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Posted Nov 20, 2007

Aegis automates many DBA tasks

By Steven Warren

Do you have a need to cut IT Management Costs? Most organizations will welcome this idea and will listen intently. Recently, Gartner reported that process automation has become a key focus for organizations looking to improve and measure IT operations. Let me introduce to you NETIQ’s Aegis, a vendor-neutral platform whose sole purpose is to model, automate, measure, and improve IT operations.

According to NETIQ, Aegis will integrate with NetIQ systems and security management products as well as BMC Remedy, EMC Smarts and other leading third-party products to automate IT processes. This is quickly becoming a crowded space, and Gartner estimates that by the end of 2007, 35% of IT managers will start to invest in such automation technologies. That number is expected to grow as existing implementations deliver incremental successes.

Travis Greene, Chief Service Management Strategist at NetIQ, says, “No other IT Process Automation product has an embedded correlation engine like Aegis. This enables Aegis to more intelligently trigger process execution, based on analysis of events from multiple, dissimilar tools"

He goes on to say, "Anyone in IT who has tried to implement process understands that a resistance to change can quickly arise if process is perceived as a bureaucratic bottleneck to getting things done. Aegis helps IT organizations avoid that by automating process and shifting the bias from 'doing' to 'approving' through tool integration."

Aegis was developed internally with a process-centric perspective; Aegis delivers Run Book Automation (RBA) with intelligent automation to vastly reduce the time spent by IT operations’ staff on manual repetitive tasks. It is also a broad scope IT automation platform delivering an intelligent, incremental path for the adoption of ITIL best practices.

Greene states, “Aegis is like a universal remote control for your IT management tools. Similar to what you might use at home to automate the running of your home theater components, Aegis understands what each tool in your environment is capable of and can automatically control them in the right order, whenever a triggering event is received."

Aegis features the following:

  • Enterprise Service Bus: Allows for vendor-agnostic integration of existing enterprise, security and application management tools
  • Process Automation Engine: Executes pre-defined workflows in response to process triggers to command existing permissioned tools to take action
  • Process Visualization: Enables viewing of process execution through an interactive Web console to better manage IT service delivery and facilitates collaboration between process owners
  • Process Improvement Metrics and Reporting: Utilizes metrics generated by an analysis engine to calculate process efficiency and demonstrate improvement
  • Workflow Modeling: Documents tribal knowledge through a drag-and-drop designer or pre-built templates to create processes based upon management best practices
  • Correlation Engine: Gathers events and data from multiple tool sources and correlates them to produce more intelligent process triggers    
  • “With our Aegis product, NetIQ is delivering a more practical approach to process automation that has not been available to date,” said Chris Pick, vice president, Products and Marketing, NetIQ. “By providing more intelligent automation and a platform to maximize under-utilized management tools, Aegis helps organizations better control the cost of IT operations. This is critical as customers and prospects strive to eliminate highly repetitive and mundane tasks and more efficiently allocate their time to meeting business requirements for growth.”

As a database administrator (DBA), you might be wondering how this software can make your life easier. Aegis can do specific tasks that ease your chaotic life on a daily basis. Most DBA’s today wear many hats and any relief from arduous tasks would be welcomed. To make a database administrator’s life easier, Aegis can perform the following:

  • Aegis can trigger the method of shrinking database files to alleviate space issues that may arise during a business day should disk space be a concern.
  • Aegis can verify the cause of SQL deadlocks should the performance threshold be crossed.
  • Aegis can also kick off the T-SQL command to create a user and/or grant a user access to requested databases based on a help desk ticket and the proper approval chain.
  • If a database dump fails because of low disk space, Aegis workflow kicks off to present the database administrator with the list of large files. The administrator can then choose which files to delete and send a message to Aegis to re-submit the backup task.

These are just examples of how Aegis can automate many of the tasks database administrators would under normal circumstances have to do manually. Aegis can provide alerts to DBA’s on multiple issues and enable them to react by responding to Aegis' message. Aegis can then set processes in motion to address those items automatically.

About NetIQ

“NetIQ, an Attachmate business, is a leading provider of comprehensive systems and security management solutions that help enterprises maximize IT service delivery and efficiency. With more than 12,000 customers worldwide, NetIQ solutions yield measurable business value and results that dynamic organizations demand. NetIQ’s best-of-breed solutions help IT organizations deliver critical business services, mitigate operational risk, and document policy compliance. The company’s portfolio of award-winning management solutions includes IT Process Automation, Systems Management, Security Management, Configuration Control and Enterprise Administration. For more information, please visit www.netiq.com.”

NetIQ Aegis is due out in late November 2007. Pricing is based upon managed object, management server and connectors to third party products. For more information, please visit http://www.netiq.com/go/aegis-pr or call NetIQ at (888) 323-6768.

» See All Articles by Columnist Steven S. Warren



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