Open source systems management tools

If your IT shop has the right skills, open source systems management tools may be a fit for your data center and save money over proprietary solutions. This slides will show features some of the top tools.

Large IT organizations turn to open source systems management tools

Top areas where open source systems management tools used
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Usenix, a systems administration user group, and Zenoss, an open source systems management vendor, recently completed a survey on open source systems management software use between 2006 and 2009. Respondents were attendees of the organization’s Large Installation System Administrators conference. Nearly all respondents use or plan to use open source systems management tools, with many shops turning toNagios, Cacti, Zabbix, GroundWork and the OpenNMS project. When asked “What are the top areas where you plan to use open source systems management tools?” 90% answered monitoring, around 60% said configuration and around 50% said patch management.

The benefits of open source systems management

Top reason for using open source software
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When asked the question “Why did you or would you be likely to try open source software?” responding shops said that they have turned to open source systems management tools to reduce costs and increase flexibility. Easy deployment was also a top reason for trying open source. In 2006, only 26% of survey respondents indicated this as a reason for using open source; in 2009, however, 71% of all respondents indicated this as a reason for using open source. This finding may indicate that open source not only removes technical hurdles but also preempts some of the bureaucratic obstacles associated with the traditional technology procurement process.”Open source offerings are newer and often written to be easier to deploy than older systems,” said Michael Coté, an analyst at RedMonk, an industry analyst firm. “An admin can download and install it without asking for funding, agreeing to any terms for a trial or filling out registration forms. Being able to download a piece of software by right-clicking is going to be easier than most other acquisition paths.”

The drawbacks to open source systems management

Top reasons for not using open source
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So what are the primary reasons IT shops would not use open source tools? Lack of support was the main culprit, and users said proprietary tools had better support and product maturity as well as less risk.”You get the support you pay for,” Coté said. “If you don’t want to pay anything, just download Nagios, OpenNMS or Zenoss Core and go at it alone. You’ll be paying in your time: time to ask questions in forums and wait for answers, time to look through existing write-ups on the Web, and, if you’re of the right kind of mind, time to look through the code yourself. Closed-source offerings can seem to have more support available because you’re required to buy support.”

Ed Bailey, a Unix team lead at a major credit reporting agency, uses the proprietary version Hyperic HQ Enterprise to manage Web applications that drive his company’s revenue. Bailey said he doesn’t have the time to cobble together — let alone develop and maintain — the automation, security and reporting features that ship with the enterprise version. “You can make a reporting system for the open source version of Hyperic HQ. If you have the time, you can make anything. But our company is more focused on things that generate revenue rather than me spending time working on this,” Bailey said. “I used to work at a university and we had time to build something like that, whereas now we have millions of transactions that are making money.”

Special skills to use open source systems management tools?

What skill set do sys admins need to have to deploy systems management software successfully in an IT organization? “Any scripting experience in general is helpful,” said Ryan Matte, a data center admin at Nova Networks Inc. “Basic Python knowledge is very helpful when using Zenoss. I often use Bash scripting as well. A decent understanding of SNMP [Simple Network Management Protocol] is definitely required (since the open source products don’t tend to be as automated as the enterprise products). I often find myself developing custom SNMP monitoring templates for devices, [but] … you should have an understanding of whatever protocols you are working with. An understanding of Linux/BSD [Berkeley Software Distribution] is helpful as well since most of the open source monitoring products that I’ve seen only run on Linux/BSD.”

Virtualization driving proprietary management tool dominance

% of respondents who cite that product features have become the more important advantage of proprietary software
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Starting in 2009, a much larger percentage of data center managers indicated proprietary systems management software has an advantage over open source tools in advanced product features. In 2009, 33% of all respondents indicated that product features played a bigger part in defining the advantages of commercial tools, versus 10% in the previous year. Though not explicitly spelled out in the survey, you can translate product features to “virtualization management features.” Matte is using Zenoss’ open source offering, Zenoss Core, and said he has evaluated Zenoss’ proprietary enterprise ZenPacks, which have virtual machine management features. “I have taken a look at the enterprise ZenPacks, and there is nothing like the VMware [Management] Pack in the open source community,” Matte said.

Open source systems management profile: Spacewalk


Spacewalk is an open source Linux systems management tool and the upstream community project from which the Red Hat Network Satellite product is derived. Spacewalk provides provisioning and monitoring capabilities as well as software content management.James Hogarth, a data center admin in the U.K., uses Spacewalk to manage 100 hosts in a CentOS-based environment for an entertainment website built on the Grails distribution. Hogarth said his company’s entire environment is focused on open source software — even migrating server virtualization from VMware to the Red Hat Kernel-based Virtual Machine (or KVM) hypervisor — and that open source focus was a major factor in the decision to use open source systems management tools.

Hogarth said he’s run into some gotchas and issues that needed a workaround, but overall Spacewalk has lightened his support workload. Most of the development is done by Red Hat personnel, and the developers are often available to answer questions and troubleshoot issues. “People are very responsive [on the support forum], and it’s relatively rare that you don’t get a response,” Hogarth said. “Over the last two years, the product has really matured.”

