What’s New in Operations Bridge 2020.05

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We’re pleased to announce the availability of Micro Focus Operations Bridge 2020.05. Our latest release contains functional enhancements and improvements to the existing features for the Operations Bridge Manager Classic deployment, SiteScope, as well as several Operations Connectors and Management Packs.

Release Summary

Changes in Operations Bridge Manager (OBM):

  • Updated Operator UIs, which include the following improvements:
    • Optimized HTML-based Event Browser with modern user look & feel, improved operator workflow through various usability enhancements, such as the new Event Repository combining active and closed events in a single view and enabling quick search inside the complete event database with unlimited time range
    • HTML-based Hierarchy View
    • Completely Flash-free
  • New and updated command-line interfaces (CLIs) that enable automation of the OBM administration (automation of event filter related tasks, include/exclude KPIs in views, event and health check configuration)
  • New Monitoring Automation (MA) CLIs (for management template creation and update, parameter operations, etc.) amounting the MA functionality available via CLIs to app. 95%
  • Enhanced HTML Administrator UIs (6 in total)
  • New and updated command-line interfaces (CLIs) that enable automation of the OBM administration (automation of event filter related tasks, include/exclude KPIs in views, event and health check configuration)
  • New Monitoring Automation (MA) CLIs (for management template creation and update, parameter operations, etc.) amounting the MA functionality available via CLIs to app. 95%
  • Enhanced Flash-free Admin UIs (6 in total):
  • Miscellaneous enhancements: 
    • Audit log enhancements that enable tracking down various MA operations
    • Automatic restart of deployment jobs after the Operations Agent outage
    • Performance dashboard: advanced permission on dashboard categories
    • Load Balancer improvements: the Gateway server name appears in the About dialog, reliable alive check URLs
  • OBM is now used for policy management for the following Operations Connectors:
    • VROPS
    • SCOM
    • OneView
    • SAP Solution Manager
    • IBM Tivoli
    • Nagios
  • An improved upgrade process that facilitates the move to OBM 2020.05

SiteScope Enhancements:

  • Microsoft Windows Remote Management (WinRM) support for 3 additional monitors: Microsoft SQL Server Monitor, Microsoft ASP Server Monitor and Microsoft Hyper-V Monitor
  • SiteScope Dynamic Docker Monitor enhancements offering more flexibly when monitoring Kubernetes (K8S) environments
  • Log File Monitor now enables automatic detection of the log file encoding
  • Enhanced Import/Export APIs allowing to securely import and export dependencies of monitors of different group or subgroups
  • IPv6 installation support

Enhanced Content:

  • Management Pack for Microsoft Exchange: MS Exchange 2019 support, health monitoring for Exchange Server components
  • Management Pack for Microsoft IIS: IIS 10.0.17763 support (part of Windows Server 2019)
  • Operations Connector for VROPS: Multi-instance monitoring using a single agent, alert filtering based on resource pools
  • Operations Connector for Microsoft SCOM: SharePoint discovery, out-of-the-box views for Microsoft Active Directory (AD), Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint

The following new product versions are released as part of Operations Bridge 2020.05:

Also make sure to check out the latest Operations Bridge support matrices for information on supported components, versions, software and hardware requirements, as well as obsolescence announcements.

Now let’s dive into more details about new features and enhancements.

Transition to HTML-Based OBM UIs

We have initiated the conversion of our Flash-based product content to HTML5. With HTML-based UIs, you can do everything you could do with Flash (and even more!) without the need for a browser plug-in.

Adobe Systems will officially obsolete Adobe Flash on December 31, 2020. Flash will be disabled by default in web browsers (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla) by the end of 2020, bringing implications for the following Operation Bridge capabilities that use Flash:

  • Operations Bridge Manager (OBM)
  • Operations Connectors
  • Cloud Optimizer (CO)

OBM: HTML-Based Operator UIs

The new HTML-based OBM Event Browser delivers a modern user experience with increased response time, new large display mode, improved workflow and icons, and supports an increased number of concurrent users.

