partners and together deliver new generations of applications that empower consumers with more services and options.”

In an environment where APIs allow different systems to talk and communicate, API owes much of the interest it garners to secular growth in cloud computing and the subsequent need for integration that stemmed from it. The Uber app, for instance, is a classic example of what APIs can achieve. Especially when time means everything, APIs enable companies to build products and services that would otherwise be extremely time-consuming to build.

Enterprises are leveraging the API economy to break down silos and push innovation like never before. Parkar helps such enterprises leverage the API marketplace effectively and increase revenue, extend customer reach and stimulate innovation. Parkar NexGen toolkits with WSO2 enterprise platform, allows organizations to convert existing raw data currently residing in siloed system into consumer-centric APIs to build innovative products.

Parkar NexGen in healthcare

So when a major healthcare provider came to Parkar in pursuit of better visibility and insights into patient data, Parkar had all the right tools and solutions to help it attain its goals. The impact of open, standardized APIs is already well known and all those who have used them have been raving about its incredible benefits. This particular client was keen on building an AI-based decision support system that is perfectly integrated with third party intelligence systems via API so that they could leverage the available patient data more constructively to make good business decisions and improve the experience for all concerned. The data from EHR/EMR systems were required to be aggregated into more patient-centric APIs for this purpose. With Parkar NexGen, what it achieved was an open API interface, aggregated data, and  Custom portal. Not to forget the stress-free experience in achieving them.

In closing

The faster API integration is just what you need to connect the many components of your tech stack so that they interact and connect well. It would not only help automated workflows seamlessly transfer data but also reduce manual labor and enhance agility. For all this and more, you can count on Parkar NexGen toolkits.

Parkar brings your closer to technological solutions with a collaborative approach to help you improve business outcomes. With fruitful partnerships, it now serves some of the top corporations globally. Its NexGen platform is already helping organizations map their digital transformation and modernization journey. Parkar has agile frameworks and advanced technological solutions to help you attain your business objectives.

Request a demo today. You are just a call away from better revenue and incredible outcomes.

Healthcare digital transformations

Healthcare digital transformations using retail digital innovations – Parkar NexGen Platform

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“Digital transformation is fundamentally about improving patient experience,” says Michael Monteith, CEO of Thoughtwire. It underlines the importance of technologies in transforming not just the business for healthcare companies but also the quality of care and services they provide. Simply put, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into the way an organization communicates with patients, regulators and other healthcare providers leading to results that are sometimes radical. While processes evolve and experiences improve, they also disrupt the pre-existing and pre-established norms of healthcare. The number one reason many great digital transformation initiatives fail is largely due to the fact that they focus on point problems and not on technology that can provide great experiences. Precisely why, those like Parkar, pay great attention to finer details to ensure that technology is optimized to offer the best experience ever.

Healthcare Digital Transformation Statistics 

Successful digital transformation necessitates a change in culture; one that encourages new methods of working, new ways of thinking and ensures that everyone consciously works towards building effective channels of communication with patients, providers, and regulators. Despite this, a 2018 survey indicates that as opposed to 15 percent of industries that have gone digital, just about 7 percent of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are going the digital way.

“If you don’t have the IT train on the track, you can’t transform,” says Judy Kirby, CEO of executive search firm Kirby Partners in Heathrow, Fla. “So, you’ve got to do that first, you’ve got to do it well, you’ve got to do it exceptionally.

Healthcare Digital Transformation – Key questions for consideration

You need to look at the bigger picture to understand what you as an organization wishes to achieve and then see how different processes can be aligned in a way that they contribute collectively towards helping you achieve those goals. What you are doing now or how things should be done should help you decide how you want to leverage the technology and not the other way round. Technology should add value and acceleration to ‘how you are doing things now’

Questions you must ask:

  1. How well are we addressing patient concerns and how effectively are we providing patient care and support?
  2. Is there a way to service them in a better, more satisfying manner?
  3. How well are we utilizing employee skills to ensure their role matches their unique skills and interests?
  4. What kind of skills do we want our employees to build or hone?
  5. How can we optimize our processes to ensure the highest quality care?

You could ask yourselves all of the above or engage with a technology platform such as Parkar’s NexGen to ensure that everything is already factored in and solutions provided address these concerns incredibly well.

