Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Update from Citrix Synergy show - virtualization management

Update from the show floor from John Lee and Rajkishore Govindu, two HP product experts, who are staffing the HP Software booth at Citrix Synergy. They are showing demos of how HP Operations Manager and our Citrix management solutions

See HP Operations Manager at Citrix Synergy Show

HP software provides a way for you to monitor your Citrix virtualized resources alongside all other components in your IT environment. Monitor all Citrix application, desktop, and server virtualized resources using either agent-based or agentless monitoring technologies from HP. And bring all of this information into a central location, greatly increasing the efficiencies of your IT Operations teams.  

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.

Q&A from "Service modeling, discovery, and monitoring for VMware environments" webinar

Thank you to all the people who attended the "Service modeling, discovery, and monitoring for VMware environments: 5 tips for optimizing management of your virtual infrastructure" webinar on April 13.


And thank you to my co-presenter, Luigi Tiano, who did an outstanding job in his demo of both our agent-based and agent-less solutions for virtualization management.



For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


Here is the Q&A transcript for the event.


 





































































Question Answer
1. Would a person want to use both agent and agentless monitoring on the same system? When? As we learned during the polling questions, 62% of the respondents already use a combination of agents and agentless monitoring. 
Using both methods on the same system can enhance your monitoring experience and offer a redundant monitoring solution for mission critical servers.
What you use will depend on how you want to manage performance and cost.
If you want to collect many metrics at very granular time intervals, an agent may be best.
If your IT policies prevent you from installing agents on some types of servers, you can still monitor them using SiteScope. And, collecting performance counters with SiteScope is done in a lightweight manner.
2. How often do the service maps update? The Virtualization SPI discovers changes as they occur, usually within minutes, based on monitoring the hypervisor. This is critical in a virtualized environment, which is characterized by frequent changes. The SPI updates the service maps.
In addition, you can control service map discovery using the Service Discovery Policy. The policy discovers all the virtual machines (VMs) configured on the VMware ESX server and creates the service map in HPOM console. The discovery policy contains a parameter which can be configured to suit your specific needs.
3. What are the key metrics someone needs to monitor? This depends on your needs and your specific IT environment.
VMware offers guidance on this issue. Please download their guide to obtain more information about available metrics and their definitions. See page 287. http://www.vmware.com/pdf/ProgrammingGuide201.pdf
4. I get the motivation to consolidate events into a single console. What information from vCenter is lost in using this approach? Despite vCenter’s amazing capabilities, it is VMware only. Operations Manager provides comprehensive management for both your physical and virtual environments. And, if you also use Microsoft HyperV, you can also view those in Operations Manager. By using one solution, you can eliminate “swivel chair management”.
With HP Operations you have the ability to map the relationships and dependencies between your critical business applications and the infrastructure which supports them. This service mapping allows for impact analysis and helps the operations bridge with root cause analysis.
5. How are the different monitoring solutions you discussed priced? For Operations Manager, agents are licensed on a per OS instance basis. The Virtualization SPI is a separate product that augments the agent to pull additional data specific to the VMware or Microsoft hypervisor.
SiteScope is licensed per point. Each point monitors a single metric. We have packages containing points to simplify the purchase process.
Please contact your HP sales rep or an authorized HP partner for a quote.
6. What virtualization platforms can you monitor?

The Operations Manager Virtual Infrastructure SPI provides management of the following:
VMware ESX 3.5, 4
VMware ESXi 3i, 4i
Microsoft Hyper-V server 2008


In addition to these, SiteScope can monitor:
VMware VirtualCenter 2.x
VMware ESX 3.x
VMware ESXi 3.5
VMware ESX 2.5 via VirtualCenter 2.x
VMware ESX 3.x via VirtualCenter 3.x
Citrix
Solaris Zones


