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What’s New in Operations Bridge 2021.05

by   in IT Operations Cloud

We are pleased to announce the availability of Micro Focus Operations Bridge 2021.05. This release brings a number of new features and enhancements for the Classic and Container deployments and is the first Operations Bridge release that enables the deployment of the containerized components on cloud provider-managed Kubernetes (K8S) services. In addition, you can now perform anomaly detection and metric analytics on top of the OPTIC Data Lake and utilize the new OPTIC Data Lake reports.

Summary of enhancements

Changes in the Operations Bridge Container deployment:

  • Support for cloud-native deployments on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure
  • UI-based Operations Bridge deployment using the ITOM Application Hub
  • OPTIC Data Lake (DL) reporting enhancements: 
    • Downtime-aware event reports
    • Custom metrics data integration 
    • Operations Bridge Reporting multi-tenancy
  • Automatic Event Correlation (AEC): optimized event grouping via Automatic Event Typing
  • Metric analytics on top of the OPTIC Data Lake
  • Beta: a newly designed AWS monitoring service

Changes in the Operations Bridge Classic deployment:

Operations Bridge Manager (OBM) 2021.05:

  • Flash-free improved OBM UIs
  • Support for OBM deployments compliant with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 mode to meet US federal standards
  • Improved operator workflow by dynamically hide events of CIs in downtime
  • JSON support for REST Webservice event and metric policy types
  • Performance Dashboard (PD) enhancements:
  • Time zone support
  • Access performance metrics from central OBM via satellite OBM without direct agent connection
  • Default category support for Standard Dashboards

Operations Agent (OA) 12.20:

  • OA certificates can be automatically renewed before they expire which reduces manual work to update certificates
  • Application Response Measurements (ARM) metrics support

SiteScope 2021.05:

  • New and enhanced REST APIs
  • Local client installation without requiring admin privileges on MacOS
  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) based authentication support for the AWS monitor
  • Local Client Smartcard Authentication (CAC) support (single certificate)
  • Support for the SiteScope integration with OBM via proxy configuration 
  • Dual account mode support for the SiteScope CyberArk integration
  • Monitor refresh and improvements

Content enhancements

OBM Management Pack updates:

Operations Connector updates:

Documentation enhancements

  • Application Performance Management (APM) Classic on AWS documentation has been enhanced to include recommendations about the APM installation on AWS, including inbound/outbound rules for gateway servers, data processing servers and the database

For additional information, please check out the Containerized Operations Bridge 2021.05 Release notes and OBM 2021.05 Release notesAlso, take a look at the latest Operations Bridge support matrices for information on supported components, versions, software and hardware requirements, as well as obsolescence announcements.

Changes in the Operations Bridge Container deployment

Introducing the OPTIC Data Lake

Micro Focus has announced a new brand for the ITOM platform, which is now called OPTIC (Operations Platform for Transformation, Intelligence, and Cloud). Starting from this release, the COSO Data Lake has been renamed to the OPTIC Data Lake. The OPTIC Data Lake simplifies the collection, normalization and storage of data from Micro Focus Operations Bridge, Network Operations Management (NOM), Data Center Automation (DCA) and third-party monitoring tools. It also enables common data analysis and data visualization for important operations tasks, such as Automatic Event Correlation (AEC) and metric analysis with Operations Bridge Analytics (OBA).

Operations Bridge deployment on cloud using cloud-native services

Operations Bridge 2021.05 brings in a cloud-native focus by enabling the deployment of the Operations Bridge containerized components on cloud-managed Kubernetes (K8S) services, which include AWS EKS and Azure AKS managed Kubernetes services. This approach is referred to as "Bring Your Own Kubernetes" (BYOK).

In addition to managed K8S services, Operations Bridge also supports other cloud platform services, such as managed databases and managed storage for cloud deployments.