Prepare for Digital Transformation, as a culture

One thing you must get comfortable with is change. It’s about willing to be uncomfortable to do things that usher in a fresh approach, a fresh perspective and eventually a whole new level of experience.

As Dion Hinchcliffe rightly puts it, “Almost daily, the industry witnesses data points in the tech media that show us that we are currently at a high watermark for technological innovation. In this hyper-competitive yet nearly flat operating environment that organizations face today, the pressure to keep pace and deliver a wider range of digital capabilities has never been greater.”

In order to prepare yourself to offer great customer experience, you must:

  • Relook at the organization’s current state of readiness and the willingness of teams to change and adapt. Frontline staff, clinicians, management teams and all caregivers should be willing to change for the better to deliver beyond expectations.
  • Encourage a culture of change and continuous improvement by challenging the way things are in the present and do better.
  • Mistakes should be perceived as stepping stones and lessons should be learned. Failure should therefore not be punished. It should be looked upon as a by-product of experimentation that will help you pinpoint the things you should not do.

Create a Plan for Healthcare Digital Transformation

Once you do your homework and are done with the initial assessment of the preparedness of the organization, you need to look at how the community perceives it. You need to understand the expectations of your patients to serve them better.

Once you have answers to all these questions, you can then devise a plan.

Simply ask for feedback, especially from employees and patients. Only then would you be able to keep your initiatives on course and tide over roadblocks if any. Feedback must be in real-time to understand exactly where modifications are required.

No matter how good a plan is, it will succeed only when everyone concerned is on board.

Now that you have created a culture of change, you need to move on to embrace retail innovations that will drive your goals further. An old research by Pew had quite set the tone for better breakthroughs and initiatives in digital transformation in healthcare. According to the research, 1 in 3 American adults have gone online to understand a medical condition.

It further stated that:

  • 59% of US adults go online for health information in the past year
  • 35% are online diagnosers who have gone online looking for a medical condition they or someone they know may have
  • 53% discuss with a clinician about things they learned online
  • 41% got their condition confirmed via a clinician

Meeting patients where they are: Learning from Retail Digital Innovation

The healthcare industry is fast moving away from a typical monolith hospital setting to offer greater convenience to patients. Research by the Advisory Board – healthcare consulting firm suggested that from 2006 to 2016, inpatient hospital visits had gone down to just 6% while outpatient visits had surged to a good 20.4%, and predicted a further drop of 3.7% in inpatient visits and a rise of 58.% in outpatient visits in the next ten years. Needless to say, healthcare facilities unanimously are working towards increasing their outpatient market share.

The focus was largely on offering:

  • A more convenient location
  • Relaxing environment
  • Consistent branding

These three factors now form the core of retail.

The following are retail innovation trends that are now defining customer experiences in the healthcare segment.

Fig: Retail Innovation trends that are now defining customer experiences in the Healthcare Segment

Telemedicine 

The number of telehealth patients rose from 1 million in 2015 to 7 million by 2018. Telehealth technology is taking quality healthcare to the most remote locations thereby bridging the gap between good healthcare and the patients seeking it. So if you cannot afford to actually go to a different city or country for the best cancer treatment, telemedicine enables the specialist to connect with your doctor digitally to give you the same care and guidance irrespective of geographical constraints.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has enabled faster treatment. AI and deep learning have made CAT scans up to 150 times faster as compared to human professionals with an ability to detect acute neurological events in just 1.2 seconds. What you get is precise on-the-spot answers without waiting it out in concern and confusion. Artificial intelligence also enables faster trials and better medicines thanks to its ability to determine the most effective pharmaceutical compositions.

Blockchain

Those who have changed doctors in the middle of the treatment would know how frustrating it is to keep a tab on all developments and maintain records. Blockchain, however, ensures seamless data transfer offering complete medical history to doctors and specialists to treat in the best possible manner. Also, it eliminates data security issues and helps hospitals and insurance companies save big on data protection.

AR & VR

Together, AR and VR can help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients retrieve memory by taking them to a time or place in memory via a sound or experience from the past that was important to them. This is how digital transformation is altering the healthcare landscape in the most rewarding manner. Imagine, taking people back to their childhood or early years and helping them revisit experiences to think better and remember what they had lost touch with.

Digital twin

When healthcare providers want to experiment with ‘what if’, digital twin allows them to recreate the physical environment to test the impact of potential change by experimenting on a virtual version of the person or device. Digital twins now offer greater insights and are helping improve healthcare procedures in a big way.

