Infrastructure Management Software Blog

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.

Simplify your life! Upgrade you HP Operations SPIs with ease!!!

I’m a big time Quicken fan and just upgraded to the latest version. As with many upgrade processes, here are some of the issues I encountered before, during, and after the migration process:


- First, I hesitated – for 3+ years - to upgrade to the latest version of Quicken. I really wanted to take advantage of all the great things Intuit has introduced, but was concerned that the upgrade would be difficult and time-consuming.


- During the upgrade process, I ended up doing a lot of manual spot checking and comparison of data between my older and newer versions of Quicken. Certainly a frustration …. as well as VERY time-consuming!


- After the upgrade was complete, I soon realized that a lot of the customization and personalization that I had done over the past 3+ years was lost – gone for good AND not apparent to me during the upgrade process.


Sound familiar???


It’s a shame that something as seemingly simple as moving to the latest version of a product can be so daunting, complex, and time-consuming – causing you to ultimately delay performing the upgrade.


Well, this is not the case when upgrading your HP Operations SPIs (Smart Plug-ins) because of a great new tool we’ve introduced – called the SPI Upgrade Toolkit  or SUTK.  Now you can quickly and easily move to the latest version of a SPI, so that you can take advantage of the enhanced and/or new monitoring and management capabilities of your IT environment; in other words, better monitor and manage and technologies and environments such as virtualized servers, BlackBerry applications, application servers (JBoss, WebLogic, and WebSphere), databases (Oracle, Informix, and DB2), and much more. Like my Quicken dilemma, you shouldn’t hold off upgrading because you fear what the upgrade process is going to be.


We’ve made it easy to upgrade your SPIs!!!


This toolkit allows you to quickly and easily upgrade to the latest version of a SPI as follows:


- Any customization(s) you have done around policies are NOT lost during the upgrade process, ensuring all work and effort you have done in the past stays intact.


- Changes made to any policy during the upgrade process are reported and brought to your attention BEFORE they are made, thus eliminating the possibility of overwriting policy customizations you’ve done in the past.


- From a performance standpoint, the process is quick, as it takes less than one second per policy comparison.


- Again, the process is quick, as you are provided – in a summary format – policy comparisons that are in an easy-to-read and digest format.


- The toolkit has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that allows you to quickly and easily perform an upgrade.


The attachment to this post shows how the upgrade would work if you have customized any policies associated with a SPI that you are upgrading.


Best of all – the toolkit is FREE! Simply download it (ftp://sutk:Andante0@ftp.usa.hp.com/) and then launch it from HP Operations Manager and you’re ready to go! (Note: This is a large download.)


And, per usual, we’d love to get comments and feedback on the toolkit. Feel free to comment on this post or e-mail me with your input on how your upgrade went when using this tool! I look forward to hearing from you.


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.

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.

Labels: agent| agentless| agentless monitoring| agents| automating operations management| automation| BES| BlackBerry Enterprise Server| CMDB| consolidate events| consolidated event| Consolidated Event and Performance Management| consolidated event management| Consolidated Management| correlate events| DDM| Discovery and Dependency Mapping| event console| event consolidation| event correlation| event management| Hewlett Packard| HP Network Node Manager| HP OMi| HP OpenView| HP Operations Center| HP Operations Manager| infrastructure management| infrastructure monitoring| IT dashboard| IT infrastructure management| IT infrastructure monitoring| IT management| manager of managers| managing IT| managing IT infrastructure| managing IT operations| monitoring| Network Management| Network Node Manager| NNM| NNMi| Norm Follett| OM| OMi| OML| OMU| OMU 9.0| OMW| OpenView| OpenView Operations| Operations Center| Operations Manager| Operations Manager i| Operations Manager on Linux| Operations Manager on Unix| Operations Manager on Windows| performance| Performance Agent| performance management| Performance Manager| performance monitoring| SiteScope| Smart Plug-in| Sonja Hickey| SPI| TBEC| Topology Based Event Correlation| topology-based event correlation| virtual server| virtual servers| virtual systems management| virtualization management| Virtualization SPI| virtualization sprawl| virtualization strategy| virtualizationation| virtualized environment| virtualized environments| Virtualized Infrastructure| Vivit

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.

Managing Virtualization and BlackBerry Ecosystems (Q&A from Vivit technical webinar)

Thank you to the 90 people who attended the Vivit webinar on What's New In Operations Management: Virtualization & BlackBerry Smart Plug-Ins Demo". Jon Haworth and Dan Haller presented on how to get more from your existing Operations Management environment by adding the new smart plug-ins for Virtualization and BlackBerry. 



