20 or 30 of us walk into the next HP Discover 2012 break-out session titled “Understanding Service Health Management in iMC”. Les Stuart begins the presentation with the overview of SHM. Chris Young, Solutions Architect for HP walks to the front and asks a single question, “How healthy is your network?”.
Now, as you can imagine, most didn’t know how to answer it, and after waiting about 15 seconds of mumbling and crazed looks, people began giving different answers. That’s to be expected, since everyone determines that differently, depending on your responsibilities. The Server guys think the network is healthy by a simple up/down status on their servers. Voice guys base it on QoS and Jitter. Network guys, something different.
With a smile on Chris’ face, knowing those were the answers he what he was expecting, he then proceeded to show how flexible the SHM module of HP’s Intelligent Management Center can answer exactly that question, no matter who you are. Whether you care about SLA’s, thresholds, or simple metrics, SHM is the iMC standard for reporting on the metrics you care about rolled-up into a single view, number, or graph.
The reason behind SHM is simple: iMC is already gathering statistics on your network. Whether it is jitter, QoS boundries, up/down status, or bandwidth, iMC already has that data. Why not tap into it to give you better reporting? If iMC can get it, you can use it to build your “health”. And let me tell you…. iMC CAN get it, whether it is via SNMP, WBEM, sFlow, syslog, SSH/Telnet, or Python/Jython scripts.
It all boils down to KPI and KQI. These are standard Business Intelligence/Scorecard/Dashboard terms meaning Key Performance Indicator and Key Quality Indicator, respectively. You build your Key Performance Indicators from the desired metrics (for example bits in/out), and roll them into a Key Quality Indicator. You then use your KQI’s to build an SLA/Health Management Report.
“But I can get that with MRTG”, you say. Well, yes you can. But it does not have to end there. You can roll up a number of KPI’s (say, bits in/out, up/down, and TCP errors) into a KQI. You can also roll up server latency and response times in a different KQI. Then, using both KQI’s build an SLA Health Report. The power of SHM is not just simple reporting, but rather, using the current data-collection facilities that iMC already has, and build a dashboard from it. See image below (click for larger):
When I first started writing about SHM, the features and details were far beyond what I single post can offer, so this will be broken up into multiple-posts. Stay tuned!