Parkar NexGen Platform in the healthcare scenario

Always being at the forefront of things, Parkar uses a recommendation engine to ensure care that is personal, proactive and prompt. Remember how fast Amazon comes up with recommendations when it understands you and your requirements? Our recommendation engine relies on big data and predictive analytics to help patients with solutions and diagnoses on the basis of their case history. While doing so, we ensure that our recommendations are approved by the best healthcare specialists.

We’ve built our recommendation system using prediction and recommendation with the help of a dataset of patients’ case history, expert rules, and social media data to train and build a model that is able to predict and recommend disease risk, diagnosis and alternative medicines. All the predictions and treatment recommendations are approved by physicians.

Those who have used our platform have experienced:

  • Fast, reliable results
  • High conversion rate as compared to non-personalized products
  • Greater patient satisfaction
  • Improved personalization for the digital channels

Fig: NexGen Platform Value experienced by customers in healthcare organization

Parkar NexGen Platform – The Digital Transformation Accelerator

Digital transformation is inevitable to help provide the differentiated and much-needed customer experience.

While the right culture, service quality, organization skill is critical to successful transformation journey, technology is the enabler.

Retail digital transformation has been driven by innovations around technology like Artificial Intelligence, recommendation engine, blockchain, AR&VR, etc.

The healthcare industry can take cue from the retail innovation and apply them to healthcare to help give good patient care experience.

Parkar is all about innovation and improvisation. Through its NexGen platform, it endeavors to offer better solutions and results to its customers. No matter where you are, all you need is a Parkar edge to succeed.

PARKAR NeXgen Paltform

Production-ready Microservices simplified with Parkar NexGen Platform

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A lot of organizations end-up facing scalability limitations and development velocity comes to a screeching halt. This is the time when they adopt microservice architecture. It is also often the most natural progression for evolving software applications.

In our previous blogs, we defined a microservice architecture and what goes into its making. The key aspect, however, is to ensure that microservices are production ready.

Let’s delve deeper into what production-ready microservices are all about.

True spirit of microservices  adoption

Despite the fact that software systems often embrace microservices as the next major step towards evolution, it is important to remember that they were not built keeping a microservice architecture in mind.

This, in turn, causes problems and hiccups – both organizational and technical in nature.

So what happens at the organizational end?

Well, what you get is isolated teams working on their own set of microservices with zero lack of awareness of what the other teams are up to. Not to mention, the lack of trust between teams who have no idea how other microservices that support their own service are as reliable, stable and scalable.

Having a dedicated staff for operations management in microservice ecosystems will not always be possible. During such times, developers need to step forward and take charge of operational duties for their microservices. It goes without saying that most would be unfamiliar with the tasks and may also be reluctant to do something they have no idea about. As such, organizations need to initiate a lot of cross-team collaboration to ease out things at their end.

Likewise, there are challenges on the technical side too.

There would be compatibility issues between microservices. This would be largely because their functionality was never really defined when the decision was taken to split the monolith into microservices. This may cause a blurring of boundaries and overall communication with respect to collaboration and understanding of each other’s roles.

quote_communication structure

In addition, for a thriving microservice architecture, it is important that the microservices are extremely refined. This is an important consideration for organizations that are used to running monolith applications and often tend to overlook its significance.

Transitioning to production-ready microservices

Developers need to hone their skills to handle operational tasks well. While it is easy to split dev and ops duties in a typical monolith environment and manage both via separate teams, microservice architecture does not really give you that luxury. And in a way, it’s better that way.

There will be a multitude of microservices within the architecture and dual-staffing these for developers and ops engineers do not really serve the purpose from an organizational perspective. Not to forget the fact that devs move so swiftly in a microservice architecture that having operations engineers to run the services does not make any sense whatsoever. The devs take charge and drive the microservice architecture, they being the ones who know how to run it best.

Also, the organization needs to work hard towards building an application platform infrastructure that’s stable, reliable and sophisticated.

The cost factor while transitioning from Legacy to Microservices Architecture

It becomes necessary for organizations to justify the overhead while transitioning from legacy to microservice architecture. Having said that, companies should do the groundwork mentioned above to ensure they are good candidates for microservices.

In situations where the application is complex but the functionalities are well-defined with very clear boundaries, microservices work incredibly well.

