Release Overview of Operations Bridge 2019.05

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We’re excited to announce the availability of Micro Focus Operations Bridge 2019.05! This release includes several new features which offer better performance and stability, as well as functional enhancements and improvements to the existing features.

The highlights from our latest release include:

  • New reporting in Operations Bridge based on the COSO Data Lake
    • Out-of-the-box reporting based on the Business Value Dashboard (BVD)
    • Custom reporting based on either the BVD or the Bring Your Own Business Intelligence (BYOBI) tool of your choice
    • A white paper about how to integrate your own data into the COSO Data Lake
    • BVD enhancements related to the new reporting, as well other miscellaneous improvements
    • Event Analytics enhancements bringing the ability to handle the event data coming from one or multiple external OBM systems
    • Baselining for the data streamed to the COSO Data Lake: Central Thresholding enhanced to report baseline violations (dynamic thresholding)
  • Content updates
    • OBM Management Pack for Amazon Web Services (AWS) offering instance-based monitoring for specific regions
    • OBM Management Pack for Microsoft Azure enhanced with the support for Azure Government and Azure Monitor Alerts integration enhancements
    • SiteScope Dynamic Docker Monitor updated to display Kubernetes cluster metrics using Prometheus
    • SiteScope Microsoft Exchange monitor now supports Exchange 2016
  • Connector enhancements, including:
    • Connector for Microsoft SCOM: COSO Data Lake Integration (available as a Beta release)
    • Connector for VROPS: Event filtering based on severity, out-of-the-box Topology view 
    • Connector for OneView: New CIs discovery, multi-instance support
    • Connector for Icinga:  Vulnerable Jar (Jackson-databind) upgraded
  • SiteScope enhancements that include the CyberArk Enterprise Password Vault integration and API enhancements
  • Miscellaneous OBM enhancements, in particular:
    • Enhanced UIs and CLIs
    • Scoring of tools
    • SiteScope Connected Server dashboard in OBM
    • Changed upgrade/update flow of OBM Classic
  • Classic Operations Agent enhancements
  • Licensing changes
  • Documentation enhancements, including Operations Bridge sizing calculator for containerized deployments

The following capabilities are part of Operations Bridge 2019.05:

For a full release overview, take a look at the Operations Bridge 2019.05 Release Notes on the Micro Focus Documentation Portal. Also, check out the latest Operations Bridge support matrices.

New Reporting in Operations Bridge

We made a big step forward in the implementation of our COSO strategy, which is to bring together efficient only-once data collection and storage and provide a range of services on top of the collected data. Starting from this release, we’re re-focusing our reporting by basing it on the COSO Data Lake, our unified big data platform consolidating multiple domains. See this blog for more information on our COSO strategy and the use of the COSO Data Lake in Operations Bridge.

So what exactly have we changed? As already mentioned above, our reporting is now entirely based on the data present in the COSO Data Lake. The following reporting methods are available for you to use:

  • BVD-based reports, where you can choose between:
    • Out-of-the-box reports that are part of the product and are based on parameterized dashboards. They can be used as they are without any adjustments but if need be, they can be customized according to your business needs
    • Custom BVD-based reports (note that the creation of custom reports from scratch is complex and may require assistance from Professional Services).
  • Custom reporting based on the BI tool of your choice (MS Power BI, Tableau, Qlik, etc.). This is option is recommended for building custom reports in Operations Bridge. This method allows controlled access to the COSO Data Lake data for reporting and business intelligence (BI) with the 3rd-party tools. Note that we do not offer any out-of-the-box reports for use with the BYOBI.

Custom reports can be created by using the schema that already exists in the COSO Data Lake (see this documentation resource for more information). Further details and the steps on how to build custom reports on top of the data in the COSO Data Lake are provided in the Guide to using an external BI tool on Operations Bridge data.

