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What’s new in Operations Bridge Suite 2017.11

What’s new in Operations Bridge Suite 2017.11

Micro Focus Expert

We are delighted to announce the availability of the latest Operations Bridge suite 2017.11. Building on the previous version, this suite release includes new capabilities as well as numerous updates. With this release we continue our journey to provide ground-breaking, redesigned micro service and containerized enterprise monitoring solutions to our customers.

What’s new in Operations Bridge Suite 2017.11

Here the highlights of the latest release

  • Container-based deployment enhancements: Enterprise ready containerized Operations Bridge Premium Suite, with high-availability support for all Premium capabilities 

  • New Data collection feature of the Operations Bridge Business Value Dashboard (BVD) to query data from a Vertica DB, which allows BVD to show historic data, not just real-time data, in BVD widgets. This feature can be used to provide lightweight reports to BVD users in form of BVD dashboards.

  • New Business Value Dashboard custom widget API that allows developers and partners to create their own widgets for data representation in BVD, which dramatically widens the visualization possibilities of BVD.

  • Expanded Cloud monitoring with the new versions of the OMi Management Packs for Amazon Web services and Microsoft Azure, adding monitoring for AWS RDS and Autoscaling Groups as well as Microsoft Azure SQL on Azure Cloud or on-premise Azure stack.

  • Operations Agent Streaming Edition – a low footprint, quick to install Operations Agent that can stream metrics to the central performance store – the Performance Engine - and logs to Operations Bridge Analytics for increased insight into (cloud) systems that can’t or should not run a full Operations Agent.

  • Enhanced enterprise-ready Operations Bridge chat bot which now supports Microsoft teams as chat tool, in addition to slack and Mattermost.

  • Operations Bridge Reporter (OBR) enhancements (tool to migrate from BSM as topology source to OMi)

  • Operations Manager i (OMi) enhancements (HTML event browser and performance dashboard enhancements, first HTML5 policy editor)

Enterprise ready containerized Operations Bridge Premium Suite

The previous release had some known limitations. With this release we have removed many of those limitations:
You can now upload your own server certificate during the CDF installation and for your Operations Bridge suite:1_certs.png

 

You can now, in addition to BVD and the suite defaults, also reconfigure OMi and PE settings. Just login to the Management Portal and select Reconfigure:2_reconf.png

Note: Operations Bridge Reporter settings can be changed in the OBR Admin UIs.
For information about the reconfiguration, see Reconfigure
.

And most importantly, we have implemented Operations Bridge Premium Suite High Availability:

A certain degree of high-availability (HA) was already achievable with the previous release, as we already provided high availability for the underlying container deployment foundation (CDF), automatic restarts of containers by our Kubernetes-based CDF, and scaling of BVD services.

We have improved HA so you can now deploy OMi in a highly available setup. By using multiple worker nodes and enabling the required function in the suite installer, you can ensure the high availability of your OMi system so that service is continuous despite power outages or worker node downtime.

Configuration is easy – it’s just a checkbox you must check:3_ha.pngHA configuration

In such a setup, the container running the OMi data processing server is running twice – on different worker nodes. It’s comparable to an active-hot standby setup that we have for the classic release. One container is active and processing all events, the other container is already started and constantly updating its internal caches, ready to take over the processing when needed – when the active data processing server (DPS) fails.

If such a catastrophic failure occurs, for example in case someone powers off the system that is running the active DPS, then this will be detected after a certain time (we must make sure that the other server is in fact down and that there is not just a short network interruption), the backup DPS will take over and continue processing. In the best-case operators working with the OMi UI will not notice this at all. In the worst case they might see a “connection error” for a short amount of time until the UI reconnects automatically. During the switch no new events are displayed to operators, but afterwards event processing is continued, the operators will then see new events again and no events are lost during the failover.

For BVD, Performance Engine and Operations Bridge Reporter we rely on the Kubernetes container restarts to achieve high availability. These containers can be restarted within seconds or just a few minutes. For BVD you can expect a restart under 3 minutes, for PE around 3 minutes and for OBR around 5 minutes, if in fact all containers are affected by a worker node failure. But in reality, where containers are spread across multiple worker nodes, the downtime will probably be lower. And you can decrease it even further by using scaling for BVD containers, in which case you might have no downtime at all if a single worker node fails.

