Performance as a Platform

Part Two of our Four Part Managed Services Blog Series

One of the biggest issues for any organization is technical debt - and addressing it. My colleagues and coworkers know that technical debt is a subject that I’m passionate about - both categorizing and addressing it.

In that regard, one of the big projects at ICF Olson over the past year has been re-investing in our platform-level technology for Hosting and Managed Services. We’ve learned that by not continuously improving our technology – which we aim to do now- we’ve accrued that favorite subject of mine - technical debt, and so we’ve been revamping and revitalizing our platform starting in December of last year.

I’d like to introduce our “2.0” platform and give a brief overview of what we’ve built for our customers. If you’ll review the visual overview, I’ll describe each of the four main parts below.

Managed Services Platform Image

Overhauled configuration management

Many of our customers know we’re built on Chef, and we’ve upgraded our configuration management to the latest version. We’ve also refactored 90+% of our cookbooks, making them both more secure and more relevant to our modern operational model.

New application monitoring

We’ve completely overhauled our monitoring system, moving to a distributed, more redundant model to help us capture not just more issues, but more data points. In addition, we’re introducing trend analysis into our monitoring - tracking the minutiae in order to better manage the possibility of client impact.

Revamped alerting and tracking

Tied directly to our monitoring improvements are new alerting pathways designed to get clients access to the help they need immediately, or to proactively manage impact to an environment. Tying alerting directly to incident management will help us build a better picture of each client environment.

A New Client Dashboard

The new dashboard will provide ease of access to many metrics we’re monitoring, the tickets opened either by clients, engineers, account managers, or our monitoring system, as well as a general environmental overview.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll provide a more in-depth dive into each of the sections above, and put a spotlight on the impact to clients for each item.


To read part one of our four part Managed Services Blog Series, click here