7. Does the agent-less system use XML-APIs, SNMP, etc? how does it work? The monitored virtual server or ESX server cluster must be directly accessible by the SiteScope server (no proxy involved).
The virtual server or ESX server cluster provides connection either by HTTP or HTTPS (depending on the VI server configuration). If HTTPS is used, the server
certificate must be imported to SiteScope.
8. WMI is capable of agentless operation to collect all Windows performance metrics. Why does Operations Manager need the SPI? The virtualization SPI will not only collect performance metrics. Besides performance metrics, the agent will allow for service discovery of the VMware infrastructure. The agent will allow a more robust and comprehensive monitoring experience by allowing automatic actions as well as launch VMware specific tools to help diagnose problems.
9. How does Operations Manager tie in with SA NA OO SAR and uCMDB? Operations Manager can manage servers provisioned with Server Automation (SA). Many customers use SA to install the OM agent and set the appropriate policies.
Operations Manager can use Operations Orchestration (OO) to automatically take ownership of events and run work flows to take corrective action.
Operations Manager works closely with the uCMDB. The SPIs discover configuration items in the IT environment and load that information into the uCMDB. SPIs also track changes in the IT environment and annotate the uCMDB.
If you use Operations Manager i, it correlates events using information in the uCMDB to identify the causal event and allow operators to ignore symptoms, speeding the time to problem resolution.
10. In order to monitor the performance of a business transaction (example: Application web portal load, Login, run a query, log off). what pieces of software shall I consider? Agent or agentless? SiteScope and Operations manager are designed to monitor the infrastructure. SiteScope does provide URL monitoring and both SiteScope and Operations Manager can monitor your web services. If you are looking for a true application management solution with real time user monitoring and synthetic transaction monitoring including the end user monitoring, we recommend HP Business Availability Center and the End User Management product suite.
11. Can we get a copy of these slides? You can view slides in the webinar recording.
12. Are there other webinars on other virtualization topics? To attend the other webinars in the CIO Roundtable webinar series, please register at www.hp.com/go/swvirtualizationwebinarseries.


 


 

Last chance - 1PM ET today. Webinar on service modeling, discovery, and monitoring your VMware environments

Join HP Software and CTConsultants for a live webinar on:


Service modeling, discovery, and monitoring your VMware environments:
5 tips for optimizing management of your virtual infrastructure.


During this webinar and demo, 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 maps


Register now.
www.hp.com/go/swvirtualizationwebinarseries


 For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.


 

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

Smart Plug-Ins (SPIs) and Agent-Based/Agentless Data Collection Explained: What you need to manage your IT environment

Have questions about HP Operations Center SPIs like the infrastructure SPI or the SPI for virtualization? Wondering what agents you need to get? And how many? The following post is a good high-level summary of what you need and where you need it. Read on …


In general, an HP Operations Manager solution consists basically of two things: an Operations Manager server along with data collection technologies. Data collection technologies, at a very high level, are either agent-based or agentless. The purpose of this post is to explain the latter two: agent-based data collection and agentless data collection and what you need to implement a solution comprised of both. The following two figures provide high-level architectural representations of the following discussion.



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



Agent-based data collection explained


HP Operations Manager agents collect, aggregate, and correlate monitoring information to manage data and events collected and aggregated from multiple sources. The agents can suppress irrelevant and duplicate events and correlate the remaining relevant events to produce actionable and enriched management information. In addition, dependencies and propagation rules show the cause of an incident, which assist in reducing mean-time-to-recovery and downtime. Agents are installed on each managed system or node, regardless if it is a physical or a virtual machine, and have the following additional capabilities:


· Allow the addition and customization of monitoring sources not included in out-of-the-box monitoring policies.


· Collect and analyze performance data from operating systems and installed applications and use historical patterns to establish performance baselines.


· Autonomously perform automated corrective actions (in isolation from the Operations Manager server) and manage by exception (forward only actionable events to the Operations Manager server through the use of intelligent filtering, duplicate suppression, and correlation techniques).


· Set up HTTPS communication with the Operations Manager server – even in outbound-only communications configurations.


· Support monitoring data center technologies such as virtualization and clusters.


Agentless data collection explained


Agentless data collection, through the use of HP SiteScope monitoring probes, complements agent-based data collection by providing flexibility in how information is gathered from the IT environment. Like agent-based data collection, agentless monitoring is performed on both physical and virtual systems and has the following capabilities:


· Gathers detailed performance data for infrastructure targets without installing an agent on the managed node.


· Provides easy monitoring of the IT infrastructure.


· Has an intuitive user interface.


· Allows actions to be initiated automatically when a monitor’s status changes.


· Provides solution templates that enable quick deployment of monitoring probes, which include specialized monitors, default metrics, proactive tests, and best practices for an application or monitoring component.


· Has the ability to monitor previously unmanaged or hard-to-manage systems and devices through easy-to-use customization tools.


Infrastructure Smart Plug-Ins – what are they and where do they fit in?


