Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Baptist Memorial Health's joint use of HP Operations Manager and xMatters (free webinar)

Attend this webnar, being presented by Brandy Reid from Baptist Memorial, where she will discuss the synergies between HP Operations Manager and the relevance engine from xMatters and how Baptist Memorial now resolves incidents in a matter of minutes versus what used to take up to 60 minutes.

SiteScope user shares his experience managing over 10,000 servers

A guest post from Will Gillen, a SiteScope user with about 10 years of experience with the product. He currently manages over 10,000 servers, 16,000 URLs and about 200,000 total monitors. 

HP Discover: Operations Center Roadmap session - Day 4

The Operations Center Roadmap presentation is always one of the most highly anticipated sessions of the show. It is one of the few times where we discuss the product direction in a public (or semi-public) format.

HP Discover: Customer meeting summaries - Day 3, 4

One attraction for customers that attend HP Discover is the opportunity to schedule individual meetings with product experts. These meetings tend to be open and honest discussions about where customers want to go with their infrastructure or business service monitoring and how HP can help them on that journey. The latter is where we have a great advantage in the market with our innovative and integrated business service management solutions.

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.

Universal Log Management to Improve Troubleshooting

Both Operations Manager and SiteScope include log file management capabilities, But ArcSight Logger’s additional functionality makes the Operations Bridge team even more productive in searching log files for recurring patterns that affect system availability and performance.

New Operations Manager demo

One consistent piece of feedback in almost every presentation I make on Operations Center, its individual products such as Operations Manager or SiteScope, or Business Service Management overall is the people want to see a demo. This applies for customers, prospects, partners and new hires. So, my colleague Jon Haworth and I have put together an Operations Manager demo.

New Insight Operations Appliance simplifies IT management with all-in-one approach (podcast)

One of HP’s partners has addressed one of the biggest complaints I hear from IT Operations professionals - managing infrastructure is complex and virtualization makes the situation even more challenging. The new Insight Operations Appliance packages a consolidated IT infrastructure management solution onto a single HP DL160 server.

SPI DVD for OMW 9.0 - just released!

Did you know that HP Operations SPIs (Smart Plug-ins) are now available for OMW 9.0?  Just released last week, you can now use SPIs with 64-bit, OMW 9.0 servers.

How a German firm integrated HP BSM management tools into existing ITIL processes

Learn how SMA Solar Technology AG created a highly integrated IT environment with tools from HP to monitor its IT infrastructure and the IT services based on it.

 

2010 Retrospective: technology trends, market changes, new products

2010 was an exciting year for IT infrastructure management. We saw several technology trends accelerate, some new competitors enter the market, many new product releases from HP, and numerous existing customer presentations at the two Software Universe events this year. Not a bad year of innovation and growth for an industry that continues to evolve, sometimes in leaps and bounds, after two decades.

HP Operations Agent 11.0 - What's new with this release

Did you know that a new version of the HP Operations Agent was recently released?  And that this isn't just a release of the Operations Agent, but really a release that combines the features of the HP Operations Agent, HP Performance Agent, and HP GlancePlus together - under one installer? Check out how this release of HP's Operation Agent helps you better address the needs and requirements of ITIL's Service Operations phase!

Professional services firm improves collaboration using HP OM (success story)

A small professional services company was recently challenged with lack of visibility across disparate IT domains. By using HP Operations Center products like Operations Manager, SPIs or Smart Plug-Ins, Agents, and SiteScope, they were able to greatly improve collaboration among different groups within their IT organization.

Software Universe Recap: introducing Service Health Reporter, SiteScope iPhone application

I’m finally coming up for air after Software Universe last week. As always, it was a great event. A chance to meet with customers and partners, reconnect with colleagues I see only a few times a year (generally at similar events), and attend some great sessions on how people are pushing the limits of our solutions and achieving amazing results. This year 3500 people attended.

Aligning with ITIL's framework - even we do it from a software portfolio perspective!

It has been two weeks since I wrote a post on how IT organizations align with the ITIL framework.  Lo and behold, so do we ...

Less than 4 hours left. Post your question on HP's first-ever Operations Management Expert Day!

Have any unanswered questions around HP Operations Center products like HP Operations Manager, Openview, SPIs, or SiteScope?  Then make sure to attend Expert Day, which ends in only about 4 hours!