Now let’s review both reporting methods in more detail:

Method 1 with BVD: Reporting and Dashboarding in one tool

In Operations Bridge 2019.05, we created 18 out-of-the-box BVD-based parameterized reports, which are available as part of the product. These reports consolidate the system and event metrics data (stored in the COSO Data Lake) into tables, graphs and dashboards, which enables you to view the data from a number of valuable perspectives. You can use out-of-the-box reports to view and analyze data; you can also modify the reports or create custom reports based on BVD. As BVD becomes the new reporting interface for out-of-the-box reports, we changed our licensing process to eliminate node-based licensing of dashboard entitlement in Operations Bridge, and we now offer you the unlimited BVD entitlement – which will allow you to design as many reports as you need!

Note: For customers using BVD versions prior to 2019.05 the old licensing applies.

Out-of-the-box BVD-based reports fall into 3 categories – agent-based, agentless and event reports and are described in detail in the documentation.

OOTB BVD Reports.pngFigure 1: Out-of-the-Box BVD Reports

System reports.PNGFigure 2: Example of Drilling down into System Reports

To collect the data for the out-of-the-box reports, you need to perform several configuration steps, which may vary depending on your setup and the reports that you want to generate. For example, if you use an external OBM, you need to configure a list of nodes to collect metrics from; if you use SiteScope, you need to configure the SiteScope -> COSO Data Lake streaming; and for event reports, it is required to set up the event forwarding to the COSO Data Lake. Configuration procedures are described in detail in the documentation.

You can also implement BVD-based custom reporting but we recommend the BYOBI-based reporting option for custom reporting (described below in this blog post), since configuring BVD-based custom reports requires expertise and we provide only limited support and documentation for creating such reports from scratch. Nonetheless, if you decide to undertake the BVD-based approach, here are the high-level steps you need to follow: 

  1. Design a BVD report in Microsoft Visio using BVD widgets
  2. Create corresponding data queries in SQL to retrieve the data from the tables in the COSO Data Lake
  3. Parameterize data queries if required for the reporting
  4. Map queries to widgets in a report

If your intent is to modify an existing out-of-the-box report (in our example, to change the event summary report from daily to hourly), you can do it by carrying out these steps:

  1. Use the metrics stored in the Event Hourly aggregated tables
  2. OOTB Event Summary Report – Daily provides the UI widget and Data collector format 
  3. Create a new BVD report / copy existing report using the same format. For layout/text/icon changes, edit the Microsoft Visio file and upload after edits are done
  4. Change daily aggregation table names to hourly table names in the data collector queries
  5. Change all corresponding widgets to use the new queries

Method 2: Custom reporting based on Bring Your Own Business Intelligence (BYOBI) tool

This method offers a solution for custom reporting that allows you the controlled access to the COSO Data Lake data for reporting and business intelligence (BI) needs with 3rd-party tools. Note that this is our recommended option for custom reporting.

These are the high-level steps you need to carry out:

  • Create custom reports by using the schema already existing in COSO Data Lake. All metrics available for COSO Data Lake for each component are described in this section on the Micro Focus Documentation Portal.
  • Use this data in your own business intelligence tool (BYOBI) to generate reports
  • Bring Your Own BI tool (BYOBI) by following the procedure described in the Guide to using an external BI tool on Operations Bridge data.

White paper on how to get your own metrics into COSO Data Lake

If, for your custom reports, you want to store your own data in the COSO Data Lake and properly aggregate it, then you can find details on how to do it in this new white paper (to be available soon).

High-level steps are described below:

  1. Choose the metrics to integrate
  2. Define the COSO Data Lake configuration
  3. Define the Data Collection rules (for Operations Agent only)
  4. Package the artifacts (the COSO Data Lake content must adhere to a well-known folder structure)

BVD Enhancements

BVD enhancements can be categorized as related to the new reporting and as miscellaneous enhancements.

The changes related to the new reporting are as follows: You can now use the Data Collectors page to create data queries as well as parameter queries. You can also parameterize a data query. The result of a parameter query is available as an option for selection when displaying a dashboard (which shows the data based on a parameterized data query).

For more information, see the Data Collectors section on the Micro Focus Documentation Portal.