Infrastructure Smart Plug-ins supplement agents by collecting data at the infrastructure or managed systems level. They provide out-of-the-box, packaged, and intelligent management and are comprised of the following three SPIs:


· The “system” SPI discovers operation system and platform resources, generates alerts on system diagnostic events, monitors system services and processes, and monitors resource utilization.


· The “cluster” SPI automatically discovers and represents cluster nodes and configured resource groups in a clustered environment, monitors cluster services and processes, and enables monitoring of clustered applications - even as they move “on-the-fly” between cluster servers.


· The “virtualization” SPI -which is supported on the most common virtualization hypervisors - discovers and monitors virtualization platforms (both host and virtual machines) and provides graphs and reports on resource utilization.


Application SPIs – are these different than infrastructure SPIs?


In a sense, yes and no. Yes because they basically perform the same functions as infrastructure SPIs in terms of collecting, aggregating, and correlating monitoring information. No in terms of what data they are responsible for. Infrastructure SPIs, as mentioned before, do this at the system level, whereas application SPIs do this at the application level. The following picture builds on the previous one, but more clearly depicts where application and infrastructure SPIs reside:


 



 


And does HP have SPIs! We have SPIs for databases (Oracle, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2), web application servers (IBM WebSphere, JBoss, Oracle WebLogic), storage (HP Storage Area Manager, Veritas NetBackup and Volume Manager), and ERP/CRM (PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel) products. Not to mention lots of SPIs developed by HP partners around Cisco, Novell NetWare, and Documentum products.  


New Licensing of Agents and SPIs!


Yes, we’ve changed our licensing structure for both SPIs and Agents. They are now instance-based, meaning you have one per operating system or application instance. Plus, we’ve got this great new “Operating System Instance Advanced License”, which includes the following:


o Operations Manager agents


o “System” Smart Plug-In


o “Cluster” Smart Plug-In


o 15 agentless monitoring probes/points


If monitoring a virtualized environment, a “virtualization” SPI - although an infrastructure SPI like the “system” and “cluster” SPIs - is purchased separately from the Operating System Instance Advanced License. One virtualization SPI is required for each monitored Virtual Server host.


I hope that this has helped explained agents and SPIs. If you have any questions about this post or instrumentation in general, please feel free to comment on this post.


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.

Virtualized service management for real-world environments

A guest blog by Judy Redman, who has been writing about software for over 20 years.
- Peter


Virtualization is a technology that first proved its effectiveness in lab environments where it was deployed for testing and development. Now customers are asking how they can extend the successes from the lab into mission-critical production environments.  HP has recently published a white paper that can help you employ virtualization in your real-world environment.  As we are all aware, production environments are much more complex, involving a plethora of relationships and dependencies among IT elements often across distributed networks. 


To support business services in this context, production environments must offer:
• high availability,
• redundancy protection,
• data persistence,
• integration across a wide range of applications,
• and links to other business processes.


These are no easy feats for the IT department.  With the introduction of virtualization into production environments, the ease and speed of provisioning virtual machines comes at the cost of increasing complexity.  This must be managed in order to realize the full potential of virtualization in the production world. Otherwise, enterprises run the risk of trading capital expenditure savings for operational costs.


Companies report mixed results


As a result, less than one-third of companies are completely satisfied with their virtualization deployments, says an Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) study.


Other findings from the same study reveal that:
• Seventy-nine percent of organizations deploy virtualization technology in heterogeneous environments.  Each organization uses an average of 11 different platforms, technologies and vendors for management purposes.
• Fifty percent use only the management tools provided by the vendor for each virtualization tool in their environment.
• Sixty-seven percent of organizations maintain multiple departments for delivery and support functions.
• Thirty-four percent of organizations report a lack of internal skills required to manage virtualization adequately.
• Forty percent of organizations say they do not have the resources to implement virtualization or expand existing implementations.


Service management approach needed


So what do these survey results tell us?  Companies need to manage virtualization in the same way they oversee other mission-critical technologies -- via a common service management approach.  This holistic approach accounts for both physical and virtual assets alike.  And, IT is able to orchestrate the provisioning of virtual machines across heterogeneous infrastructure tiers.  This way software configuration changes in the real-world environment can be coordinated with the simultaneous provisioning of applications, VMs, physical servers, network, and storage elements.


