Managing HP Integrity Servers with HP Server Automation and HP Virtual Server Environment

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1 Managing HP Integrity Servers with HP Server Automation and HP Virtual Server Environment Managing HP Integrity Servers with HP Server Automation and HP Virtual Server Environment... 1 Introduction... 2 What are SA and VSE?... 2 HP Server Automation... 2 Automatic Discovery and Inventory... 3 Provisioning... 3 Auditing and Remediation... 3 VSE and Server Resource Optimization... 3 Intelligent Control... 4 Partitioning... 4 Availability... 4 Utility Pricing... 5 HP VSE Suite...5 HP Systems Insight Manager... 5 Using SA and VSE Together to Manage HP-UX 11i Servers... 5 Managing with SA and VSE Examples... 6 Example 1: Day-to-Day Operations... 6 Event and Health Monitoring... 7 VSE Virtualization Manager View... 7 Automated Workload Management... 8 Compliance Dashboard... 9 Example 2: Platform Setup Capacity Planning Configuring HP Virtual Partitions and HP Integrity Virtual Machines Application Installation Conclusion For More Information

2 Introduction HP offers the most complete solution for managing IT infrastructures at all levels, whether managing end-to-end business services across clients, networks, servers, and storage, or continuously optimizing the utilization of HP hardware resources. This paper highlights two HP offerings that work in partnership to manage and optimize your infrastructure: HP Server Automation (SA) and HP Virtual Server Environment (VSE). Together, they form a solution designed to complement each other and help achieve desired business outcomes. The first half of this paper describes the features of HP SA and HP VSE. HP SA is a foundation for automating manual tasks associated with deployment and compliance of server and application infrastructures for large scale enterprise environments. When these environments include HP Integrity and HP 9000 servers, HP VSE can optimize the utilization of these servers and their workloads through virtualization. In other words, SA ensures stable system and application configurations and HP VSE lets you run more workloads on the same hardware. Both solutions are needed to meet the needs of today s rapidly changing business environment. The second half of this paper shows specific examples of how these two products can be used together to increase efficiency in IT operations. What are SA and VSE? HP Server Automation The primary role of HP Server Automation (SA) (formerly Opsware Server Automation System) is to automate the tasks of provisioning and maintaining large pools of heterogeneous servers and applications. It enables safe and consistent modifications by allowing you to model and validate changes before committing them to a server. Knowledge gained through long hours of trial and error can be encapsulated into policies that are launched with a single command. The SA compliance dashboard and reports show which systems do not match the policies established for them, and allow them to be quickly brought into compliance via remediation. Remediation is the process of changing the system and application configurations to match the policies defined for that system. SA supports a distributed architecture that enables global scalability. An agent installed on each managed system communicates back to the SA cores (Central Management Servers) for all 2

