What is HP OpenView ? 

HP OpenView
HP OpenView is the former name for the HP product family of network and systems management monitoring tools.
It was then re-branded under the HP software solutions portfolio as HP Operations Manager software.
 
HP OpenView software allows you to manage your IT infrastructure components in an ordered, standardised manner, defining rules, actions and alerting characteristics on faults or potential issues in your IT environment.  It is primarily used for monitoring servers, devices, networks, databases & applications to ensure faults are detected and alerted upon in a timely manner.  Proactive monitoring is also possible to ensure alerts are received before a fault occurs, thereby providing time to fix a potential problem before it escalates and affects the business.
 
Here's a example screenshot of one of my top-level HP OpenView Operations Manager configurations:
HP OpenView Screenshot Example
 How Does HP OpenView Work ?
HP OpenView Agents
HP OpenView Agents
 
For a server to be monitored using HP OpenView, agent software is installed that sends alerts to the central HP OpenView management server(s).
A number of rules defining what is to be monitored can be defined and applied to the server.  This is typically in the form of bundles covering areas such as:
  • Core OS baseline monitoring
  • Database monitoring
  • Application component monitoring (e.g. middleware)
  • Application specific monitoring
The types of thing HP OpenView can monitor include:
  • Availability (ping responses etc.)
  • Logfile monitoring for specific strings
  • Process monitoring
  • Filesystem monitoring
  • SNMP trapsRunning a script and parsing the output (strings or values)
For more complex monitoring requirements such as databases pre-defined monitoring bundles exist, called Smart Plug-In (SPI) modules.
These SPIs monitor various components without the need for writing complex scripts and monitoring functions.  These are discussed in the next section.
For more information on how HP OpenView provides monitoring functionality please contact me.
HP OpenView SPI Modules
HP OpenView SPI Modules
 
There are a number of Smart Plug Ins (SPIs) for HP OpenView that provide bespoke sets of monitors for core infrastructure areas.  A SPI will usually contain some or all of the following:
bespoke templates or policies configured to manage the specific technology
bespoke binaries to manage the technology
bespoke application icons to help manage, maintain and support the monitoring
 
Example SPI modules include:
  • Oracle / Sybase / DB2 / SQL
  • AD / Exchange / Citrix / VMware
  • WebSphere / PeopleSoft / WebLogic
Some SPI modules are available from HP, whilst some are available from 3rd part suppliers (eg VMware, Citrix).  For more information please contact me.
HP OpenView Integrations
HP OpenView Integrations
 
HP OpenView can integrate with many other monitoring tools to provide the desired “single pane of glass” view for bridge operations teams.
We classify integration in this context as the situation where there is a standard tool for monitoring a particular area, and there is a requirement to incorporate some of these alerts in the primary monitoring tool, in this case HP OpenView.

Examples of integrations are:

  • SCOM
  • SolarWinds
  • Autosys
  • Control-M
  • TWS (Tivoli Workload Scheduler – formerly Maestro)
  • Netbackup
  • EMC Control Centre
  • HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM)
For more information on these integrations, or any others you might want to consider, please contact me.
HP OpenView & Trouble-Ticket Systems
HP OpenView & Trouble-Ticket Systems
 
HP OpenView can integrate with trouble-ticket systems to allow incidents to be raised against specific support teams within your organisation.
Creating incident tickets in this manner provides an auditable record of important incidents, which can then be tracked by problem management and facilitate the change management process where a fix is required. 
 
The creation of a trouble-ticket also ensures that visibility of the incident is maximised.  For example, a ticket of an incident on a critical web server could then be made aware to multiple teams, for example unix, web infrastruture, e-commerce, and any business teams that ultimately rely on that service.  Typically, the team responsible for watching an HP OpenView screen (and notifying teams of current alerts) will then have the ability to “right-click” on an alert to raise a ticket into the incident management system.  The original HP OpenView alert can then be annotated with the ticket ID accordingly, for tracking/logging purposes.
 
It is also possible to “auto-ticket” in the same manner.  This removes the need for manual “right-click” ticketing, and is very useful for automatically raising trouble-tickets for alerts that do not require callout to respective teams.  If all they require is a trouble-ticket then auto-ticketing can be configured for these alert types, and then there is no need for the bridge/operations/NOC team to even see the corresponding alerts, thereby reducing the number of alerts they see and have to action, increasing their productivity and performance in dealing with more critical alerts.
 
Example systems where HP OpenView can integrate into the trouble-ticketing process include HP ServiceCentre, BMC Remedy and Service-Now.  For more information on linking HP OpenView Operations Manager to trouble-ticket systems please contact me.
HP OpenView & Notification Systems
HP OpenView & Notification Systems
 
HP OpenView can integrate with notification systems to provide enhanced alerting capabilities.  This could be in the form of SMS alerts to support staff for example.
The benefits of sending the alert information direct to a mobile phone (via SMS message for example) are numerous:
  • Less reliance on a manual telephone call
  • Alert messages are delivered directly to those that require notification (reduces calls to incorrect people)
  • Technical content does not have to be read over the phone (prone to error)
  • Faster alert notification
  • Reduces callout duration as support person is already aware of the fault in question
  • Alert responses are possible (e.g. acknowledge receipt, close, escalate, perform an action)
Example notification systems where HP OpenView can integrate to perform (for example) SMS alerting to mobile telephones include TelAlert, AlarmPoint and Criticall.
 
These tool should not only be used for linking to HP OpenView of course, they should be embraced as the standard notification tool within the business and can be used for major incident management, problem management, change management and various Business Continuity Planning (BCP) functions such as emergency notifications and call-tree testing.
For more information on linking HP OpenView Operations Manager to notification systems please contact me.

 HP OpenView - My Verdict 
HP OpenView Verdict
I like the name OpenView – it stood for something, was recognisable and you knew what it was...
I use the term constantly on this website when I talk about any form of Enterprise Monitoring...
Whilst I do mention HP OpenView frequently, the same principles and ideas can be applied to any IT infrastructure monitoring tools...
I know how it can or can’t be done using HP OpenView software, and this is a good baseline from which to speak with some degree of authority and integrity.
 
Please contact me for more information.


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