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Newest Family Member - IT Automation With Opalis
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Newest Family Member - IT Automation With Opalis


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  • Opalis is categorized in the ITPA market, Gartner refers to it as RBA, it is the ability to orchestrate and integrate IT mgmt tools via workflow.
    Automation helps IT to meet strategic goals both in terms of reducing costs and improving services to the business.
    ITPA replaces repetitive manual processes, which are resource intensive and error prone –also optimizes the use of your IT resources, from a staff and technology investments perspective
    It also removes the latency and associated with processes that cross IT tools and reliance on experts which simplifies datacenter management
    Now that we’ve talked about the value of automation, lets dive into a deeper discussion on the way processes are handled today.
  • So what are IT processes? And how are IT organizations performing them today?
    IT shops typically have a number of tools from a variety of vendors in each of the IT silos, (as shown in the left column) including event mgmt, service desk, configuration, virtualization etc.
    In large organizations we often see multiple tools that offer the same functionality applied to different parts of the infrastructure or branch offices/locations
    Automation has been implemented to expedite tasks within a particular tool, For example event mgmt tools like Operations Manager have automated the filtering and detection of alerts, Configuration Mgmt tools like Configuration Manager deploy patches across server and mobile devices automatically and VMM can automatically build servers or migrate VMs based on capacity requirements, however there is still a lot of manual steps in and around these tools.
  • In addition to the time, risk and latency the manual approach introduces, another huge concern for IT is the inability to scale, using people to coordinate processes limits the organizations ability to scale, to the number of resources they have.
    As new technologies are introduced, the must be managed, with headcount limits, IT is under a huge amount of pressure to keep up with the demands of the business.
    This is where automation, optimization and simplification come into play, IT organization need to automate repetitive work, optimize the use of their technology investments and staff and simplify datacenter management – which means introducing new systems and applying their standard management best practices to new systems.
  • Here we can see the Opalis workflow orchestrating that provisioning process. This type of process reaches out into a number of IT tools and departments.
    It stops the failing VM, returns the network and storage assets, updates the CMDB to retire the CI, then starts the process of creating a new VM from an existing template, applies required applications, and deploys and verifies that the new service is running. At each step in this processes you’ll notice an update to the service desk.
    Automating processes enforces ITIL or MOF compliance, shows the systems involved in each step, so it is fully document and auditable, and no manual intervention is needed.
    What we have found is that most companies reallocate staff that are performing these tasks to other initiatives that leverage their skill set and in many cases these folks become the process automation experts, adding incredible value as they focus on improving and expanding IT services.
  • [how IT staff articulate the problem varies depending on their role.
    Depending on the audience, you may speak to one or all 3 levels.]
    If we drill down into one of these solution areas, we often find the problem automation solves can be articulated in many ways….
    Incident mgmt –
    IT execs may talk about alignment with ITIL
    If we drill down to the process layer, we can articulate the type of processes that need to be automated to achieve ITIL
    At a user level we may hear the problem articulated as an integration problem, “I want to integrate Operations Manager with ‘xyz’ service desk.
    The question to answer in determining where ITPA can be most effective it to identify:
    Where is most of my IT budget spent? Which team? Which resources?
    Where are there high volume processes that are handled manually?
    Where is human interaction causing delay and unanticipated errors?
    What IT systems or services greatly impact the business if they are not available or are performing poorly?
    What SLA’s do I have to meet?
    These are the kinds of questions that were uncovered by existing customers
    Slide Opens: Resource sitting in front of a Network Monitoring Solution (SCOM)
    Click 1: Resource notices an alert come in and checks the Network Monitoring Solution
    Click 2: Resource needs more information (fault verification), reaches out to the Infrastructure team
    The clock SLA clock starts
    They provide information back to him (verifying the fault)
    He creates an incident in the Service Desk with this information
    The SLA clock is still ticking (at 8 minutes past now)
    Click 3: Resource still needs more information (diagnostics), reaches out to the Test & Diagnostics team
    They provide information back to him (diagnostics information)
    He updates the incident in the Service Desk with this information
    The SLA clock is still ticking (at 21 minutes past now)
    Click 4: Resource still needs more information (configuration), reaches out to the Configuration Management team
    They take on the remediation task then provide information back to him (configuration item and related service information)
    He updates the incident in the Service Desk with this information
    The SLA clock is still ticking (at 29 past now – past the initial SLA warning threshold)
    At this stage service has been restored but with only 60 secs to spare before SLA breach and penalties
    Click 5: Resource needs to update a second Service Desk as part of his process
    He creates, updates and closes the necessary Incidents in both Service Desks
    The clock is still ticking (at 31 past now) even though service has been restored, the incident still requires documentation and closure.
