Unifying IT How Dell Is Using BMC

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1 Unifying IT Management: How Dell Is Using BMC Software to Implement ITIL

2 ABSTRACT Companies are looking for ways to maximize the efficiency with which they plan, deliver, and manage technology services. The Dell IT organization is bringing about these efficiencies by fully embracing Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 3. To implement ITIL v3, the Dell team evaluated solutions for taking a unified approach to enterprise infrastructure management and chose BMC Software as the vendor providing the best suite of tools to meet those needs. This paper provides specific examples of how Dell IT is using BMC tools in the IT department s three major operational areas: capacity management, systems management, and event management. Each of these areas supports multiple ITIL processes. Full implementation of ITIL v3 and related BMC tools at Dell is slated for completion over the next 6 to 12 months. The initiative not only benefits Dell, but also expands the value proposition that the IT organization can offer to Dell s enterprise customers. 2

3 Many IT organizations spend a large portion of their budgets just to keep their existing services up and running. To reduce these costs, companies are looking for ways to maximize the efficiency with which they plan, deliver, and manage services. Reducing IT management costs can enable organizations to reallocate resources from supporting existing services to delivering new ones that advance business goals. Over the years, IT organizations such as Dell IT have become good at dealing with challenges and developing tools to manage very large environments. However, different areas of the IT organization tend to develop tools and processes specific to their areas, especially in large enterprises. Inefficiencies can result because methods that are successful in one area cannot be applied organization-wide. Many organizations also have mixed environments for example, Microsoft Windows and Linux with separate management systems. Silos can develop as a result, limiting the value of the tools and processes to the organization as a whole. For this reason, Dell is constantly looking for new technologies that can help improve IT management. In addition, the Dell IT department is often asked to share its expertise with Dell customers, providing added incentive for the team to test new solutions and fine-tune best practices. Increasing IT management efficiency using ITIL To meet these challenges and deliver IT services costeffectively, IT organizations must bring IT processes together under centralized management and integrate the processes around central data sources. Dell IT is bringing about these efficiencies by taking its platforms and processes to the next level of development, fully embracing Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Version 3. Since the mid-1990s, ITIL has been widely considered the recognized international standard for IT service management. ITIL focuses on how IT services are contributing to the overall business or organization, giving a detailed description of important IT practices with comprehensive checklists, tasks, and procedures that can be tailored to any IT organization. The ITIL versions that have emerged over the years provide increasing levels of value for IT operations. Version 2 focused primarily on the ongoing operation and maintenance of installed services. Version 3 expands the scope of processes covered and stresses a unified approach to the management of services. This approach is of particular interest to Dell IT and many of Dell s enterprise customers. How Dell is implementing ITIL best practices Dell s philosophy of simplifying IT means standardizing the way Dell approaches IT service management. Dell IT knows firsthand that providing help-desk support for tens of thousands of employees within a global organization can be demanding. Incident and problem management processes must communicate with asset and change management processes to resolve issues quickly and thoroughly across geographic regions. Key IT tasks must be automated in order to support business growth. Another important challenge for Dell and many companies today is determining how to support a multi-platform environment. Many tools are available for Microsoft Windows operating system environments, but there is a limited choice of enterprise tools for the Linux operating system, which typically is the OS deployed for manufacturing applications and key financial systems designed for a mission-critical environment. Dell evaluated different solutions for implementing unified IT management. The IT team weighed the pros and cons of selecting an individual tool for each area versus choosing a suite of tools for the overall IT organization. Dell IT looked for a solution that was ITIL-optimized out of the box. After considering multiple options, Dell IT partnered with BMC Software as the provider of best-of-breed enterprise system management tools that meet Dell s management needs. Unifying IT services with a single management software suite ITIL best practices are integrated into the BMC Remedy IT Service Management (ITSM) software suite (see the sidebar for elements of the suite). Various groups within Dell IT had used Remedy-based applications for several years with excellent results. Dell IT selected the Remedy ITSM suite as a global help-desk solution to streamline processes and consolidate numerous stand-alone applications. Dell deployed the Remedy suite to address several areas, including service desk, change management, release management, asset management, configuration management, request fulfillment, and service-level management processes. The various applications share the BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB), which provides a single repository for key IT information, and all applications are powered by the BMC Remedy Action Request System, which delivers automated processes for notifications, escalations, and approvals. BMC Atrium Orchestrator integrates ITIL best practices for problem management, helping to detect events, automate routine tasks, and accelerate problem resolution. 3