If you missed the event, you can view a replay of the webinar on the Vivit web site.



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































































































Question



Answer



Managing Virtualization - System Support



We have OVPM for UNIX. Does VISPI still only work with OVPM for Windows? Currently we have a work around from HP Support to run with OVPM for UNIX. Will newer versions of VISPI work with OVPM on UNIX?



VI SPI 1.5 is supported with OMU 9.0 - so OMU on Solaris and HP-UX and OM on Linux. We now include Performance Manager (PM) with new installations of OMU 9.



Can you run the virtualization SPI if you only have the operations agent and not the performance agent?



No, you need both agents. Stay tuned for some updates regarding our agents. This issue will become moot on November 1.



Does VM SPI require both an OV agent and an OVPA agent on all the Virtual machines and Hosts?



No. You can choose to monitor the VMs with OM agents if you wish. If no OM agent is installed on a VM then a Target Connector license is required.



Does the agent install on ESX3i version 4 USB drive?



With VI SPI 1.5 the agents are no longer installed on the ESX / ESXi hypervisor - they are installed on the vMA (a virtual management appliance VM supplied by VMware). If your ESX3i version 4 USB drive has a vMA installed or is monitored by a remote vMA then the VI SPI (on the vMA) will be able to monitor it.



Do we have any plan for supporting Solaris and HP virtualized environment?



We are investigating other virtualization technologies. We named this product the Smart Plug-In for Virtualized Infrastructure specifically to indicate that it is not constrained to monitor just (e.g.) VMware.  The first version of the VI SPI supported only VMware ESX. Version 1.5 added Hyper V and ESXi. While we cannot comment on specific product plans, you can follow the trend.



Is a LINUX VM guest required?  We only have Windows guests.



The Linux vMA (Virtual Management Appliance) is provided by VMware - you just download it from their web site. It's pre-built so you do not have to 'know' anything to utilize it. VMware has information on vMA on their web site. http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vima/



Managing Virtualization - Licensing



When is 1.5 of the VI SPI going to be released



It achieved Manufacturing Release status week of September 28th and is just ready for shipping now.



How much is System Infrastructure SPI?



It is included with the OM agent.



Is there a limitation on the number of virtual machines that can be monitored?



We are suggesting that a single VI SPI is limited to monitoring 200 instances. Each host, guest (VM), resource group and cluster counts as one instance. We have tested considerably more than this but are using 200 as our recommendation.



Do you need a SPI license per ESX host or per vma?



Per VM host (ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V)



Is the VISPI different than the Nworks VMware SPI and can this be used as well?



Yes it is a completely different SPI to the Nworks / Veeam SPI - and has a fundamentally different architecture (high resolution agent based monitoring as opposed to agentless monitoring).  I guess you could use both products but I'm not sure exactly what you would gain.



Managing BlackBerry Ecosystem



How does licensing of BES SPI work?



You purchase on BES SPI license for each BES server that you wish to monitor (physical or virtual). It is a flat price structure (no tiers etc.). Obviously you also need an OM agent for each BES server in order to be able to deploy the BES SPI.



Is the BES SPI available for OM 8.1 or is it only available for OMi?



The BES SPI includes the OMi Content Pack. So you could purchase the BES SPI for your OMW 8.10 system and make full use of its "SPI" functionality or, if you have OMi connected to OMW, you can also make use of the OMi features such as Health Perspective Views and Topology Based Event Correlation.



Is there any reference data that shows how BES performance improves when using SPI?



Not right now although we would expect some of the existing application and service availability / performance improvements for OM to be valid



Can the BlackBerry SPI account for devices that are turned off or out of range when monitoring the number of messages waiting to be sent?



The total queue size of unsent messages and calendar updates that are enqueued for all handhelds is monitored. A report (by device) of pending messages is not available at this time.



Does the HP smart plug-in for BES support a Lotus Notes environment?



Not right now. This capability is under investigation.



Other Operations Management Questions



How do I get more information about the integrated OVO and OVP agent...what is this new agent called?



At present this is just a licensing change. We will provide more information on November 1. We will be executing on some technology updates in the future so keep listening for news.



How often data are collected from devices and how? 



As per all OM message threshold policies the schedule is easily configurable.  Out of the box, some are collected every two minutes, some every 5 minutes and some less often.



For HP Operations Center, Jon Haworth.


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



Join the HP OpenView & Operations Management group onLinkedIn.

