Infrastructure Management Software Blog

BSM Webinar on the Benefits of Service Intelligen​ce -- Register Today!

Mark your calendars!  On August 25th, join Vivit and HP to learn about the new products inside HP’s Service Intelligence portfolio.  In this webinar, we will discuss why organizations need service intelligence to power agility and cost savings in their ever-changing, virtual environments. 

 

See how you can overcome the challenges of capacity management in your complex environment by using intelligence to identify ways to improve the utilization of your infrastructure – all while maintaining your service levels.  You will also learn how you can optimize business services by implementing a cross-domain reporting tool to gather metrics across servers and applications.

 

Don’t wait!  Join Scott Edwards and Peter Spielvogel on August 25th and see us demonstrate how you can convert data into knowledge with HP Service Intelligence. 

 

And, when you register, you’ll be eligible to win an HP TouchPad!

 

To register, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/786274018.

Radio interview on IT Operations Management book (recording)

On Wednesday, August 3, 2011, my co-authors Jon Haworth and Sonja Hickey joined me on The Bill Marlow show, a radio show focused on business innovations. Bill interviewed us for about half an hour, asking questions about the IT Operations Management book and how we came up with some of the insights in the book.

 

Listen to internet radio with The Bill Marlow Show on Blog Talk Radio

 

You can listen to a recording of the episode here - and perhaps gain some additional color beyond what’s in the book.

 

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

 

IT Operations Management book promotion radio interview and free ebook offer

Thank you to everyone that has purchased our IT Operations Management book (www.itopsbook.com). I will be appearing on The Bill Marlow Show (http://www.thebillmarlowshow.com) along with my co-authors Jon Haworth and Sonja Hickey on Wednesday August 3 at 10AM Eastern time.

 

As a special promotion to readers of this blog, you can download a FREE copy of the ebook version at www.hpitopsbook.com.

Q&A from the Service Intelligence Webinar

As part of the rollout of our Service Intelligence offerings, a webinar was presented that showcased our latest solutions - Service Health Reporter and Service Health Optimizer. The webcast included a demo and a discussion on the overall Operations Center portfolio.

Overcome key capacity management challenges with service intelligence - free webinar

To gain the agility and cost advantages from virtualization and cloud computing, organizations must be able to combine historical and current infrastructure performance data with usage forecasts.  That ability enables IT to visualize, optimize, and plan workload placement and future infrastructure investments. The dynamic relationships in a complex IT environment, however,  means that correlating and mapping physical, virtual, and cloud-based elements is beyond the realm of human judgment and spreadsheets. It requires business service intelligence.

 

Attend a free webinar on Service Intelligence to see HP's exciting new offerings in this area.

 

DreamWorks Animation shares its virtualization and cloud expertise at HP Discover

At HP Discover, Ryan Granard, Director IT Infrastructure at DreamWorks Animation, and I will deliver session 4562 on Friday June 10 at 11:00AM.

DreamWorks takes virtualization to the next level:
Best practices for building and managing a private cloud

 

You will learn how they harnessed 55 million render hours to create the visual magic behind Kung Fu Panda 2 and their other hit films.

IT Operations Management in the age of complexity - new book

IT Operations Management is a complex discipline. It had become even more challenging over the past few years with the advent of virtualization and cloud computing. While you can read 1000-page user manuals, dry text books, or ITIL training materials, it has been hard to find a good high-level overview of best practices for managing your IT infrastructure - until now!

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.

HP IT Forum - sharing best practices on IT management

I just returned from the HP IT Forum, a recurring series of events hosted by HP’s CIO Randy Mott. My main role was to participate in a panel discussion on virtualization best practices. I was the subject matter expert on best practices in managing virtualization infrastructure.

 

There were many great questions about how to get started, what sequence to follow when rationalizing applications and virtualizing, how to choose the right hypervisor (yes, there are choices), how to manage business services and applications across the virtual and physical layers, and what specific offerings HP has for creating virtualized environments and private clouds.

Virtualization Management white paper

I just got back from an exciting week at VMworld. Many of my discussions in the booth focused around managing virtual environments, using some combination of vCenter, HP System Insight Manager, and HP Operations Manager with our Virtualization Smart Plug-In. Simplicity was a common theme as customers wanted a single console to manage as much of their infrastructure as possible- physical and virtual, servers, storage, and networks. We have a white paper that discusses converged monitoring, along with related topics.