Improved filter toolbar:

  • Now shows only relevant information
  • Provides an easy way to define different filters: 
    • View filter, selected CIs, event filter
    •  Severity, priority, assignments
    •  Text search (easily accessible via Ctrl+F)
    •  Time range

Figure1.PNG

Figure 1. OBM Event Browser and Event Details

Event Repository improvements include:

  • Consistency between active Event Browser and Event Repository:
  • Same filters used in the active mode are applied to the Event Repository mode
  • No additional configuration steps to launch into the closed event browser
  • An easy way to change the filter or use the search to find closed events
  • The ability to search the complete event database with unlimited time range
  • Filters are applied directly in the backend
  • An option to define the displayed columns (only the displayed information is requested from the backend)Figure2.PNG

Figure 2. OBM Event Repository

We are continuing our work on a series of video tutorials that guide you through the details of the enhanced Event Browser:

  • OBM Event Browser Overview (this video provides a high-level overview of the most prominent changes in the Event Browser)
  • OBM Operator Workflow (this video covers a typical OBM Operator workflow)
  • OBM Event Filtering (this video focuses on the filtering capabilities of the Event Browser)
  • OBM Event Repository (this video explains how to search in the Event Repository for closed events)

We will update this blog with the links when more tutorials are available.  

OBM: HTML-Based Administrator UIs

Five Event Processing Automation UIs are now HTML-based, providing the same functionality as before as well as a few usability and functional improvements:

  • User Group Assignments: You can select various rule-related actions (such as edit and delete) by hovering the mouse cursor over an existing rule. When you add a new rule or edit an existing rule, the User Group Assignment Rule dialog box opens on the right side of the screen.
    We have also introduced a usability improvement, which can be helpful if you are dealing with long lists of rules: you can now move your selected assignment rule to the position you want. For more information, see User Group Assignments on our Documentation Portal.

Figure3.PNG

Figure 3. Usability improvement: Ability to move the selected assignment rule to the desired position

  • Automatic Run Book Execution: You can select various rule-related actions (such as edit, delete, duplicate and activate/deactivate) by hovering the mouse cursor over an existing rule. When you add a new rule or edit an existing rule, the Automatic Runbook Execution Rule dialog box opens on the right side of the screen. For more information, see Automatic Run Book Execution.
  • Event Forwarding: You can select various rule-related actions by hovering the mouse cursor over an existing rule. When you add a new rule or edit an existing rule, the Event Forwarding Rule dialog box opens on the right side of the screen. For more information, see Event Forwarding.
  • Event Suppression: You can select the edit, delete and activate/deactivate by hovering the mouse cursor over an existing rule. When you add a new rule or edit an existing rule, the Event Suppression Rule dialog box opens on the right side of the screen. For more information, see Event Suppression.
  • Event Storm Suppression: When you edit the event storm suppression rule, the Edit Event Storm Suppression Rule dialog box opens on the right side of the screen allowing you to modify various rule attributes. For more information, see Event Storm Suppression.

Another UI introduced in this release is the Policy Templates HTML UI, which now enables viewing of Policy Template Groups and Template by Type as separate tabs instead of a tree structure. You can see improved (bigger) icons in the Actions panel. In addition, we have implemented the ability to search for policy templates (before, you had to scroll down the whole list of policy templates to find the needed policy template). Now, you can just enter a search string (case-insensitive) in the search input box and review the available hits. For more information, see Policy Templates HTML.

Figure4.PNG

Figure 4. Usability improvement: Policy Templates UI now offers search

Note: This UI is not yet functionally equivalent to the Flash-based Policy Templates UI (e.g., it is not yet possible to deploy policies from this UI), but it can be used in addition to the existing UI. Fully functional Flash-free Administration UIs will be available in the upcoming OBM releases.