There are situations however wherein an application reaches a point where scalability becomes an issue. These limitations often pose a serious threat to performance and stability, hampering developer velocity in a big way. In such a scenario, which is far too common, it makes sense to bring in microservices and justify the cost without which it would be impossible to scale the application.

Deploying production-ready microservices

You can simply wrap a microservice with all dependencies into a container and deploy it as needed. So you could deploy it on-prem, cloud or any operating system as per the requirement.

Having packed all the runtime dependencies together, you don’t have to worry about runtime environment factors that could lead to costly deployment failures that may occur during deployment in different environments.

This reduces the operational cost to a great extent and instills greater stability. The good thing is that you can repeat deployments of multiple microservices and keep a tab on all of them with the right microservices platform.

Parameters determining production-readiness

There are certain parameters in place or standards that organizations adhere to, in order to ensure the successful adoption of production-ready microservices. Production-ready microservices are often well-equipped to handle any catastrophe and are reliable, scalable, fault-tolerant and stable.

PARKAR_NEXGEN_PLATFORM

Fig: Parameters determining Production Readiness of  Microservice(s)

 

Let’s look at the most important ones:

  1. Reliability – Organizations need to develop and deploy microservices that can safeguard systems against dependency failures.
  2. Performance – The critical components must be studied and deployed to ensure greater efficiency and scalability.
  3. Fault tolerance – It is impossible to prepare microservices to fight catastrophes unless you push them to fail in real-time.
  4. Monitoring – You need to monitor and log, and study key metrics. On-call procedures and alerts should also be looked into.
  5. Documentation – Mitigate trade-offs like organizational sprawl and technical debt that are often part and parcel of microservice adoption.

 Why Parkar’s NexGen platform?

Often, the frustration and confusion arises from a lack of clarity around microservice architecture and calls for a better understanding of what entails the adoption of microservice architecture. If you think merely putting your application in Docker containers is equal to having microservice architecture, nothing can be further from the truth.

Typically, the microservice architecture can be split into four layers that comprise hardware, communication, application platform, and microservices.

Although the ideal scenario necessitates concerned teams to understand them well, the functionality of Parkar’s NexGen platform makes everything a lot easier.

Using our NexGen platform, from discovery to roadmap to delivery, it’s a 24-week process of application transformation.

NexGen process and technology involves automation, containerization, and microservices to truly transform our client’s journey from legacy to serverless. They get greater agility and flexibility as the Parkar NexGen Platform significantly reduces the migration and development efforts.

PRODUCTION_READY_MICROSERVICES

Fig: Why Parkar NexGen Platform?

A robust microservice architecture factor in all the above concerns in development as well as operational contexts. So, the development teams get clarity at design time while the operations teams build and support the necessary infrastructure to gather data reported by applications and platforms.

When an application is built with the Parkar NexGen Platform, it is quick to spot anomalies and prevent failures way before they occur.

Broad benefits of Parkar NexGen Platform

There is a reason why our customers trust us. Everything about our platform is conceptualized keeping the constant need for speed in mind.

NEXGEN_PLATFORM

 

These are the things you can expect from our innovative NexGen Platform:

Greater speed and productivity – Thanks to the platform, different teams can work simultaneously on different projects without having to wait for others to complete a task. Despite excellent collaboration, there is no dependency to hamper work speed or productivity.

Excellent scalability – Each microservice can be written with a different technology which ensures that the task of choosing the right stack for specific needs is uncomplicated. Even decoupled services written in diverse programming languages manage to exist in harmony along with others. So when you decide to scale your solution, you can simply add components or services with ease.

More independence – Development of a massive monolith can never be simple unless you have the capabilities of a platform such as Parkar NexGen. It allows teams to work autonomously around the globe or in tandem with extended teams giving them the independence necessary to make technical decisions quickly within a group.

Unmatched simplicity – Considering that each microservice happens to be a separate chunk of code, it is easier to manage the code. Services can be built, deployed, rebuilt and re-deployed as required and managed independently using the NexGen Platform.

Enhanced capabilities – Services can be easily adapted to be used in multiple contexts, which means you can use the same service in different business processes or across diverse business channels as required. If you decide to assign services to team members, you can easily build a smart, cross-functional team that works together to ensure zero friction and exemplary team spirit.

