LRS is excited to announce the release of our new LRS Mission Control functionality. This Platform-as-a-Service is designed from the ground up to help you, the customer, better manage and control your LRS environment!
LRS Mission Control is a Cloud-based service available to all LRS licensed customers who use our VPSX® and / or MFPsecure® products. This initial functionality of LRS Mission Control will be provided at no cost to our customers, though they must opt-in to the service.
Our initial offering will feature three major functional areas to help you understand and manage your LRS environment. But before we discuss some of these areas, we need to understand the concept of an LRS Mission Control environment.
With respect to LRS Mission Control, an “environment” is defined as a set of servers / components with a particular designation (e.g., PROD, TEST, EMEA, APAC, etc.). Environments are controlled by a logical grouping of components as configured by the customer. For instance, a customer may have a VPSX server, an LRS/Gateway group and an MFPsecure group that are all part of what they call their “Production” environment. There may be other sets designated as a Test environment, EMEA, Americas, or other groupings. How this is customized depends on the customer and the nature of their overall landscape.
Note that an environment need not run in the Cloud. But it can. It can even be a hybrid of both Cloud and on-premise, server-based systems. LRS Mission Control is running as a Cloud-based service, but our output management software components can run anywhere. However, to facilitate communication between LRS components and LRS Mission Control, you must be running release V1R4 or later of the VPSX, MFPsecure, and other associated components.
For many years, LRS® software licensing has required the sending of files and keys to customers using email. After receiving the license keys from LRS, the customer has needed to propagate these files to whatever servers they are running.
With LRS Mission Control, this process becomes far more automated. The current license structure is available to the customer directly in the LRS Mission Control interface – no email communication needed. The license files display a great deal of granular information about the registered capabilities, including the machine names licensed, the maximum number of devices or users allowed, the expiration date, and many other important license characteristics.
Please note the “Push License to Environment” button in the graphic above. This allows the customer to update their landscape to the latest licensing without searching for administrative emails or transferring files. Note also that this license maintenance can be done on an environment-by-environment basis, updating only one product instance or many, depending on the needs of the customer.
The LRS Mission Control Dashboard gives the customer a view of their overall landscape and lets them zoom into areas where trouble is detected. In this second screen, you will see that there are areas marked as “good” (i.e., green check marks and coloring) as well as areas that are red and marked with the letter “X.” In keeping with modern UI conventions, the customer can drill into these areas for more information on which services are running or not. Ports and web-based application pools are also noted here. Using these cues, the customer has a better idea of where to begin the troubleshooting process.
LRS Mission Control also enhances customers’ analytic abilities. Most of you are already familiar with the LRS Innovate/Audit™ database, which provides cost-based analysis of the output management environment. These analytics are geared toward more real-time server and network load situations in the EOM environment.
You can also see the status of jobs over time. All of these statistics are available to the customer in real-time. Customers can select different environments to examine, tweaking timeframes to learn more about users’ print behavior. This is not an exhaustive list of the information available, but hopefully gives an idea of the possibilities.
LRS Mission Control is only in its infancy, and I have described only a few types of information that can be managed and analyzed. Many other areas and concepts are not as obvious. For instance, gathering global data and displaying it in real time can cause issues of latency with a web-based service that is running in a single locale. LRS Mission Control is built using a global web-service provider that has local access in countries all over the world. In addition, localized data such as analytics can be stored closer to the source. Both of these help minimize latency issues.
In any multi-tenant service, there are concerns around security. LRS Mission Control has been designed to give each customer complete control of their data. While LRS owns the service, we cannot see any individual customer’s data unless the customer subscribes and specifically allows LRS to see it.
There are also many provisions that enhance privacy of user data. The ability to redact data before sending to LRS Mission Control is just one of many features to protect the data in GDPR, PHI, and other privacy areas prescribed by the government.
Finally, if your company simply does not want to opt in, that’s okay too. We can continue to distribute licenses via email as we always have. We encourage you to move forward with us, however (your license administrators will thank you). What you see here represents only our first toe in the water. We intend to build many new and innovative processes and products using the versatile LRS Mission Control component. Watch this space for the next wave of powerful functionality courtesy of LRS Mission Control!