Answers from SPAR’s session at Micro Focus Virtual Universe

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Spar’s session at Micro Focus Virtual Universe is 360° IT Operations Management at SPAR.

With over 85,000 employees, spanning eight countries, in 3 major retail markets, SPAR is one of Europe’s largest retailers. The Information & Communication Services (ICS) organization within SPAR supports this business across 168 business services in 7 Data Centers. In this session, Franz Willerroider, Head of Customer Experience Services at SPAR, will showcase how their organization has transformed into a fully integrated, automated, and DevOps centric IT operation. He will show how Micro Focus solutions like Service Management Automation, uCMDB, SiteScope, APM, and Operations Bridge have been catalysts in their organizational evolution.

One of the best parts of any session, for me, is the Questions and Answers, so I’ve assembled some of them here. (Note: the answers were transcribed and may have some paraphrasing.)

question-mark-2648236_320.jpgHow do you model your Business Services in RTSM/uCMDB? Do you manually bind a couple of Applications (Running Software?) to a Business Service, or do you discover the services from an automation system or Service Catalog?

A: We are still doing the modeling manually. We have one person responsible. We are not thinking about modeling currently, because it is working well. With Universal Discovery, we do get all the CI information and relations up to the OS level automatically. The virtual layer with business implications, infrastructure services, and business services are manual.

Do you enrich your Business Services with metadata found on the CI:s that you discover, or is it some kind of manual modeling??

A: Yes, we enrich with CI information, which comes automatically with Universal Discovery. For Business Service that is done manually at the current time. We are thinking about allowing the responsible service owner (about 100 persons) can do the service modeling.

What is your choice for run book automation & auto-remediation?

A: We have not decided yet; we want to focus on the solutions we have in place. One is Operations Orchestration, and we have it in our ELA with OpsBridge Ultimate licenses. We also have Atomic Solutions, their automation engine, formerly UC4. A third choice could be Ansible. First, we have to evaluate which is the best solution for this topic.

How do you send data to BVD? Do you use custom scripts or just out of the box methods? What’s your experience with BVD?

A: Setting up the BVD and the integrations took us some time to get experience. We use both OOTB and we also custom scripts. The KPI data is coming from the OBM agent is a custom script that continuously pushed the data to BVD. For APM and some other sources, it takes effort to get the data.

Why do you prefer monitoring with Icinga for hardware?

A: We don’t prefer it; the reason is we outsource that infrastructure monitoring, and the vendor uses Icinga. We did the integration with it to have a 360-degree view of our complete service. We get the events from the partner, so we have transparency—this way, the operators can see when there is an infrastructure problem.

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Can you expand on the value benefits that integration between OpsB and Service Management has provided from a staff productivity and cost perspective?

A: The automation, in the end, saves time and money that is the main point. It is much easier to have the integration for our central operators, so they don’t have to switch to another ITSM solution to create a ticket. Having the integration gives us the possibility to manage all the events in OBM without going to SMA, we also see the status of the event, for example, if it is still active or acknowledged. The information is in sync in both tools, so no one has to look at multiple consoles. It is working fine.

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About the Author
Micro Focus Product Marketing. Over 20 years in network and systems management.
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