Managing technology end of life
Recently we’ve been working with our Production Management team to improve the way we track which technologies need to be upgraded or retired.
All the technologies we use to keep the University’s IT systems running come with an “end of life” date, i.e. a date after which the supplier will no longer support them. This is true of infrastructure, operating systems, databases, web servers, applications, and just about everything else.
Production Management have the unenviable task of keeping track of all these dates, and of ensuring that the technologies are upgraded (or retired) before they run out of support. We’re looking at how to help them by providing an application catalogue within our enterprise architecture repository.
The idea is that we’ll create the data schemas for tracking all this information, which they will then keep up to date by editing the information in a web browser. This will be a big improvement over the less structured way they track the information at present. Currently, there is a lot of duplicated information; in the repository, each entity will only be entered once. It will be possible to query the system, for example to find out which services use a particular technology and therefore which services will be affected when the technology is upgraded.
By adopting this central catalogue, we will be able to retire our existing configuration management tracking system, which is spread across a number of tools, including spreadsheets and a wiki page. The improved information will inform our technology upgrade plans, leading in turn to improved service for users.