Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Configuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for BSM With Ease

In this day and age, the amount of information may seem insurmountable. The size of IT infrastructures is constantly growing and frequently changing. The need to manage and monitor it all is greater than ever. HP BSM (Business Service Management) is the best solution available to overcome such a task.

In BSM, to see results, it all starts with the configuration. And when you get down to the screws and bolts, it all comes down to CIs and indicators. This article focuses on the KPI configuration. Configuring many KPIs can be an exhausting and tedious task. But it doesn't have to be.

Agent-Based Monitoring is NOT the only way to get CIs into the Run-time Service Model

Think that the only way to feed information into HP’s Run-time Service Model (RtSM) is via agents?  The answer is “No”.  This is also possible via agentless monitoring …

HP Discover: Customer Roundtables Summary - Day 3

One of my favorite parts of HP Discover is hosting the Customer Roundtable discussions. For those of you who have not participated in these sessions, it is when a group of customers get together with some HP experts (typically from Product Management, Technical Marketing, R&D, and/or Product Marketing) and have a discussion. What I like best about the customer roundtables is that they are completely unstructured; every discussion is different, based on the composition of participants.

Monitoring the Cloud - harder when your users go GaGa

BSM is all about monitoring. Comprehensive, consolidated monitoring that starts with the end user experience, and covers applications, servers, networks and storage. In short all the components that comprise a business service.

 

BSM for cloud is about extending this monitoring approach to cloud environments, whether public, private or hybrid. As you start building out their own cloud environments or purchasing cloud-based services, you need a way to monitor them. Again, from the user experience all the way through the underlying infrastructure.

 

BSM adds end-user monitoring to infrastructure monitoring (video)

While this blog focuses on infrastructure monitoring, more and more customers I meet with feel this is only a part (albeit a very important part) of an overall IT monitoring solution.

 

To raise awareness of this issue, I often ask the IT infrastructure monitoring team what tool they use to monitor the user experience. Most of the time, after an uncomfortable silence, someone blurts out “the telephone.” If you are waiting until your users call you to learn about a problem, you are not following best practices for IT monitoring.

Does ITIL v3 require good IT monitoring solutions? Is Service Operation the key?

Recently I attended a 3-day ITIL v3 Foundation training course. While there are 5 stages in the lifecycle of an IT Service, according to the ITIL framework, “Service Operation” or the 4th stage is “where the customer really sees the value” (according to my course materials). What does this mean? It means that having a good IT monitoring solution in place is an absolute necessity.

Real-World Best Practices for Mastering the Cloud with BSM (free webinar)

More than any other force in recent memory, Cloud-based solutions are driving a sharp focus on what lines of business really need from IT services.  Driven by initial enthusiasm around potential cost savings, business stakeholders often run into a less than perfect quality of experience; in some cases, finding out that what they’re paying for isn’t quite what they wanted.  At the same time, IT finds itself in the difficult position of being responsible for service quality while having exponentially more variables to contend with.

 

Learn how Seagate IT relied on an HP Business Service Management (BSM) strategy to “Master the Cloud.”

A day in the life of a BSM (business service management) customer - video

Business Service Management has a number of advantages that can help you better manage your IT and Business Alignment.  HP has a new flash video that explains what BSM is, features a day in the life of a company using BSM technology, includes the various returns on investment that actual companies have realized with BSM 9.0 and other information you can use today to evaluate BSM’s value.  When the music starts on the Flash video, click on one of the upper tabs to see more.  See it here.

Gold Medal IT Monitoring: free webinar on how HP powered the IT management at the Vancouver Games

Hear how the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympics games (VANOC) used HP Business Service Management (BSM) to correlate events across the infrastructure into a single, simple console. Atos Origin Major Events, a key HP systems integration partner, shares how they consolidated server, network, and application events to effectively manage the 43 competition venues and supporting sites at the most recent Winter Games. Register now for this free webinar.

Four keys to hybrid service management

The July 2010 edition of BSM Digest includes an article on the four key capabilities that organizations must have to effectively manage the health and availability of hybrid services. The article is the result of an interview with my colleague Kalyan Ramanathan, Director of Business Service Management (BSM).

Introducing the Run-time Service Model

The Run-time Service Model, at the heart of HP BSM 9, defines the relationships among infrastructure components, IT services, applications, and corresponding business services is the embedded . Without the ability to relate infrastructure components, business transactions, and applications to the business services and service level agreements they support, how can IT effectively respond when problems occur? If multiple problems exist at once, how does IT know which one to work on first? The answer lies within the Run-time Service Model.

BSM 9.0 demo now available - see the Run-time Service Model and OMi in action

Seeing is believing. View the new BSM 9.0 demo. See how the Run-time Service Model powers Operations Manager i (OMi) and allows operators to boost their efficiency and reduce the time to resolve IT problems.

BSM incognito (Software Universe - Day 1)


What a great start to Software Universe. The keynotes were great, and the speech by Dick Hoyt on “Yes you can!” was inspirational.



I had the pleasure of moderating one of the customer roundtable discussions. The topic was Consolidated Event and Performance Management. Ten customers joined three HP product experts for a guided discussion about their concerns. The goal of these discussions is to provide a forum for customers to share best practices about how they are using HP products.


We started the session by listing all the topics that people wanted to discuss. My expectation was that we would spend our time discussing Operations Manager, given the track. To my surprise, we spend less than half the time on Operations Manager. The majority of the time we discussed uCMDB and discovery, monitoring applications with Business Availability Center, agentless monitoring with SiteScope, integrating events from Network Node Manager, and of course managing virtualization.


Interestingly, not once did anyone mention Business Service Management or BSM. What does this mean? My interpretation is that customers don’t buy BSM, they buy solutions for monitoring events, applications, or networks. But, vendors of these types of solutions better have ways to integrate all these events together and provide a unified view of the entire infrastructure and how they impact business services. Fortunately, HP provides such solutions, and based on the demos I observed, people are very impressed.


For Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel

Rip and Replace - Never (Operations Manager has 15 years of stability)

There has been some FUD thrown around by one of our competitors about HP’s commitment to our Operations management products. This nameless competitor is calling for HP customers to migrate to this competing suite of BSM products. They even have specific plays for HP OpenView Operations (now called Operations Center), SiteScope, and several other HP Software products.


Let me be very clear about one thing:
HP Operations Center has NEVER required a rip and replace upgrade!



HP understands the production nature of it IT infrastructure monitoring products and is very sensitive about forcing its customers to migrate. The same cannot be said about our unmentioned competitor. Their migrations are neither easy nor free.


A good example of our commitment to stability is OMi. It introduces significant new functionality such as Topology-Based Event Correlation (TBEC) as an overlay to our existing Operations Manager products that fits seamlessly into existing deployments. This allows customers to leverage their existing investment in management servers, agents, and Smart Plug-Ins - with no rip and replace.


If you have any questions about this or want to discuss our competitors false claims, please let me know.


For Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel

EMA’s Top IT Trends for 2009 - Connecting the Dots

Enterprise Management Associates, an IT research company (that HP engages occasionally), published their list of 12 Hot IT Management Trends to Watch for 2009


Not surprisingly they highlight:



IT management initiatives that deliver measurable cost savings in a tight economy
Continued deployment of technologies that enable IT to be managed as a business
New management challenges introduced by the growth of emerging technologies


While the list of 12 hot trends is interesting at face value, my opinion is that successful companies will be those that can connect the dots and implement several of these ideas in parallel with tight connections among them.


For example, EMA lists CMDB, virtualization, managing IT as a business (BSM or business service management), and service desk as the first four items. Most customers I speak to also mention these as their top priorities.


Fortunately, in these situations, I can point them to HP solutions that cover these areas, complete with integrations among all the functions. In fact, companies that are willing (and financially strong enough) to update their IT operations during the current downturn will be very well positioned to grow during the next upturn if they build an adaptive IT infrastructure now.


What do you think will be the hot IT trends in 2009?


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel

ROI for IT Infrastructure Monitoring - Measuring what Matters

I read an interesting post and related ebook by David Meerman Scott on why traditional marketing ROI measures lead to failure. His premise is that measuring marketing metrics such as number of sales leads captured and press mentions lead to the wrong behaviors and in some ways undermine one of the primary goals of marketing, which is to increase sales and market share. So, why is everyone in both marketing and IT so focused on ROI?

 

The answer is that focusing on the return of your investments in different parts of the business allows you to allocate scare resources and drive the best returns for the shareholders. They key is tracking the metrics that matter. Here are two examples, one from marketing and one from IT.

 

In previous positions, I have created marketing dashboards that charted many the items that Mr. Scott slammed. Why would I or other seasoned marketing professionals do this? One reason is that some metrics are relatively easy to track (such as leads captured at a trade show or the number of responses to a marketing campaign). Correlating these to the real goal of increasing sales is much trickier and requires much heavier monitoring infrastructure including obtaining accurate input from sales and customers about the number of touches and how individual marketing campaigns or programs influenced each stage of the sales process. Few companies have the will or discipline to do this.

 

On the IT side, there are also easily-trackable metrics. Server utilization, power consumption, and application uptime appear on many IT dashboards. While these are certainly important, what really matters is how the IT infrastructure supports the business goals. Business owners care about:



  • Availability - can my users access the applications they need?

  • Performance - does the application deliver an acceptable response time?

  • Data accuracy - does the application maintain data integrity?
 

Again, tracking these business-focused metrics is harder than focusing on ones that are easy to gather from element managers that often accompany systems. But, the right management software and some automated processes make it straight forward to create IT dashboards with mean. This is what the field of business service management is all about. BSM links the underlying infrastructure and applications to business outcomes such as those listed above.

 

To learn more about BSM, please visit my colleague Mike Shaw’s BSM blog or download a white paper about HP’s approach to BSM.

 

In future posts, I and my fellow bloggers will address how robust IT infrastructure monitoring contributes to delivering availability, performance, and accurate data

 

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


 

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