Other BVD enhancements include:

  • Enhancements for WebToPdf (we have enhanced several CLI options, see Use Web-to-PDF Service for detailed information)
  • New widgets in BVD Visio Stencil:
    • Multi time (line) series line chart
    • Multi time series bar chart
    • Multi category series line chart
    • Multi category series bar chart
  • Search functionality now available in Group widgets

New Widgets.pngFigure 3: New Widgets in the BVD Visio Stencil

For more information on BVD enhancements, check the Business Value Dashboard 2019.05 Release Notes on the Micro Focus Documentation Portal.

Central Thresholding Enhancements

Central Thresholding was introduced in Operations Bridge 2018.11 and enhanced in Operations Bridge 2019.02 by supporting controlled reporting of threshold violations and collective inference over a period of time (windowing) and across multiple objects of same stream. This functionality allows you to configure thresholds for all data coming into the COSO Data Lake. It is useful in situations where thresholding is not available at the data source or is not under control of the central monitoring team (for example, Virtualization Collector and Streaming Agent). The thresholds are evaluated on the data samples that are received in the COSO Data Lake; a threshold violation generates a corresponding event in OBM. Read this blog article for more information on Central Thresholding.

In the current release, this functionality has been further improved by implementing the following:

  • The baseline feature to report threshold violations. It accounts for trend and fine-grained seasonal variations and adopts to changing patterns over time. The concept of baseline-driven threshold is as follows: historical metric values are analyzed to determine an acceptable value range known as the baseline sleeve. The boundaries are defined by the Upper-Normal and the Lower-Normal values computed by performing the trend analysis.
    The following is important for understanding dynamic thresholding:
    • The baseline sleeve is computed using the Holt-Winters Triple exponential smoothing algorithm. Triple Exponential Smoothing accounts for trends and fine-grain seasonal variations. It is also adaptive to changing patterns over time.
    • Dynamic thresholding involves detecting and reporting baseline violations, that is, detecting the metric values that are not within the acceptable value range derived using baselining algorithm, and then report such breaches as threshold violations

Thresholds.pngFigure 4: Baseline Sleeve with Upper-Normal and Lower-Normal Values

  • New baseline policies are available for CPU and Memory for both host and VMs for VMWare vCenter Collection:
  • New Policies.pngBaselines are calculated at a 5 minute-grain across a one-hour period.

Event Analytics Enhancements

In Operations Bridge 2018.11, we introduced the first analytic capability on top of COSO – analytics-driven event correlation based on machine learning algorithms. Event Analytics works by finding patterns in the event stream and using this information to group events together (the events that with a high probability belong to the same problem). This results in reducing the total number of events displayed in the Event Browser and simplifies the event processing for operators.

In Operations Bridge 2019.02, we have further improved this feature by making the pattern detection more reliable by introducing a 10-minute sliding window. (Earlier, the patterns always had to occur within a fixed 10-minute time window, therefore correlations could not be always detected.)

In the current release, we enabled automatic event correlation with in setups with one or more external OBM systems – that is, with the classic OBMs that are not part of the Operations Bridge container deployment (up till now, event correlation was only possible with an internal “containerized” OBM). External OBM systems can now send events that be will correlated by Event Analytics and sent back as grouped events to the external OBM system.

EA.PNGFigure 5: Event Analytics Configured with an External OBM

Note that getting Event Analytics up and running in such setups requires performing several configuration steps. Refer to this topic for more information.

An Important Statement on the COSO Data Lake and Related Capabilities

Please keep in mind that the following Operations Bridge capabilities are marked with “Limited Availability“ at the time of the release:

  • COSO Data Lake
  • New reporting in Operations Bridge
  • Central Thresholding
  • Event Analytics

So what exactly does this mean? “Limited Availability” implies that these capabilities are pending further performance and scalability tests, as well as corresponding recommendations and validation in customer environments and further functional enhancements. Therefore, Micro Focus recommends to start using these capabilities in non-production environments. Micro Focus is also recruiting customers who want to explore those features by participating in our Customer Validation program. The benefits will include direct contact with the R&D lab and the opportunity to take part in shaping the future of our products. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity and contact Operations Bridge Product Management for further information today! Start by getting in touch with your local Micro Focus Sales representative who will put you into contact with the proper Product Manager.