Video that explains the Run-time Service Model in 3 minutes

Watch this 3-minute video to see how a Run-Time Service Model can drive your IT monitoring to the next level, guide you as conditions change, and help you avoid any unwanted impact to your business services.

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.

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.

new BSM white paper on Service health in the age of virtualization and cloud computing

Since I returned from Software Universe two weeks ago (it seems like much longer), I have received many inquiries about the new BSM 9 release. Two ways to learn more about BSM 9: 1. Watch the demo: www.bsm9.com 2. Read the white paper "Service health in the age of virtualization and cloud computing".

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.

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.

Take the next step to maximize your virtualization management ROI – Webinar series

HP Software and Solutions recently sponsored a series of virtualization roundtables, run by CIO magazine, where we shared the 2009 study findings on virtualization adoption and challenges.  During these events we heard over 100 IT executives tell us their specific needs around virtualization and their desire to continue with the discussion around key areas of virtualization.



We’re created a series of webinars to help continue the virtualization discussions including:


• April 13 - Optimizing service modeling, discovery, and monitoring for VMware environments
• April 14 - Protecting Virtualized Environments from Disaster with HP Data Protector
• April 21 - Testing Smarter and Faster with Virtualization
• April 22 - Improve customer satisfaction and maintain service levels in virtualized environments
• April 27-  BCBS of Florida builds a foundation for virtualization with HP Asset Manager
• April 29 - Virtualization: Compliance enforcement in a virtualized world


Here are the details for the Optimizing service modeling, discovery, and monitoring for VMware environments webinar I will be presenting on April 13.


In this webinar, Luigi Tiano, Enterprise Management Practice Director at CT Consultants, and Peter Spielvogel, Group Product Marketing Manager at HP, will discuss the challenges of managing virtualized environments. Using examples from several customer deployments, they will detail several proven approaches that show how unified monitoring for physical and virtual infrastructure leads to reduced costs, improved visibility, and higher availability of business services.


During this webinar, you will learn:



  • best practices for performing event management with VMware

  • how customers have deployed HP solutions to effectively solve problems managing virtualized environments

  • how to combine agent and agentless technologies to optimize event and performance management

  • the importance of service discovery and how to maintain up-to-date service and dependency map


Register now for one or more of the web events in the April 2010 virtualization series and take the next step in virtualization management.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


 

HP Operations Manager 9.0 on Unix - Solaris

What is your plan for Solaris? Are you planning to migrate to Linux?


While you decide your platform strategy, HP Operations Manager has you covered, whichever path you choose. We released Operations Manager 9.0 on Unix (HP-UX) last summer, followed by Operations Manager on Linux (OML) in September. Now, I am pleased to announce that HP Operations Manger 9.0 on Unix for Solaris is now generally available.


The leading Consolidated Event and Performance Management solution is supported on Oracle Solaris 10 running on SPARC hardware. We are providing a common web-based Administration UI across all of our Unix and Linux offerings as well as extending policy exchange across Linux/Unix/Windows platforms. For both current and future customers, HP is there for you - is Oracle?


In addition to our standard license migration from OMU 8.x to OMU 9.x, we now have a migration program that allows customers to migrate to Operations Manager on Linux 9.0 from any version of Operations Manager 8.x.


In response to the current market dynamics, we are working with customers to help them transition smoothly from Solaris to Linux through our HP SunSet Complete Care program. This is a great opportunity to go to a more viable platform as customers migrate to HP Operations Manager.   For more details, please see the OM migration portal.


For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel and Lillian Hull.


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


 

HP and Microsoft join forces to simplify infrastructure management

If you have not been living under a rock, you probably have heard about the announcement that HP and Microsoft made to invest $250 million over the next three years to simplify technology environments. There is an HP-Microsoft partnership portal that includes the announcement along with videos of Mark Hurd and Steve Ballmer discussing its importance.