By utilizing the following cloud-native services:

  • Managed K8S services of AWS or Azure instead of installing CDF-based Kubernetes
  • Managed database services instead of requiring the user to install the database server
  • AWS EFS/Azure Files instead of the NFS Server that is required for on-premises installations

we enable faster and more flexible deployments, as this approach helps reduce operational and maintenance complexity, improve time to deploy through automation, and will in the future enable shared deployments between different products.

All containerized capabilities are supported for cloud-native deployments:

  • OBM
  • Automatic Event Correlation (AEC)
  • Operations Bridge OPTIC Reporting
  • Stakeholder Dashboard

We offer two options to deploy Operations Bridge on cloud:

  • Using a cloud toolkit (which consists of Terraform configuration files and modules). This method allows users to set up all necessary cloud infrastructure quickly (and also enables customizations via editing the config file and modules). The toolkit is available for download from the ITOM Marketplace.
  • Using a less automated approach (setting up cloud services and systems one by one using AWS UI and AWS cloud formation templates or Azure UI and Azure CLI). Choose this approach if you want to have full control or already have other automation in place.

UI-based deployment using Micro Focus ITOM Application Hub (AppHub)

Earlier, it was possible to deploy ITOM solutions, such as Operations Bridge, DCA, NOM, Operations Orchestration (OO) and Configuration Management System (CMS), using the Helm package manager. However, such deployments were complex as they involved using the Command-Line Interface. While we continue to leverage Helm, we are also introducing the new ITOM Application Hub, which offers a Graphical User Interface for installing OBM containerized components and simplifies the installation process. AppHub is a common portal to deploy, optimize, and manage ITOM applications, and can also help troubleshooting those containerized offerings while still offering the CLI access for advanced customers.

Figure 1. Micro Focus ITOM Application Hub

Below are the benefits of using AppHub:

  • Consistent installation experience, quick configuration process with defaults
  • Cloud Native Open-Source Helm Compatible (CLI) for DevOps and automated use cases
  • Future: Optimized for shared services deployments in the context of multi-deployment and advanced ITOM solutions

Anomaly detection and metric analytics on the OPTIC Data Lake data

You can now perform anomaly detection and metric analysis (multi-metric correlation, metric forecasting and time-machine replay) on the system metric data stored in the OPTIC DL using OBA 2021.05.

The OBA-OPTIC DL integration is supported for OBA deployments starting with the OBA 2021.05 release. To use this integration, you no longer need a separate OBA Vertica instance to enable metric collection (the OPTIC DL Vertica cluster is used instead). This simplifies the installation and configuration process and increases the TTV. Also, OBA does not need to collect the metric data that is already stored in the OPTIC DL using OBA collectors – it simply provides analytics on top of already collected data.

Note: If you use earlier OBA versions, keep in mind that currently no upgrade path or data migration to OBA 2021.05 is provided. You can still use your existing standalone OBA 3.x in parallel with OBA 2021.05 for historic data purposes or to use the features not supported by the OPTIC DL analytics yet.

The screenshot below shows the outcome of the cross-launch from an OBM anomaly event into OBA and explains which additional information you can gather to further investigate the problem.

Figure 2. Anomaly UI in OBA

Note: In this release, the focus of the OBA integration with the OPTIC DL is the system metric data. If you have requirements to analyze other metric data or log requirements, please contact Micro Focus Product Management to validate your use cases.

Watch out for a separate blog article covering this topic (to be published soon).

Automatic Event Correlation (AEC) enhancements

Starting from this release, AEC can perform automatic typing of events to determine the event type before detecting patterns and correlating events. This feature removes the dependency on the ETI hint attribute and allows correlating events even from 3rd-party applications. Automatic event typing works by tokenizing event titles (since the event title, irrespective of the source, almost always provides useful and specific details).

Automatic event typing takes place in the background, requires no configuration and results in better-quality correlations with no dependency on specific event attributes.