OBM Enhancements

In this release, we have enhanced OBM by implementing the following features:

  • New Command-line Interfaces (CLIs). In this release, we added the following CLIs:
    • opr-auditlog-cli: Lists all audit log contexts, downloads the audit log information to xls or csv format and filters based on user IDs, date, text pattern, and audit log context.
    • opr-management-server-cli: Enables you to deactivate specific OBM servers.
    • opr-event: Displays a list the events
    • opr-sbec-rule: Can be used to list, enable, disable and delete SBEC rules (performs operations on all types of SBEC rules)
    • opr-tbec-rule: Can be used to list, enable, disable, and delete TBEC rules

All new CLIs are described in the section Command-Line Interfaces. From this section, please navigate to the desired CLI.

  • Updated CLIs:
    • opr-node: Enhanced to enable adding failover cluster infrastructure, such as failover cluster, cluster resource groups (virtual nodes), participating cluster nodes and cluster application (OM evolution-related enhancement)
    • opr-config-tool: A new option has been added that allows you to list all existing versions of templates, aspects, management templates, template groups, or configuration folders
    • opr-assign: A number of options has been added to this CLI. Additionally, some options have been enhanced with the <multiCiSpecifier> parameter

For detailed descriptions of these and other CLIs, go to the section Command-Line Interfaces and navigate as appropriate.

  • New HTML UIs: This releases provides Watch List by View component, Infrastructure Settings, and RAW Policy Editor UIs using HTML technology (no Flash Player required). The new UIs are much more simplified and have a new look and feel for an improved user experience
  • Unified upgrade and configuration wizard. The upgrade wizard has been removed and the configuration wizard has been changed to the Configuration/Upgrade wizard. The upgrade task is now simplified as you do not have to run the upgrade wizard separately any more.
  • New Scoring Tool. You can use the scoring tool to rate tools in the Event Browser (HTML). After running a tool, you can rate the tool based on your level of satisfaction. The Tool Runner page displays the star rating for each tool based on the assigned scores. The context menu of the Event Browser (HTML) displays suggestions that includes list of top five tools with the highest scores.

Scoring Tool.pngFigure 6: The Scoring Tool

You can use the Scoring Tools, Actions Enabled infrastructure setting to enable or disable (default) the scoring tool. For more information, see this topic on the Micro Focus Documentation Portal.

  • External OBM Event Integration. You can now use external Operations Bridge Manager for Event Analytics (already described above) and Event forwarding. For information on how to configure and use this functionality, see External OBM Event Integration.
  • Enhanced OBM Monitoring Dashboard. OBM Monitoring dashboard widgets now work with No Filter even if Clear View Filter is not granted to the user. The Monitoring Dashboard automatically overlays the event filter of a dashboard widget with a filter that selects only the events assigned to the logged in user (or one of their work groups). This happens in situations when there is no view filter set for the widget and the user does not have the Clear View Filter For more information, see Monitoring Dashboards.
  • Syntax checker in Flexible Management Policy. Flexible Management policy template has been enhanced with a syntax checker. You can perform syntax check on policies to prevent any errors in configuration.
  • Search functionality in the OBM Event Browser: You can search for events displayed in the Event Browser based on any of the visible text fields. For more information, see Use the Event Browser (HTML).

Content Enhancements

The following enhancements are included in the latest versions of the Management Packs:

  • OBM Management Pack for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The Management Pack for AWS has been enhanced by introducing instance-based monitoring for a specific region (in the previous release, the AWS MP was monitoring all instances of a particular region).

To use this functionality, you need to:

- Create a configuration file policy containing Instance ID as a parameter (see Create a configuration file policy and Create a health aspect to monitor a service)

- Create a health aspect to monitor a service and then attach the configuration file to this health aspect

Note that the Management Pack for AWS 2019.05 is not included in OBM and needs to be downloaded from the ITOM Marketplace.

For more information on these enhancements, read the Release notes and navigate through the Management Pack for AWS 2019.05 documentation as appropriate.