Telco company reduces number of IT monitoring groups by using HP OM (success story)

A global 500 telecommunications company was recently challenged with managing multiple monitoring teams for disparate IT domains. By using HP Operations Center products like Operations Manager, SPIs or Smart Plug-Ins, and SiteScope, they were able to reduce the amount of time spent diagnosing a typical IT problem by approximately 1 hour.

What customers are saying about Operations Manager! (customer success)

It's always nice to hear from our customers and how they are utilizing Operations Manager to the fullest.  Read the following real quotes from Operations Manager customers recently collected by an independent company.

Leveraging virtualization benefits - don't forget the most important part!

All too often, all thought and energy around maximizing virtualization benefits is spent on design and implementation.  This article discusses what is often an afterthought in leveraging the most from your virtualized environment.

Leveraging DDM/UCDMB for Real Time Monitoring

Learn how Melillo Consulting helped hedge fund traders see their unique trading environment on a real-time basis.

From 2.5 hours to 25 hours. Poor collaboration leads to a long flight home.

A series of airline problems recently caused the time for me to return home to increase by a factor of 10. Could better software have improved the situation? How could this happen in perfect weather? How can all traces of a flight “disappear”? Could this happen to you?

Discovery: Loading data into the Run-time Service Model

This is the second post in a series on the Run-time Service Model. It covers all the different discovery methods we use to load information about configuration items (CIs) into the Run-time Service Model.

Research reveals unique IT management needs for midsized business

The midsize enterprise (MSE) has some unique challenges.  IT directors and CIOs at midsize companies struggle with how to manage the cost of technology and visualize the value it provides.  With smaller budgets, they need to streamline technology, improve operational efficiency, and reduce cost without jeopardizing business service availability.  They need solutions that help them simplify their IT operations.  And risk management is of paramount importance.


Last month, HP commissioned Forrester Consulting to research the use of business technology among 389 companies globally.  They interviewed and compared results between 136 large companies and 253 midsize enterprises.  Key findings of the research:



  • For IT Management, risk management is the no. 1 priority of 92 percent of the participating MSEs

  • The second highest priority for MSEs is IT service management. (ITSM ranked 4th among large enterprises participating in the survey) 

  • IT infrastructure management (including network, operations and systems management) and application quality management also are important focus areas for MSEs


Forrester concluded that monitoring systems, predicting issues proactively and controlling quality also are critical to medium-sized firms.  This week HP is announcing a new bundled solution to help MSEs manage risk and make IT more efficient and responsive. HP SiteScope Operations Manager quickly and easily verifies the status of IT operations, identifies issues and initiates corrective actions.  And the solution is specially priced for MSEs.



HP SiteScope Operations Manager is just one of several new solutions HP is announcing this week designed specifically to meet the unique needs of the midsize enterprise (1,000 to 10,000 employees.) To learn more about MSE solutions from HP, visit www.hp.com/go/software/midsize . There you can retrieve the entire Forrester study, download product trials, and find easy access to the HP partner community.  You’ll also find special offers and promotions.


Let us know what you think about HP Site Scope Operations Manager for MSEs.  We would like to hear from you. Respond to this blog or visit the Infrastructure & Operations forum on the HP Software & Solutions Community.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Data Collection: Smart Plug-Ins (SPIs) explained in deeper detail ...

This post is basically a follow-in to my post from February 16, 2010 entitled “Smart Plug-Ins (SPIs) and Agent-Based/Agentless Data Collection Explained: What you need to manage your IT environment”.


To reiterate, an HP Operations Manager solution consists basically of two things: an Operations Manager management server and data collection technologies. Data collection technologies, at a very high level, are either agent-based or agentless. The purpose of this post is to go into further detail around agent-based data collection – specifically, how SPIs or Smart Plug-Ins assist in agent-based data collection.  Referring to the graphic in the attachment to this post, I will be talking about that little thing labeled “App SPI”:


Application SPIs reside on a node that hosts the application you want to monitor.  Each SPI is basically a “bundle” of functionality that addresses detailed monitoring of a specific application and assists in the following:



  • monitoring availability of the application

  • discovering applications on an automatic basis

  • collecting performance data of the application at a regular interval

  • sending alert messages to HP Operations Manager in the event of a threshold violation

  • visualizing performance behavior of the application over a period of time, by providing data to HP Reporter (when used with HP Operations Manager)

  • providing instruction text along with alert messages


The process of data collection and alert generation is governed by sets of rules called policies, which must be deployed on the managed nodes in order to start collecting data. A policy is essentially a combination of several rules and specifications that define:
• Types of data that can be collected from the node
• Mechanism to collect the data
• Collection interval
• Mechanism to generate an alert at the event of threshold violation


Policies are comprised of attributes, each of which has a specific value or setting.  The value of each attribute determines the manner in which the policy behaves to collect information. For example, the polling interval of Microsoft’s Active Directory Directory Information Tree (DIT) —ADSPI-DIT_TotalDITSize, a Microsoft Active Directory SPI policy—is set to 24 hours. This attribute value defines how frequently this policy should poll data from the node.