OPTIC Data Lake Reporting enhancements

  • Event reports are now downtime-aware meaning that the reports are no longer counting events received in downtime
  • Custom metrics data integration. The toolkit to simplify the ingestion of the custom metric data into the OPTIC DL is now provided on the ITOM Marketplace. The following tools are available:
    • The codatoexcel tool: converts the data in the Metrics Data store (Operations Agent database) to excel files.
    • The exceltojson_schema tool: uses the excel files generated by the codatoexcel tool (or any other excel files that are in the required format) to create metadata, enrichment (daily, hourly, and forecast), and retention JSON files
    • The exceltojson_oacollector tool: uses the excel files generated by the codatoexcel tool and creates Agent Metric Collector configuration files
    • The Content Deployment and Validation tool (CDV tool): uploads the content to OpsBridge Content Manager, installs it, starts the metric collection and validates the content
  • Multi-tenancy on top of the OPTIC DL. We have published a new white paper that describes how to enable reporting in multi-tenant deployments (in particular, how to configure row-level security and role-based access in reports).

The concept of multi-tenancy is that one OPTIC DL, one underlying Vertica and one Business Value Dashboard (BVD) can serve multiple tenants. Role-based access to the tenant data is granted by the central administrator; each tenant gets their own Vertica database users for read-write/read-only access, granting access to the data of that particular tenant only (provided that all data sent to the OPTIC DL/Vertica from a tenant contains a tenant ID). Each tenant will also get their own admin user in IDM which allows them to manage access to dedicated BVD/BYOBI reports and custom dashboards.

  • You can now view the SiteScope Virtualization Performance Summary report on BVD. This report provides you with the details on performance trends and inventory of VMware virtual hosts and logical system.

Sizing Calculator enhancements

  • The output has been adjusted to reflect differences between on-premises and cloud deployments
  • A new OBA tab has been added for scenarios when you plan to collect the log data into the Vertica database on the OPTIC DL using OBA. In this case, you will require extra disk space to store the logs into Vertica and will also need to provide additional CPUs on the Vertica nodes for log collection.
  • Updated the large deployment example, which now supports a larger NOM reporting deployment size

You can also check out the Sizing Calculator Readme tab for more details.

AWS Cloud Monitoring

Available as a Beta release in Operations Bridge 2021.05, AWS cloud monitoring is a newly designed monitoring service that runs on containers and can be deployed in both on-premises and cloud environments. It supports high-scale (~10k resources) discovery and metric data collection in less than five minutes and embeds cloud-native concepts – for example, cloud tags based monitoring configuration.

The following containerized capabilities are required to be installed to use this functionality:

  • OBM
  • OpsBridge OPTIC Reporting
  • UCMDB Discovery Probe
  • AWS cloud monitoring

Changes in the Operations Bridge Classic deployment

Changes in Operations Bridge Manager 2021.05

We have completed the conversion of OBM Administration UIs to the Adobe Flash-free implementation. The new HTML-based UIs deliver a modern user experience and offer miscellaneous improvements, such as increased response time, new large display mode, improved workflow and icons. The following UIs have been converted to HTML5 in 2021.05:

  • Policy Templates UIs: Metrics from REST web service, xml, structured log file, DB, and Perl script
  • Update to latest wizard – now with the guided flow
  • Indicator Mappings UI

Other OBM enhancements include:

  • Cross-view watchlist. The extension of the watchlist component (previously “Watch List by View”) that now allows to display CIs from different views.
  • JSON is now allowed as an input format for REST Web Service Policies.These policies have been extended to allow easy creation of policies using JSON sample data. After uploading a sample JSON file, you can easily access the JSON objects and arrays when setting event or metric properties.
  • A new filter/icon is provided to hide events of CIs in downtime
  • OBM CLI: export downtimes in tabular format showing all details
  • OBM notifications: you can now specify separate e-mail sender name and sender e-mail address for SMTP servers used for notifications
  • Performance Dashboard enhancements:
    • Time zone support. The Performance Dashboard supports the same time zone as OBM. You can see your time zone along with the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). By default, the Performance Dashboard plots metrics based on your time zone. You can no longer see the Browser time zone option from Configure Dashboard.
    • MOM support. You can now enable remote graphing in the OBM MOM Performance Dashboard and see the agent metrics on the MOM server.
    • Default category support for Standard Dashboard. In this release, we have added a new default category named Standard. You can map all the out-of-the-box dashboards and all custom dashboards that do not have any category under the Standard Dashboard category.