For information about the high availability of OMi, see Configure scaling and high availability.

And not to forget, Operations Bridge 2017.11 now also includes an updated container deployment foundations 2017.10 which offers a more robust and UI-based installation (instead of editing configuration files) and simplifies the overall installation quite a lot.

Please have a look at the updated Install Guide for details.

New Data collection feature in Business Value Dashboard

Use the Data Collector to create, execute, and manage queries on a Vertica database to collect historical data. You can then display this data in dashboards to create lightweight reports that are displayed as part of a business value dashboard, such as this:4_bvd.pngBVD dashboard showing historical data

The configuration is pretty easy. After providing hostname and credentials to access the Vertica DB, you just need to specify a query name and provide the SQL query.
Using SQL you can calculate sums or averages, order and limit your results to retrieve just the top 5 performers (or worst 5) etc..
Here an example that calculates the amount of sold items (of some stores), then sorts the results and only returns the top 3 stores: 

5_query.png

You can setup multiple queries to retrieve different data:6_bvddatacoll.png

 

However, please note that in this release we can only retrieve data from one Vertica DB – you cannot specify different DBs to retrieve data.

See the Data Collector BVD online help for details.

New Business Value Dashboard custom widget API

BVD 10.63 provides an API to create custom widgets. You can visualize your data in any way you want, irrespective of the default widgets that are shipped with BVD. To create your own customized widgets, you just need a Visio shape that acts as a placeholder, and a JavaScript file to modify the widget the way you want.

Here you see an example screenshot showing some possible visualizations of data, like the word cloud or a bubble chart that indicates the amount of the incoming events using the bubble size. 

customwidgets.png

A lot of developer documentation for this API, templates and examples are provided on our new BVD community page: https://microfocus.github.io/ColorYourData/ which extends the information that we already provide on other pages:8_bvdresources.png

For completeness, here the links to reach the other pages:
Software Information Portal: https://docs.microfocus.com/OpsBdocs
ITOM Marketplace: https://marketplace.microfocus.com/itom
Demo BVD server: reachable via the BVD community page

Expanded Cloud monitoring with the new versions of the OMi Management Packs for Amazon Web services and Microsoft Azure

The OMi Management Pack (MP) for Amazon Web Services 1.40 and Microsoft Azure 2.20 add monitoring for databases in the cloud!

The AWS MP provides:

  • Discovery, Monitoring and Performance Dashboards for  
    Relations Database Service (RDS) instances
  • Discovery, Monitoring and Performance Dashboards for Auto-scaling groups 

9_AWSRDS_PD.png

 

10_AWSASG.pngDiscovered Auto-scaling groups

 

Similar, the OMi Management Pack for Azure provides monitoring for Azure SQL. And with Azure MP 2.20 it is possible not only to monitor Azure in the cloud, but also the on-premise version – Azure stack.

Get more details here:
https://marketplace.microfocus.com/itom/content/omi-management-pack-for-amazon-web-services-aws
https://marketplace.microfocus.com/itom/content/omi-management-pack-microsoft-azure

Operations Agent Streaming Edition

Operations Agent 12.05 is the first Operations Agent release that contains a lightweight, quick to install Streaming Edition install package. The package that is less than 40 MB can be unzipped and installed in under 30 seconds and can be used on systems that cannot or should not run a full operations agent.

The Streaming Edition is focused on streaming use cases and able to stream logs to Operations Bridge Analytics and metrics to Operations Bridge Performance Engine (which then can be displayed in Performance Dashboards within OMi).

Therefore, it can be used to get additional insights into the performance of - for example - cloud systems, on which a full agent should not be deployed because of disk size restrictions or other reasons.

The Streaming Edition is limited in size because it’s not providing all the features of the full agent. As I said, its focus is on metric and log streaming, and although it’s also able to create topology and events for the Operations Bridge, it can only do this by using certain policy types (“event/topology from XML file”, “event/topology from REST Web Service“ ..) and not using service discovery, measurement threshold or server/process monitoring policies.

Which Edition of the Operations Agent you have installed is now visible within the Monitored Nodes UI of OMi. It contains a new column showing the Edition of the agent.

