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IT Operations Management (ITOM)
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What’s new in Operations Bridge 2018.05: An overview of the latest features

What’s new in Operations Bridge 2018.05: An overview of the latest features

Micro Focus Expert

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Micro Focus Operations Bridge 2018.05 release. This release contains new versions of the classic products (OMi/OBM, OBR, OBA, …) as well as a new Operations Bridge container-deployment.

In this blog post, I will share insight into the highlights of this release.

Here a quick summary of the main features (each will be reviewed in detail in the following sections):

  • Enhanced monitoring for Hybrid IT — with Azure load balancer monitoring and AWS monitoring for Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Key Management Service (KMS) and Amazon Redshift
  • Easier BVD Dashboard Creation — New and enhanced Visio shapes and guide template make it easier to design dashboards. The shapes now support theming and the guide template allows easier dashboard layout for different screen sizes.
  • New version of the OpsBridge Bot — with new Operations Orchestration and SiteScope commands provides all OpsBridge ChatOps functionality in a single bot.
  • Extended Collect Once - Store Once (COSO) capabilitySiteScope and Business Process Monitoring (BPM) metrics can now be sent to our central store (Store Once).
  • Operations agent now allows pull-based certificate and policy deployment — which is especially useful for our cloud-ready Operations Agent Streaming Edition.
  • New SiteScope REST-Web Service APIs to configure remote servers — allows users to integrate SiteScope into self-service portals.
  • The Operations Bridge Container deployment for OBM, BVD and Store Once now supports Disaster Recovery and offers a simple update process from an OpsBridge 2018.02 container deployment
  • Miscellaneous other enhancements have been implemented for Operations Bridge Manager (OBM), Operations Bridge Reporter (OBR) and Operations Bridge Analytics (OBA) – please see below for more details.

 

Micro Focus Rebranding

B.t.w. most Operations Bridge products are now using the Micro Focus brand and Micro Focus brand colors and fonts. Here a few screenshots:1rebranding.pngUIs using Micro Focus brand colors

And in case you missed it: In February we started to rename Operations Manager i (OMi) to Operations Bridge Manager (OBM), to have a consistent naming for the key Operations Bridge components:

So OMi is now no longer called OMi, but OBM!
(No worries, OMi/OBM command line interfaces that you are currently using are not changing: CLIs like opr-node, opr-assign, … will not be renamed!)

What are we releasing?

We are releasing the following new product versions:

As part of Operations Bridge Express Edition:

  • SiteScope 11.50

As part of Operations Bridge Premium Edition:

As Classic releases:

  • Operations Bridge Manager (OBM ex OMi) 2018.05
  • Operations Bridge Reporter (OBR) 10.31
  • Operations Agent (OA) 12.06

As part of the OpsBridge Container release:

  • Operations Bridge Manager (OBM) 2018.05
  • Business Value Dashboard (BVD) 2018.05
  • Store Once (SO) 2018.05

As part of Operations Bridge Ultimate Edition:

  • Everything that is included in Premium Edition +
  • Operations Bridge Analytics (OBA) 3.04
  • UCMDB 2018.05
  • Cloud Optimizer (CO) 3.04
  • Operations Orchestration (OO) 2018.05

Please note: It is possible to have a mixed deployment of classic and containerized products. This allows customers that are using the classic versions of OBM and OBR to get started with the containerized BVD and Store Once capabilities.

Expanded and enhanced monitoring for Hybrid IT and other updated content

(These are expected to release on ITOM Marketplace in June 2018)

  • Management Pack for Microsoft Azure 2018.05:
    • Added monitoring of Azure Public and Internal Load Balancers, providing more visibility into the traffic that flows through the Load Balancer and into LB availability
    • Added monitoring of Azure Storage Elements (files, blobs, queues and tables)
  • Management Pack for Amazon Web Services (AWS) 2018.05:
    • Added discovery and monitoring of
      • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)
      • Amazon Key Management Service (KMS)
      • Amazon RedShift
  • Management Pack for SAP 2.10:
    • Miscellaneous enhancements

Updated SiteScope content:

  • Dynamic JMX Monitor: added JBoss EAP-7.1 support (in addition to JBoss EAP 6.1.x - 6.2.x, 6.3.0)

Updated Operations Connectors:

Easier Business Value Dashboard Creation / What’s new in BVD

Several enhancements have been made in BVD to simplify the creation of new BVD dashboards:

  • BVD comes with new and enhanced Microsoft Visio shapes and a Microsoft Visio template that makes it easier to design dashboards.
  • The Microsoft Visio template provides layouts for different form factors and grids to easily position BVD shapes
  • Several new shapes have been added on customer request:
    • Stacked bar chart
    • Single bar chart to display just a single value
    • Legend that uses the same colors as bar or line charts

World map that can be used as is or in combination with the Status Group shape to indicate problems in certain regions4world.pngNew world map shape

 

  • The shapes now support theming which allows you to change in a single click the color scheme of a complete dashboard (to a company color scheme) 2bvd.png