 


This very broad agreement spans hardware and software, both development and marketing, for products and services. In short, HP and Microsoft will collaborate on building the next generation cloud offering. The subheading of the press release says it all. “World’s largest technology company and No. 1 software provider plan to advance cloud computing with industry’s most integrated technology stack”


Many customers discuss the pains of integrating software from multiple vendors. In fact, an all-HP business technology optimization stack is one of our key selling points. But, the reality is that most organizations rely on Windows and other Microsoft applications, such as Exchange, SQL Server, and their HyperV virtualization platform. So, since heterogeneous management is reality, HP and Microsoft decided to join forces to make this process easier for our joint customers. The goal is to improve both IT efficiency along with improved application performance and availability.


In discussions I have had with customers, partners, and colleagues since the announcement, one question keeps coming up:
Q: Will HP continue to invest in OMW to manage Windows environments?
A: YES!


Let me clarify a few issues around this point.



  1. Customers can use any of our Operations Manager servers, running on Linux (OML), Windows (OMW), or UNIX (OMU) to manage infrastructure running Windows along with many other platforms. This applies whether the managed nodes are physical or virtual. The more complex the IT environment, the more value HP Operations Manager delivers by consolidating events into a single console.

  2. For customers using Microsoft System Center Operations Center (SCOM), they will be able, as they are today, to continue to use that to manage Windows environments and consolidate those events and others into Operations Manager. The joint investments will make the process even easier.

  3. Joint development will also make management of Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server even more effective on HP Operations Manager.


I look forward to engaging with my Microsoft counterparts to evolve the next generation infrastructure management platform and make our customers even more efficient at managing their complex, heterogeneous IT environments.


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.

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.

Get lean (IT) and prepare for growth in 2010 with your existing resources (webinar)

As we enter the New Year, many people make resolutions. On the personal side, improving health and finances generally top the list. Fortunately, you can set (and achieve!) similar goals to get your IT infrastructure in shape and on budget.


This upcoming webinar address this topic.


Fulfill your New Year's resolution: Get lean (IT) and prepare for growth in 2010 with your existing resources


Date and time:  Tuesday, January 26, 2010 (1:00 PM Eastern Time / 10:00 AM Pacific Time)
Register here: www.hp.com/go/getleanit2010
Abstract: During this webinar, you will see how virtualization and automation can extend your management tools to enable your IT organization to support your company's 2010 growth plans.
 
Using several HP customer examples and a live demo, you will learn how to:



  • Consolidate event management with a single console AND speed your time to problem resolution.

  • Prioritize your IT response based on the business value of the affected services.

  • Manage physical and virtual servers using the same instrumentation to standardize operations and reduce licensing, maintenance, and training costs.

  • Extend your infrastructure coverage using agentless monitoring to speed time to deployment.

  • Automate remediation of recurring events to save money and get more out of your existing IT investments.


See a promotional video about the webinar.



 
Register for the free webinar: www.hp.com/go/getleanit2010


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.


 

Enhance the visibility of IT infrastructure problems (customer case study)

The combination of HP Operations Center and HP Business Availability Center provides a combined top-down and bottom-up view of your IT infrastructure. While the improved visibility into events and their causes certainly makes life easier for the Operations Bridge staff, the real benefit is improving customer satisfaction, enhancing delivery of business services, and improving productivity of the IT staff.


This is exactly what happened when Virgin Atlantic Airways deployed HP’s Business Service Management solution.


Mark Cameron, head of IT architecture, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd tells it best:
“Alerts from Operations Manager and other HP software now enter a single console and our IT operations team can see everything across our estate. Personnel view incidents, monitor trends and anticipate potential problems proactively rather than wait for calls from end-users. For example, if there is a trend towards an increasing use of disk space, we plan preventative maintenance to resolve the problem before it affects end-users by jeopardizing availability.”


You can read the complete Virgin Atlantic success story.


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.

The best way to manage VMware environments

Virtualization management seems to be the hottest topic for discussion, among both customers, partners, and my product marketing and product management peers. I was recently involved in a conversation with some sales people about why HP’s approach is unique.


The reference platform for virtualization management of VMware environments is vCenter (formerly Virtual Center). But, many customers do not want their virtualization experts to spend their (very expensive) time managing first level events. So, they look to a centralized management console such as Operations Manager to handle events from both the virtual and physical IT infrastructure. This is the value behind a consolidated event and performance management approach.


