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HP bulks up software for hybrid infrastructures

Two ways lens for LOBs and IT

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

HP has revved its BSM (Business Service Management) product - software which, HP says, provides a two-way lens through which line-of-business (LOB) managers and IT staff can each understand the other's view of business service priorities and IT infrastructures supporting those services.

In the decades-long struggle to align IT with business needs, HP reckons BSM 9.0 is a major step forward.

Richard Foden, UK and Ireland Marketing Director for HP Software and Solutions, says the alignment has become more complex as businesses use various combinations of in-house data centres, physical and virtualised infrastructures, private and public clouds, hybrid delivery models.

The underlying infrastructure supporting LOB applications has become and is still becoming more complex, making it more and more difficult for silo'd IT staff managing specific bits of infrastructure to understand where their element fits into the business service. It also makes it harder for LOB managers to appreciate that the storage holding their data is actually managed by an outsourced sysadm looking after a virtualised block access SAN, which is running as virtual storage appliances in a blade server complex but which might move to an off-premise public cloud depending upon the data centre load.

What currently happens when a business app fails or has degraded service is that LOB people contact the Help Desk and/or IT and talk business language, as in: "The supply chain parts ordering service is running slow." The IT techs talk techy language; "Oh, could that be due to the updated code in the HP BladeCentre virtualised Ethernet switch?" and the two sides simply don't connect. The IT people don't know how to prioritise problems, and often don't pay attention first to the ones with the most impact on the business.

BSM 9.0 aims to help resolve this impasse, bridge the gap, by making each side, LOB and IT, understand each other's world view and be able to talk a similar language, so that LOB people, help desk people and data centre people all have same window into the business universe.

What BSM 9.0 does is to collect and store a large set of infrastructure statistics and information and tie these to business applications in a run time service model. We can view this as business application metadata and it's gathered by a variety of agent and agentless instrumentation methods, such as AppIQ for storage.

BSM then applies a top-down mapping to connect LOB applications to this. The data is presented in a dashboard and includes service level agreements.

LOB staff see it from the top down and IT staff see it from the bottom up; they each have their own lens looking at the same set of data presented in an appropriate way to them.

BSM already has a dashboard facility; the new release adds the cross-element modelling to enable BSM to cover the widespread of IT models now appearing, the virtualised servers, networking and storage, the in-house and outsourced IT, the private and public clouds.

It establishes the visibility of business-level service agreements to data centre people. They'll understand business-level priorities and appreciate that, for example, testing of business-level apps better be concerned with their criticality and not degrade their service levels.

BSM 9.0 also improves outage or event resolution. HP says it provides" automation of the entire event resolution process to dramatically reduce troubleshooting costs, lower mean time to repair and drive productivity gains. [It] eliminates redundant events and automates the process … using run-book automation tools."

The HP BSM 9.0 portfolio includes Business Availability Center 9.0 (BAC), Operations Manager i 9.0 (OMi) and Network Management Center (NMC) 9.0. ®

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