High security – Every time you need to access a microservice that’s outside of the organization’s network, you are required to open a network port that in turns causes security concerns. This is because when you have several opened ports, you are actually increasing the attack surface. This necessitates a reverse proxy or an API gateway layer so that microservices are guarded against exposure to public networks. NexGen Platform ensures secured data access through enterprise API for third-party data interoperability across the architecture and systems.

The platform offers a robust ecosystem to ensure better deployment and management of microservices. When used properly, it can support several use cases. Production-ready microservices come in handy for organizations that have been used to using different languages, libraries, frameworks, and data storage technologies that can be extremely tedious and time-consuming.

Summing up: Robust Ecosystem to Manage Microservices

Production-ready microservices may be just what you need if you wish to build a robust ecosystem to manage microservices. They give teams the freedom to use technology stacks of their choice and the power to operate independently while ensuring peaceful co-existence. If you wish to know the trade-offs of having production-ready microservices, call us today.

Allow us to assess your environment and we will help you choose solutions and strategies that are right for you.

Revolutionize Your Microservices Application Monitoring With Parkar NexGen Platform

Revolutionize Your Microservices Application Monitoring With Parkar NexGen Platform

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Our previous blog addressed SRE and its nitty-gritty and how Google influences our approach towards it. At Parkar, it’s all about helping you get there faster no matter how nuanced your needs are and which stage of adoption you are at while looking for services. It’s all about the need for speed. Not surprising then, this blog is dedicated to microservices and the critical aspect of monitoring them.  In this blog, we will talk about microservices and the critical aspect of monitoring them.

Things were different when you used the traditional monolith system that had different points of failure and dependencies when deployed as a single executable or library. But when it comes to monitoring microservices applications, it is important to get a fresh perspective. Microservices based applications have unique, intensive requirements necessitating all concerned to correlate data from various services. It has very specific monitoring requirements too.

Microservices monitoring – Whys & Hows

Before we delve deeper, we need to have answers to the following questions:

  • Why should systems be monitored and how are things different when monitoring the microservices architecture?
  • What kind of data is required?
  • What are the tools you should be using for publishing, collating and storing data?

What are Microservices

We’ve already explained in detail what microservices is all about in our earlier blogs. It is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of services that are easy to maintain and test. These services are loosely coupled, independently deployable, and meticulously organized keeping business capabilities in mind.

Often, these are owned by a small team that relies on the microservice architecture to ensure rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large, complex applications while evolving the organization’s technology stack.

There are potholes to avoid on your road to successful implementation and challenges and strategies too that we’ve covered in detail in our previous blogs.

Moving on, we now tell you how to assess and monitor microservices.

The monolith architecture pattern has worked well for many organizations for several applications, though its limitations are hard to overlook.

Many larger organizations with more complex applications are migrating to the microservice architecture pattern. If you have already migrated and built an application with the microservice architecture, we’ll tell you the ways and means to monitor it and reduce architectural and organizational risk.

Microservices Application Monitoring

For starters, let’s accept no one likes to fail. Complex systems, even monoliths, can operate in a degraded state causing a huge impact on performance and eventually leading to failures.

Monitoring ensures that operators are alert and well-equipped to manage systems as they hit the degraded state way before total failure occurs. As you are aware, there is a Service Level Agreement in place when such services are offered. But the only way to know if it was being honored or not is through effective monitoring.

Monitoring will also render invaluable data that can be employed effectively to enhance service performance.

There will be patterns in system failures that would otherwise go unnoticed. Often times, there is a correlation between events.

Imagine getting information that confirms that most of the time, total system failures occur within an hour of a new deployment.

This kind of information is critical and would alert operators to pay greater attention to the deployment process. This is where application performance monitoring or APM comes into play and is fast burgeoning into a market of its own.

The role of APM is so dominant today that Gartner even publishes a Magic Quadrant report for APM suites. According to a survey by Gartner, 61% of respondents identified APM as important or critical out of which 46% cited end-user experience monitoring as the most critical dimension of APM. It is important however that you are not swayed by everything that’s promised and take the time to critically review solutions that are being offered and look into their ability to adapt to more complex systems and environments.

At Parkar, we raise the benchmarks for end-user experience monitoring. Our focus has been to deliver greater functionality and reliability and our NexGen Platform ensures just that. We offer excellent alerting features and data that can be used effectively by the development and operation teams to shift and filter out all but critically important events. These alerts, in turn, can be escalated via dashboards, emails and other means.

