Infrastructure Management Software Blog

OH, IL, WI, IN, MI Operations Center Technical Roadshow - April 20th to April 29th - Don't miss it!

Ever wish you could talk face-to-face with more technical people about Operations Center and Network Management Center products? Don’t really have the time or budget to travel very far to do so?  Well, here is a great opportunity to meet and talk with technical experts on products like Operations Manager and NNMi – right in your background.


Vivit will be hosting a series of six (6) one-day sessions, where there will be a nice mix between presentations and Q&A sessions around these products.  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


- 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.

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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.


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


Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group on LinkedIn.

Innovation Week Part 4 - Integration (podcast)

One universal challenge customers face is intergating disparate enterprise monitoring tools together. Rather than brag about how easy all the different parts of the HP Software portfolio fit together, I’ll share with you two recordings I made at HP Software Universe in June.


IIS logo Mike Halkovitch, HP Software Delivery Consultant at International Integrated Solutions speaks about his experience deploying HP Software products at various large and small customers. He works with the full spectrum of monitoring products including Business Availability Center for application monitoring, Operations Center for infrastructure monitoring, and Operations Orchestration for automating runbooks.


Mike says that the biggest business benefit is the ease of integrating all the products together and the ability to scale the solutions as customers’ needs grow. Of course, all this depends on defining the right objectives at the beginning of the process


Listen to Mike’s 2-minute podcast.


 
DirecTV logo Brent Miller, Manger of Enterprise Monitoring, Data Center Operations at DirecTV, had a similar story to tell, but from an end-user perspective. His main challenge is consolidating events from across the enterprise, correlating them, and performing root cause analysis.


DirecTV uses Business Availability Center, Operations Center, and Network Management Center. What he likes best about an all-HP management solution is the ease of integrating all the pieces together.


Listen to Brent’s 2-minute podcast.


Have you solved some major integration challenges lately?


For Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


Get the latest updates on our Twitter feed HPITOps.

Software Universe - Initiatives that Deliver Rapid ROI

I just learned that I will be presenting two sessions at Software Universe, which runs from June 16-18 in Las Vegas. The overall theme of the conference is “focusing on initiatives that can deliver immediate improvements and rapid ROI.” Both of my talks fit squarely within that charter.


Here are the two topics on which I will be speaking.


Automating operations management with HP Operations Orchestration
My colleague, Ralph Capasso, an expert in runbook automation, will be co-presenting the talk and running a live demo.


Abstract:
As your infrastructure becomes more complex, you’ll experience more IT events—many of them symptoms of the same root cause. And you probably have limited staff resources to manage and route incidents. The solution? Consolidation and automation. We’ll tell you how to automate event management and remediation with HP Operations Orchestration. Using case studies and workflow examples, we’ll show you how a typical enterprise can drive out millions of dollars in costs, and we’ll present a live demonstration of how HP Operations Manager and Operations Orchestration work together to resolve common issues.


Leveraging agent-based and agentless monitoring to drive down TCO
I’m presenting this session with Alex Ryals of Pepperweed. He has extensive field experience implementing complex IT solutions.


Abstract:
In today’s economy, a mixture of agent-based and agent-less monitoring techniques can be the key to effective infrastructure monitoring within tight budget constraints. Attend this session and learn how two customers combined HP Operations Manager agent-based techniques and HP SiteScope agent-less technologies to reduce their TOC while optimizing their infrastructure monitoring. Presenters will take a deep dive into the integration of these two HP solutions and will explain how you can create both IT value and business value. You’ll also hear how Operations Manager and SiteScope integrate into the overall HP BTO portfolio.


 


If you have any topics you would like us to cover in our talks, or questions on these topics you want answered, please leave a comment on the blog or contact me directly.


In a future post, I’ll have speakers from other sessions preview their topics.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

Consolidated IT Operations: Return of the Prodigal Son

Let's face it, the concept of bringing together all of your IT infrastructure monitoring into a single "NOC" or Operations Bridge has been around for years. Mainframe folks will tell you they were doing this stuff 30 years ago.

 

Unfortunately, in the distributed computer systems world, a lot of organizations have still not managed to successfully consolidate all of their IT infrastructure operations. I see a lot of companies who believe that they have made good progress, often they've managed to pull together most of the server and application operations activities, maybe minimized the number of monitoring tools that they use.

 

But when you dig below the surface, often there will be a separate network operations team, and maybe an application support team that owns a 'special' application. And of course the admins who are responsible for the roll out of the new virtualization technology - that just "cannot" be monitored by the normal operations tools and processes.

 

And that's the problem... Often there is resistance from a number of different angles to initiatives which try to pull end-to-end infrastructure monitoring into a single place. Legacy organizational resistance is probably the biggest challenge - silos have a tendency to be very difficult to 'flatten'.

 

Another common theme is that the technical influencers (architects, consultants, application specialists etc.) in the organization create FUD that the toolset used by the operations teams is not suitable for monitoring the new technology that they are rolling out. They need to use their own special monitoring solution or the project will fail. Because it's a new technology and everyone is scared of a failed rollout, management acquiesces and another little fragmented set of monitoring technology, organization and processes is born. Every new technology has potential for this - I've seen it happen with MS Windows, Linux, Active Directory, Citrix, VMware - the list is endless.

 

So what? I hear you say, what's your point? Well I'm seeing a lot of organizations revisiting the whole topic of consolidating their IT operations and establishing a single Operations Bridge - and making some significant changes.

 

Why now? Simple - to reduce the Operational Expenditures associated with keeping the lights on. In the current economic climate organizations are motivated 'top down' to drive cost out wherever they can. Initiatives that deliver cost reductions in the short term get executive sponsors. There is also a lot lower tolerance for the kinds of hurdles that used to be raised as objections - organizational silos get flattened, tool portfolios are rationalized.

 

It's not just about cutting cost of course. Simply reducing headcount would achieve that goal, but the chances are that the quality of IT service delivered to the business would suffer, and there would be direct impacts on the ability of the business to function.

 

Of course, the trick is to consolidate into an Operations Bridge, and be able to deliver the same or higher quality IT services to the business but with reduced cost. Often the economies of scale and streamlined, consistent processes that are enabled by an Operations Bridge will deliver significant benefits - and reduce OpEx.

 

This is where HP's Operation Center solutions have focussed for the last 12 or 15 years. In my next post I'll talk about where HP see the next significant gains being made - where are we focusing so we can help our customers to take their existing Operations Bridge and significantly increase efficiency and effectiveness.

 

In the meantime, if you want to read a little more about the case for consolidated operations, take a look at this white paper "Working Smart in IT Operations - the case for consolidated operations".

 

For HP Operations Center, Jon Haworth.

 

 

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