2 upcoming virtualization webinars

It seems that every conversation about IT infrastructure management eventually turns to virtualization. To help you better understand how we help you reduce the cost of administering virtualized environments and better manage performance of applications running in a virtual machine, we have two virtualization webinars next week.


1. Wednesday 10/7/09 Reduce Costs and Gain Control of Your Virtualized Infrastructure with Consolidated Management (HP and VMware)


2. Thursday 10/8/09 What's New in Operations Management:  Virtualization & BlackBerry Smart Plug-ins Demo (HP and VIVIT)


Details and registration links appear below:


Webinar 1
Webinar title:  Reduce Costs and Gain Control of Your Virtualized Infrastructure with Consolidated Management
Webinar date :  Wednesday, October 7, 2009 12-1 PM Eastern Time, 9-10 AM Pacific Time


Abstract:  Virtualization is hot!   Even in this tough economy, virtualization was cited as the top spending priority for CIOs in a 2009 CIO Insight survey. Most organizations are seeing real benefits in flexibility and utilization but virtualization also creates some unique management challenges.   Join HP and VMware, industry leaders in virtualization and infrastructure and application management for this one hour webinar to learn how you can reduce management costs and gain increased visibility and control of your virtual infrastructure.
During this webinar, you'll learn:
• How virtualization can introduce new management silos and actually increase the time and cost to detect and resolve issues
• How consolidated event and performance management can reduce costs and regain control
• How new technology from HP and VMware can pinpoint the root cause of system issues and eliminate duplication of effort chasing symptoms
Don't miss this chance to get maximum value from your virtualization investments.



Register now.


Webinar 2
Webinar title: What's New in Operations Management:  Virtualization & BlackBerry Smart Plug-ins Demo
Webinar date :  Thursday, October 8, 2009 12-1 PM Eastern Time, 9-10 AM Pacific Time

Join us for an exclusive webinar on October 8th and be one of the first to see a demo of the new HP Operations Manager Smart Plug-ins for Virtualization and BlackBerry Enterprise Server. During this webinar and demo, we'll show you how to get more from your existing Operations Management environment by adding the new smart plug-ins for Virtualization and BlackBerryEnterprise Server.  These new smart plug-ins include domain-specific discovery, fault detection and performance data collection policies that provide explicit insight into the application and their impact on the entire IT ecosystem.



Register now.


 


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.

Everything you wanted to know about OMi... (Q&A from Vivit technical webinar)

Thank you to everyone who attended the Vivit webinar. The recording is now available for viewing on Vivit’s web site. You can also download or view the presentation slides in PDF format. There were many questions from the audience. Jon Haworth and Dave Trout's answers appear below. I have grouped questions by topic.


Product Structure


















Are these 3 different modules to be purchased separately? (topology, event and service views) Yes three different modules. OMi Event Management Foundation is the base product and is a requirement before either of the other two products can be installed. OMi Health Perspective Views and OMi Topology Based Event Correlation are optional modules.
How is the licensing done? There are three separate OMi modules. OMi Event Management Foundation is the base product and is a requirement before either of the other two products can be installed. OMi Health Perspective Views and OMi Topology Based Event Correlation are optional modules. Each module is priced / licensed separately and the pricing model is 'flat' - you purchase the license(s) required and that is all (no CPU or tier or connection based pricing).
How does that scale to thousands of machines? Since we have just introduced OMi, we don't yet have a lot of "real" scalability data to report. However our internal testing so far indicates that OMi can handle the typical event rates handled by OMW/OMU in terms of forwarding events. Like OM today, the scalability of the total solution is not so much limited by how many thousands of machines are being managed but on the total event rate being handled.


