NetIQ Operations Center – Getting Started

NetIQ Operations Center (NOC) is comprised of a few different areas for installing and configuring.  In some cases I have blogs supporting those areas, but no specific blog on the steps to install and completely configure the product.  In this blog I will lead you through the overall install and steps.  Since each implementation is different, there will be several features that I will not cover but I will try to list them.

The documentation is provided on the install media as well as online on the HTML page used to launch the console (thick operations client).   If you have an account, you can look at them online also:   Online Documentation Link

To start with, NOC is nearly 100% java, based on that, it is supported on several Operating Systems such as Windows, Linux, HPUX and AIX.   It may work on other Operating Systems, but you may run into issues with support down the road.   Java is provided by the Operating System OEM or Oracle.   Java should be installed before installing NOC.

One of the settings brought up during the installation is around java and the settings to tune it.  Typically I start with the defaults.   After you get all the adapters configured (sometimes you have to do it sooner), you are going to need to (this is not an “if”, you WILL need to do this) tune the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).   You will have to do this a few times.  Whenever you add a significant amount of elements (objects such as servers, applications, alarms), you might need to re-tune it.   For instance, adding a new adapter or building a whole new set of views.   JVM tuning is a bit of a art and a science, I recommend reading up on it and here is a blog covering the basics:  JVM Tuning Link

NOC can run on a headless server, but there are some features that require a valid X Server head defined, so using something like Xvfb is the common solution.

The install is pretty straight forward, next, next, next, finish.   Refer to the docs for port utilization, but the basics are an HTTP port (80 or 8080) and a CORBA IIOP port, usually a range but can be locked down.  There are a few other ports for process to process communication, but we rarely run into conflicts.

Once installed, it is a bare bones install, no adapters (our method to integrate with third party products), Service Views, etc.  That is where the customization work begins.

You need to start out with a vision.   What should the Operators console look like when they log in?  What should the Dashboard look like when they log in?  How should things be organized (Services, applications, Services, Technologies, etc, etc, etc).   This is a top down discussion.   Once you have the vision set, this typically forces the types of integrations (adapters) that need to be configured, and in some cases, how (some) adapters should be customized.

One technical view example is covered in this three part blog.

Common Server Management Part 1/

Common Server Management Part 2

Common Server Management Part 3

Other options such as showing server racks is covered in:   Visio Drawings

For Dashboard users (but not limited to them), it is common for them to want to use a map/regional type of view.  This blog covers some of those basics:   Live Maps

In order to bring data into NOC, you need to determine your approach.  In some cases we have out of the box Adapters to third party products, at times we don’t.  There are several options.  Here is a blog covering the concepts:  Integrating Third Party Products

After you have Adapters configured and working, you start to build views.  Some views are building blocks, some are final production views.   The Common Server Management (Three part blog above) covers some of these steps.

This is a good starting point.   There are several other customization options that can be done.  Please refer to the documentation and/or send me a request to blog on a specific topic.  Below are some areas that are most commonly customized.

Algorithms.   This is this way that you can override how state (condition) is propagated.  For instance, a back up server going offline (red/critical) typically should not make the application/service Red/Critical.  This is covered some in part three of the three part blog above.

Metamodel:  Used to create custom property pages.  By default you have a “Contacts” page, but you can create others to store additional information either consolidated from multiple Adapters and/or manually entered.

Icons/Graphics:  In the layout view (java console), in layout view, you can customize the graphics displayed (IE: show maps, floor plans, etc).  The technology supporting this is area is SVG.   We provide a large library out of the box under Administration\Graphics.  You can also download and use SVG’s from Visio (see blog above) or downloaded from the web.   There are also other SVG drawing pages that can be used.   We do provided edit capabilities within the Layout view if you want to draw from scratch or edit other SVG’s.

Custom Right-Clicks:   NOC is bi-directional with many third party tools and users with proper permissions are able to close, ack, clear, etc alarms.   In some cases you want to add additional right-clicks to do other things.  I have some blogs on specific features within a right-click and there are some basic examples (NOC\database\examples\Operations.ini as well as some sample scripts NOC\database\scripts on the NOC Server.

Automations:  Used to automatically open tickets, page, email, etc.  This exercise is mostly a java scripting exercise and not really a NOC specific item.  For instance, java provides standard ways to communicate with databases, SMTP, run commandline utilities, etc.

Service Levels:  This is a big area and it is best to work with a seasoned engineer and/or the documentation on your goals and what we can do.   Overall, we provide historical Service Levels like other vendors, but we also provide real time up to date current Service Levels.

That covers the highlevels of getting started as well as some common customizing areas.  If you would like a blog on a specific topic, please attach a comment to this blog or some me a private email.

- Tobin





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