3 management operations. SA 6.5 can manage servers running Windows, Linux, VMware, and various UNIX operating systems, including HP-UX 11i. HP VSE for Integrity servers supports HP-UX 11i, Windows, and Linux. This paper focuses on the management of servers running HP-UX 11i. The main features of SA 6.5 managing an HP-UX 11i environment are automatic discovery and inventory, provisioning, and auditing and remediation. Automatic Discovery and Inventory Given an IP address range, SA can automatically discover HP Integrity and HP 9000 servers and identify their HP-UX 11i operating systems. After the administrator deploys the SA agent to the system to be managed, SA performs a hardware and software inventory. Inventory information is refreshed by the agent to the SA core on a daily basis. Inventory information can be explored via search and reporting. Provisioning Without automation, application and patch installation can consume countless hours of administrative activity. The SA provisioning capability supports operating system and application provisioning. SA can provision Windows and Linux, and integrates with HP Ignite-UX to provision HP-UX 11i. SA also enables the creation of software policies to encapsulate all of the information necessary to install and configure an application. By associating one or more software policies with a server, and then by launching remediation, the applications are quickly deployed in a consistent manner. The complexity of patch (or update) management can exceed that of the basic operating system and application installation. By their nature, patches are applied more frequently and can require additional data and sophistication to handle dependencies. Software policies can be written for HP- UX 11i patches in the same way as applications, making it easy to deploy patches consistently. Auditing and Remediation SA leverages user-defined best practices and provides out-of-the-box policies to proactively manage configuration settings and to correct or prevent drift. The entire IT server infrastructure can be audited in order to validate compliance against audit policies and immediately remediate any areas that are out of compliance. Policies can be written to cover software installation, application configuration and system configuration. In addition, out-of-the-box reports show whether systems comply with regulatory standards. Customers can use the HP Live Network Subscription Service to acquire the most current security and regulatory compliance policies, which can then be applied to systems as appropriate. The compliance policies from HP Live Network are drawn from standards such as CIS, SOX, PCI, HIPAA, and FISMA. New security vulnerability policies are generated daily from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). Because they are already configured as SA policies, it is easy to add them to systems for quick auditing and remediation. VSE and Server Resource Optimization HP VSE provides an automated infrastructure that can adapt in seconds with mission-critical reliability. HP VSE optimizes server utilization in real time by creating virtual servers that can automatically grow and shrink based on business priorities and service-level objectives. Through tight integration with partitioning, high availability and utility pricing, HP VSE maintains service levels in the event of downtime and allows customers to pay for spare capacity on an as-needed basis. The capabilities of VSE can be grouped into four major categories: intelligent control, partitioning, availability, and utility pricing. All of these categories are focused on optimizing the usage of the server hardware resources. 3

4 Intelligent Control The intelligent-control capabilities of VSE allow IT to maximize the effectiveness of the servers in the virtualized infrastructure. These capabilities include: Analyzing, planning, and optimizing server utilization by using historical data and predictive modeling with Capacity Advisor Visualizing the relationships of physical servers, hard partitions, virtual partitions, virtual machines, and workloads with HP Virtualization Manager Automating the allocation of physical resources to workloads based on policies with HP Global Workload Manager Partitioning VSE partitioning allows IT to subdivide physical servers into smaller partitions for managing workloads separately from a resource perspective. This subdivision of a server provides two major benefits: Reduced hardware cost resulting from stacking multiple workloads on a single server Better overall throughput by using shared resource pools to balance usage peaks and valleys. Partitioning can be further differentiated by hardware and software partitioning techniques 1, including: npartitions (npars) Virtual Partitions (vpars) HP Integrity Virtual Machines Secure Resource Partitions (SRP) Availability VSE improves availability by configuring the automated failover of workloads from one server to another. The integration of high availability capabilities with virtualization techniques allows the 1 For more information: 4

5 additional resources needed for failover of workloads to be managed and optimized at the same time as the resources needed for steady state operation. Availability is provided in VSE through HP Serviceguard clustering and HP Disaster Tolerance solutions. Utility Pricing HP Utility Pricing solutions for HP Integrity and HP 9000 servers allow customers flexibility in how they pay for and share computing resources. Using utility pricing, customers pay for the resources they use in a pool of servers rather than pay for the fully installed capacity of those servers. HP Utility Pricing products are Instant Capacity (icap), Temporary Instant Capacity (TiCAP), Global Instant Capacity (GiCPA), and Pay per use (PPU). HP VSE can help automate the use of these products so that customers pay for only what they use. HP VSE Suite The VSE Suite embodies the intelligent control and soft partitioning aspects of VSE. It contains Virtualization Manager, Capacity Advisor, Global Workload Manager (gwlm) or HP Workload Manager, and Virtual Partitions (vpars) or HP Integrity Virtual Machines. The latest version of the VSE Suite is for HP Integrity and HP 9000 servers running HP-UX 11i, Linux, and Windows managed nodes. The HP VSE management components of the VSE suite are integrated into HP Systems Insight Manager (HP SIM), HP s foundation for Unified Infrastructure Management. HP Systems Insight Manager HP SIM is a management platform based on a central management server managing the hardware and virtual infrastructure aspects of servers and storage devices. Its automatic discovery and inventory features provide the information that the VSE products need to display and control the virtual server environment. The health monitoring and event management features of HP SIM complement the planning and workload management features of VSE, resulting in a well-rounded view of the IT infrastructure from one browser window. Using SA and VSE Together to Manage HP-UX 11i Servers By managing HP-UX 11i servers simultaneously with SA and VSE you achieve the highest return on investment. They address different aspects of the management hierarchy. SA ensures consistent server and application configurations, while VSE optimizes data center efficiency by enabling servers to flex as the business needs change. Table 1 summarizes the major features of SA and VSE for solving common tasks in the lifecycle of an HP Integrity or HP 9000 server and its applications. 5

