Release Overview of Operations Bridge 2019.11

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We’re excited to announce the availability of Micro Focus Operations Bridge 2019.11, the release that includes functional enhancements and improvements to the existing features. For a full release overview, take a look at the Operations Bridge 2019.11 Release Notes. Also, check out the latest Operations Bridge support matrices for information about supported components, versions, software and hardware requirements, as well as obsolescence announcements.  

Operations Bridge 2019.11 introduces enhancements in the following areas:

Container deployment enhancements:

  • Container Deployment Foundation (CDF) enhancements
  • Event Analytics (EA) enhancements:
    • CI collection-aware correlation
    • Possibility to stop incorrect correlations
  • Performance Management Central Thresholding enhancement:
    • Count-based windowing
  • Digital Experience Management (DEM) enhancements:
    • Location and transaction isolation report
  • COSO Data Lake and Reporting enhancements:
    • New System Infrastructure reports with combined agent-based and agentless data

Changes in the Operations Bridge Manager (OBM) classic and container deployment:

  • OBM – enhanced UIs
  • OBM functional enhancements:
    • Adhoc downtime definition
    • New CLIs

Changes in the classic deployment:

  • SiteScope enhancements:
    • Linux-based monitoring of Windows servers using the WinRM protocol
    • SiteScope Rest API Monitor enhancement to support Token Caching Mechanism
  • Application Performance Management (APM) enhancements:
    • APM local client improvements: easy download, launch the SiteScope local client from the APM local client, SiteScope global search and replace

Non-deployment-related changes:

  • Enhanced content:
    • SiteScope content enhancements: Vertica Monitor and Apache Kafka Monitor enhancement
    • OBM Management Pack for Amazon Web Services: HashiCorp Vault support
    • OBM Management Pack for Microsoft Azure: Generic discovery
    • Operations Connector for NetIQ AppManager: metric forwarding to the COSO Data Lake
  • Integration enhancements:
    • Data Center Automation (DCA) - OBM integration: event forwarding and compliance/vulnerability KPIs, cross-launch into DCA

The following new product versions are released as part of Operations Bridge 2019.11:

  • Operations Bridge – classic deployment: Operations Bridge Manager 2019.11, SiteScope 2019.11, Operations Agent 12.12, Operations Orchestration 2019.07, UCMDB 2019.11, Application Performance Management 9.51
  • Operations Bridge – container deployment: Operations Bridge 2019.11
  • Content releases: OBM Management Packs for Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services 2019.11
  • Operations Connector for NetIQ AppManager 2019.11

Event Analytics (EA) enhancements

Starting from the current release, machine learning-based Event Analytics can correlate all events of the same collection of CIs using an advanced algorithm (in the past, event correlation was done for the events that originated from the same node). Another enhancement allows you to stop incorrect and false-positive correlations.

This feature brings the following benefits:

  • More correlation patterns, as the machine-learning pattern recognition happens across multiple nodes/CIs
  • A possibility to manually fine-tune automatic event correlation to achieve best accuracy. This reduces incorrect correlations leading to more precise and reliable results.

To use this functionality, it is necessary to:

  • Create CI collections manually (all events available from the CIs that are part of a CI collection will be analysed and correlated together)
  • Mark CI collections that should be used by Event Analytics (by default, the names starting with aiops_ are considered for correlation, but you can add more naming patterns if desired)

To stop incorrect correlations, execute the Stop auto-correlating similar events custom action. The correlations that fit the exact pattern will no longer occur.

EA.png

Figure 1. Stop auto-correlating similar events

You can also re-enable the grouping of previously disabled correlated events by following the steps described here.

Refer to Automatic Event Correlation and Automatic Event Correlation for CI Collections for more information on this feature.

Central Thresholding enhancements

Central Thresholding provides thresholding for all sources that stream data into the COSO Data Lake. The thresholds are evaluated on the data samples that are received in the COSO Data Lake. If a threshold violation occurs, a corresponding event is generated in OBM. Read this blog article for more information on Central Thresholding.