Operations Connectors: Using OBM for Policy Management

All Operations Connector will eventually use OBM for policy management. One reason for this move is that the Operations Connector framework contains the Flash-based local policy management UI (and we do not have plans to re-implement this UI in the HTML-based format). The more important reason, however, is that using OBM for policy management brings numerous advantages, such as:

  • Version control and history
  • Ability to export and import policies via Content Packs
  • Ability to deploy consistent policies across similar Operations Connectors
  • High availability support
  • Central user role administration in OBM

Note: Using OBM for policy management has been implemented for several Operations Connectors (for example, Operations Connectors for NetIQ AppManager, Zabbix, Prometheus) prior to Operations Bridge 2020.05.

In this release, we have added Operations Connectors for:

  • VROPS
  • SCOM
  • OneView
  • SAP Solution Manager
  • IBM Tivoli
  • Nagios

to the list of Connectors that use OBM for policy management.

This new implementation affects the Operations Connector installation process: while the installation is still performed on the Operations Connector system, the policies are no longer uploaded on that system. Instead, the Content Pack installation on the OBM Server now uploads the aspect and policies directly to OBM. For all installation-related changes, check out the specific Operations Connector documentation.

OBM Enhancements

New and Updated Command-Line Interfaces (CLIs)

In this release, we have added the following CLIs:

  • The opr-event-filter CLI that enables automation of various event filter related tasks, such as:
    • Import and export the filter (enables editing filter properties)
    • Add/remove the event filter to/from event filter category
    • List the event filters

   For more information, see opr-event-filter Command-Line Interface.

  • The opr-kpis-in-views CLI that allows you to define which KPIs are displayed in a view and which are included in CI status calculations. See opr-kpis-in-views for details.

The following CLIs have been updated:

  • The opr-node-hc-config CLI now shows the state and time when the last heartbeat was received for a specified node. For more information, see the opr-node-hc-config Command-Line interface.
  • The opr-node CLI now provides 2 new options: 
    • The new -node_config_report option allows you to compare the assignments available on the OBM server with the configuration on the agent. For more information, see Node config report.
    • The -node_package_report option allows you to compare and synchronize Operations Agent binary packages (base version, patches, and hotfixes) from the agent. For more information, see Node package report.

Note: For all OBM CLIs, please see the section Command-Line Interfaces. From this section, navigate to the desired CLI for detailed descriptions.

Extended Audit Log for Assignments & Deployment

All MA-related operations, such as creating, updating and deleting of MTs/aspect/template assignments can now be tracked in the audit log. This is useful, for instance, if you need to know the user who changed a policy parameter, the time when the change took place, the node where the configuration was deployed, etc. For details, see Monitoring Automation Audit logging.

Auto Restart Deployment Jobs after the Operations Agent Outage

This is useful in situations when jobs fail during auto-assignment due to the Agent outage. Prior to Operations Bridge 2020.05, an operator had to restart each failed job manually. Now, jobs are restarted automatically once the Agent comes up and sends a heartbeat. For details on how to enable this feature, see Auto-restart and deployment jobs and List of Infrastructure Settings.

Event Web Service Enhancement

A client can now specify that a response feed should be returned with certain ordering criteria, by setting the order_by and order_direction query parameters. For details, see HTTP query parameters.

Load Balancer Enhancements

  • The Gateway server name appears in the About dialog
  • KeepAlive URLs have been improved to make the detection of alive gateways more precise (more internal services are now checked to decide if the gateway is up and able to process data). See Load Balancing for the Gateway Server for more information.

OBM Upgrade Improvements

In this release, we have extended OBM “upgrade matrix” to allow a direct upgrade from older OBM/OMi versions. An upgrade is now possible from OMi 10.12 IP6 as well as from all later versions: 10.63 IP4, 2018.05, 2018.11, 2019.05 IP1, 2019.11.

Note: The latest IP is always required before the upgrade.

Extended OBM Integrations matrix 2020.05 allows an upgrade to OBM without the need to upgrade integrated products. For details, refer to the Integrations Portal.

