Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Does it take a rocket scientist to manage IT? (customer visit summary)

I recently had the opportunity to meet with a long-time HP customer at our executive briefing center. They were visiting to learn best practices about making their infrastructure more agile to allow tighter collaboration among different parts of their network. Increasing their operational efficiency was another key concern.


The customer brought a team of nine people consisting of architects, engineers, business systems analysts, and IT managers. The agenda included an overview of several HP product centers, including Business Service Management. We focused on the non-classified part of their network, which still contained several tiers of security, ranging from “open” to “sensitive”.


One interesting part of the day was a tour of an HP POD (Performance-Optimized Datacenter). It looks like a standard 40-foot shipping container, but contains a complete datacenter, consisting of 22 racks that can accommodate over 3500 blade servers. All you do is connect power and cooling water and you have instant capacity. This beats the roughly two years to bring a standard datacenter online.


On the software side, they use products from practically every major vendor. One challenge with this approach is integrating all the pieces together. SiteScope (agentless monitoring) comprises one part of their monitoring solution. I had a long discussion with their IT Manager of production systems about how to leverage what they have and extend their IT management with HP Operations Center. (Read a solution brief about HP Operations Manager for HP SiteScope customers.)
Over time, they plan to simplify their infrastructure monitoring by relying a few key tools.


After reviewing the entire HP BTO portfolio, we whiteboarded several different approaches they could follow to evolve their infrastructure. After some debate about the relative value and dependencies, everyone agreed that starting with a CMDB project made the most sense. Why? Because all the other planned projects will rely on the CMDB for information about the infrastructure, the relationships among configuration items, and how these relate to their business services. For example, Operations Manager i (OMi) combines event streams with information in the CMDB (using a technology called topology-based event correlation or TBEC) to determine the causal event when several related events hit the console around the same time.


This will prove to be a very interesting project as it evolves over the next several years.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


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