6 Table 1: Key Features of SA and VSE for HP-UX 11i Management SA VSE Platform Setup Platform Maintenance Inventory, Auditing and Compliance Computing Resource Optimization Configuring Virtual Partitions HA Clustering Configuration OS Installation 2 Application Installation Event and Health Monitoring Patch and Update Remote Script Launch Inventory (HW and SW) 3 Auditing Compliance Capacity Planning Utility Pricing Automated Workload Management Managing with SA and VSE Examples The following examples illustrate how SA and VSE work together to improve infrastructure operations. In the first example, a typical problem in day-to-day operations is described, and then is solved with the event monitoring, compliance reporting and automated workload management features of SA and VSE. The second example shows how VSE and SA work together to get a new system set up and ready for production. In both examples, the SA core and VSE Central Management Server (CMS) have already been installed and configured, and the systems to be managed have been discovered and provisioned with the appropriate SA and VSE agents. Example 1: Day-to-Day Operations SA and VSE can be used together to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of a data center on an ongoing basis. In this example, a system administrator uses SA and VSE together to troubleshoot and remedy a performance problem on an Oracle database server. Synopsis: In this company, the database servers reside on physical partitions (npartitions) whose resource allocations (number of CPUs) are being managed by gwlm, VSE s automated workload management tool. One day, the system administrator receives a series of notifications from HP SIM showing that CPU run queue lengths on one system (va00np00) are exceeding the normal threshold. The gwlm historical graph shows that the CPU allocation policy is operating as defined but that the workload is requiring more CPU than expected. Suspecting that something might have changed on the system, the system administrator consults the SA Compliance Dashboard and notices that this server is out of compliance with one of the application configuration policies. The administrator quickly brings the server back into compliance via remediation. After correcting the configuration issue, the administrator confirms that the system's performance has returned to the expected range. 2 SA installation of HP-UX 11i leverages Ignite-UX 3 Both VSE and SA provide similar inventory functionality. Unique capabilities of VSE include additional hardware detail. SA allows you to see file system structure. 6

7 Event and Health Monitoring The system administrator is using HP SIM, the foundation of VSE, for monitoring health status and events. HP SIM polls each managed server periodically to retrieve a consolidated health status value that reflects the status of the server s hardware components. This health status value can be displayed in several places in the HP SIM user interface, and is used to access more detailed information about the health of the system. SNMP and WBEM events can be directed to the HP SIM central management server, where actions such as notifications, script execution and event assignment can be automated, and event details can be viewed. In this case, the system administrator receives several notifications from HP SIM indicating that the CPU run queue lengths on one of the systems are surpassing a set threshold. This condition signifies that system performance may be suffering. The system administrator displays the HP SIM user interface to gather more information about this problem. Figure 1 shows an HP SIM table view of a collection of 11i servers. The HS (Health Status) column represents health status for an individual device, and the ES (Event Status) column represents the most critical, uncleared event that has been received for that device. The Events tab gives quick access to an event viewer and displays a filtered view of the events for this collection of systems, including event details that the system administrator has already received in . The left navigation panel can also be customized to show the HS and ES status icons. Figure 1: HP Systems Insight Manager VSE Virtualization Manager View While looking at the HP SIM system table view, the system administrator is reminded that this system is an npartition in a Superdome complex. Knowing that VSE Virtualization Manager view within HP SIM (Figure 2) provides additional information, the administrator looks to see whether this server is being managed by the VSE automated workload management capability. The VSE Virtualization Manager view shows servers and their relationships to each other at a glance. Icons within the box for each server represent the server s health, as well as its performance measures (CPU, Memory, 7