     

In addition BVD provides the following enhancements:

  • Import and Export Functionality for Data Collectors
    This is very useful if you design dashboards that receive data from Vertica queries. Now you can export and import the corresponding queries/Data Collectors.
  • Calculation Rule - You can calculate a custom data field for a widget based on other values from the data channel. A typical use case for a calculation rule is to display the sum of all values: If the data sent to BVD contains for example revenue numbers for all regions, but not the total number across all regions, then BVD can now calculate the sum and display it. (In the example below, the total number in the middle (89) is the calculated sum of the Minor (0), Major (66) and Critical (23) events)3bvd.pngTotal number is calculated using a calculation rule

New version of Operations Bridge Bot providing OO and SiS commands

The separately available bots for Operations Orchestration (OO) and SiteScope (SiS) are now integrated into the Operations Bridge Bot. So there is no need to install multiple bots any more, just install the OpsBridge Bot and with that you will be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Receive events into a chat channel (as before),
  • Use the new SiS commands to investigate the current health of a system, for example by running a certain health monitor
  • Look at history reports using the OBR report commands
    (see Accelerating Operations with report access via ChatOps)
  • Use the new OO commands to run an OO flow to fix a problem

So with that we are making it very easy to use all ChatOps functionality that the OpsBridge suite provides by just installing one bot.

The new OO and SiS commands allows you to

  • Show all the content packs deployed in OO Central
  • Show flows from OO Central
  • Run/cancel OO Flows
  • Get OO Execution Details
  • Monitor OO Executions: receive notifications when execution status is changed
  • Show OO Central Version and OO Topology
  • Get SiteScope monitors in a group
  • Run the Monitors
  • Search for monitors, group or tags
  • Check the health of SiteScope server or tags
  • Enable/Disable monitors/alerts/groups

Extended COSO capability

Store Once Enhancements

Store Once is the ITOM next-generation unified big-data platform consolidating multiple domains and providing consumable cross-domain services across all collected data as defined in Gartner’s AIOps capabilities. It was introduced with the OpsBridge 2018.02 release and is based on Micro Focus Vertica and the ITOM Container Deployment Foundation (CDF). It initially collected system metrics from Operations Agents. Now starting with Operations Bridge 2018.05, metric streaming from SiteScope 11.50 and BPM 2018.05 probes is also supported.

This platform is utilized and shared across all Micro Focus ITOM products and will act as single data collection and streaming endpoint, with the collection of topology, events, metrics and logs across physical, virtual, on-premise and cloud deployments.

The Store Once capability can be easily enabled during Operations Bridge Container installation.

The streamed data from SiteScope and Operations Agents can then be viewed in Operations Bridge Manager Performance Dashboards (A future version will allow BPM data to be similarly graphed. Both containerized and classic versions of OBM 2018.05 can access the data in SO.)

All data stored in Store Once can be queried from BVD and can be included in Business Value Dashboards.

For detailed steps on how to install and configure SO, how to configure metric streaming to SO and how to set up the access to the streamed data from PD and BVD, see the Operations Bridge Containerized Suite help center.

Collect Once Enhancements

Operations agent 12.06 now offers pull-based certificate and policy deployment for the Operations Agent Full Edition and Streaming Edition. 

The pull-based certificate and policy deployment can be useful in cases where no direct communication from the OBM server to the agent is allowed because of firewall restrictions.

 

CO.pngA typical use case for pull-based certificate and policy deployment

For such scenarios we typically recommend setting up a remote channel proxy (RCP) through which all agents communicate.

The new pull-based certificate exchange now allows you to avoid an RCP. Using the new token-based certificate request it’s possible to request a certificate from the OBM server and to automatically receive an agent certificate in a secure way, initiated from the agent side. Similarly, the agent can now poll the server for configuration changes and receive new policies, configuration and instrumentation files in return.

This allows users of the Operations Agent Streaming Edition to use the full features of the Streaming Edition without the need of an RCP, which greatly simplifies the deployment of such agents onto cloud systems.

(Please note that there are features of the OA Full Edition that still require a connection from the OBM server to the Operations Agent, like action or tool execution, hotfix deployment or displaying Management Pack performance dashboards. In these cases, the OBM server initiates the communication and tries to connect to the agent – which may be blocked by the firewall. Further enhancements are planned for the future to address these limitations.)

For more details about this enhancement, please see the Operations Agent documentation.