The next enhancement is the support for OBM Classic deployments in the FIPS mode. If you plan to use OBM in the FIPS mode, note the following:

  • The operating system (Linux and Windows) must run in the FIPS mode as well
  • If you use integrated products, they must also run in the FIPS mode. The following products can be integrated:
    • OBM 2021.05 (Classic only)
    • UCMDB 2021.05
    • Operations Connector 2019.05/2019.05 IP1
    • OA 12.06/12.1x/12.2x
    • Operations Orchestration
  • Supported databases: SQL Server (TLS connection only), Oracle (TLS and non-TLS connections)
  • Internal and external Postgres is not supported

Operations Agent (OA) 12.20:

  • OA certificates will be automatically renewed before they expire. OA 12.20 comes with out-of-the-box OA settings that request and grant new certificates before they expire. You can configure the certificate renewal via the new config parameters CERTIFICATE_AUTORENEW and CERTIFICATE_RENEWAL_CHECK_PERIOD. The automatic granting of certificates can be set using the parameter CERTIFICATE_RENEWREQ_AUTOGRANT. The default is to automatically grant renewal certificate requests.
  • ARM (Application Response Measurements) metrics support
    Transaction metrics TT_CLIENT_*,TT_USER_MEASUREMENT_*, TTBIN_* can be stored Enable this feature by setting the parameter transactionsubclass = true in parm file.

For more information on these enhancements, check out the OA Release notes and navigate through the OA documentation as appropriate.

Changes in SiteScope 2021.05

  • New and enhanced REST APIs:
    • Enhanced API to have counter status in monitor properties; now the API gets id, value, name and status counters
    • Enhanced API to accept epoch time for disabling monitor, associated alerts, group
    • New API to delete schedule preference 
    • New API(s) to get (GET), create (POST), update (PUT) and delete (DELETE) for SNMP Trap preferences
  • Monitor refresh and improvements:
    • Support for the BackupServerNode list in JDBC parameters for the Vertica Monitor
    • NAS-IP-Address and NAS-Identifier options support for the RADIUS monitor
    • JMX monitor refresh to support WildFly
    • An option to generate an alert for every row returned for the DB query monitor
  • Local client installation without requiring admin privileges on MacOS
  • SAML-based authentication support for the AWS monitor
  • Local Client Smartcard Authentication (CAC) support (single certificate)
  • Support for the SiteScope integration with OBM via proxy configuration 
  • Dual account mode support for the SiteScope CyberArk integration

For more information on these enhancements, check out the SiteScope Release notes and navigate through the SiteScope documentation as appropriate.

We encourage you to try out our new features and enhancements! For further information on our offerings, visit the Operations Bridge product page, explore our documentation resources and check out our videos and blogs.

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

Explore the full capabilities of Operations Bridge by taking a look at these pages on our Practitioner Portal: Operations Bridge Manager, SiteScope, Operations Agent, Operations Connector (OpsCx), Operations Bridge Analytics, Application Performance Management (APM), UCMDB and Operations Orchestration (OO).


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

See all the Micro Focus events worldwide.

Read all our news at the Operations Bridge blog.

Related items:

Have technical questions about Operations Bridge? Visit the Ops Bridge User Discussion Forum.

Keep up with the latest Tips & Info about Operations Bridge.

Do you have an Idea or Product Enhancement Request about Operations Bridge? Submit it in the Ops Bridge Idea Exchange.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog. Comment below.


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