8 Network IO and Disk IO), all of which are updated in real time. Clicking the CPU bar shows a graph of historical CPU data. Figure 2: VSE Virtualization Manager View Automated Workload Management After determining that the server is experiencing performance problems by reviewing the information in HP SIM and the VSE Virtualization Manager view, the administrator decides to confirm that the npartition is receiving the CPU shares allocated to it. The gwlm component provides the means to specify and automate CPU allocation to workloads. The workloads can be virtual partitions, virtual machines or applications running on an operating system instance. The administrator can set gwlm policies that control the automated allocation based on priority, in combination with minimum, maximum and guaranteed share of CPU settings for workloads. Controlling resource allocation based on policies has many benefits: workload behavior and performance become more predictable, workloads can more safely be grouped on common servers, and underutilized CPUs can be shifted to busy workloads that can use them. Figure 3 shows the graphical user interface of gwlm, which is integrated into both Virtualization Manager and HP SIM. From this common interface, the administrator can configure the gwlm resource allocation properties of all the servers and workloads in the VSE environment. To avoid irrelevant alerts, do not use SA audit policies that monitor the number of CPUs configured for a partitioned server when configuring gwlm automatic resource allocation policies for servers. 8

9 Figure 3: Global Workload Manager (gwlm) The gwlm view shows that this system has been receiving the appropriate number of CPU shares, according to the policy set for it, but the workload is higher than originally expected, resulting in increased CPU queue lengths. The administrator looks at the SA Compliance Dashboard to make sure the system is still configured as it should be, and the excessive CPU usage is not due to changes in application or system configuration settings. Compliance Dashboard SA s powerful automation engine supports the creation of policies to define the software installation and configuration standards for a data center, view which systems are out of compliance, and use remediation to restore the correct configuration. The Compliance Dashboard, illustrated in Figure 4, shows at a glance if the servers are in compliance with the policies that have been configured. Icons represent the following categories of policies: Application configuration: These policies manage configuration files associated with applications. Patching: Policies can be created from patch databases downloaded from an operating system vendor such as Microsoft. Audit: These policies let you specify the ideal state of a server in areas such as file system permissions, hardware configurations or registry values. Audits can be run on an ad-hoc basis if desired. If they are scheduled, their results are shown in the dashboard. For audit policies, while you can see the results of hardware inventory comparisons, only value-based results can be remediated. Software: These policies automate the installation of applications, which may include applying patch and application configuration policies in addition to deploying the software packages. In addition to the policy compliance icons, the dashboard also shows a change in the icon to the right of the server name to indicate if the SA core is unable to communicate with its agent on that server. The SA Compliance Dashboard shows that this system is not compliant with one of its application configuration policies. Someone has changed several important configuration settings. The system administrator clicks Remediate... to change the settings back to those established in the Software Policy for the application. 9

10 After allowing the server to stabilize, the administrator returns to the VSE tools and confirms that the system is once again operating within normal parameters. Figure 4: SA Compliance Dashboard Example 2: Platform Setup In this example, the system administrator must set up new systems to support an application that is moving into production. Because CPUs can be allocated more flexibly by using virtualized servers through partitioning, the administrator uses the Capacity Advisor product to do capacity planning, and then to create the required virtual servers or partitions. After using Ignite-UX to install the HP-UX 11i operating system on these servers, the administrator creates a software policy in SA to uniformly deploy the application to them. This software policy can then be used to monitor the systems over time to make sure that they stay in compliance (that is, no configuration drift). At the same time, the gwlm resource allocation policy can maximize system performance by assigning CPUs according to changing needs. Capacity Planning The first step in platform setup is to decide how many and what kind of servers are needed to support the new application. Capacity Advisor provides powerful tools to review, project and model resource consumption of servers and applications. Capacity Advisor helps IT planners to understand the resource needs of workloads and make intelligent decisions about platform upgrades, server consolidation, workload migration and rollout of new applications. In this example, the system administrator inputs to Capacity Advisor either actual CPU measurements from the test servers or estimates of CPU utilization to develop profiles of application workloads. The key components of Capacity Advisor are: An infrastructure to record utilization information of servers and workloads in data collections called Capacity Advisor profiles 10