It’s also worth mentioning that the edition, agent version and port is now immediately visible in this UI, right after the agent installation. It’s no longer required to retrieve this information manually via the “Sync packages” function. 11_managednodes.png

 

Operations Bridge chat bot – supporting Microsoft Teams

The Operations Bridge Bot 2.10 has now been enhanced to work with Microsoft Teams along with Slack and Mattermost.

Here you can see a conversation in Microsoft Teams in which a tool is started on a node to gather more details and how the event is then escalated to a trouble ticket system.12_opsbot.png

We also made a few improvements:

  • When an event is escalated to a ticketing system, you will get back the Ticket ID which you might want to refer to in following chat messages.
  • Simplified event forwarding configuration for multiple channels: now only one connected server needs to be setup, and one event forwarding rule per channel.
  • Auto correction: The Operations Bridge Bot now provides basic auto correction for messages and posts responses even if the message includes typos.

For more information about installing, configuring, and using the Operations Bridge Bot, see the Operations Bridge Bot User Guide on the ITOM Marketplace.

Operations Bridge Reporter (OBR) enhancement

The OBR 10.22 patch contains scripts and tools to migrate your topology source from BSM to OMi, which is required when you want to move from a combined BSM/OMi 9.x deployment to a split BSM 9.x and OMi 10 deployment.

Operations Manager i (OMi) enhancements

Event Browser (HTML) enhancements. The Event Browser (HTML) has been enhanced to include the following new features:

Customizable summary footer. The Event Browser (HTML) now displays a summary of the events' severities, priorities, and assignments in the footer of the browser. The summary counts are updated when you select an event or when you apply a filter.13_footer.png

You can modify what the footer should display in Options > Footer: decide which information is shown in the footer, and if zero counts are displayed.14_options.pngResponsive design. The responsiveness of the Event Browser (HTML) has been enhanced — you can scale browser windows that contain the Event Browser (HTML) component as required without losing track of your events.

CI filters are displayed. If you filter the Event Browser (HTML) results by CIs, for example by using the CI Explorer, the CI selection is displayed next to the event filter selection. This way, you have an overview of all filters that are applied to the current view in the Event Browser (HTML).15_filter.png

 

Dynamic CI Status Alerts. You can now create CI status alerts irrespective of the view that a specific CI belongs to, or create CI status alerts for all CIs of a selected view. If CIs are added or removed from the selected view, they are dynamically included or excluded in the CI status alert.16_alters.png

 

New HTML5 policy editor. For Generic Output from Structured Log Files policy templates, a new HTML5 editor is available. The new HTML5 editor uses a style and look and feel as known from other administrative UIs:

17_IISpolicy.png

For more information on these enhancements, see the OMi Help.

Performance Dashboard

In the Performance Dashboard area several defect fixes and enhancements have been made which overall improve the capability to show performance metrics related to a specific configuration item (CI):

  • You can now use the Performance Dashboard to graph metric data with the same metric class from multiple Operations Connector (OpsCx) systems.
  • The Performance Dashboard now supports graphing for the logical entities of Cloud Optimizer such as Datacenter, Cluster, and Datastore.
  • You can now create a Performance Dashboard for Application System CIs such as Google Cloud projects.

For more information about these enhancements, see the OMi online help.

Events

 

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

Micro Focus ITOM Customer Forum, Cairo, Egypt January 17, 2018 - register now

Micro Focus ITOM Customer Forum, Brussels, Brussels, January 18, 2018 - register now

Micro Focus ITOM Customer Forum, Paris, January 31, 2018 – register now

Micro Focus IT Operations Management Summit, Dallas, February 5-7, 2018 - register now

Read all our news at the OpsBridge blog

References

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
Micro Focus Expert

FYI, the AWS and Azure MPs are now available on ITOM Marketplace. I edited my original article accordingly.

Volker

Senior Member.

HI Volker, 

How is the architecture for the BVD accessing the Vertica DataStore. We have situations where you have the BVD in another dmz...

Micro Focus Expert

@SteenBendtsen To retrieve Vertica Data into BVD you have to allow connections from the BVD backend (running inside the Kubernetes cluster) to the Vertica DB.

Volker