As technology continuously innovates and advances, it becomes easy to dismiss the simplicity of the services that make our lives easier. One of these conveniences is the Dynatrace Self-Service Portal which empowers our users to create their own maintenance windows without being a monitoring admin, and respects the security and accessibility of these configurations. Prior to the Self-Service Portal monitoring teams had one of two options; continue to configure maintenance windows for teams as more applications get on-boarded or assign monitoring admin permissions to all app owners. Neither of these solutions were scalable. To solve this, we developed the Self-Service Portal. Benefits include reduced wait times for changes, improved productivity, and decoupling unnecessary work from monitoring teams.
Whilst the Dynatrace UI is feature rich, one of the drawbacks we discovered was that Dynatrace currently requires users to be an admin if they wish to create or make any changes to maintenance windows. Handing out admin permissions to every app team wasn't a feasible solution, but Dynatrace allowed us to utilize the platform to its full extent by programmatically leveraging the well architected API's to alleviate this pain point; with Dynatrace's robust API-first design, which promotes automation and creativity, app teams can now access these configuration screens without being an admin through the use of the Self-Service Portal.
From our extensive use of the Dynatrace platform, and working closely with our clients, we began noticing that this pain point added configuration overhead and slowdowns to the monitoring teams impacting their day-to-day. The additional overhead to constantly keep track of and configure maintenance windows wasn't a scalable solution. Large Dynatrace environments are affected by this the most since many now include well over 10,000 monitored hosts. The monitoring teams were now put in a tricky situation where they would only have two options:
Neither of these solutions were something we could confidently recommend since they both have their caveats. We knew there had to be a better solution to this and so the Self-Service Portal was born.
The Self-Service Portal is an easy to use front-end for interacting with Dynatrace's API's to give various departments the ability to administer maintenance windows on their own, without introducing new risks. The Portal not only frees up time for the monitoring team, but also empowers the App Owners to configure more of their application on Dynatrace without assistance. The functionality that the Portal provides versus taking the time to have a conversation is integral. Some benefits to the Self-Service Portal include:
And so, we're happy to announce the first release of the Self-Service Portal, as an open source project, which currently supports CRUD operations for maintenance windows. We plan on introducing configuration capabilities for Alerting Profiles and Problem Notification Integration in the near future as well as more granular permissions.