    He closes out the Alert in the Network Monitoring Solution
    The clock stops at 34 past nearly missing the SLA breach and consuming an additional 5 mins to document
    All throughout the process, at least 4 teams and their resources were unavailable while assisting in the process
    This Manual Process:
    Resource intensive, can only scale IT services with people
    Error prone and ad-hoc processes create inconsistent outcomes
    How often is documentation skipped for the sake of time or convenience?
    Slow response time impacts SLAs
    Time + Staff + Unexpected Errors = Cost
    Breached SLAs = $$Cost$$
    Slide Opens: Network Monitoring Solution (SCOM) monitoring the infrastructure
    Click 1: Network Monitoring Solution sends an Alert
    The clock SLA clock starts
    Opalis picks up the Alert
    Verifies the fault in the Infrastructure
    Creates an Incident in the Service Desk with the fault information
    Runs Diagnostics
    Updates the Incident in the Service Desk with the diagnostics information
    Looks up the Configuration Item and Related Service Data in the CMDB and runs Compliance & Remediation job
    Updates the Incident in the Service Desk with the CI, Related Service Data and Compliance/Remediation results
    Creates/Updates/Closes an Incident in the second Service Desk with all the first Incident’s Details
    Updates/Closes the Incident in the first Service Desk with the Second Service Desk’s Incident ID (closing the loop)
    Closes the Alert in the Network Monitoring Solution
    The SLA clock stops at 5 past -- no where near a SLA warning/breach
    All the while Resources from all teams remain Available
    This Automated Process:
    Scale IT services with automation
    Improve service delivery
    Get consistent outcomes
    Enforce compliance
    Meet SLAs every time
    Lower cost
  • Why use Opalis?
    The idea that this tool is not meant to replace existing toolsets is a strong message. Customers can use a ‘best-of-breed’ model and still take advantage of ITPA. There’s no need to rip out existing service desks, virtualization technology, storage, etc.
    Pre-built activities mean that a customer doesn’t need vast experience with the solution in order to see quick value.
    The Opalis data bus (explained in detail later) provides a simple method for accessing and sharing data relating to specific processes
    No coding or scripting means no language barriers. It also means no one needs to find the person who wrote a script to make changes to it.
    The ability to use the workflow engine to follow one or more branches based on criteria that you supply (without coding) is enormously powerful.
  • This is a ‘Marketecture’ view into the Opalis architecture. It doesn’t show every single components that exists but it does a good job of showing the main components in a simple view.
    The database is the heart of the solution where both workflow designs are stored as well as execution results.
    On the right side are the design and manage components, the client software (workflow designer) and the web-based Operator Console.
    The left side shows the action servers which are responsible for actual execution of the workflows and returning the results to the datastore.
    It is possible that the facilitation of the Live Demonstration may only be available when a TSP is present (depending on your resources), if this is the case, “Hide” the next slide and “Un-Hide” the following seven slides (13-19). The following slides illustrate “slide-ware” of the most important aspects/talking points within the Opalis Client.
  • There are two Consoles provided with Opalis. The first is the client designer (Workflow process designer) which allows customers to build, test, modify, execute and monitor their workflows. This is a windows-based client. The second is a web-based Operator Console which allows operators to execute and view (but not create or modify) the workflows. Both consoles are tied in with Active directory and offer access-based control.
  • The workflow process designer allows customers to create new workflows or modify existing ones. It provides a testing console to validate workflows and provides both real-time and historical logging on workflow execution. As you can see the workflows themselves are visual in nature and appear somewhat like a Visio diagram. The designer drags objects out into the workspace and lays out the overall workflow. This is similar to BPM tools except that rather than simply helping visualize the process, these workflows actually execute and carry out the work they depict.
    In addition to laying out workflow the designer can also design logical branches for the workflow to follow and provide either binary or parallel branches of a process.