So, the challenge is how to get information about the virtual infrastructure into central event console. The old way, which we used to do, was to install our agents on the VMware hypervisor. We worked closely with VMware to ensure that it worked and was supportable but customers got nervous because the general advice is "do not install anything in the hypervisor". Obviously, if the hypervisor becomes unstable then all of the virtual machines suffer.


The new, and recommended by VMware, approach is to use the vMA or “vSphere Management Assistant”. The vMA is a pre-build Linux virtual machine. It is built and owned by VMware and is downloaded free of charge from their web site. You run the vMA just like any other virtual machine.





The vMA includes all of the VMware-approved and supported interfaces and APIs to enable access to VMware environment monitoring. It provides access to information such as current configuration of the VMs, fault information and very accurate performance information. This is the new way that VMware wants other management systems to get their information from the hypervisor. vMA provides more granular, fine grained, and real-time information than you can get from vCenter. HP was the first vendor to release a management product using the vMA.


We install our agent and Virtualization SPI onto the vMA and make use of the interfaces. One vMA can provide access to monitoring information from multiple VMware server hosts. The “resolution” of the data that we get with the Virtualization SPI vs. vCenter is really just a reflection on what customers told us they wanted. I'm sure that VMware could provide much of the same detail - certainly for a VMware server - but they did not. Customers told us they wanted more - "Don't just give us what Virtual Center provides, go deeper".


The advantage of using the HP Virtualization SPI and Operations Manager is that you can see very granular fault and performance data for both physical and virtual infrastructure in your Operations Manager console. This means your tier 1 operators can manage events and handle basic triage and remediation functions. This keeps your virtualization experts focused on more strategic tasks, until they need to manage an escalation.


This is just one example of HP’s close ties with VMware. We also have integration between HP Insight Control and vCenter that allows customers to manage both physical and virtual infrastructure through the VMware vCenter console. We announced this capability at VMworld in September
This is aimed at server administrators who want a single expert tool for troubleshooting complex problems that could span the hardware and hypervisor.


For HP Operations Center, Jon Haworth and Peter Spielvogel.


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


Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group on LinkedIn.

Software Universe in Hamburg sneak preview

Software Universe is only five weeks away. We hold this event twice each year, alternating between a United States and European location. The upcoming event is in Hamburg at the Congress Centre Hamburg (CCH) from Wednesday, December 16th – Friday, December 18th 2009.


(If you missed our last Software Universe in Las Vegas, you can download some of the presentations here.)


I’m very excited about this year’s show, as it gives me a chance to connect with many European customers and colleagues, many of whom I have only “met” through email and phone calls. In addition, there are many interesting presentations. Some highlights* (based on their relevancy to managing IT infrastructure - both physical and virtual) include:



Wednesday December 16


















16:00-16:45 Optimizing cost by automating your ITIL v3 processes
Jeroen Bronkhorst, Hewlett-Packard
17:00 - 17:45 “Monitoring ....inside the Cloud"
Vincenzo Asaro, Telecom Italia
18:00 - 18:45
Orchestrating Virtual Infrastructures with HP OO
Ralph Capasso, Hewlett-Packard


Thursday December 17






































09:00 - 09:45
Automating operations management with HP Operations Orchestration
Ralph Capasso, Hewlett-Packard
09:00 - 09:45
HP management of VMware vSphere: How does VMware fit in with your HP Software Infrastructure?
Terry Lyons, VMware
10:00 - 10:45
The all new Operations Center licensing model: escaping the hardware bonds
Jon Haworth and Peter Crosby, Hewlett-Packard 
11:45 - 12:30 HP Operations Manager i: Best practices and lessons learned at CMT
Kai-Uwe Jensen, Hewlett-Packard
15:15 - 16:00 BTO Impact of Virtualization on IT Management
Dennis Corning, Hewlett-Packard
15:15 - 16:00 Operations Center, the road ahead
Norm Follett, Hewlett-Packard 
16:30 - 17:15 HP Operations Manager on Linux
Lillian Hull and Hans-Peter Schmollinger, Hewlett-Packard 
16:30 - 17:15
Capabilities in a Virtualized environment
Lutz Bartsch, Hewlett-Packard


Friday December 18


















09:00 - 09:45 Virtualization SPI - VMware management plug-in for HP Operations Center
Jagannath Harish Gangaiah, Hewlett-Packard
11:45 - 12:30
HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping: a solution to regain control on your infrastructure
Thomas Wirtz, Hewlett-Packard
11:45 - 12:30 Integrated approach to monitoring and the challenges encountered and overcome
Mark Laird and Romain Maitret, Steria Ltd



* dates, times, and speakers subject to change


Hope to see you there.