The architecture which encompasses monitoring

As opposed to monoliths that are usually deployed as a single executable or binary library, microservices applications are often deployed as a family of independent services wherein each service is assigned a special function. These services are also expected to communicate with other services to ensure that a particular task or unit of work is carried out in a symbiotic manner.

Through a series of microservices, complex workflows are orchestrated and each service communicates with dependent resources such as a disk or a database or other services as required. This means every interaction is likely to be a potential point of failure that can have a huge impact on the entire system. The only way to prevent systemic degradation or failures is to detect issues early on and raise an alarm.

A robust microservice architecture factor in all the above concerns in development as well as operational contexts. So the development teams get clarity at design time while the operations teams build and support the necessary infrastructure to gather data reported by applications and platforms.

For the short term, the data is used for emergency scenarios like sending out alerts, while for long-term it comes in handy for data mining and analytics to look for patterns. Patterns offer useful insights when it comes to the analysis of common reasons for failures.

Microservices Application Monitoring Metrics to get insights

Application metrics: This applies to the application we are using.

Let’s take an example of a healthcare application, say Patient Registration application. The application accepts user registrations and you would want to know how many registrations were successfully completed in a specific amount of time. This kind of information is necessary for development teams and the organization as a whole to understand how the system functions.

To elaborate this further, let’s take an example where the system usually completes 1000 registrations in an hour and suddenly they drop to just 300 in the last couple of hours.

You know there’s a major cause of concern and the system needs to be immediately investigated for anomalies.

Platform metrics:  These metrics are just what you need to tighten your grip on the infrastructure.

Average response time, average execution time, the number of requests received per minute, etc. are good examples of platform metrics.

Together, they typically offer a dashboard that throws light on low-level system performance and behavior. They alert you to degraded performances that impact overall throughput or lead to a system-wide failure.

Parkar NexGen platform is quick to spot anomalies and prevent failures way before they occur.

Operational Metrics: There will be operational issues that are often disruptive. A classic case in point – new deployments. The correlation between new code deployments and system failures is well known. It is a good idea to record such instances including scaling events, configuration updates, and other operational changes that are crucial and important candidates for monitoring to ensure good system behavior.

A lot of customers use the Parkar NexGen platform to manage and monitor their application deployment. This ensures that there is no loose end and the inbuilt monitoring as part of the NexGen platform takes care of operational issues.

Parkar NexGen Platform and Monitoring

The constant need for speed has given Parkar the edge and motivation to come up with a solution that is revolutionary in every way. As environments and architectures continue to evolve and become more complex, monitoring too is becoming equally complex and critical.

Not surprising then, this need has caused a ripple effect within software management, including monitoring systems. What we offer is a platform that helps you tide over monitoring challenges and level up your business.

Parkar NexGen Platform critically monitors, with the help of Nagios, Datadog:

  • System
  • Infrastructure
  • Networks
  • Containers
  • Applications
  • Databases
  • Webservers
  • Service performance
  • Multi-location services
  • Cloud-Scale monitoring
  • Log consolidation, event correlation
  • APIs

It is important to align your monitoring with the organizational structure. To facilitate smart and effective monitoring, our NexGen Platform ensures that monitoring is easily configurable, non-intrusive and highly scalable.

 

 

Fig: Parkar NexGen Platform Benefits

NexGen Platform benefits:

  • Integrates legacy system and marketplace systems to accelerate your digital transformation journey
  • Reduces app release time from months to days
  • Ensures shorter build times for rapid deployment of new updates and version releases
  • Provides secured data access through enterprise API for third-party data interoperability between legacy and modern systems
  • Offers web service mesh for easy connection with third party wearables and customer platforms
  • Facilitates scalable governance of multiple applications with enterprise-grade protection and support
  • Provides visibility across all the data streams and usage

In closing

The monitoring of microservices is critical. Parkar with its highly effective NexGen Platform is changing the way organizations are addressing their monitoring needs. It offers amazing capabilities to users helping them move with agility in the right direction. It is changing business dynamics not only from microservices perspective but also with its approach towards AIOps. You can experience its benefits too.

Let us talk to assess your environment and we will help you with insights and capabilities to make better business decisions

© 2018 Parkar Consulting Group LLC.