  • Once a designer has selected an object from the toolbar, they simply need to fill in the dialogs on a forms-based window. There is no coding involved or hard-wired scripts on the back end since all object can use the Opalis data bus.
  • This slide gives a visual example of how the data bus works. This concept is hard to explain without some visualization. The animation shows how after an object is executed all the relevant details about its execution are placed into the bus. As later objects execute they can draw their information from one or more previous object’s details which are already in the bus.
    Slide Opens: Simple Opalis Workflow
    Click 1: The first object executes
    It generates data and it gets put on the Opalis Data Bus
    Click 2: The second object utilizes information from the first object (via the Opalis Data Bus)
    It executes
    It generates data and it gets put on the Opalis Data Bus (along with the data from the first object)
    Click 3: The third object utilizes information from the first and second objects (via the Opalis Data Bus)
    It executes
    It generates data and it gets put on the Opalis Data Bus (along with the data from the first and second objects)
    No coding is required to make this happen!
    As objects are added to the product all their output is categorized and made available to the bus so the end-user can access it with ease
  • Opalis provides out-of-the-box automation by allowing the same objects to be reusable either pulled from the toolbar or from another workflow using familiar copy and paste commands. This means that a workflow which is many steps long can be copied into a new workspace and used wholesale or modified as required without needing to rebuild and part of the job.
  • Opalis provides a number of process catalogs for use by customers. The catalogs are collections of workflows that are pre-built out-of-the-box. These provide the fastest possible time to value since the workflows are already designed. This means only minor adjustments will be needed to get these workflows running, sometimes in minutes. The process catalogs are built with ITIL in mind and are designed to stay faithful to those frameworks. The process catalog is always growing and being improved to cover more scenarios and situations.
  • Integration Packs are pre-built vendor-specific software packages that plug into the Opalis framework. They provide a number of common functions including, monitoring, new event/alert/item creation, modification and deletion. They are designed to automatically detect scheme, forms and fields from the products they connect to so that you don’t need to code anything. Additionally the Integration Packs are supported and upgraded by Microsoft so you don’t need to worry about updates to target systems.
  • List of the currently available Integration Packs
    29 Integration Packs
    From 8 different Vendors
    NOTE: SC Configuration Manager is listed with SMS since the SMS IP can operate against SCCM but with a reduced function set when compared to the final SCCM IP.
    (as of 2/1/10 no new information on dates of additional IPs on roadmap)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Newest Family Member -Newest Family Member - IT Automation withIT Automation with OpalisOpalis Amit Gatenyo Infrastructure & Security Manager, Dario Microsoft Regional Director – Windows Server & Security 054-2492499
    • 2. Configuration Management (Physical& Virtual) End-To-End Monitoring Server Compliance Data Protection & Recovery
    • 3. Event Mgmt Service Desk Asset/CMDB Configuration Virtual Security Storage Server Network Triage & diagnose Integrate service desks with data center tools Update CI and assets systems Coordinate audit, compliance and change Orchestrate lifecycle management Patch , user on-boarding, password reset Provision, verify, manage & retire Provision, verify, manage & retire Provision, verify, manage & retire IT Silos Silo Processes
    • 4. Event Mgmt Service Desk Asset/CMDB Configuration Virtual Security Storage Server Network IT Silos Cross-Silo Processes Incident Response Change& Compliance Provisioning VirtualServiceManagement CloudComputing
    • 5. Event Mgmt Service Desk Asset/CMDB Configuration Virtual Security Storage Server Network Automated Processes IT Silos VM Provisioning Process Integration for Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 not yet RTM Monitor Service request Stop VM Update request Update request Update & close request Clone new VM Update properties Remove from Ops Manager Test VM Deploy Applications Verify Application Add to Ops Manager Create CIRetire CI Create incident Detach Storage Detach Network Adapter