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.

Two strategies for your new data center

I read an interesting article in eWeek on “HP vs. Cisco: Polar Opposites in Data Center Strategies.”


The article focused on whether it is better for companies to choose from a collection of partners or a one-stop shop. From my personal experience with my home electronics purchases, I prefer to purchase components from a single vendor, as the integration and support generally runs more smoothly. On the other hand, I have other friends and colleagues (many of whom are more technical than I am) who follow the opposite approach, picking what they believe are the best in class components and integrating all the pieces themselves.


In both cases, when the systems run smoothly, both approaches work equally well. The challenge, of course, is when things do not go as planned - either during the setup or when something breaks. In a home environment (at least mine), things are pretty static. I don’t add or update components very often. A corporate data center is another story. Data centers are very dynamic, with companies adding servers, applications, and other components daily in many cases. And, add to that the changes from virtualization, where business services are created on-the-fly, based on changing demands. And, if you want to leverage runbook automation, it’s probably easier if you are automating software from a single vendor.


The data center has no time for finger pointing or blame storms. When an incident occurs, I want a single console to see what broke, its impact on the business, and the shortest path to resolving the problem. In my mind, this is a clear reason to follow the one-stop approach.


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.

BlackBerry Management Webinar (Empowering a Mobile Workforce)

We have written about the challenges of managing Black Berry Enterprise Server environments, mostly because of all the disparate elements that must work together properly to ensure that people receive their email. For a user to successfully send or receive a message, the following applications must interact smoothly: BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Active Directory, and Microsoft SQL Server.


You can imagine the challenge of troubleshooting performance problems if you do not have a single console from which to manage faults and performance data. When the CEO is calling about his or her email, I would certainly want an easy way to determine when the service will be back online.


If you manage BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, you will certainly want to attend this.


One lucky attendee will win a BlackBerry (actual device will depend on your coverage area)!



TitleEmpowering a Mobile Workforce: A Holistic Approach to Managing your BlackBerry Ecosystem
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Time: 11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern / Check Your Time Zone
Additional Speakers:
- Pierluigi Buonicore, Product Manager, Research in Motion (RIM)
- Jonathan Evans, Product Marketing, Research in Motion (RIM)
- Jon Haworth,Product Marketing Manager, HP


Behind every executive’s BlackBerry is a complex IT infrastructure for delivering messages and mission-critical mobile applications. So, when performance or availability issues occur, the Operations Team has no time to waste in identifying the cause of the problem and fixing it. Using a single event monitoring console improves visibility across the BlackBerry ecosystem and streamlines communications among your subject matter expert teams - enabling faster problem resolution and less downtime.


In this one-hour webinar EMA VP Dennis Drogseth, Research in Motion (RIM) Product Manager Pierluigi Buonicore, Jonathan Evans from RIM Product Marketing, and HP Product Marketing Manager Jon Haworth will explore solutions that will enable a holistic support environment for managing BlackBerry resources across the enterprise.  Topics of discussion will include how to:



  • Identify the most common challenges to enterprise BlackBerry management

  • Utilize best practices, such as ITIL, to increase the supportability of mobile devices

  • Enable prompt problem identification and improved time to resolution

  • Evaluate new solutions that will enable a common interface for managing enterprise BlackBerry support services


This is a can’t-miss event for any organization supporting BlackBerry devices or looking to empower their mobile workforce.
Register now (and have a chance to win a BlackBerry).


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.

Why I love Information Technology (IT)

Last night I watched the U2 live concert webcast on YouTube (www.youtube.com/u2). During the show, I just enjoyed the concert, which of course comes with Bono’s philosophizing. (BBC News review of the concert.) Afterwards, I marveled at the technology that made it all possible.


 


Billed as “the world's biggest band performing on the world's largest stage” (on the YouTube ad for the event). They said that people were watching on all seven continents. I can’t even imagine how much bandwidth this single event consumed.