A service management approach to virtualization allows IT operations to:
• monitor the health of the virtual/physical infrastructure before production;
• gain a full understanding of how system updates and patches will impact the business service before the updates are rolled out;
• monitor the infrastructure in production in context to the applications that it depends on along with the network where it resides.


To learn more about how to implement a service management approach to virtualization, download the related white paper, Key management strategies for your virtualized environment: maximizing your ROI on virtualisation.


 

Heterogeneous Virtualization (HP + VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, and Red Hat)

One advantage of HP’s virtualization management approach is that we work closely with all the major virtualization vendors. Earlier this week, we hosted a partner virtualization event in San Francisco along with our key virtualization partners including Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware. The audience included both business and technical press.



Here are two articles written about the event.


The Convergence Of IT And Business
Forbes, by Taylor Buley
November 19, 2009


Is Cloud Computing Ready to Rumble?
internetnews.com by David Needle
November 19, 2009


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.

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.

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


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VMworld - Day 2: Virtualization is about NOT building a new $100M data center

I attended a great session at VMworld called “Conquering cost and complexity in virtualized environments”. It was a panel discussion moderated by Mark Linesh, VP at HP. The key speakers were Michelle Bailey, VP at IDC, and Rob Taylor EDS (an HP company).


Michelle ran thorough some statistics related to trends in virtualization. Here are some highlights:



  • Spending on new servers has been flat since 1996.

  • The number of installed servers has increased from 5 million in 1996 to 35 million in 2009.

  • The number of physical servers is predicted to flatten due to virtualization.


The admin cost, however, is expected to increase. This cost grows with the number of servers, both physical and virtual. The “hidden cost of IT” is the number of system administrators. This is why the cost of people is the largest cost in the data center.


Power and cooling costs also scale with number of servers. Where this was a rounding error back in 1996, these costs are becoming very significant today.


Organizations need a new set of economics around the datacenter. Virtualization is the answer!


Virtualization helps contain the number of new physical systems coming into data center. In fact, the number of virtual servers is exploding. Administrators still need to address the management costs of patching and maintenance on virtual as well as physical servers. Automation will address this problem.


The application workload relies on servers, storage, and network.


IT management cost is still 70% maintenance and 30% innovation. (Here’s that ratio again.) Companies need to flip that ratio.


2009 is the tipping point in which the number of virtual servers will match number of physical servers. This will require a fundamental shift in the way people manage their infrastructure.


Virtualization has solved the CapEx problem. It has not yet addressed the OpEx problem.


Virtualization also introduces some interesting dynamics regarding long-time IT processes, for example, server provisioning. Some shops can set up a new virtual machine in 20 minutes. Imagine the organizational impact if their user base knew this and called in expecting such a fast turn-around time for all requests. So, this company still makes their constituents wait 3-5 weeks to prevent them from asking for a new machine every 20 minutes. In essence, they keep the same business processes in place as before. More progressive companies may want to take a different approach. But one key lesson is that standardization and discipline are critical for managing sprawling IT environments.


The panel discussion closed with the following summary:
Virtualization is about avoiding or delaying building a new $100M data center.


Follow the action at VMworld on Twitter at #HPVMW.


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.

Virtualization strategy to conquer virtualization sprawl

Dana GardnerDana Gardner, president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions and a leading ZDNet blogger interviewed three HP executives about managing virtualization sprawl, using CMDBs to track virtualization resources, and using outsourcing to optimize implementation costs. His post is on “Rethinking virtualization: Why enterprises need a sustainable virtualization strategy over hodge-podge approaches.”


The discussion covers virtualization management and how an unchecked migration to virtualized servers leads to unrealized expectations. One best practice is starting with a virtualization strategy that plans for scale out that includes how to manage business services that reside on a moving platform. Another is looking closely at the connections between the physical and virtual servers and making sure all the networks support changes in traffic patterns.


Shay MowlemOne comment from my colleague Shay Mowlem, strategic marketing lead for HP Software & Solutions, includes:
Many companies today have recognized that consolidating their infrastructure through virtualization can reduce power consumption and space utilization, and can really maximize the value of the infrastructure that they’ve already purchased... But, as companies have tried to apply virtualization to their Tier 2 and Tier 1 mission-critical systems, they're discovering a whole new set of issues that, without effective management, really run counter to the cost benefits.”


There is also a podcast and transcript on Dana’s BriefingsDirect page.


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.

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