Tuesday, January 30, 2007

MOM 2007 RC2

I installed, and I am playing with MOM. We may decide to evaluate it as part of the consolidation project. Its a lot better now with this release, and the linux support seems more solid (provided by Quest software).

Still have a lot to test (such as network devices, etc).

More later.

Vista on primary machine

I took the plunge 2 weeks ago, and installed Vista Ultimate on my primary work laptop. I love the new OS. Its a lot faster, easier to use, and better. I have been running the betas and release on my main desktop at home, but I was prevented from using it for work since we didn't have a workable Nortel Contivity VPN client. Now that I have a beta that finally works, it was all systems go.

We disable the built in firewall here at work, so I am running the Jetico Firewall betas which work on vista. Zonealarm doesn't work on it, which is odd, since they built the windows firewall initially.
Our antivirus doesn't support Vista. I am running the open source clamwin, which seems to work well. I don't get viruses anyways.
The built in indexing was working fine for the first week, but now it doesn't index my pst that is open in outlook. I am using the inferior google desktop, but it works fine :)

Things I like:
Sidebar is really nice, there are some good widgets for it. It doesn't slow things down like the yahoo widgets do.

Opsware NAS POC / Alterpoint

The POC went off without a hitch regarding the network tools. So far its been very helpful in reporting and understanding our infrastructure. The product is working perfectly as to our requirements.

Alterpoint was scheduled to start the POC today, but we had to move it due to some political issues. Its been quite confusing, but they seem to have sorted things out internally. The sales person I am dealing with has been quite removed from the opportunity, but they are fixing that.

Forward plans

Just posting a note that we should have much more solid plans after the 5th. This includes our forward plans for what we are planning on tacking and when. We will also know how the resourcing will look at this is a lot of additional work for all of our teams.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Application management

I work really hard to get a tool that people need across the organization, and I can’t seem to get any takers for trying it. People are so busy doing the day to day, and they are unable to step back and spend time on making efficiencies. We spend a lot of time chasing issues, and we have no way to audit configurations, servers, and applications. If people were to step back and actually look at the technology hey maintain and support and the tools they use they would have a lot more time to manage projects and a lot less time doing operational work.

I’ve asked my boss to help me work out these issues, and get people to pay more attention. The last thing we need is a took which is in use by our groups in TechOps, but not in use by the application support, qa, and development people.

Another frustrating Friday... i'll be at work until 730 again :(

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Datacenter Automation Decisions - Rev2

As referenced by my last post, you can see this is high priority for everyone at my company. We have decided that Bladelogic can fit one area very well, but the vision, strategy, and direction of the company is not in line with our needs. Bladelogic had a stronger POC team, and better talent as well. If Opsware can do what we need for the application configuration management and deployment, then it would be the best choice for the following reasons:

  • Dependency mapping and use of the agents to do that.
    • The EMC/nlayers solution is better but not feasible for our network
    • Opsware has an excellent visual application manager which can help us troubleshoot problems and changes quickly.
  • End to end view of Network and soon Storage assets.
    • We have started a POC with the NAS product, and it can deliver very good network data to the server tool.
    • Alterpoint is next week, who Bladelogic partners with for network info in the tool. The integration is not as tight, which is understandable.
  • Scalability and resiliency.
    • Bladelogic has a lack of built in replication and agent failover. The agent and replication can be adapted using 3rd party tools.
    • Our ultimate scope is over 20,000 systems with varying uses of the tool.

We are going to deploy Opsware before a general decision is made for the company, and if the product cannot do what we need we will go with Bladelogic. Either way with our lack of centralized authentication, the major issue is going to be getting some kind of agent to deploy software on the systems. We will see how this pans out.

Needless to say Bladelogic is not happy about this decision, and rightly so. I have explained to them that this is not a final decision, but it’s a better direction due to strategy and needs of our business. Software is a mix of capabilities, direction, and the suite of offerings a single entity can offer us.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


As part of our overall technology consolidation across my company we have determined a high priority list of item as follows:

Technology Sub-Technology Need Difficulty Phase
Application Deployment 10 6 1
Basic Host Agent 10 2 1
Realtime Performance/Capacity Planning 7 2 1
Bare Metal Provisioning 2 3 5
Configuration Management 4 4 5
Patching 4 1 1
Asset Management 8 2 2
Realtime Performance/Alarming 10 8 3
Configuration Management 2 5 4
Real User 10 3 1
Synthetic Static/Transaction 5 5 4
Outsourced Monitoring 8 6 4
Java/NET 6 9 4
Outsourced Web Analytics 2 1 5
Web Analytics 8 4 1
Data Correlation and Rollup 8 10 5
Event Management 10 2 1
Asset/Discovery/Configuration/Deployment 9 2 2
Configuration Assurance 9 8 3
Logging 10 1 1
Circuit Management 3 8 5
Cable Management 4 10 5
Engineering/Simulation/Provisioning 8 6 3
Route Analytics 5 1 4
Flow Analytics 7 5 4
Performance Graphing 6 3 2
Event Management 10 2 2
Configuration Management 7 3 3
Utilization/Backup Reporting/Capacity Planning 10 3 2
Event Management
Console 10 4 1
Correlation 7 9 5
Security Event Management 7 7 3
Ticketing Out of scope
Change Management Out of scope
Physical Datacenter Management Out of scope
Dependancy Mapping Out of scope


Sorry for not posting for a few weeks. I have been travelling quite a bit for work and for fun. I also had my birthday last weekend. Finally things are getting back into the normal swing of things. Some updates in my next post.