I cannot recall a live event available in the identical format to people everywhere on the planet. Sure, major news events are followed around the world, but people typically watch on their local news channel or in some local language portal.


There was a similar effort several years back with Live 8, a free concert to “make poverty history”. But, this contained several channels, one for each of the global venues, and I recall the user experience was less than optimal, both in video and audio quality. The U2 show was crisp on my home DSL connection (1.5 Mbps), which is far from speedy compared to what is available here in Silicon Valley or especially in Asia. There were a few sub-second lapses, but overall the experience was amazing.


Think about the U2 event for a moment. Technology (and global standards) made it possible for anyone on earth to experience the same concert at the same time in the same format, regardless of the viewing platform.


To me, this is truly amazing. And that’s why I love IT and am proud to work for a company that makes so much of the infrastructure possible.


Kudos to Google and YouTube (and U2) for pulling this off!


If anyone knows what IT infrastructure they used to do this, please let me know.


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.


 

Operations Manager Basics (product overview videos)

I spent the past two days in a planning meeting with my product marketing peers from different product groups including infrastructure monitoring, application monitoring, network monitoring, CMDB, service management, and IT financial management. We reviewed all our respective product plans and our go to market strategies (you will need to watch during the year to learn what we decided). While everyone had some idea about what high-level problems each product line solves, some people were not familiar with specific Operations Manager functionality, especially the current version's capabilities.


They asked for the fastest and easiest way to come up to speed. After some thought, I pointed them to two videos - one for Operations Manager (focused on consolidated event and performance management) and another for Operations Manager i (focused on advanced event reduction using topology-based event correlation). I have posted the links below.


HP Operations Manager
Peter Spielvogel and Jon Haworth discuss how Operations Manager allows customers to monitor heterogeneous IT environments, reduce management costs, and speed time to problem resolution.

(While the demo is on Operations Manager on Windows (OMW), the functionality is virtually the same for Operations Manager on Linux (OML) and Operations Manager on Unix (OMU).)



HP Operations Manager i
Jon Haworth and Dan Haller talk about increasing IT event processing efficiency with OMi.



If you have additional questions, please let me know.


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.


 

The full stack (OMW, SiteScope, OMi, NNM, Service Desk, CMDB)

As I was getting ready to leave yesterday, a colleague stopped by my desk and asked “do you want to be a hero?” That certainly peaked my interest. It turned out we had a customer downstairs in our executive briefing center that wanted some clarification about all the pieces of our stack fit together.


Background
The customer was the CTO of a major IT firm in the Asia-Pacific region. They manage approximately 4,000 servers using OMW 8.1. They use both agents and SPIs, as well as SiteScope agentless monitoring. In addition, they monitor the faults and performance of their network using NNM, and roll those events into their Operations Manager console. In addition, they use Service Desk 4.5 along with a CMDB (configuration management database) that tracks all the configuration items and relationships among them across their enterprise. A *very* rough schematic  of what they have appears in the diagram below in red.



 Our discussions were divided into two main areas:
1. What they are doing today and what they should be doing?
2. What can they do in the future?


Current Situation
The first question was about best practices. Were they using the software correctly to manage their infrastructure? The answer is a resounding yes. They use OMW as the central event management console, collecting data from agents, SiteScope (agentless monitoring), and NNM for network events.


And, they integrate their service desk with OMW, opening and closing tickets, and tracking changes to the IT infrastructure in their CMDB. They implemented the CMDB about two years ago, in conjunction with their Service Desk implementation.


Next Steps
The next questions focused on what should they be doing or what can they do next to improve their IT management.


We started with a discussion about OMi. The customer was confused about how OMi fits with OMW - the first question was whether it replaces OMW, whether they receive OMi as part of an upgrade (entitlement), and finally, what specific value OMi provides since they currently use OMW as the centralized event consolidation tool.


As readers of this blog know, OMi is a separate product that adds on to Operations Manager. (See green box at top of the above diagram). Its main value is that it leverage the system topology information in the CMDB to greatly speed the time to repair IT problems, especially in complex environments. We have many resources to learn more about OMi, including:
Product overview
High-level webinar on OMi
Deep-dive technical webinar on OMi
Answers to technical questions on OMi


The next topic was automation. We talked about how companies use Operations Orchestration (OO)  to automate their IT processes (runbooks). OO uses events in OM to trigger its process flows. The good news was that this customer has spent the past two years documenting and improving their IT processes. They already know what processes occur frequently and how much manual effort they require. This may be the next logical step for them as it leverages their existing IT infrastructure and processes. EMA recently write a white paper on how process automation augments event consolidation.