In the current release, we improved this functionality by implementing count-based windowing: the data is grouped based on a configured number (or a count) of data points; the window then slides based on a specified count. The Severity of the situation is flagged also based on the number/count of data points.

To configure the count based windowing, you specify the following fields: 

  • WindowSizeCount
  • WindowSlideByCount
  • WindowFlagOnCount

as illustrated in the following diagram, where WindowSizeCount = 8 is the inference over last 8 data records accumulated, WindowSlideByCount = 4 is the inference over last 8 data records after every 4 data records, and WindowFlagOnCount = 6 is the highest severity that applies to at least 6 out of 8 data records:

CB windowing.png

Figure 2. Count-based windowing

More information on count-based windowing is available on the ITOM Practitioner Portal.

CDF 2019.11 enhancements

Operations Bridge-relevant enhancements include:

  • The new deployment-status.sh script (in addition to kube-status.sh), which focuses on the deployment status of Operations Bridge
  • The automated CDF upgrade path from 2019.08 to 2019.11
  • New out-of-the-box user roles

Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) enhancements

We developed a new DEM Availability and Performance report that allows you to view the transaction and location affecting the overall availability and performance of the application. For more information, see DEM Availability and Performance Report on our Documentation Portal.

COSO Data Lake enhancements

The COSO Data Lake has been extended by introducing the following:

  • New naming schema for the COSO Data Lake tables and columns (easier and more intuitive)
  • Unified System Infrastructure reports (please, see the next section for details)
  • Improved documentation
  • Improved robustness of the out-of-the-box BVD reporting (the prerequisite check) and logging (detailed logs specific to taskflows), which results in less errors and better troubleshooting

Reporting enhancements: Unified System Infrastructure reports

  • System Infrastructure metrics collected by both the Operations Agent and SiteScope are now sent to new aligned System Infrastructure tables
  • These tables are used to generate unified (showing both agentless and agent-based system infrastructure data) out-of-the-box System Infrastructure reports

Note: Infrastructure metrics collected by Operations Connector for NetIQ AppManager and Operations Connector for SCOM are not (yet) shown in these reports.

For more information, see Aligned System Infrastructure Tables and Out of the box reports.

Business Value Dashboard enhancements

A Statement on Limited Availability

Please keep in mind that the following Operations Bridge capabilities are marked with “Limited Availability – Not for production use” at the time of the release:

  • Event Analytics
  • Performance Management (Central Thresholding)
  • COSO Data Lake/Collection Services
  • Reporting
  • Digital Experience Management

“Limited Availability” implies that these capabilities should not yet be used in production environments. Because of significant changes in these capabilities, upgrades to future versions of some or all of these capabilities cannot be guaranteed or may involve additional manual tasks to upgrade and/or data loss. “Limited Availability – Not for production use” is now also shown in the Operations Bridge Installer.

If you wish to use those features in non-production environments, please register the usage of limited availability at Swpdl.OPSB_ERP@microfocus.com. For more information, check out the Limited Availability section in the Operations Bridge 2019.11 Release Notes.

OBM enhancements (classic and container deployment)

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

Updated User Interfaces (UIs)

We have updated a number of OBM UIs introducing new look & feel and improved usability:

  • Run Books Mappings. You can map the Runbook to the CI type and invoke the selected CI based on the Runbook mapping calculation. Details are provided in the Runbook Mappings topic.
  • Health Indicators: You can view the HI, KPI, State, Last Change and Value of the selected CI, customize the number of columns to be displayed and choose to view the status in Compact or Large mode. For details, see Health Indicators.
  • CI Properties: You can view the CI Properties for the selected CI based on the CI type. The property listed is filtered based on the value given for a property. You can hover over a property value and copy to the clipboard. For more information, see View Explorer Component.
  • Changes and Incidents: You can view the changes and incidents opened for the CI selected in the active view, as well as requests for change and actual changes made to the CI. On this release, the performance of retrieving the corresponding information from RTSM has been significantly improved. For details, see Changes and Incidents Component.
  • Watch List: This component has been removed. Any instances of the Watch List components defined are replaced by the Watch List by View component. For details, see Watch List By View Component.