4 The following sections of this document provide specific examples of how Dell IT is using BMC tools in the IT group s three major operational areas: capacity management, systems management, and event management. Each of these areas supports multiple ITIL processes. Capacity management at Dell using BMC BladeLogic and BMC Capacity Management Essentials To fully manage capacity, an IT department must be able to deploy and discover assets, manage those assets, and report management data back to a configuration management database. The processes involved in those tasks, including provisioning, configuring, and updating servers, can be time-consuming and susceptible to errors. In addition, IT managers need to ensure that infrastructure changes and new applications comply with government regulations. BMC BladeLogic Operations Manager enables the Dell IT department to simplify capacity management. With modules for configuration, compliance, and virtualization, BMC BladeLogic Operations Manager helps Dell to automate configuration processes and ensure regulatory compliance while minimizing manual processes. It enables Dell IT to inventory systems throughout the enterprise and determine if they have the proper security updates and software patches. The IT department can enforce changes down to individual computers to ensure they comply with Dell IT standards, all from a centralized location. Dell IT deployed BMC BladeLogic to manage Dell PowerEdge servers running Linux and to integrate the servers into the back-end Atrium CMDB. Dell has approximately 4,000 Linux servers running 1,200 Oracle databases, all managed with BladeLogic. Another element of BMC software, BMC Capacity Management Essentials, enables the Dell team to better plan for long-term user growth. The Essentials tool set provides a clear and accurate assessment of how service needs will change as Dell adds users. With this information, the IT department can create accurate budgets and avoid unnecessary spending. Systems management using BMC CONTROL-M Organizations are looking for efficiencies in managing and coordinating the wide range of tasks that take place on thousands of different systems each day. Many of these tasks must be timed precisely to coordinate with other operations. For example, Dell maintains a constant flow of batch processing jobs that move data among many different systems. These jobs involve back-end scripts, procedures, and triggers that must be executed at the right time and in the right order for applications to run properly. IT technicians could go to each server and create a schedule, but the team might never know if a job executed or what happened if it failed. A more efficient approach is to run the batch jobs on a centrally managed infrastructure. Dell IT is taking the centralized approach, using BMC CONTROL-M for Distributed Systems. BMC CONTROL-M provides advanced production-scheduling capabilities from a single point of control for enterprise batch management. It enables Dell IT to run all of the company s database jobs, for example, on a centrally managed infrastructure; instead of running on database servers, the jobs move to one location. CONTROL-M allows the team to schedule jobs using dependencies, set alerts, and automatically retain diagnostic information in case a job fails. IT personnel no longer need to spend time manually starting a job and then waiting for it to finish before starting the next one, now that CONTROL-M automates the batch scheduling process. With BMC CONTROL-M, the Dell IT team can also experiment with schedule changes to determine if there are ways to further optimize job processing. CONTROL-M enables the team to make the most of its resources and deliver the highest level of support for jobs. Event management using BMC Impact Manager and BMC Performance Assurance for Virtual Servers IT organizations must continually monitor user services and ensure they are meeting service-level agreements. Dell IT uses a variety of best-of-breed tools to manage different application software stacks for example, Microsoft, Oracle, and Citrix and each tool has alerting capabilities. With more than 25,000 servers, 115,000 desktops, and close to 80,000 employees to support, Dell IT needed a way to centralize and automate processes. To meet this need, Dell IT now feeds alerts from all applications into BMC Impact Manager. This software tool allows the team to present a consistent look and feel for creating trouble tickets and providing help-desk services. More important, it enables faster root cause analysis and problem diagnosis. It also allows IT to deduplicate alerts; if there are five alerts for the same problem, Impact Manager sends them as one trouble ticket, streamlining 4

