Photo: Zemlinki

If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably know that BMC ProactiveNet Performance Manager (BPPM) is a centralized event management system that acts as a single-pane-of-glass for many IT Operations teams as well as other functional groups within IT organizations.  BPPM attempts to bring together as much information as possible about the health of an IT organization from external tools to get an overall view of the environment.

One good way to measure the overall health of a complex system with many moving parts is by injecting synthetic transactions and measuring their response time.  BMC Transaction Management Application Response Time (TM ART) is a tool that does just that.  It runs scheduled synthetic transactions from remote locations against business applications and tracks the availability, accuracy and response time of those transactions.  

Wouldn’t it be nice to see TM ART measurements in BPPM?

[Read more…]

NetScout vs. BMC
Photo: Tambako

If you’re like many of our customers, you have accumulated plenty of monitoring tools.  And with the variety of tools comes the challenge of managing all the data.  One approach is to integrate all of your data sources together, though the extra complexity often brings challenges of its own.

One customer recently asked us how to go about integrating NetScout nGenius data with BPPM for metric and service level reporting.  They had developed a fairly complex reporting solution based on perl scripts and excel spreadsheets, but the original developer(s) had since moved on to other things.  Meanwhile, their reporting needs had far outgrown the original scope.  They needed either to rewrite the custom solution for scalability or replace it altogether with something off the shelf.  The goal was to provide weekly reports showing the business availability of the WAN links to various data centers around the globe after accounting for local business hours, planned outages, etc.

Since we had just finished helping them deploy BPPM and BPPM Reporting, we wondered if it would make sense to use that to replace their scripts and spreadsheets.  It would just be a matter of integrating their NetScout data into their BMC reporting platform.  Though there wasn’t a vendor-supported solution available from either BMC Software or NetScout, the tools from both vendors are fairly extensible.  Rapidly developing a prototype integration seemed doable.  Of course, it wasn’t quite as simple as it seemed… [Read more…]

Oracle or Sybase
Photo: Feliciano Guimarães 

A question we often hear from customers preparing to deploy BPPM is which backend database we recommend, Sybase or Oracle.

For the longest time, the only database option available for ProactiveNet was the built-in Sybase ASE.  That made it an easy decision for many.  However, starting with BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management (BPPM) 8.6, Oracle has also been supported for the backend database. As you might expect, there are pluses and minuses either way.  Hopefully this discussion will help as you ponder the question for yourself.

This post started from an email I have been circulating among the Advantis team for the last year or so.  The email starts off with: “I can sell it either way…”  That’s true, but there’s more to it than that.
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Pedal Faster!
Photo: StoryTravelers

If you’ve been working with BMC ProactiveNet Performance Manager (BPPM) for any length of time, you may have noticed that the performance of the tool can degrade, frustrating users.  There are a number of ways performance can go sideways:

  • Server startup takes too long
  • Delays during or immediately after user login
  • Slow response time

Wringing the optimal performance out of your BPPM deployment is a deep subject that will take awhile to cover fully, but there are some basics that you can look at right away.
[Read more…]

Maybe a little over-engineered?
Photo: Jakob Montrasio

Some time ago, BMC Software made a bundle available for download on their Electronic Product Distribution site (EPD) which has caused some confusion for our users, so we decided to investigate.  The bundle is called BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management with Sentry Software KM for Cisco UCS Server.  Read on for an explanation of what it is, why it’s a problem, and what to do about it.

Monitoring for Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is supported by the hardware monitoring solution from Sentry Software, Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL, the latest release of which is 1.8.01 at the time of this writing.  It’s available for download at sentrysoftware.net.

There is also a download available on the BMC Electronic Product Distribution (EPD) website that is labeled BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management with Sentry Software KM for Cisco UCS Server, as shown below:

cisco3

 

The download from BMC is about 1GB, while the download at Sentry Software‘s web site is only 81MB.  What’s the difference?  Do you need both?

Here are some of the differences:

The KM download from Sentry doesn’t include the installer. The larger EPD package contains the installer, which is a new trend with some of the solutions on the EPD website.  Many of us in the BMC community are familiar with the separate installer, a benefit of which is that the smaller KM packages are easier to download. [Read more…]