Notes:

  • Due to internal changes, Show Visible and Hidden CIs UIs has been temporarily removed from the product
  • Audit Log and Server Deactivation UIs have been entirely replaced by CLIs (opr-auditlog-cli and opr-management-server-cli, respectively)

New command-line interfaces (CLIs)

The following command-line interfaces are new:

  • The opr-event-automation-rule CLI allowing you to edit, delete and disable multiple automation rules at the same time (in previous releases, the only option was to use the Event Processing UI to perform these actions). For more information, see opr-event-automation-rule.
  • The opr-node-hc-config CLI allowing you to list and modify the health check configuration for a node, node list and group of nodes. See opr-node-hc-config for details.

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

Multiple selection for adhoc downtime in OBM: You can now select multiple CIs and move the selected CIs to downtime at once using the CI context menu. This results in faster downtime definition and eliminates the need to use to Downtime Management Admin UI every time you need to define downtimes. For more information on this feature, including the procedures on how to add and remove CIs from the adhoc downtime and edit the default parameters of the adhoc downtime, see CI Context Menus.

Additional security using certificate revocation: The Operations Agent now offers an additional layer of security with a Certificate Revocation list. This list enables you, as an administrator, to revoke communication between the Agent and the OBM server by adding the desired certificate’s serial number to a blacklist. No communication can happen between the Agent and OBM until a new certificate is issued. This feature helps you protect your network from suspected security vulnerabilities. For more information, see Certificate Revocation.

SiteScope enhancements

This release introduces support for the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) protocol. Earlier, SiteScope used WMI, NetBios or Secure Shell (SSH) to monitor remote Windows servers. However, since WMI and NetBios are only available on Windows, SiteScope on Linux required SSH installed on every Windows systems to be monitored.

Support of WinRM brings the following benefits: 

  • Ability to monitor Windows nodes when SiteScope is running on Linux without having to install SSH (instead, WinRM service needs to be enabled)
  • A more secure communication method than NetBIOS and WMI

The following monitors support the WinRM method for collecting data:

  • CPU Monitor
  • Microsoft Windows Event Log Monitor
  • Microsoft Windows Resources Monitor
  • Microsoft Windows Services State Monitor
  • Dynamic Disk Space Monitor
  • Service Monitor
  • Memory Monitor
  • Microsoft IIS Server Monitor

For a detailed description on how to configure the WinRM support, see Configure the WinRM service for remote Windows monitoring on the ITOM Practitioner Portal.

Additionally, the REST API Monitor has been enhanced to support token caching mechanism (So far, REST API Monitor supported basic, token-based and certificate-based authentication). Now, with token-based authentication, we support token expiry and caching mechanisms of tokens. The token is cached in memory until the token expiry time. Once the token expires, a new token is fetched from the Authentication Token URL.

This brings extra security and better user experience (earlier, the system fetched a new token from the Token URL for every monitor run).

In addition, we have implemented the following minor SiteScope enhancements:

  • When deploying SiteScope templates from OBM to SiteScope using Monitoring Automation:
    • Stop retry of failed deployments. Earlier, when the template deployment failed, the retry for the deployment was continued in the background causing performance issues. Now, this is handled by updating certain parameters in ovconfchg.
    • Deploy templates in SiteScope even if any monitor fails using SiSConfig. Previously, if any of the monitors present within a template failed during deployment, the entire deployment failed and none of the monitors got deployed. Now, if any monitor fails from the list of monitors in a template, the failed monitor is excluded and other monitors are deployed.
  • SiteScope Monitor enhancements:
    • Kafka E2E monitoring and topology support over SSL using JMX/Dynamic JMX monitor
    • Miscellaneous Vertica solution template enhancements

Read about all SiteScope enhancements here.

Application Performance Management (APM) enhancements

A local client can now be downloaded from the APM login page (and no longer separately from SSO), which make the installation process faster. Moreover, all APM admin functionalities are now supported using a local client (full admin functionality from APM 9.30+ as well as full admin and reporting functionality for APM 9.51).