Integration with Operations Manager, BAC, UCMDB














































Is there any description about the interface between OM and OMi. There are two interfaces used: 1) Message forwarding from OM to OMi, and 2) Web Services interface for message changes and Topology synchronization.
How is the integration with Operations Manager on Unix? As mentioned during the webinar, OMi requires either OMU or OMW as the event consolidation point for forwarding events into OMi. The event forwarding is configured in OM exactly the same way as if forwarding to another OM server. For message updates and topology synchronization, a Web Services interface is used.
Since it was mentioned it works with both OMU 9.0 and OMW 8.10, does it work with the mentioned SPIs on both platforms ? Yes. We are updating the SPIs to be "OMi ready". What this really means is that we're adding  a little extra information to the event messages (via Custom Message Attributes) to make it 'easier' for OMi to associate a message with the correct CI in the UCMDB and to include specific indicators needed for the TBEC rules in OMi. For OMU 9 we will release some updated SPIs soon which include enhanced discovery - very similar levels of discovery to what OMW has. The discovery subsystem is an area that we enhanced in OMU 9 and we want to be able to use the SPI discovery data as the 'starting point' for populating and maintaining CI and relationship information in the UCMDB - which is what helps to drive the logic in OMi.
How flexible are the integration with BAC products? Are these factory built and need factory to modify due to target environment requirement OMi and BAC use the same UCMDB instance so they are tightly integrated 'out of the box'. OMi is completely built on top of the BAC platform technology. It supports the same security mechanisms, the same HA configuration options, the same user/group definitions, etc. In short, OMi is just like any other BAC "application" that is leveraging the platform.
In the installation guide, it says that one of the requirements is to install the "BSM platform". What exactly do you understand on "BSM platform"? BSM platform means "BAC". OMi 8.10 requires BAC 8.02 as the BSM platform.
Can you run OMi without BSM? No, the BSM platform provides the user interface 'framework' and the runtime UCMDB. OMi plugs into the BSM foundation.
Which security model will take precedence - OMU responsibility matrix or the BAC security for views? OMi security is entirely based on the BAC platform features. Access to OMi views, admin UIs, etc. is all controlled through the standard BAC security features (users/groups, roles, permissions, etc.)
Which security model will take precedence - OMU responsibility matrix or the BAC security for views? OMi security is entirely based on the BAC platform features. Access to OMi views, admin UIs, etc. is all controlled through the standard BAC security features (users/groups, roles, permissions, etc.)
What is the price policy if you have / have not BAC already installed? Having BAC installed makes no difference to the price. OMi includes all components needed (runtime UCMDB etc.) in the license. Pricing is based on a 'flat' price for each of the three modules (see earlier question). You need to contact your local HP sales representative to obtain local pricing.
CI treeview scale? The CI Tree view is basically a UCMDB VIEW/TQL under the covers. TQLs in UCMDB are tuned for VERY efficient retrieval of CI information.


Integration with Ticketing Systems (Service Manager, Service Center)






















How does OMi interact with any ticketing system like Service Manager or Service Center. Will the Ci's health be reflected based on ticket info? In this first release of OMi, there is no direct interaction with a ticketing system. The interaction is driven through the existing OM (OMW or OMU) to Service Manager / Service Center interface. Because OMi synchronizes message changes back to the OM server that it is connected to, trouble tickets can be triggered from that OM server.
How does this interface to Service Manager 7? The interface to SM 7 is driven through the existing OM (OMW or OMU) interface to Service Manager. Because OMi synchronizes message changes back to the OM server that it is connected to, trouble tickets can be triggered from that OM server.
The slides implied "assignment" which looked similar to NNMi. How do the new features of OMi integrate to Service Manager? The concept of assignment is 'internal' to OMi. In many organizations the tier 1 support personnel will deal with non Business Service impacting issues without raising a trouble ticket. NOTE: this is purely dependent on the individual process and organization structure that is selected, we know that a lot of companies work this way to minimize the number of TTs. Some organizations insist that every actionable 'incident' becomes a TT. Where an event is dealt with in OMi then assignment makes sense, where events are forwarded to SM7 or another TT system then assignment will likely take place in the Incident / Helpdesk system.
Will OMi integrate with ITSM (change management app from Front Range)?  Also, I'm assuming that we will need to purchase CMDB for event correlation regardless - is that true?  Cannot comment on the Front Range application. It is likely that an integration may be possible but it would be wise to verify with the vendor what external interfaces they provide for integrating event management systems with their product. No you do not need to purchase UCMDB - we provide a 'free' runtime with OMi.


UCMDB, Discovery and Smart Plug-Ins (SPIs)


































