Infrastructure Management Software Blog

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

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


Vivit will be hosting a series of six (6) one-day sessions, where there will be a nice mix between presentations and Q&A sessions around these products.  The sessions will be held in the following states on the following days:


- (Columbus) Ohio – April 20, 2010


- (Orrville) Ohio – April 21, 2010


- (Dearborn) Michigan – April 22, 2010


- Wisconsin – April 27, 2010


- (Chicago) Illinois – April 28, 2010


 - (Fishers) Indiana – April 29, 2010


Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about this roadshow at asksonja@hp.com.

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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.

Analysis of HP announcement at VMworld (podcast)

At VMworld, HP announced its virtualization smart plug-in (SPI) for Operations Center. For companies using Operations Manager as the consolidated event and performance management console, this allows them to see events from VMware Virtual Center in the Operations Manager console.


The implications of the “Virtualization SPI” for business operations are significant. This means operators can manage all events, from both the physical and virtual infrastructure, through a single Operations Bridge. The virtualization team can focus on planning and strategy, leaving the tier 1 operators to manage events.


Dennis Corning, product marketing manager for virtualization, comments on the announcement in this podcast, which I recorded at VMworld.



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.

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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