Another important update is the removal of Adobe Flex Technology from all APM user interfaces, which eliminates the need for the Adobe Flash Player plug-in.

Content enhancements

OBM Management Pack for Amazon Web Services (AWS) enhancements:

  • So far, role-based authentication (RBA) and IAM credentials were used for authentication. In the current release, AWS Generic aspect has been enhanced to support the AppRole authentication using HashiCorp Vault. Supported AWS services for Vault include:
    • AWS Generic
    • AWS Billing
    • AWS CloudWatchLog
  • The AWS Generic aspect now supports monitoring for Amazon Government Cloud.

For more information on these enhancements, read the Release notes and navigate through the Management Pack for AWS 2019.11 documentation as appropriate.

OBM Management Pack for Microsoft Azure enhancements:

  • New Generic Discovery aspect: In earlier versions of the Management Pack, to discover and monitor a new Azure service, you had to wait for the Management Pack release that included this service. Now, you can add any new Azure service to the configuration file and start discovering it immediately using the CI type "cloud_service".

Note: Only generic discovery is possible in this release; generic monitoring is planned for future releases.

  • The new MS Azure Configuration aspect required for Azure aspects deployment. Earlier, RM Discovery configuration was used for all Azure aspect deployment, regardless if those Azure services belonged to the Azure RM discovery. Now, you do not need to provide configuration details and do not have to re-deploy Azure RM discovery configuration for any update/upgrade for other Azure aspects.
  • The new Azure Topology view. Earlier, the Azure MP provided views for each Azure service, so you were not able to see all discovered Azure services in one view. The new Azure topology view includes all Azure resources in a single view (also includes the resources mapped to the cloud_service CI).

For more information on these and other enhancements, read the Release notes and navigate through the Management Pack for Microsoft Azure 2019.11 documentation as appropriate.

Operations Connector for NetIQ AppManager enhancements:

So far, the Operations Connector performed topology discovery for nodes and node resources and sent node and application events to OBM. Now, AppManager metrics are forwarded to the COSO Data Lake bringing the ability to create reports/dashboards using BYOBI/BVD with the AppManager data in COSO Data Lake. Out of the box, all metrics available in AppManager are forwarded and stored in appmanager_metrics_raw table. Steps to enable the integration with the COSO Data Lake are available here. Details of the schema are described in Connector for NetIQ AppManager.

New Integration: Operations Bridge and Data Center Automation (DCA)

The integration of Operations Bridge and Micro Focus Data Center Automation enables you to integrate compliance and vulnerability data from DCA into OBM. Below is the integration summary:

  • DCA scans the resource group(s) that contain the services monitored with OBM
  • The compliance and vulnerability data resulting from the DCA scan is fed to OBM
  • DCA compliance and vulnerability events are displayed in the OBM Event Browser (along with the existing KPI information, which simplifies monitoring and administration tasks)
  • The KPIs are also visualized in the OBM Health Dashboard
  • Cross launch into DCA is performed by clicking the dca_url custom attribute, enabling you to get additional details and run remediation actions if necessary

DCA.png

Figure 3. DCA vulnerability status event in OBM

Indicators, KPIs and KPI assignments required for the integration are included in the OBM Content Pack (shipped as part of OBM and installed by default).

Note: This Operations Bridge-DCA integration version focuses on the compliance of nodes only. Application-level compliance monitoring and integration are not yet implemented.

For detailed information, check out the Integrate OBM with DCA section on the ITOM Practitioner Portal. From there, navigate to the required topic 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 full capabilities of Operations Bridge by taking a look at these pages on our Practitioner Portal: Operations Bridge Manager, SiteScope, Operations Connector (OpsCx), Operations Bridge Analytics, Application Performance Management (APM), Business Process Monitor (BPM), Real User Monitor (RUM) and Operations Orchestration (OO) documentation!

Events

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Registration link: https://www.microfocus.com/en-us/events/microfocus-universe-2020/overview.

 

 

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

See all the Micro Focus events worldwide.

Read all our news at the Operations Bridge blog.

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