Business Service Management (BAC/BSM/APM/NNM)
More than everything monitoring, BSM provides the means to determine how IT impacts the bottom line. Its purpose and main benefit is to ensure that IT Operations are able to reactively and proactively determine where they should be spending their time to best impact the business. This covers event management to solve immediate issues, resource allocation and through reporting performance based on the data of applications, infrastructure, networks and from third-party platforms. BSM includes powerful analytics that gives IT the means to prepare, predict and pinpoint by learning behavior and analyzing IT data forward and backwards in time using Big Data Analytics applied to IT Operations.

Do you have an ITIL problem manager?

by Michael Procopio

What do Healthcare, Banking and Managed Service Providers have in common? Well at least the ones I spoke to all had ITIL problem managers. I’ll define problem management then give some examples.

What is the role of an ITIL problem manager? This was role introduced in ITIL v3 as part of Continuous Service Improvement. To understand the role we need to back up and describe incident and problem management.

An incident is a service interruption. Incident management is the process of restoring normal service. Frequently this is done with a work around, like killing a process and restarting or rebooting a system. Incident management is not worked about finding the root cause of the interruption.

The goal of problem management is prevent incidents from happening. What this means in practice is finding the root cause of incidents and fixing them and maybe along the way fix some others before they happen.

Let’s move to a couple examples.

1. Those darn log files. This came out in the first interview I did. What this showed me is that problem managers work closely with folks working on incidents. The result of the incident investigation was that an application written in-house wasn’t checking for disk space before writing the log file. Result, volume ran out of space and application stopped working. This was an easier find than many, but the problem manager put this in her monthly newsletter to developers and QA teams to prevent future problems.

2. One thing software can not fix is hardware. You have mission critical application and you end up getting hardware problems approximately every month for a few months. The problem manager, as part of his normal duties, is constantly monitoring incidents looking for patterns. While looking through incidents notices this pattern and starts investigating. In this case after talking to a number of folks and not hitting any answer he started investigating the hardware records and found the hardware was over four years old which is over their policy standard. Somehow the systems supporting this application missed their refresh. As you might guess once the hardware was refreshed the problems stopped

3. Sometimes its what’s not happening. A global ecommerce capability is not working at one location for 8 minutes. This problem manager says he is in the subfield of epidemiology, I think of more as forensics. This brings up a second learning I had: problem managers often orchestrate the process as much as they investigate themselves. After looking at a number of things that were happening to no avail, he asks each team to look at log files for abnormally low activity. This took some convincing, but the network team found a router that was showing almost no activity relative to normal. I didn’t get all the details but the source was someone made a change to a routing table and 8 minutes later changed it back. That change routed traffic around the site in question. The problem manager made an interesting observation: network folks often think what they do won’t affect anything and since they rarely get feedback to the contrary it re-enforces that opinion.

I’ll wrap of this post with what we can do to help the problem manager. For workflow we have the HP Service Manager Problem Management module. This includes logging, categorization, prioritization, communication and progress tracking.

For investigation we have HP Problem Isolation. Its proactive module helps find anomalies in performance data that can indicate potential upcoming problems. It also brings together incident and change data to help determine the cause of the problem.

 Related Items:

Evelyn Hubbert at Forrester wrote a report Problem Manager: A New IT Service Management Role, The Key To A Proactive IT Service Organization

Advanced analytics reduces downtime costs – detection

Advanced analytics reduces downtime costs – isolation



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About the Author(s)
  • Technical Consultant in the BSM Customer Assist Team, with focus on SHR.
  • Doug is a subject matter expert for network and system performance management. With an engineering career spanning 25 years at HP, Doug has worked in R&D, support, and technical marketing positions, and is an ambassador for quality and the customer interest.
  • Dan is a subject matter expert for BSM now working in a Technical Product Marketing role. Dan began his career in R&D as a devloper, and team manger. He most recently came from the team that created and delivered engaging technical training to HP pre-sales and Partners on BSM products/solutions. Dan is the co-inventor of 6 patents.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Over 11 years of experience in design and development of NMS/EMS products and presently with the Device content support covering broad based features of multitude device vendors in NNMi.
  • Manoj Mohanan is a Software Engineer working in the HP OMi Management Packs team. Apart being a developer he also dons the role of an enabler, working with HP Software pre-sales and support teams providing technical assistance with OMi Management Packs. He has experience of more than 8 years in this product line.
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  • Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model. The scope of these solutions spans across server, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery. Shelat has 21 years of experience in IT, 18 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a World-Wide Product Marketing Manager, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst. Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.
  • Architect and User Experience expert with more than 10 years of experience in designing complex applications for all platforms. Currently in Operations Analytics - Big data and Analytics for IT organisations. Follow me on twitter @nuritps
  • 36-year HP employee that writes technical information for HP Software Customers.
  • Pranesh Ramachandran is a Software Engineer working in HP Software’s System Management & Virtualization Monitoring products’ team. He has experience of more than 7 years in this product line.
  • Ramkumar Devanathan (twitter: @rdevanathan) works in the IOM-Customer Assist Team (CAT) providing technical assistance to HP Software pre-sales and support teams with Operations Management products including vPV, SHO, VISPI. He has experience of more than 12 years in this product line, working in various roles ranging from developer to product architect.
  • Ron Koren is a subject matter expert for BSM / APM, currently in the Demo Solutions Group acting as a Senior Architect. Ron has over fourteen years of technology experience, and a proven track record in providing exceptional customer service. Ron began his career in R&D as a software engineer, and later as a team manager. Ron joined HP software in 2007 as an engineer in the Customer-Oriented R&D team. Prior to joining HP, Ron held a leadership development role at Israel’s largest bank. Ron holds a B.S. in Computer Science from The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya Israel.
  • Stefan Bergstein is chief architect for HP’s Operations Management & Systems Monitoring products, which are part HP’s business service management solution. His special research interests include virtualization, cloud and software as a service.
  • With 11 plus years of very broad experience as a deployment expert for all the NMC products, my deliverables includes helping the Sales and Pre-Sales team in sizing and architecting the solution and hardware, assisting the implementers in product deployment and helping the customers directly when the products are deployed in production setup. As part of Customer Assist Team, I participate in a lot of customer facing activities from R&D side and provides best practices of using HP SW NMC products for efficient network management and leverage my rich experience in Network Node Manager and related iSPIs products.
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