    • 6. Where to Apply Automation: Examples Automate solutions Orchestrate processes Integrate tools Incident Management • Event consolidation • Triage, diagnose, escalation • Connect event monitor and service desk • Event monitoring • Service desks • Scripts • Tools Service Management & Provisioning (physical & virtual) • Lifecycle management • Build • Provision • Tear down/power down • Virtual Systems • Change, Service Desks • Asset, CMDB • Servers • Network • Storage Change & Configuration Management • Audit and compliance • Patch and repair • Change and verify • Change, Service Desks • CMDB • Patch tools • Backup • Daily Checks • User provisioning • Cloud bursting • Service account synchronization • DC Power Management • MSSQL Management • Data Refresh (ETL) • Improved Recovery Posture
    • 7. Monitoring Configuration Management Incident Triage Process - Manual Service Desk 1 Test & Diagnostics Infrastructure Service Desk 2
    • 8. Service Desk 2Monitoring Workflow + Data Bus Incident Triage With Automation New Event Details Verify Fault Run Diagnostic CI & Related Service Data Diagnostic Results CI & Effected Service DataSD1 Incident ID Verification Result SD1 Incident Details SD2 Incident ID SD2 Incident IDSD1 Incident ID SD2 Incident ID Service Desk 1 Lookup CI Event Details Fault Verification Diagnostic Results Test & Diagnostics Infrastructure Configuration Management
    • 9. Why Opalis • IT Process Automation can reduce costs, simplify management and optimize resources through: − Multi-vendor integration, no rip & replace or vendor lock-in − Pre-built activities & workflow processes to speed time to value − Publish and subscribe data bus to share data and initiate tasks within the silos − Configuration of workflows is done without coding or scripting − Intelligent workflows with rule-based branching
    • 10. 1111 The Opalis Solution Action ServersData Store (Run processes) GUI (Store process logic)(Design, manage, report) Opalis Components Workflow Designer Operator’s Console Integration Packs Process Catalogs Automation Platform Incident MgmtIncident Mgmt Change & Compliance Change & Compliance Server/Service Management (physical + virtual) Server/Service Management (physical + virtual) Asset - CMDBAsset - CMDB BackupBackup Config mgmtConfig mgmt Event mgmtEvent mgmt NetworkNetwork ProvisioningProvisioning SecuritySecurity Service DeskService Desk StorageStorage VirtualVirtual
    • 11. Opalis Consoles
    • 12. Workflow Process Designer •Visual workflow layout •Drag and drop GUI workflow designer •Branching and parallel processing •Visual workflow layout •Drag and drop GUI workflow designer •Branching and parallel processing
    • 13. Developing Workflows •Form-based dialogs •No hard-wired scripts •No programming knowledge required •Form-based dialogs •No hard-wired scripts •No programming knowledge required
    • 14. Opalis Data Bus Full line as a string Full line as a string Category
    • 15. Out-of-the-Box Automation • Reusable automated workflow actions • Automate the same tasks you would perform manually • Reusable automated workflow actions • Automate the same tasks you would perform manually
    • 16. Process Catalogs •Out-of-the-box process catalogs •ITIL compatible •Fastest time to value •Out-of-the-box process catalogs •ITIL compatible •Fastest time to value
    • 17. Integration Packs • Vendor specific integration packs • Auto detection of all data, schemas, forms and fields • Integrations are supported and updated by Microsoft • Vendor specific integration packs • Auto detection of all data, schemas, forms and fields • Integrations are supported and updated by Microsoft
    • 18. Opalis Integration Packs • > BladeLogic Operations Manager > BMC Atrium CMDB > BMC Event Manager > BMC PATROL > BMC Remedy ARS > CA AutoSys > CA eHealth > CA NSM > CA Service Desk > CA Spectrum > EMC Smarts InCharge > FTP > HP Asset Manager > HP iLO > HP OpenView Operations > HP OpenView Service Desk > HP Service Manager > HP Network Node Manager • > IBM Tivoli NetCool / OMNIbus > IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console > IBM Tivoli Storage Manager > Microsoft Active Directory > Microsoft Operations Manager • > Microsoft Configuration Manager* • > Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager* • > Microsoft Service Manager* > Symantec Net Backup > VMware vSphere • * Roadmap 2010
    • 19. Case Study • Client has hundreds of business process’s • Currently use multiple scheduling products: − Control-M − UC4 • Need to define workflows across multiple environments (Windows, Unix, MF) • Automation product must run every task with different parameters
    • 20. Thank you! Amit Gatenyo Infrastructure & Security Manager, Dario Microsoft Regional Director – Windows Server & Security 054-2492499