Towards the end of 2016, it all started with developing a simple platform to manage Microsoft Azure Service Bus namespaces. The then classic Azure portal had limited capabilities to manage Azure Messaging resources like Service Bus Queues and Topics. Paolo Salvatori developed and managed a community tool called Service Bus Explorer. We identified that there are challenges or limitations in managing and monitoring Azure Messaging resources using the above two. Hence, we introduced a software-as-a-service – ServiceBus360.
With the adoption of this tool and the interest shown by our customers expecting the tool to support more Azure resources and especially in the Serverless computing space, we had to expand the capabilities and re-introduce as Serverless360.
Serverless360 is built to complement the Azure portal.
Over the years, we have been adding more features, enhance existing ones and introduce support to new resources. We were listening to our customers and the community to improve the product. As the application grew with more and more features and the usage increased, we felt it is the right time to relook our product positioning and refresh the application in all aspects, to scale.
In April 2021, the preview of what was being developed was shared with the community. This new version of the portal was also demonstrated at INTEGRATE 2021, the World’s largest conference on Microsoft Integration technologies.
Our friends and prospects in the community tried the new portal and shared their feedback. They were really encouraging, and we are not in short of excitation to launch the portal for public use.
Indispensable Microsoft Azure support capabilities
Many customers find the support aspects of their solutions build with Microsoft Azure are a bigger challenge than they anticipated. Customers are reluctant to provide their L1 & L2 support teams with access to the Azure Portal due to the shortage in skills and experience required to safely navigate a solution and provide support via the Azure Portal. This usually ends up with most support tasks requiring a high-cost Azure expert.
As a result customers often have the need to develop their own custom tool-set to help manage their solution. This is a significant additional cost and maintenance overhead.
If we can change the support expense ratio from 80% on expert and <20% L1 or L2 support to be >80% L1 or L2 and <20% expert but also without the additional cost of maintaining custom tools, then the ROI from Serverless360 would be a significant benefit to the customers.
The core use case for Serverless360 is to provide the tools to democratize the support of your cloud solution to L1 and L2 support operators and do more.
This version is mainly focused on improving the user experience. Our UI/UX developers played a vital role to completely redesign the portal. This provides an extendable framework to introduce new capabilities in the future. We have focused more on enhancing the UI/UX to make the support team members’ life easier.
We have considered the following aspects while redesigning the features:
- Make the UI consistent across the features.
- Modern look & feel
- Address existing challenges and hear feedback from customers.
- With multiple iterations of UI prototyping, the UI has been redesigned.
Capability to add more modules in the platform
As we added new features and capabilities to the existing portal, it became a bit complex to explore the features and make use of the application to its potential. Some users may not require certain features that can be separated out. Also, to bring more modularity in adding a completely new set of features that serve valuable purposes, we made some significant changes in the application architecture. Reorganizing features improves collaboration, ease of use, and logical separation.
Serverless360 is now designed to cater to businesses of all sizes – SMBs to Enterprises, but with simple to use experience and enhanced capabilities.
Business Applications – where you can logically group together various resources from Azure Subscriptions (same or multiple subscriptions) that represent a Line of Business (LoB) applications in your application architecture.
Business Activity Monitoring – a functional end-to-end business activity tracking and monitoring product for cloud scenarios, get full visibility of business process flow across Azure resources.
Azure Documenter – generate extensive technical documentation on your Microsoft Azure Subscription.
Note: Composite Applications will be known as “Business Applications”
Business Applications is a logical container to group Azure Services like Service Bus, Logic Apps, Event Hubs, Event Grid, Azure Function Apps, etc that constitutes a Line of Business solution. There comes the challenge of not getting to view, manage and monitor them as an application in the Azure portal.
Serverless360 makes it easy to manage and monitor the enterprise solution by including several Azure services in a Business Application.
Access, manage and monitor services from different Azure subscriptions, regions, and resource groups. Serverless360 provides first-class support in this case with its feature Business Applications.
Business Activity Monitoring
In the modern hybrid and cloud world, we found this area – Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) to be a common pain-point for integration customers and we wanted to develop a solution that would allow customers to get a business-like view across technical transactions implemented across multiple cloud services. We have regrouped and improved a set of capabilities to enhance the usage and experience.
In any integration solution, when many Azure services come together to communicate with each other, there is a need for the organizations to build an end-to-end traceability/monitoring solution that can be used by the business users. Some business transaction is being carried out by business users, and customers are unsure where the transaction is at and whether there is a problem.
With Serverless360 BAM, customers get full visibility of their end-to-end business process flow with distributed tracing across their Azure resources.
Perform end-to-end message tracking and capturing necessary data on business process flow across Azure resources and hybrid integrations.
As the adoption to cloud expand, subscribing and provisioning more and more resources increases day by day and at some point, becomes unmanageable to comprehend the need and usage. It becomes imperative to understand the usage and end with some management tools. Not all stakeholders will have access and the necessity to check through these tools, but it will be easy for the decision-makers to investigate the reports, summaries, comparison assessments, and useful charts or diagrammatic representations. This will help them to assess the usage briefly and take strategic decisions.
There is a range of tools available in the market that generates documentation or reports on your cloud usage. Over a period, it becomes cumbersome to generate and maintain the documents. Also, it becomes difficult to share such documents and handle their access to various stakeholders.
In 2020, we introduced CloudDocs in Preview, and since then we have added considerable features. We will continue to invest in this module to address the customer needs.
Note: CloudDocs is now renamed as Azure Documenter to provide more sophisticated documentation focused on Microsoft cloud.
Isn’t it necessary to have utmost clarity on Resource usage and their deployments, type, Configuration, SKU of these resources?
Representation, collation, and correlation of useful information are very important here. It becomes very difficult to gather information and put them together. With, the services and offerings getting reinvented frequently, catching up with these changes to document them become difficult.
With Serverless360, generate documentation and reports on your Microsoft Azure Subscription usage with ease and provide restricted online access to your stakeholders.
Serverless360 Azure Documenter currently provide –
Executive Level Summary – Provides a graphical representation of cost incurred Resource wise, Resource type-wise, location-wise and, Resource group-wise. It also provides a split-up of cost consumed at the individual resource level.
Change Tracking and Comparison for Executive Level – compare two snapshots of their Azure Subscription and see what resources have been added, what resources have been withdrawn, and what resource characteristics have been changed.
Compliance & Advisory guidelines – Evaluates subscription or resources and provides a detailed report on security issues or misconfiguration, based on a set of compliance rules.
Publishing the documentation in PDF format or online using Document360 – There is no need to distribute documents on a file share, send emails, or manage shared folders when the documents are generated in the Document360, an online SaaS knowledge base platform.
At Kovai.co, we are excited to bring you much enhanced version of Serverless360 – aimed at making it a #1 Azure support portal to manage your Microsoft Azure resources.