Migration Challenges
One issue that arose was that the CMDB connected to their service desk is not the latest UCMDB that OMi uses for its topology-based event correlation (TBEC). The customer has two options here.
1. Leave the existing CMDB in place and let OMi create an operational data store that contains the configuration information it needs. The advantage of this approach is that it leaves the current management infrastructure intact and just adds OMi on top. OMi uses the SPIs to auto-discover the IT infrastructure and relationships among the elements. OMi’s data store is self-contained and requires minimal external input.
2. Migrate the existing CMDB associated with Service Desk to the latest version of UCMDB. The advantage of this approach is that the customer ends up with a single CMDB. They can migrate their existing data using a tool such as ICM (information consolidation manager) from Netscope.


Conclusions
For organizations already integrating their events into a single Operations Manager console, you are on the right track. If you already use a CMDB to track your IT infrastructure, you are very far along the IT management maturity curve, even more so if you use some means of automatic discovery to keep it current.


To take things to the next level, you have two options: focus on further event correlation and reduction with OMi or automate your existing IT processes with Operations Orchestration. You can pursue these in series or in parallel, depending on your priorities. Both will deliver a tangible return on investment and fast payback period.


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 onLinkedIn.

Virtual Infrastructure Management (Q&A from HP-VMware webinar)

Thank you to everyone who attended the joint HP-VMware webinar on how to “Reduce Costs and Gain Control of Your Virtualized Infrastructure with Consolidated Management.” The speakers were Terry Lyons, Technical Alliance Manager, Enterprise Systems Management, VMware Corporation and Mike Shaw, Director of Product Marketing, HP.


If you missed the live event on October 7, 2009, you can view a replay here.


Here are the questions that people asked during the event, along with the answers.






































Question  Answer
Great to see you are working closely with VMware. What are you doing to support other hypervisors?  For now, the HP Virtualization SPI supports VMware ESX and Microsoft HyperV. We are looking at adding other hypervisors, based on our customer’s needs.
Can you explain the difference between siloed management compared to Central? What is the benefit to centralizing? Siloed management refers to managing each IT silo using a separate element manager.
Centralized management relies on a single event console to consolidate and correlate events from disparate IT domains. Using a single event console can reduce costs and speed the time to problem resolution.
How do you plan the systems and applications for the data center capacity?
Which kind of instruments/solutions do you use for the capacity planning? 
Please see our blog post on capacity planning, written by Hyperformix.

What is the minimum release of HP Operation Manager that enables the VMware API integration, or is the VMware SPI the only dependency?  First, the Smart Plug-In (SPI) is called the Virtualization SPI, because it supports hypervisors beyond just VMware, although that is the most commonly requested platform.
The Virtualization SPI works with Operations Manager on Windows 8.10, Operations Manager on Windows 8.16, Operations Manager on Unix 9.0, and Operations Manager on Linux 9.0.
Can you talk about how HP SIM fits in to this? i.e. hardware and VM Management. thanks,  HP Operations Manager consolidates events from all the various element managers across the enterprise. In the scenario you mention, SIM will send its events to Operations Manager where a single team can monitor the HP servers and any other infrastructure. There is a SIM Smart Plug-In (the SIM SPI is available at no charge) that integrates between SIM and Operations Manager. If an operator needs to perform advanced troubleshooting of the HP servers, he or she can launch SIM through the Operations Manager console.
Can this solution allow me to generate FTE savings?  We answered this during the webinar. This solution centralizes event management to a single Operations Manager console, leaving vCenter as the expert tool for advanced troubleshooting or escalations. This shifts event management to your tier 1 operators in the Operations Bridge, freeing your virtualization administrators (very hard to find these days) to work on more strategic tasks.
What specific HP software products are needed to implement the scenario presented?  We answered this during the webinar. You would use Operations Manager, agents for each of the managed nodes, along with the Virtualization SPI to manage the hypervisor.


 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 onLinkedIn.

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