Is it necessary to have UCMDB to have OMi? OMi ships with a "BAC 8.02" media kit. This actually provides the BSM PLatform - including UCMDB - and is licensed using your OMi license key. If you do not have an existing UCMDB then this will provide a runtime UCMDB as part of the OMi product package. If you have an existing BAC 8.02 installed (which includes UCMDB) then you can utilize that for OMi.
Is discovery best done in OMi or uCMDB? All discovery data is maintained in the UCMDB. The 'base' discovery for OMi will be provided by the Smart PlugIns that have been deployed from the OMW or OMU instance that OMi is connected to. Additional discovery data can be added to the UCMDB - for example from NNMi or DDM - and OMi will make use of this discovery data if it exists.
If using DDM for discovery, DDM-Advanced is recommended since it can discover not only hosts but also applications and their relationships.
Can you please tell me if DDMi can be used as a feed? Yes. Servers discovered by DDMi are inserted into UCMDB. However be aware that DDMi does not discover applications and dependencies/relationships. DDM-Advanced is the recommended discovery approach if you plan to use OMi and leverage the TBEC rules in particular.
If uCMDB already has CIs populates by DDM, would the new sources like NNMi , SPIs conflict with them , in other words do we need a clean uCMDB ? No. A clean UCMDB is not required. OMi is designed to work with CIs reqardless of how they are discovered and inserted into the UCMDB. In general, reconciliation of CIs discovered from multiple sources is handled automatically.
Can you clarify what you mean by "we are including these SPIs"? Does this mean it's part of the shrink wrap deliverable with OMi?  What specifically will the virtualization SPI provide?  We were considering another product for that space, but want to hear more about those capabilities. We are not including SPIs with OMi. We are including pre-defined content (event type indicator mappings, health indicators, TBEC correlation rules) for the SPIs that we noted. If you have these SPIs deployed then the time to value when OMi is deployed will be very quick. HP released a SPI for Virtualized Infrastructure monitoring earlier this year. Initial focus is on VMware but we will be providing an update soon with more features. You can contact your HP Software Sales Representative to get more details of the specific functionality provided.
 What is the virtualization SPI? Is it nWorks SPI ? No. HP released the Smart PlugIn for Virtualized Infrastructure early in 2009. This is a HP developed and marketed product.
nWorks is the "SPI" we were considering This is a different SPI and is based on a different architecture (agentless polling). It has no OMi content at present and it will be the responsibility of Nworks / Veeam to provide this.


KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)


















What is a KPI? KPI - means Key Performance Indicators
where do you define the KPIs? OMi provides four KPIs to the BAC platform: Operations Performance, Operations Availability, Unresolved Events, Unassigned Events. These are defined by OMi, not by users. What IS configurable is which Health Indicators (HIs) are assigned to impact either the Operations Performance or Operations Availability KPI for specific CI Types. This is done using the Indicator Manager in OMi.
If the difference is KPI, why data is not collected from PM. Instead I see that the data is collected from OVPA & OV agents. OMi is focused around event processing. Events (alerts) are 'collected' from OVPA and OV agents to enable operations staff to understand what needs to be 'fixed'. PM (Performance Manager) is one tool that can be used to assist in the analysis / diagnosis of performance problems. PM is actually integrated into the OMi user interface.


Topology-Based Event Correlation (TBEC)


























In the slide with "Carol" and "Bill", they applied their knowledge to (I guess) develop some rules?  Is that work that still has to be done manually?  What were they developing - KPIs? No not KPIs. The example is there to show how TBEC rules are simple to create but that the correlation engine 'chains' them together to provide quite complex correlations logic which adapts based on the topology that has been discovered. We (HP) are providing content (Event Type Indicators, Health Indicators, TBEC rules as per "Carol and Bill") for a number of our existing Operations Manager Smart PlugIns with OMi and we will continue to add additional content moving forwards. The example in the slide is there to illustrate the process (simple process) of creating very powerful correlation rules which adapt to changes in the discovered infrastructure. You would only need to undertake this process where HP does not provide out of the box content with OMi.
I have some questions regarding the TBEC, is there any experience regarding the performance?
How many events can be handled by the correlation engine per sec?
The engine is tuned for very high performance. It is basically the same engine that is used in NNMi for correlations.
With topology synchronization with NNMi do you have to have OMi licenses for every node in NNMi as well? ... I.E. if you are using Topology Synchronization with NNMi will it only show the nodes from NNMi that have OMi agents installed? No. All CIs in the UCMDB are visible to OMi. No additional license costs are required for NNMi nodes which are added to the UCMDB.
Which language is used for the correlation rules? And where are the rules defined ? (UCMDB?) TBEC is configured in the OMi Correlation Manager GUI, there is no programming language involved. The rules are based on topology (a View from the UCMDB) and on specific Health Indicators with specific HI values.
Does OMi support the execution of validation routines when closing an Alert/Event that also closes other related items? Not currently out of the box. There are several configurable settings which affect TBEC behavior (e.g. correlation time window, automatic extension of time windows, etc.), but currently this is not one of them. We are considering additional options for the future.