Every HP Operations SPI is equipped with out-of-the-box, default policies, which allow you to quickly start monitoring your applications. You can customize these out-of-the-box policies - using HP Operations Manager - to enhance the application monitoring process and optimally manage your IT environment.  Continuing with the ADSPI-DIT_TotalDITSize policy example mentioned above, you could set the polling internal of this policy to 12 hours by changing the appropriate attribute. As soon as you change the attribute value, the SPI creates a new version of the policy. Basically, you are changing the base version (the original version of the policy) and creating a new customer version of the policy—the version that includes the customization done by you.


There are many application SPIs for HP Operations Manager, either developed and offered by HP or developed by third-party vendors, that cover the following areas:



  • databases such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, Informix, and Sybase

  • web application servers such as WebLogic, WebSphere, and JBoss

  • ERP/CRM such as PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel, and TIBCO

  • mail servers such as Exchange and Lotus Notes

  • BlackBerry environments

  • document management such as EMC Documentum and IBM FileNet Image Services


I hope you have learned something from this post and, as always, please feel free to comment on it or send an e-mail to me at asksonja@hp.com.  I would love to hear your thoughts and/or ideas on other topics of interest that should be discussed in this blog.


Sonja Hickey


For HP Operations Center, Sonja Hickey.


Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps http://twitter.com/HPITOps


Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group on LinkedIn.

Live near Chicago, Indianapolis, or Milwaukee? 4/27 to 4/29 - talk face-to-face with HP Product Managers about HP Software!

Just wanted to remind people who work/live near Chicago, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee about the upcoming Vivit roadshow around HP BTO software.  This is your chance to talk face-to-face with more technical people about BSM products like OpenView/Operations Manager, Real User Monitor, and Network Node Manager – and it won’t require any travel budget.  There are six locations, one of which is probably very close to you. 


Here is the tentative agenda for each day:


- Overview of Operations Center, Business Availability Center, and Network Management Center product portfolios.


- Demo of how all of these products work together


- Deep dive into Operations Center products and how best to leverage this software in your environment


- Deep dive into Business Availability Center products and how best to leverage this software in your environment


- Deep dive into NNMi and how best to leverage this software in your environment


The sessions will be held in the following states on the following days:


- Wisconsin – April 27, 2010


- (Chicago) Illinois – April 28, 2010


- (Fishers) Indiana – April 29, 2010


Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about this roadshow at asksonja@hp.com.

Live in Ohio or Michigan? Coming next week - talk face-to-face with HP Product Managers about HP Software!

Just wanted to remind people who work/live in Ohio and Michigan about the upcoming Vivit roadshow around HP BTO software.  This is your chance to talk face-to-face with more technical people about BSM products like OpenView/Operations Manager, Real User Monitor, and Network Node Manager – and it won’t require any travel budget.  There are six locations, one of which is probably very close to you. 


Here is the tentative agenda for each day:


- Overview of Operations Center, Business Availability Center, and Network Management Center product portfolios.


- Demo of how all of these products work together


- Deep dive into Operations Center products and how best to leverage this software in your environment


- Deep dive into Business Availability Center products and how best to leverage this software in your environment


- Deep dive into NNMi and how best to leverage this software in your environment


The sessions will be held in the following states on the following days:


- (Columbus) Ohio – April 20, 2010


- (Orrville) Ohio – April 21, 2010


- (Dearborn) Michigan – April 22, 2010 


Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about this roadshow at asksonja@hp.com.

Free today at 1 pm ET? Don't miss this webinar! How to monitor your IT environment more efficiently!

Join HP Software and Solutions for a live InformationWeek webcast with special guests Maryann Phillip, Director of Service Delivery at Independence Blue Cross (IBC), and Ken Herold, Practice Manager & Principal Architect with Melillo Consulting.


Hear first-hand how IBC is using HP Operations Center products like Operations Manager and Performance Manager to:



  • achieve profitable growth through enabling technologies

  • reduce costs by achieving a competitive cost structure

  • manage medical costs better -- through operational stability & improvements


Register today and learn how you can streamline and make YOUR processes more efficient.

