Army / MoD / Atlas / Fujitsu (HQ Land Command)

 
Army Atlas
           Fujitsu  

Configuration Manager & Configuration Librarian (interim role).

DII/F is a major program underway within the MoD to outsource all MoD IT infrastructure and support to the Atlas Consortium, a joint venture between Fujitsu, EDS and others.

This was very much a hands-on interim role, which we took because of the opportunity that it offered to gain SC Security Clearance on a MoD site whilst simultaneously learning Axios Assyst for hardware configuration management (HCM). The principal requirement was to understand and document the existing configuration management processes and procedures, plus working practices of both asset trackers and central CM, whilst simultaneously working to improve both them and the quality of the data in the CMDB, also assisting with the business-as-usual (BaU) tasks whilst the department was preparing to handover to Atlas DII/F.

We were successful both in researching, exercising and documenting the existing CM processes and procedures, and recommending improvements to them. This new documentation comprised two separate ‘manuals’: one for the Central CM Team based in Headquarters Land Command, responsible for the British Army’s worldwide IT CM needs; and one for the asset trackers and store-keepers throughout the UK explaining their duties and the precise interfaces to the CMDB hosted in Axios Assyst. Each manual was a little over 100 pages long, and we additionally authored a number of one-page ‘quick reference cards’ to accompany the manuals.

We were also responsible for identifying and investigating issues in the Assyst CMDB, and for recommending and implementing improvements. This required us to gain an increasingly detailed understanding of the detailed workings of Assyst, and to generate frequent ad-hoc reports using a combination of Assyst’s internal reporting capabilities and ‘home-brew’ Excel VBA macros, as Crystal Reports was not available. We initiated a liaison with every Technical Support Manager (TSM) across the UK to audit every server in the live estate, ensuring that it was correctly recorded in the CMDB, and properly secured on the HP CDS Single Source Maintenance (SSM) support contract at the correct support level. This latter task involved using Remedy to directly interrogate the SSM Team’s configuration management database (CMDB).

In the absence of the staff Configuration Manager, we attended a number of ‘Quick Wins’ process improvement meetings, representing the Configuration Management Department. During the meetings we made various recommendations for rapid improvements to CM within HQ Land Command, commented and advised upon suggestions made by others, and pro-actively pursued agreed actions over the following weeks.

We were also responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the Definitive Software Library (DSL) that stored software for use by the British Army worldwide. We both recommended and made many improvements to the operation of the DSL, and to the procedures surrounding the Software Box Ltd (SBL) Enterprise Agreement (EA) licence-management for software borrowed from it.

Keywords

MoD SC Security Clearance, Atlas DII/F, Atlas Consortium, Axios Assyst, Remedy, CMDB, Hardware Configuration Management (HCM), Definitive Software Library (DSL), Crystal Reports, HP CDS Single Source Maintenance (SSM) support contract, Software Box Ltd (SBL), Enterprise Agreement (EA), British Army.

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