Both applications and infrastructure are getting more complex. It is unlikely that individuals can solve these complex issues on their own. Tooling must acknowledge this and support team collaboration in Operations Management.
Also see our latest series on Netcool Operations Insight 1.6. It details our step-by-step approach for incident resolution. One of these steps is Collaboration.
Collaboration in Operations Management.
How Netcool Operations Insight (NOI) 1.6 can help collaboration in Operations Management
NOI includes capabilities that make it easier for teams to collaborate:
How NOI 1.6 capabilities help you improve collaboration in Operations Management
With these new capabilities in NOI 1.6 you can:
- Find the right people to alert.
- Close the loop between SMEs and Operators. e.g. by giving feedback on operational instructions (Runbooks).
- Collaborate through ChatOps.
- Track easily what happened to an incident and/or individual event.
I want to show you how these 4 scenarios look like from an end-user perspective. In later posts we will show you what you need to do to set this up.
Finding the right people to alert
Let’s say I am part of a group called “Online Sales Team”, and we are managing the “Online Sales” application. We want to be alerted:
- Whenever an event arrives that contains “Online Sales” in the summary AND
- An incident gets created that has a priority higher than priority 3.
This is the filter in the incident policy:
and we got assigned here:
As I am part of “Online Sales Team”, have been active on a shift, and my notification preferences are email, I got an email like this on incident arrival:
Closing the loop between SMEs and Operators
Our Cloud Native stack comes with a built-in Runbook Automation solution. SMEs and Operators can collaborate together as follows:
You can use Runbooks as follows:
- In the context of an incident in our Cloud native stack
- As part of the WebGUI experience. You can link a NOI event to a Runbook by using the triggering capabilities.
A later article in this blog series will provide more details on the Runbook integration.
Collaborating through ChatOps
ChatOps is becoming increasingly popular at various enterprises. It usually refers to a collaboration model centred around a chat platform. The platform acts as a central control point, integrating development and operation tools (like Jenkins, Netcool Operations Insight, Jira etc) as well as processes. Communication thus occurs between all participating people and tools.
Quoting my colleague Robert Barron:
“By connecting ChatOps (a communication strategy) and Netcool, you can enhance your operational responsiveness by adding automations and breaking down the silos between your operators and technical SMEs, developers, managers or others involved in solving incidents and managing war-rooms; strengthening their collaboration.”
If you like to learn more about ChatOps, look at this neat online course that is free of charge!
I am now going to introduce two complementary approaches for integrating ChatOps into your NOI experience:
1) Via our cloud native stack, Cloud Event Management
We have a built-in integration that can send notifications to a Slack channel. This is very much like the notifications in “Finding the right people to alert”.
I have setup a simple outbound integration for Slack (more here), and combined it with an incident policy.
I then get updates on incidents posted to my channel of choice:
2) Via a custom integration from Netcool Operations Insight to Slack.
Our fantastic teams from the IBM Garage can work with you on this. They bring some great assets for reuse in your specific environment. You can find all about their approach here.
Tracking what happened to an incident and/or individual event
In our cloud native stack, we keep track of what is happening to an incident at all times. It provides a very consumable timeline:
In addition to the snippet above, you will also see who got notified and when.
Setting things up
In order to leverage some of the above scenarios from your NOI environment, you will need to forward events from NOI to CEM. This is done via a CEM Inbound Integration.
- In your CEM install, navigate to “Administration” > “Integrations” > “Configure an integration”.
- Select “Netcool/OMNIbus”.
- Fill in the parameters as guided by the UI.
- It will allow for downloading of a gateway configuration file.
- You then have to setup a ObjectServer Gateway, and apply the configuration that is in the downloaded zip file.
For further details, go here.
Find out more
In this blog post I shared some ideas for better collaboration with NOI 1.6 in the area of Operations Management. I showed you how to find the right people and close the loop between SMEs and Operators. Also, I discussed how Chatops can link people and tools to improve collaboration.
I hope you found these ideas useful. Do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions.
- Discover how to modernize IT operations management (ITOM) with artificial intelligence operations (AIOps) and hybrid deployment options at the IBM ITOM site.
- For details and pricing information about IBM Netcool Operations Insight (NOI), visit the IBM NOI site
- NOI 1.6 released on June 31 2019. Read more about the new features of NOI 1.6
- Explore NOI 1.6 further in this series of blogs from the technical team who created this release.