SiteScope REST-Web Service APIs to configure remote servers and other SiS enhancements

SiteScope provides these new APIs to configure and test remote servers:

  • getallremotes Retrieves details of all the remote servers
  • createwindowspasswordremote Creates a Windows remote server with user name and password in SiteScope
  • createunixpasswordremote Creates a Unix remote server with user name and password in SiteScope
  • getconnectivity Tests the connectivity of Windows and Unix remote servers
  • updatewindowspasswordremote Updates details of a Windows remote server
  • updateunixpasswordremote Updates details of a Unix remote server

Furthermore the following APIs allow to get details about the current SiteScope configuration:

  • getallalerts Retrieves all the configured alerts and alert actions with details
  • gettoplevelgroups Retrieves all groups under the SiteScope (root) group
  • getuserpreferences Retrieves all the preferences associated with users
  • getmonitorsnapshot Retrieves list of all monitors with brief detail of each monitor
  • getlicenseinfo Retrieves SiteScope license information
  • getbuildinfo Retrieves the SiteScope build information

SiteScope now allows you to upload a TLS certificate (or to create a self-signed TLS certificate) during the SiteScope installation. This greatly simplifies setting up SiteScope in a secure way. It’s now also possible to set the AES encryption key length during the installation.

For more details, please see the SiteScope documentation.

Operations Bridge Container deployment enhancements

  • Disaster Recovery
    Operations Bridge 2018.05 Container release now supports Disaster Recovery. The general approach for disaster recovery is to set up continuous backup of files and replication of databases, and to prepare a second CDF environment, which in case of a disaster will be configured to connect to the replicated databases and restored files.
  • Simplified Update process from Operations Bridge 2018.02
    Operations Bridge now supports in-place updates of the underlying CDF (from 2018.01 to 2018.05) and the Operations Bridge (2018.02 to 2018.05).

For more details about both enhancements, please see the Operations Bridge Containerized Suite help center.

Operations Bridge Manager (OBM/OMi) enhancements

Many of the following enhancements have been introduced because of specific requests we received from our customers:

  • Pattern testing in Structured Log File Policy for Generic Output: The Rules page in Structured Log File Policy for Generic Output has been enhanced with Test Pattern functionality. You can use this functionality to test sample data or custom text against a single rule or all rules (patterns).
  • Auto-Refresh closed events: The Closed Events Browser has been enhanced with Enable auto-refresh check box. You must select this check box to refresh the list of closed events automatically at regular intervals. You can configure the auto-refresh interval by using the Update Interval infrastructure setting.
  • Quick Filters: Quick filters in the Event Browser (HTML) help you to filter events according to severity, priority, or assignments. After you select one or more filters, the events that fulfill the filter criteria are displayed in the Event Browser (HTML). Based on the quick filters that you select, the active filter information for each group is also displayed in the Event Browser (HTML) toolbar.5eventbrowser.png

 

  • Event Browser (HTML) enhancement: event age columns based on time received and time first received
  • Top View enhancement: large node label and severity icons instead of CI type icons for better visibility on NOC screens6topview.png

     

    • Downtime Filters: The Downtime web service has been enhanced with Downtime filters. You can filter the downtimes based on name, CI ID, CI Label, and CI Global ID. You can also use the filters to show only the active or expired downtimes.
    • Enhanced CI Resolver: CI Resolver has been enhanced to use string lists and system types for indexing.
    • New Event Web Service query parameter: The new fields parameter allows you to specify the attributes that you want to include in the response. For example, you can use the fields parameter to get events with only event IDs or to get events with title and severity, in the response.
    • Enhanced opr-assign CLI: opr-assign now offers options to tune and create instance and instance-dependent parameters.
    • opr-close-event enhancement: new -category option, improved confirmation message, severity and title options can be specified multiple times
    • New Infrastructure Settings: The following new infrastructure settings are available in OBM 2018.05:
      • Overwrite Custom Attributes: When custom attributes are propagated from cause events to the corresponding symptoms, the existing values are overwritten.
      • Propagation of Custom Attributes: A list of custom attributes that are propagated from cause events to the corresponding symptom events. The custom attributes in the list are separated by a semi-colon. For example, "Customer;Ticket".
      • Use the Forward duplicate count changes: You can use this setting to suppress forwarding of event changes with an updated duplicate count due to duplicate event suppression.
    • All OBM 2018.02 container deployment features (except SO) are now also available in OBM Classic 2108.05. Information concerning those features is described in our blog article What’s new in Operations Bridge 2018.02: An overview of the latest features.

    Operations Bridge Reporter (OBR) Enhancements

    • Admin UI enhancement: The Admin UI to configure OA-collector assignments now offers improved performance and more filters.

    Operations Bridge Analytics (OBA) Enhancements

    • Simplified Anomaly Detection configuration. The configuration page used for Anomaly Detection has been simplified. A single slider allows setting the anomaly detection sensitivity level, hiding details of the sophisticated anomaly detection algorithm from the user.
      Various defect fixes in that area now assure that anomalies no longer stay active endlessly and have a clear end.
    • Text:* notation can now be used in dashboard panes as well, simplifying the creation of new dashboards.

    If you have feedback or suggestions, don’t hesitate to comment on this article.

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    Events

    To get more information on this release and how customers are using Operations Bridge we are happy to announce the following events

    References

    Explore all the capabilities of the Operations Bridge and technology integrations by visiting these sites:

    Or review the corresponding documentation for Operations Manager i, Operations Bridge Analytics, Operations Bridge Reporter, Operations Connector (OpsCx), Business Value Dashboard (BVD) and Operations Orchestration (OO)!