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We Live and Die by Operations Manager (customer visit summary)

The absence of posts over the past two weeks was a result of traveling to meet customers as well as some of our partners. This is the first of several meeting summaries. Look for more examples of how customers use Operations Manager in upcoming posts.
- Peter

I was recently part of a team that spent half a day with one of our financial services customers. The agenda was focused around their current Operations Manager implementation and future plans, which include a new data center.

We also reviewed their feedback on the Operations Manager on Linux beta. Migrating to Linux will help them retire several aging Solaris servers. In addition, once they are comfortable with OML, they will migrate some OMW servers to OML.

They presented many charts and graphs about the types of events they manage and how they use Operations Manager along with several other HP and open source products. The volume of events they receive directly correlates with the trading volume in the market. Because of the number of events, they only keep history in Operations Manager for two days. They use a product called Splunk to search their historical log files.

Their architecture includes the usual high availability fail over systems distributed across multiple geographically separated data centers. They also gave us a demo that highlighted several use cases so we could see how they used our products in action.

One highlight of the day was a tour of their Operations Bridge. Dozens of screens showed events, system health, and performance. Operators each had about six monitors at their station. In addition, several large monitors at the front of the room called out the key screens, giving visibility to critical systems (as measured by business impact).

Of course, virtualization came up during our discussions. As with other financial service customers I have met, most of their virtualization is used for development and test systems. Production systems cannot afford even the small overhead that virtual hosts impose.

One great benefit of talking to power users such as this company is that they push the product (and product managers) to the limit. This is the sort of feedback that allows us to prioritize enhancements and make sure we are aligned with how our customers use the product.

During the close, our host stated “We live and die by Operations Manager”. This underscores the important role Operations Manager plays in customer environments. They use OM to ensure their systems meet the service level agreements to their customers by providing the optimal level of availability and performance.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

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