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Back to the Future: IT’s “Time Machine” revisited


Ops A.jpg


I’m very aware that I have made some bold predictions in these posts over the years. This is not because I have a crystal ball. Almost always, these result from witnessing strongly positive customer reactions to a market dynamic or to a disruptive technology HP has just announced or invested in.


Occasionally though I like to look back and hold myself to account to see if the reality matches my predictions.


This time I wanted to return to a topic that I first blogged about while waiting on a runway for my delayed flight to take off. The experience caused me to draw a comparison between HP Operations Analytics, a big data solution for managing IT operations “flight logs” and its airline equivalent, the flight data recorder. So, 18 months later, what happened to IT’s “Black Box” or “Time Machine” as I also referred to it and was my enthusiasm justified?


The truth is, both Operations Analytics and my team have been learning fast. In the case of my team, we’ve been learning where best to apply Operations Analytics’ true breakthrough capabilities to solve specific high value customer use cases. In the case of Operations Analytics solution, it’s been learning from seeing more-and-more real production data and as a result tuning its analytics engine.


And the results speak for themselves!


For example, a major European telecoms provider needed to deliver new services faster and to a higher quality to maintain its leadership position. With Operations Analytics and our BSM portfolio the customer was able to improve the major incident root cause identification rate from 40 percent to being consistently over 95 percent, while reducing the volume of annual major incidents by 75 percent in 18 months.


We’ve also been “drinking our own champagne”, using Operations Analytics extensively in house. Just like many of our customers HP’s own IT team is under pressure to deliver resolution to the inevitable issues of today’s complex IT. With 300,000 global HP employees to serve, a major application outage, however rare, would usually trigger a war room of technical experts from application, network, infrastructure, middleware and database and the lengthy process to “triage” the root cause. With Operations Analytics, we’re able to dramatically accelerate this process and pinpoint the most likely initial conditions leading to the outage, so that the right experts can be more efficiently deployed to diagnose the most likely root causes.


Correlating infrastructure logs from earlier incidents and assigning context means non-specialist IT professionals can correctly prioritise remediation procedures. They can tell for instance if a web layer, a disk failure or a software patch was most likely the cause behind the issues turning operations screens red. Armed with this contextual information, IT professionals with exactly the right specialist skills can collaborate and take action. This can mean huge savings and more efficient utilization of some of your most expensive and highly skilled engineers. You might be interested to hear our CIO, Paul Chapman talking in more detail about some of these internal use cases in this video.


We’ve also bundled Operations Analytics into the new Operations Bridge Ultimate Edition to create our most powerful solution ever for IT operations centres.


Operations Bridge is now able to launch Operations Analytics “in context” and has been shown to provide customers with significantly reduced triage and MTTR by orders of magnitude. These dramatic improvements result from pinpointing the cause of unknown issues, isolating root causes and using predictive algorithms to anticipate and avoid potential future disruptions based on historical patterns of failure. And it doesn’t stop at accelerated problem identification, we also need automated fix. With the full version of Operations Orchestration now also bundled into the Operations Bridge Ultimate solution it provides automated remediation capabilities through access to over 5000 pre-defined run books.

HP IT has been using this solution since March 2015 and was able to reduce its root cause analysis times by as much as 72 times, with a common use case reduced from 36 hours to only 30 minutes.


We’ve also realized that Operations Analytics value is pervasive and not limited to “enterprise” use cases. As a result we’ve introduced a new offering and integrated it into the OneView platform.


As a final thought, I believe we’ve barely scratched the surface of the potential use cases for Big Data and advance analytics across IT. Think about predictive capacity planning applied to networks or storage, think about leveraging analytics to optimize the application delivery lifecycle or to help optimize the configuration of virtualized server farms – but enough bold claims for one blog!



Watch this space.

About the Author


Rafael Brugnini (Rafa) joined HP in 1996 and has more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in the IT industry. He lives in Madrid with family, and in his spare time he enjoys windsurfing.

Michael Zuber

Rafa, It is great to see leaders self reflect and look back while also shining a light on the future. Great Post

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