We are very excited to introduce the SolarWinds Service Desk Enterprise plan, our new plan that helps you better manage IT complexity, deliver IT services and support at scale and provide increased security to your agents and employees!
The new Enterprise plan is focused on the needs of large organizations as well as organizations with advanced ITSM practices. This new plan is designed to cater to the following needs of these customers and as we move forward, we will add more capabilities:
- Scalability - Delivering high performance to our largest customers, such as organizations with large numbers of agents, employees, API calls, or managed devices.
- Security - Meeting the security expectations of customers in highly-regulated industries with capabilities such as access control, authentication, encryption, and compliance.
- Advanced Processes - Meeting the requirements of organizations that have higher levels of process requirements with highly structured and automated services.
What’s in the Enterprise Plan?
The new Enterprise plan includes the following:
- A new CMDB visualization engine that helps you navigate and understand complex configuration models
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) that will allow another layer of access control to your service desk.
In addition, we just released a new data model for our configuration management database (CMDB), which is available to customers on both the existing Professional and the new Enterprise plans.
These capabilities enable you to build a rich configuration model and visualization for your IT and business services, which you can tie to key IT service management processes including incident, problem, change and release management. This helps you drive improved resolution times, better assess the impact of changes while reducing failed changes, and improve asset lifecycle processes. You also get another line of defense with multi-factor authentication, which reduces the risk of identity theft and improves access controls for your service desk. Let’s learn more about these new features in the Enterprise plan.
CMDB Visualization Overview
We have developed a new CMDB visual map to increase your visibility into your IT infrastructure. You can get a better understanding of dependencies and potential impacts between CIs by automatically visualizing your CMDB, including CIs and their relationships.
This helps you streamline change management by giving you greater insights into the impact and risks of changes, which improves planning of potential changes while decreasing the time to review and approve changes. You can also quickly contextualize IT issues and improve key ITSM processes with better insights into how changes affect them.
How to Use CMDB Visualization
Before you visualize your CMDB, you must first create and associate dependencies between CIs by creating new dependency types, defining directions for these types, and connecting CIs together via these dependencies.
Once you have done this, navigate to the respective CI that you wish to visualize. Next, click on the ‘Open Visual Map’ button. You will then see a visual representation of the CI and all the CIs that have relationships with it (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Opening the CMDB Visual Map
These relationships include both a dependency type (i.e. “Is Used By”, “Consume”) and direction (“Forward” or “Inverse”) to give you richer information into how different CIs impact each other. You can then drill down to the CIs that are important to you while filtering out CIs and relationships you don’t want to see (See Figure 2).
Figure 2: CI Dependencies in the Visual Map
Multi-Factor Authentication Overview
We are glad to present our latest security enhancement to the SolarWinds Service Desk - Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). Most of you are familiar with this authentication method from your use of other apps or Single Sign-On (SSO) services which have a built-in MFA capability.
This is a good solution for mature IT organizations and/or organizations that need to comply with high security standards that do not have SSO in place. It provides you with improved access controls and further secures your data, without relying only on password protection for security. For organizations that already use SSO, MFA could be utilized to provide a highly secured ad-hoc login permissions (for example, contractors who process certain tickets).
MFA Setup and Management (Admin Side)
From now on, you can enable and manage MFA directly from your service desk. Let’s review what this looks like from an admin perspective:
Figure 3: Setup/Security & Audit/Login Policy
The new MFA capability appears at the top of the Login Policy page (see Figure 3). You can switch it on or off, enable it to all of your users, or only turn it on for select groups. For example, you can choose to have this capability turned on for admins and agents, but not for requesters. Lastly, you can choose one or more authentication methods for your users:
- Mobile phone
- Google Authenticator
MFA Setup and Login (User Side)
The MFA login flows are identical for admins, agents and requesters. They are available on the desktop and mobile browsers, as well as the mobile app. Upon logging in for the first time, users will be prompted with a 2 step verification process, offering them the authentication methods you chose to enable for them (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: First login flow - choose authentication method
Note: The email address used by the admin to create a service desk user account is considered verified. For this reason, it does not appear as one of the options in the initial setup process.
In this example, the user chose the mobile phone authentication method, which means they now have to add their phone number in order to verify their identity (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: First login flow - add mobile phone number
They will then receive a verification code via a text sent to their mobile phone, which they need to enter on the next screen (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: First login flow - enter verification code
Once the user enters the verification code and clicks the Continue button, they will be authenticated into SolarWinds Service Desk. The next time they log in, the system will already have their phone number registered under their account, and so it will only ask them for a new verification code.
These new capabilities in the new SolarWinds Service Desk Enterprise plan are designed to meet the needs of large organizations and customers with advanced ITSM processes. We have aligned the packaging structure of SolarWinds Service Desk to the size and process maturity levels of our customers. This allows you to grow with us as your ITSM practices mature, your business evolves and requirements change.
For more information on the Enterprise plan, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager. To determine which SolarWinds Service Desk plan you’re currently using, please navigate to Setup → Account and look under ‘License Info’.