OMi Features


























Scalability, High Availability Cluster Support?  Estimated max seats before going distributed? OMi supports the same cluster/HA features as supported by BAC. For example, you can have multiple gateway servers connected to a clustered Data Processing Server and a remote database server. In this case, OMi software is installed on each of these separate servers (gateways and DPS). In general, the "max seats before going distributed" (i.e. adding gateway servers) would be driven by the same considerations as documented for BAC itself. More information specific to OMi environments will be available over time as we have a chance to do further testing and characterization.
Does OMi have a reports generator showing things like daily TBEC, etc.? Not currently. However the BAC reports (e.g. KPIs over Time) can be used to look at how the OMi KPIs are changing over time on CIs.
Comment: We feel that most of these features being discussed in OMi should have been as an upgrade to OMW. Too many modules to buy and try to integrate ourselves. For example we wanted a better version of the OVOWeb to come as an upgrade in OMW8.1. Too many products to buy just to manage our network. OMi is providing discreet and incremental value above and beyond what is provided in OMW or OMU. We are continuing to enhance both OMW and OMU (for example the recent release of OMU 9.0) and customers who are happy with the capabilities of these platforms can continue to move forwards and take advantage of the enhancements that we are providing. There is no requirement to move to OMi.
We feel we are being charged for features that were supposed to be in products that we already purchased. We are not happy about the tactic of releasing new products to fix features that were advertised in prior software. As a consultant, even I get lost in the vast amount of monitoring tools being sold by HP. OMi  is providing discreet and incremental value above and beyond what is provided in OMW or OMU. This functionality was never offered as part of OMW or OMU - it is new and unique to OMi. The reality is that it would have been extremely difficult, and time consuming (slow to release) to provide the high value capabilities of OMi within OMW or OMU. The strategy we have choosen is to base these new capabilities on a 'clean' build based on contemporary technologies - but HP has specifically ensured that existing OM customers who wish to take advantage of these new capabilities can do so without having to disrupt their existing OM installation.
I had some issue when trying to setup and run the synchronization tool and event forwarding. Who can I contact? You should contact your normal HP support channel for assistance.


Other














Is there an estimated time line for detailed technical training on OMi? We have just run a series of virtual instructor led training sessions for our partners. HP Education Services will be releasing an OMi class in the near future.
Where can I get an evaluation version of OMi? You can request a DVD from the trial software web site. A download will be available at http://www.hp.com/go/omi soon.


 


 For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


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Is Managing Virtual Servers Just Like Managing Physical Servers?

As I travel and speak with customers, partners and analysts firms, I keep hearing that ownership for virtualization management is fragmented within the IT organization. Some companies have even created a new role called the Virtualization Administrator. Why?

 

If virtual servers are just like the legacy “physical” or dedicated servers why is there such a fragmentation in monitoring responsibilities, tools and processes today? Haven’t we learned from previous technology innovation that when it comes to IT Operations, the sooner the monitoring tools and process are streamlined into the standard operating procedure the better?

 

Take a look inside your organization today. Are you fragmenting the monitoring and management of your Virtual Servers? Are you deploying point products to manage your Virtual Server farms separate from your physical servers? You know from previous projects the sooner you streamline the management tools into the process the more efficiently IT can keep the lights on while freeing up resources to execute more strategic projects.

 

So what do you need to successfully manage Virtual Servers, the applications running on them and the underlying network? The same tools you already use to manage these entities prior to virtualization (HP Operations Center, formerly OpenView), with some enhancements to monitor the virtual layer.

 

The enhancement comes in the form of a new HP Smart Plug In (SPIs) for Virtualization. This new SPI for Virtualization plugs into HP Operations Manager and delivers the following:



  • Uses a common methodology to monitor both Physical (dedicated) and Virtual Servers.

  • Monitors both performance and availability of VM host and guests independent of each other to provide current status

  • Automates the creation of baselines and setting thresholds to reduces configuration overhead

  • Auto-discovery and visualization of the virtualized environment—including the dependency between the ESX host system and each guest system and updates service navigator views

  • Provides a single console to simplify operation tasks. When a metric exceeds a defined threshold it alerts Operators and provides instructions for fixing the problem and/or launch corrective actions automatically or manually

  • Delivers comprehensive reporting on the short- and long-time behavior for a virtualized system.

The alternative is to use a native tool that came with your virtualization platform or buy a niche point product. Both approaches can be effective for the Virtualization Administration team but does it enable you to drive the cost out of IT Operations? My recommendation is to extend your HP Operations Center deployment to ensure you continue to optimize your cost structure.

 

Let me know why or why not centralizing your physical and virtual operations into a single console is right for you.


For HP Operations Center, Dennis Corning

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