Wednesday, 31 May 2017

It's all about the CMIS - Challenges (7 of 9)

As with everything there are going to be some challenges but get it right and there will be benefits too. I've outlined these below:

Capturing from multiple data sources and across the enterprise
You’ll need to interact with the different departments and sources to explain or convince them why you need the data.

·        Siloed databases

·        3rd party sources

Capturing data at the correct level and interpreting
Are you able to capture the data at the correct level and ensure that it includes all the necessary components that you need to report on i.e. vCenter data that encompasses all parts of the VMware infrastructure?

Successfully synchronising the data

Data will need to be synchronised, to establish consistency among data from its source to the CMIS. You need to piece together component, service and business data for the same granularity and date and time to provide a fuller more accurate picture of service usage.

·        Date/time, intervals
Relating Business, Service and component elements

Successfully piecing together component, service and business data for the individual elements that make up the service including incorporating the relationships between them using information from CMDBs, provided of course that the information within the CMDB is up-to-date.


Overcoming the challenges of implementing a CMIS and populating with data will provide many noticeable benefits to the business outweighing these challenges.

Improved accuracy – being able to sift through the data and analyse for patterns of activity and seasonality will improve the accuracy of the reports produced and delivered to key stakeholders.

Meaningful thresholds – analysis of a typical period allows you to establish ‘normal’ behaviour for a system and set meaningful thresholds accordingly.

Enable the capacity portal –the CMIS underpins the whole capacity management process which includes the capacity portal and undertaking the valuable capacity management techniques.  Having the data available in logical single location provides centralised reporting into the portal which is accessible to authorised users across the web. 
Underpin valuable capacity management techniques

·        Modelling

·        Tuning

·        Demand Management
On Friday I'll be looking at how you can provide some chargeback but don't forget to take a look at our Resources, for some great white papers and on-demand webinars.

Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Monday, 29 May 2017

No one should forget the mainframe

Once seen as the lumbering beast in the background, now acknowledged by those in the know as the fastest, most secure, tools rich large server there is. Metron’s Acquire for zOS data capture facility is a non-intrusive, zero impact performance data capture tool, gathering relevant performance and capacity metrics from SMF/RMF records.

It’s also child’s play to implement for anyone with a zOS background.

Our athene® ES/1 offers a range of features to enable you to analyze z/OS performance across your entire estate, report and create trends of behavior and analytically model future scenarios to optimize configurations and expenditure.
athene® ES/1 allows an enterprise to optimize on-going capacity, minimize over-spending on hardware, avoid the costs of performance crises, guarantee service levels, and alert on trends to know when a capacity issue will begin to emerge.
athene® ES/1 modelling capabilities help you to avoid potential performance problems and evaluate tuning and management strategies well in advance, not in crisis mode.

We’re offering one FREE System z Capacity Audit and Projection service per organization for a limited period.

To use the download to collect and return data for a FREE z/OS Capacity Audit and Projection visit 

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Friday, 19 May 2017

It's all about the CMIS - Process Integration with a CMIS (6 of 9)

So why is the CMIS so important?  As mentioned previously, it is known as the cornerstone of Capacity Management. 

It provides the core of the capacity management process by storing and relating the data that enables us to make important capacity and performance related decisions for our services.  The CMIS provides us with the tools to:
·        Collate, unify and correlate important data together
·        Provides the basis to perform key capacity management activities
·        Present information and results back to the business and its strategy.

Such business decisions and strategic directions can be altered or changed based on the information being provided by the Capacity Management process.  The data captured, stored, analyzed and reported, including producing Capacity Plans is presented within the Capacity Portal which should be the focus for the business when making these decisions.
The CMIS provides the ability to integrate data from all other ITSM areas and provides the foundation for the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS). 
Don't forget to sign up to our next webinar 'Evaluating Performance and Capacity with Calculated Metrics' 
Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

It's all about the CMIS - Importance of Correlation (5 of 9)

This graphic explains how we can gather the necessary information from the Component, Service and Business Capacity Management processes (Blue) and start to correlate the information together (Green) and  then feed the information back to other ITSM processes (White). 

This not only provides other processes with a valuable insight into both the performance and capacity of Services, it also can identify key business patterns of activity to help select modeling periods for Capacity Plans, feed SLM reporting, provide information for KPIs such as numbers of incidents caused by Capacity or Performance issues or outages and provide root cause analysis information for Problem.
Importance of Correlation

For Capacity Planning purposes, the importance of being able to correlate application transaction information with component usage is extremely important as this slide demonstrates.  The example here plots the number of Service Desk calls being reported through the application and its servers CPU usage.

Note the correlation between the rise in calls and the CPU usage.
From this we can start to look into producing models of an increase in numbers of Service Desk calls and its impact on the existing infrastructure used to attempt to identify a pain point and prevent slow performance or service failure. 
All of this can be achievable through implementing an enterprise Capacity Management tool that not only captures and stores data from all sub processes into a CMIS, but has the reporting and planning capabilities as mentioned throughout.
Please note though that you need to be careful on assuming that a simple trend on the CPU will suffice here due to the utilization laws as mentioned earlier on.
Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Monday, 15 May 2017

It's all about the CMIS - Why is the CMIS important? (4 of 9)

Why is the CMIS important? For a number of reasons which I've listed below:

Data unification
The CMIS is able to store data captured from many data sources and we are able to start to unify and synchronise the data together. 