  • OBM Management Pack for Microsoft Azure

    Below is a list of enhancements for the OBM Management Pack for Azure 2019.05:

    • Support for Azure Government: Azure Government delivers a dedicated cloud enabling government agencies to transform the data to the cloud. Monitoring the following services is now supported for Azure Government: RM resources, Storage Accounts and SQL Database.
    • Azure Monitor Alerts Integration Enhancements: A few integration prerequisites that were carried out manually in the last release are now automated
    • Azure Powershell module dependency has been removed for all deployments except for Microsoft Azure Stack and Classic VM

    For more information on these enhancements, read the Release notes and navigate through the Management Pack for Microsoft Azure 2019.05 documentation as appropriate.

  • SiteScope Monitor updates:

    • The functionality of Dynamic Docker Monitor has been extended to collect and display Kubernetes cluster metrics using Prometheus, a common open-source monitoring framework for Kubernetes. See this topic for more information.
    • MS Exchange 2016: Microsoft Exchange Base Monitor supports monitoring Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 on  Windows platform. For more information, see Microsoft Exchange Base Monitor. Also, Microsoft Exchange solution template supports monitoring Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. For more information, see Microsoft Exchange Solution Template.

For further details on supported products and product versions, refer to the Operations Bridge support matrices.

SiteScope Enhancements

The following is new in this release:

  • CyberArk Enterprise Password Vault integration: SiteScope can now be integrated with CyberArk Enterprise Password Vault to securely store server, operating system, and application credentials for a server or monitor without storing the credentials locally on the SiteScope server. For more information, see Integrate CyberArk enterprise password vault.
  • New SiteScope Connected Servers dashboard: This dashboard gives a quick view on the health and status of SiteScope servers connected to OBM. For information on how to set up this functionality, see this topic.
  • REST API Enhancements. The following REST APIs have been enhanced: the updateMonitorPropertiesConfig API, the exportMonitorGroupConfig API and the importMonitorGroupConfig API. For more information, see updateMonitorPropertiesConfig, exportMonitorGroupConfig and importMonitorGroupConfig.
  • SiteScope reports refreshments: The Alert, Monitor, and Server-Centric reports have been refreshed to provide a better user experience

Read more about all SiteScope enhancements here.

Operations Agent 12.11 Enhancements

  • System-based process startup on Linux 
  • Improved process monitoring capability (java process monitor)
  • Option for delayed start after reboot

Read more about all Operations Agent enhancements here.

Documentation Enhancements and Sizing Calculator (Container Deployment)

For the Operations Bridge container deployment, we have significantly improved the Install documentation (in particular, the Install-Plan and Install-Prepare sections) and introduced the Operations Bridge Sizing Calculator (available in the Excel format).

The Sizing Calculator spreadsheet for containerized Operations Bridge (downloadable from the Micro Focus Documentation Portal) provides deployment examples and detailed sizing calculations for various deployment scenarios. The Sizing Calculator therefore helps you accurately estimate the hardware needs for your unique environment. The following has been implemented:

  • Estimates for the hardware/system resources necessary for the containerized Operations Bridge
  • Readme First tab:
    • Discusses the structure of the spreadsheet; further explanations are provided in the Install-Plan section of the documentation
  • Deployment Examples tab providing the proper sizing for some common implementations (these sample calculations can be used directly or as a reference for your choice)
  • Sizing Calculator tab for sizing your environment:
    • Useful in those cases where your deployment does not match any of the examples
  • Additional tabs with CPU/Memory/Disk requirements per capability/container

Sizing Calculator.PNGFigure 7: Operations Bridge Sizing Calculator

Read more about using the Sizing Calculator here.

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 full capabilities of Operations Bridge by taking a look at our Operations Bridge Manager, Operations Bridge Analytics, Operations Connector (OpsCx), Business Value Dashboard (BVD), Operations Agent and Operations Orchestration (OO) documentation!

Events

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

Read all our news at the Operations Bridge blog.

Related Items

Explore all Operations Bridge capabilities and technology integrations by visiting these resources:

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