5 service desk overhead and response. With BMC Impact Manager, Dell has reduced the number of trouble tickets by a factor of four, resulting in substantial savings of IT resources and money. The benefits of using Impact Manager extend beyond the event management arena. This solution generates valuable data used for capacity management and virtualization planning. Impact Manager monitors incoming alerts on memory, CPU, and I/O usage for a variety of hardware and operating systems and stores that information on the BMC Atrium CMDB. Dell IT can run reports using BMC Performance Assurance for Virtual Servers to accurately evaluate which physical servers should be migrated to virtual machines. IT administrators can employ BMC Performance Assurance to assess the resources that servers need in a virtualized environment. Often, the data reveals that fewer assets are required than originally estimated by the requesting party. Ultimate benefits include more space in the data center, less power consumption, and savings on capital expenses for new hardware purchases. Advantages over internally developed tools Dell IT found that using off-the-shelf tools has advantages over internally developing the tools. With internal solutions, if the person who wrote the tool leaves the company, no one is available to support and enhance the tool as the organization grows. External expertise can be difficult to find for highly customized software. With off-the-shelf solutions, there is no need to hire and retain an internal subject matter expert. An off-the-shelf product does not have the up-front development costs of an internal tool as those costs have already been borne by the software vendor. Total cost of ownership is lower because patching, maintenance, and support can be provided as needed by the vendor. The BMC tools are designed to complement one another without wasteful and costly overlap in functionality that occurs when assembling individual tools from multiple vendors. Impact of the ITIL v3 implementation: benefits for Dell and Dell customers By deploying the BMC Remedy IT Service Management software suite with integrated ITIL best practices, Dell IT has been able to streamline and centralize IT service management. To date, the IT team has consolidated more than 40 individual service support applications and seven work order and trouble-ticket applications, helping to create a one-stop global shop for IT services. Full implementation of ITIL v3 and related BMC tools at Dell is slated for completion over the next 6 to 12 months. The initiative benefits Dell plus, it expands the value proposition the IT organization provides to Dell s enterprise customers. In addition, the Dell-BMC relationship is helping both companies develop tools that meet the emerging use cases of large enterprises. Previously, Dell IT would assist enterprise customers by sharing best practices, including hardware and software choices and the team s deployment recommendations. Now, as Dell IT implements ITIL v3, Dell s partnership with BMC will deliver a comprehensive solution to Dell and its enterprise customers. This additional capability, which continues Dell s mission of simplifying IT infrastructure and management, helps eliminate complexity while allowing Dell to focus on delivering value for our customers IT investments. `} `} BMC Remedy IT Service Management (ITSM) software suite The BMC ITSM suite is designed to unify service desk, incident, problem, change, asset life cycle, and servicelevel management applications with a single workflow platform and user interface. Key elements include: BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database BMC Atrium Orchestrator BMC Remedy Action Request System Capacity management BMC Capacity Management Essentials BMC Performance Assurance for Virtual Servers Systems management BMC BladeLogic BMC CONTROL-M Event management BMC Impact Manager 5

6 For more information See the following detailed case studies, each focusing on Dell s use of BMC tools in specific areas of IT management: Reducing the Trouble with Trouble Tickets Dell deploys the BMC Remedy IT Service Management software suite to accelerate incident resolution and enhance global service collaboration. A Common Language for Global Service BMC software helps Dell IT improve capacity planning and reduce the creation of application trouble tickets by four times. Global Challenges of IT Automation BMC software helps Dell IT automate key processes, accelerating responsiveness and reducing administrative burdens by up to 75 percent. To download, go to DELL.COM/CaseStudies. If you are interested in upgrading your IT management processes, or if you have questions about BMC tools, contact your Dell sales team and ask for an IT management consultant. THIS WHITE PAPER IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND MAY CONTAIN TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS AND TECHNICAL INACCURACIES. THE CONTENT IS PROVIDED AS IS, WITHOUT EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND. *Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. TO LEARN MORE VISIT DELL.COM/Simplify Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. August Dell Inc. All rights reserved.

7 TO LEARN MORE VISIT DELL.COM/Simplify

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