Can we confidently ask and answer the following questions, by using a CMIS?

        Is the data from the same system? 

        The same date and time? 

        Can we get a breakdown of user/command usage? 

        Can we store application statistics?

        Can we group together in the same service?

        Do we get response time information and SLA information?

        Can we integrate data from other ITSM processes?

And many more questions like the above…
Essential for key capacity management activities

The CMIS is essential for key capacity management activities, providing the central source of data for root cause analysis, recurrence and exception reporting and correlation.  It also allows for more accurate trend modeling on aggregated historical data and analytical modeling and planning on workloads for each system and service. 
Supports the Capacity Portal

It also supports the capacity portal by allow for these day to day activities to be performed and providing the data and reports to be hosted within the portal.
Provides the foundation for SKMS

As mentioned earlier, the CMIS and CMS are the foundation of a larger Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) which is primarily about getting the right data to the right people or group. 




        Demand Management
On Friday I'll be talking about the importance of Correlation. In the meantime don't forget to sign up to our next free webinar 'Evaluating Performance and Capacity with Calculated Metrics'
Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Friday, 12 May 2017

It's all about the CMIS - What does a CMIS contain? (3 of 9)

A CMIS typically contains capacity and performance related time-series data captured from all sub-process levels.  This data is typically captured and stored to produce recurrence, exception and forecasted reports and plans to the business. 

An example of some of the metrics that should be captured and stored within the CMIS:


        Server information e.g. CPU, memory, disks etc

        SAN information e.g. Buffer cache, IO Response

        Application specific metrics

        Network usage e.g. Port, switch, router


        Service response times

        Transaction volumes

        Reliability,  failure rates


        Forecast information



The information captured can be kept native, filtered, aggregated and used for longer term trend analysis.

Capturing and storing the data into a single system provides many benefits which will be explained throughout this white paper, but notably:

        Different metrics

        Same metrics, different sample

        Combinations of metrics for correlation

The ability to bring information together from the different sub-processes onto a single report or chart allows for correlation analysis to take place, for example whether an increase in the numbers of transaction volumes has an effect on the CPU or Memory utilization or whether business forecasts meet reality.

 The information captured can be kept native, filtered, aggregated and used for longer term trend analysis.
On Monday I'll be discussing why the CMIS is so important.
Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

It's all about the CMIS - It’s just a database right? (2 of 9)

No, it isn't just a database.  The CMIS or Capacity Management Information System is called a system for a reason. The CMIS is vital to the Capacity Management process as it is the cornerstone of the process.  Yes it is a central source of capacity and performance data, but it is not exclusively confined to a single database.  In fact it could be a set of logical databases that can be brought together as a system.
A database containing component metric information, one containing SLA, Response Times and Transactional information such as an APM database and another with business forecast and financial information.
The CMIS should be a central source of all capacity data
Tools are available that specialize in bringing this information together to be able to report and forecast on a combination of data sources, one that specifically comes to mind is Microsoft’s Excel.  The problem with Excel, is the lack of automation and the amount of effort required to setup, configure and maintain multiple spreadsheets with data from multiple sources and any custom macros in place.
This is why most Capacity Management tool providers purport to provide a CMIS within their product.  However, the CMIS must be able to integrate and report/forecast data from all sub-process levels to truly be called a CMIS.  In reality, this is more difficult to do, but is achievable if the right tools and process are put into place.
athene® features a single logical database (Capacity Management Information Store – CMIS) where all performance and capacity metrics are stored.  The single CMIS can consist of multiple physical databases giving you flexibility of implementation, security and management.
On Friday I'll go in to more detail about what a CMIS contains.
In the meantime don't forget to register for the next webinar in my Capacity Management Maturity series Repeatable to Defined on June 21
Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Monday, 8 May 2017

It’s all about the CMIS - What is a CMIS?(1 of 9)

Formally referred to as the Capacity Management Information System (CMIS),  and considered a subset of the Configuration Management System (CMS), it is unlikely to be one physical database and more likely to be a number of logical databases that store capacity and performance related data.  It is:

·       The Cornerstone/Multiple Databases

·       Considered a “CMDB” within CMS
Typically data such as utilizations, financial and business statistics with additional relationship information is being provided by the CMS.
The principles are the same, except we now have an “Information System” that is considered a Configuration Management DB within the CMS.
The CMIS and CMS are part of a larger Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) which is primarily about getting the right data to the right people or group, with an emphasis on refining the bulk of information into what’s important for a particular person/group.
It's just a database, right? I'll be answering that question on Wednesday.
In the meantime take a look at our webinar schedule, we've got some great topics lined up for you over the next few months

Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant