Chapter 1: Introducing Opalis Integration Server 6.3

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To illustrate, consider a nontechnical situation where a child is learning to cook a roast with her father. The father cuts off a full inch of the end of the roast before cooking it. The child asks why the portion of meat was removed. The father concedes he does not know why; it is how he was taught. As the child is unsatisfied with that answer and demands a better explanation, the father calls his mother to see why she cuts the end off the roast. The grandmother admits this is how it was always done. The child remains unmoved by this illogical explanation. Upon discussion, neither the father or grandmother has the answer, but they know the great-grandmother also prepares her roasts this way. When they question the elderly great-grandmother, she denies cutting a section of the roast off and wasting it. This upsets the grandmother as she followed her mother’s process perfectly. After much debate and discussion, the grandmother recalls the exact date she wrote down the recipe, which causes the great-grandmother to pause. She concedes she cut the end of a roast—once. The day a neighbor borrowed the big pan and the roast would not fit in the small pan; the very day the recipe was recorded.

In this case, the process was captured while including a wasteful exception; that exception then became the standard practice for decades to come. Data centers are no different. This type of transmission of processes occurs regularly. After the people who designed the original process leave, the process is cemented and no longer reviewed properly. As you look at your own environment, be as curious as the child in the story; persist until you find the real reason the process exists in its current form. Question every step and prove each is necessary.

Not a Job Scheduler

When first exposed to OIS, IT administrators often wonder if it is still a job scheduler. This is not the case. While OIS can schedule policies, it is by no means an enterprise job scheduler. Enterprise job schedulers do not see the world in the ITPA view. They expect to trigger at certain times, not as a reaction to events, and are not designed to operate with other management tools in your data canter. Products in this category typically can run thousands of jobs at a time and provide special views to help administrators see into what’s running in the next 5 minutes, 24 hours, or next week. One cannot imagine such a view in OIS. When would the next change request be logged? When would it be approved? When would the event monitor capture the next critical alert?

However, OIS would be an excellent tool to manage job schedulers; toward that end, OIS 6.2.2 ships with an IP for CA Autosys.

An ITPA Tool, Not a Connector

People tend to mistake OIS for a connector. This is understandable as OIS often competes with connector software. Connectors provide point solutions between two pieces of software and generally offer a dumb pipe between them. As an example, consider a point connector that takes alerts from an event management console and creates a corresponding incident in a trouble ticketing system. These tickets are created for every alert, and the connector cannot help with remediation or triage the event. You can use OIS to mimic the behavior of a connector, but doing so sells the value of the tool short. Moreover, as OIS is not designed for this approach, you would have to implement special policy structures to handle surges in throughput. Using an ITPA tool as a connector is not recommended—square pegs fit best into square holes.


As Microsoft’s automation platform, OIS brings automation, orchestration, and integration to the data center. Enabling ITPA, it supplements the existing power of the System Center suite with end-to-end data center management. This enables your IT organization to quickly realize all the benefits of a heterogeneous, scalable, flexible, and dynamic infrastructure. For those taking the journey past the dynamic data center and to the cloud, public or private, System Center with OIS can supercharge your ride.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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