New SiteScope Adapter version 2.0

A guest post from Alfred Hermann, Operations Center Technical Marketing Manager.
- Peter


You probably know what the SiteScope Adapter is used for. Its purpose is to glue together HP SiteScope with HP Operations Manager to combine agent-based with agent-less monitoring. It offers the following capabilities:



  • You can forward SiteScope alerts into HP Operations Manager to manage from a single operations console.

  • The OM agent discovers SiteScope configuration and monitor groups, and publishes discovered information to the Operations Manager service maps.

  • You can launch SiteScope tools in-context from the OM console for further diagnostics of the environment.

  • Multiple SiteScope servers are supported (you have to install an OM agent on each SiteScope server).


In the first version of the adapter all alerts originating from SiteScope would relate to a single node in the OM Nodes / Node Group / Node Bank environment. Even though the alerts come from a variety of nodes monitored in an agent-less fashion, their status contribute only to a single element in the console.


This has changed with version 2 of the SiteScope adapter: SiteScope events can now explicitly be mapped to their respective nodes rather than consolidated altogether to the SiteScope server. The resulting value is obvious: The operator immediately notices where the problems are. No longer digging through some more event details…


In addition, interoperability with Operations Manager i  has been improved by setting a CI as resolution hint for OMi. Remember, OMi relates events to CIs in the UCMDB, and any resolution hint is mostly appreciated.


The new SiteScope Adapter 2.0 is available with HP Operations Manager version 8.16, alternatively as patch OMW_00039. For the UNIX based OM management servers you need OMU version 9.x. 


For HP Operations Center, Alfred Hermann.

Percolating IT events into a single console (customer visit summary)

I had the opportunity to meet with a consumer products company in our executive briefing center earlier this week. They have been growing very rapidly over the past few years, primarily by acquisition. Based on their experience of gobbling up other companies (brands), they have gotten very good at integrating a new business’s IT, taking only 6-9 months to do so. This IT consolidation is critical as the company aims to grow their earnings per share (EPS) about a third faster than their top-line revenue growth.


They run a very lean IT shop, with this group spending roughly 1% of revenue. And, they spend about 60% of their IT budget on “keeping the lights on”, vs. around the 70-80% cited by most analyst firm. Given that they already beat most IT efficiency benchmarks, why were they talking to HP?


Their IT organization is organized in a rather traditional, siloed manner. They have a Windows group, Unix, group, Oracle group, and virtualization group. Each group has its own monitoring tools. Some events flow into a central console, but there is no correlation among events. Since everyone sits in a single room, they can shout over the cubicle walls to diagnose cross-silo problems. Their IT leadership realizes that if the company continues to grow at its current rate, this approach will not scale.


They wanted to hear our recommendations about how to leverage what they are doing, and how they can drive even more efficiencies to meet the EPS goals.


We spoke about common IT pain points and the extent to which they suffered from them.



  • IT is expensive. They currently beat industry averages, but want to do even better.

  • Quality of service is inconsistent. Fortunately, this was not an issue for this company. They meet their service level agreements, but, they are frustrated that most outages are discovered by their customers (internal or external), as opposed to being caught in advance.

  • Managing virtualization introduces cost and complexity. While the number of VMs they use today is relatively modest (concentrated in development and test systems), they are starting to feel the impact of virtualization on troubleshooting problems.


Then, we hit the whiteboard. After one of their architects finished drawing a schematic of their IT environment, we were left looking at the usual spaghetti diagram. The bottom line was that they really needed to exploit the central console and ensure that all events appeared there.


What were the key take-aways?



  1. Using Operations Manager as the central console will speed troubleshooting. They key is to roll all of the events into Operations Manager, rather than just the several silos they are doing now.

  2. Start monitoring the end-user experience. This will provide advance notice of any IT issues before people start calling in. Synthetic monitors will detect problems even if no users are online. This is especially useful in running tests after configuration or other changes are made or in testing key systems prior to the start of a shift.

  3. Create a view of how all the pieces fit together. We touched on this in the context of using a CMDB. We ran out of time to discuss all the different discovery methods we offer, so this was set up as an action for follow-up.


It will be great to continue working with this customer and deepen the strategic relationship as they maintain their growth trajectory.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed @HPITOps http://twitter.com/HPITOps


Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group on LinkedIn.

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