11 Tools to view and report statistics on profiles The ability to forecast profile characteristics into the future based on past data and usersupplied growth characteristic parameters A scenario model with editor for what if case studies including moving workloads to new virtual or physical servers and combining workloads onto fewer physical servers Figure 5 illustrates the Capacity Advisor Profile Viewer. Figure 5: Capacity Advisor Profile Viewer Configuring HP Virtual Partitions and HP Integrity Virtual Machines The virtual partitioning and virtual machine technologies of VSE allow resources to be allocated optimally to application and workload requirements. The ability to subdivide a server into smaller virtual partitions or virtual machines improves the ability to run multiple workloads on common resources and to dynamically share those resources to improve overall utilization. Once a resource configuration is chosen, VSE provides the tools to perform all the required administrative tasks to configure virtual partitions or virtual machines. In some cases partitioning might require direct access to server hardware configuration which can be accomplished via a network using the management processors in HP servers. In other cases the configuration can be done by connecting to operating system instances already running on the server hardware either through a terminal interface and command line tools or using HP System Management Homepage (HP SMH). For Integrity VM, a graphical configuration tool, HP Integrity Virtual Machine Manager, can be used. When setting up new servers it is also common to configure clustering for high availability. With VSE, this step is done using the HP Serviceguard Manager tool. 11

12 Note that all of these management tools are fully integrated into HP Virtualization Manager and HP SIM to provide seamless and in-context management of HP VSE. Once virtual partitions or virtual machines are configured and (optionally) clustered, the operating systems can be installed directly from media or using the respective network installation tools. For HP Integrity or HP 9000 servers, these installation tools include Ignite-UX for HP-UX 11i, Rapid Deployment Pack for Windows and Linux on Integrity, Integrity RHES Anaconda, Integrity SLES YaST, and Integrity Windows Server ADS. Application Installation The system administrator is almost finished with platform setup. All that remains is to install the application. SA provisioning automates the time-consuming process of installing software on managed servers. A software policy encapsulates all of the steps necessary to install, configure, and start running an application. The policy might include other policies, such as those for patch and application configuration, in addition to the information necessary to install an application package. Wizards in SA make it easy to create software policies for each application in an IT environment. To apply software policies, the newly created servers must be discovered by SA and must have the SA agent installed. Once they appear as SA managed systems, one or more software policies can be attached to them, as shown in Figure 6. Policies can be assigned directly to individual servers or to groups of servers. Remediation is the step during which SA compares what is specified in the software policy with what is installed on the associated system, and brings the system into compliance with the policy by installing software or setting configuration values as necessary. Bringing the system into compliance can be done either when the policy is first attached or scheduled for a later time. To remove software, detach the policy from the servers and remediate again. If rules are configured to automatically assign servers to customers and facilities by IP address, then the policies associated with those customers or facilities are automatically attached to the new servers. Installing the applications is as easy as viewing the systems in the Compliance Dashboard and then clicking Remediate.... Figure 6: SA Install Software Screen 12

13 Conclusion HP leads the industry in providing solutions for managing IT infrastructure at all levels, from applications and services to infrastructure components such as clients, networks, servers, and storage. HP SA and HP VSE are complementary tools for managing your HP Integrity and HP 9000 server infrastructure. SA enables you to easily manage the configuration of large numbers of servers via its policy based configuration and auditing capabilities. VSE empowers you to optimize your hardware investment by using partitions, high-availability clusters, and utility pricing in a flexible way to meet your changing needs. Today, VSE and SA complement each other to make data center management more efficient. In the future, HP plans to improve the integration of these two offerings to make them even better together. For More Information More information including white papers and downloads can be found as follows: HP Virtual Server Environment: HP Systems Insight Manager: HP Server Automation: Copyright 2007 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. Intel and Itanium are registered trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group. T , November,

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