In addition, we have significantly improved the interactive Install and Upgrade Guide by:

  • Adding more details for side-by-side and in-place upgrade and some upgrade tips
  • New Plan and Prepare sections
  • Flow charts to describe the sequence of steps for the in-place upgrade (Primary DPS, Secondary DPS, Gateways)
  • Adding upgrade verification steps
  • Updating the whole document to mention the location of commands

SiteScope Enhancements

This release introduces various SiteScope functional and usability enhancements, in particular:

  • Several monitors (such as CPU Monitor, Microsoft Windows Event Log Monitor, Dynamic Disk Space Monitor, Service Monitor, Memory Monitor, and a few others) already supported the WinRM method for collecting data since Operations Bridge 2019.11. In this release, we have extended the WinRM support to the following monitors:
    • MS SQL Server Monitor
    • MS ASP Server Monitor
    • MS Hyper-V Monitor 

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

  • SiteScope Dynamic Docker Monitor that monitors Kubernetes clusters using the Prometheus framework has been enhanced to offer more flexibility when monitoring Kubernetes environments:
    • It now supports token-based (both static and dynamic token) authentication (previously, only certificate-based and basic authentication was supported).
    • You can now enter multiple Prometheus endpoints in the Dynamic Docker Monitor configuration, which allows you to have the Kubernetes API Server and the Prometheus Server on different hosts and ports (previously, Dynamic Docker Monitor always assumed both Kubernetes and Prometheus are on the same server)
    • Refer to Dynamic Docker Monitor for more information on these enhancements.

  • SiteScope Log File and Custom Log File Monitors now enable automatic detection of the log file encoding. Previously, if the monitored log file content used an encoding different from the encoding on the SiteScope Server, you had to select the encoding to use. Now, the encoding is detected and set in the UI encoding field automatically. This improvement eliminates the need for manual configuration tasks in situations when a large number of log files needs to be monitored. See Log File Monitor for more information.
  • SiteScope Export/Import APIs have been enhanced to keep the monitor group dependencies during an export and import of monitor groups. For more information, see importMonitorGroupConfig and exportMonitorGroupConfig.

An overview of all SiteScope enhancements is provided in the SiteScope Release notes.

Content Enhancements

OBM Management Pack for MS Exchange Enhancements

  • In this release, we have added the Exchange Server Component Health aspect enabling you to monitor the health of the following Exchange Server components:
    • Exchange Client Access Server
    • Exchange Edge Server
    • Exchange Hub Server
    • Exchange Mail Server
    • Exchange Unified Messaging Server
  • You can set the threshold for the metrics collected for the components. If a threshold is breached, an event is generated.

For more information, check out the Release notes and navigate through the Management Pack for MS Exchange 2020.05 documentation as appropriate.

Operations Connector for Microsoft SCOM Enhancements

Operations Connector for Microsoft SCOM can now discover the SharePoint topology in OBM, however with the limitation that metrics and events are not mapped to those CIs yet. To use this feature, you need to configure the topology integration to establish a connection for collecting the data from the MS SharePoint instance. See Configure the Topology Integration for details.

In this release, we have also added out-of-the-box views for the following components:

  • Microsoft Active Directory (AD)
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft SharePoint

For more information on SCOM Connector enhancements, see the Release notes and navigate through the Connector for Microsoft SCOM documentation as appropriate.

Operations Connector for VROPS Enhancements

  • Connector for VROPS can now be installed, deployed, configured and managed from OBM (similar to Management Packs), thus eliminating the need for the Operations Connector framework. Operations Connector can now be deployed to an Operations Agent node.
  • Multi-instance deployment has also been simplified, removing many of the manual steps compared to previous versions
  • New event filtering based on resource pools allows you to filter out events from one or multiple resource pools

This greatly simplifies your experience while installing and configuring the Connector.

For more information on VROPS Connector enhancements, see the Release notes and navigate through the Connector for VROPS 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 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) 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:

See all the Micro Focus events worldwide.

Read all our news at the Operations Bridge blog.

 

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