Open source data center automation and configuration tools

Puppet is one option

In the open source space, Cfengine and Puppet are leading data center automation and configuration tools. In 1993, Mark Burgess at Oslo University College wrote Cfengine, which can be used to build, deploy, manage and audit all the major operating systems. Cfengine boasts somelarge customers, including companies such as eBay and Google. Cfengine offers a proprietary commercial version called Cfengine Nova. As an open source-only product, Puppet takes a different approach, and its creators, Puppet Labs, make money through training and support.Puppet founder Andrew Schafer, for example, wrote a column on Puppet and how it works. Also, James Turnbull recently wrote a book on using Puppet in the data center. Turnbull has also written tips on Puppet, including the recent article on using the Puppet dashboard. The Oregon State University Open Source Laboratory uses Cfengine for systems management but planned to move to Puppet. “From a technical point of view, Puppet offers more flexibility and an ability to actually use real code to deal with tasks. Cfengine has its own syntax language, but it’s not really suited for complex tasks,” said OSUOSL administrator Lance Albertson in an interview earlier this year.

Open core versus open source software

Some companies offer what’s considered “open core” systems management software. At the base level is a functional, free open source tool (like Zenoss Core or Hyperic HQ), and there is a separate proprietary enterprise version with special add-ons and features. This business model rankles some open source advocates, but it offers companies the chance to use a tool risk free, and oftentimes organizations can make the free version work.Ryan Matte, a data center admin at Ottawa, Ontario-based Nova Networks Inc., uses Zenoss Core to manage more than 1,000 devices, monitoring Windows, Linux, Solaris and network devices. Matte considered Nagios, Zabbix, and OpenNMS. “In terms of ease of use and setup and having all the monitoring capabilities in the product, Zenoss was the best choice,” he said. “There’s an IRC channel chat room — I’m in there quite a bit. There are always people in there. The [community] support is pretty good, but you have to come in during business hours.”

Using Webmin for data center server management


Webmin offers a browser-based interface to Unix and Linux operating systems. It can configure users, disk quotas, services or configuration files as well as modify and control open source apps. Here are some tips on using Webmin:

Using Nagios in the data center to manage servers


In many data center environments, Nagios has become the de facto standard for companies in need of an open source, fault-tolerant solution to monitor single points of failure, service-level agreement shortcomings, servers, redundant communication connections or environmental factors. But is this one-size-fits-all open source tool best suited to your data center? Here are some tips on Nagios:

Best Practices for data center monitoring and server room monitoring

1. Rack Level Monitoring
Based on a recent Gartner study, the annual cost of a Wintel rack averages around $70,000 USD per year. This excludes the business cost of a rack. Risking losing business continuity or your infrastructure due to environmental issues is not an option. What are the environmental threats at a rack level?A mistake often made is to only rely on monitoring the conditions at a room level and not at a rack level. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends no less than 6 temperature sensors per rack in order to safeguard the equipment (top, middle, bottom at front & back of rack). When a heat issue arises, air conditioning units will initially try to compensate the problem. This means that with room level temperature monitoring, the issue will only be detected when the running air conditioning units are no longer capable of compensating the heat problem. It may be too late then.We recommend monitoring temperature per rack at a minimum of 3 points: at the bottom front of the rack to verify the temperature of the cold air arriving to the rack (combined with airflow monitoring); at the top front of the rack to verify if all cold air gets to the top of the rack; and finally one at the top back of the rack which is typically the hottest point of the rack. Intake temperature should be between 18°-27°C / 64°-80°F. Outtake temperature should typically be not more than 20°C / 35°F of the intake temperature.

What is the impact of temperature on your systems? High end systems have auto shutdown capabilities to safeguard themselves against failures when temperature is too high. However before this happens systems will experience computation errors at a CPU level resulting in application errors. Then system cooling (fan) will be stressed reducing equipment life time expectance (and as such their availability and your business continuity).

   2. Ambient room monitoring
Ambient room monitoring is the environmental monitoring of the room for its humidity and temperature levels. Temperature and humidity sensors are typically deployed in:

  • potential “hot zones” inside the server room or data center
  • near air conditioning units to detect failure of such systems.When multiple air conditioning systems are available in a room, then a failure of one system will initially be compensated by the others before it may lead to a total failure of the cooling system due to overload. As a result temperature / airflow sensors are recommended near each unit to get early failure detection.Humidity in server rooms should be between 40% and 60% rH. Too dry will result in the build up of static electricity on the systems. Too humid and corrosion will start slowly damaging your equipment resulting in permanent equipment failures.

    When using cold corridors inside the data center, then ambient temperature outside the corridor may be at higher levels. Temperatures of 37°C / 99°F are not uncommon in such setups. This allows to significantly reduce the energy cost. However this also means that temperature monitoring is of utmost importance as a failing air conditioning unit will have a way faster impact on the systems lifetime and availability (fans stress, CPU overheating, …) and running a room at higher temperatures may also affect non rack mounted equipment.

    When using hot corridors it is important to monitor temperature across the room to ensure that sufficient cold air gets to each rack. In this case however one can also rely on rack based temperature sensors in addition of temperature and humidity sensors close to each air conditioning unit.

    3. Water & Flooding Monitoring

    Water leakage is a less known threat for server rooms & data centers. The fact that most data centers and server rooms have raised floors makes the risk even bigger as water seeks the lowest point.

    Two type of sensors for water leakage can be commonly found: spot and water snake cable based. Spot sensors will trigger an alert when water touches the unit. Water rope or water snake cable sensors use a conductive cable whereby contact at any point on the cable will trigger an alert. The latter type is recommended over the first one due to its higher range and higher accuracy.

    If using a raised floor, then one should consider putting the sensor under the raised floor as water seeks the lowest point.

    The four main sources of water in a server room are:

  • leaking air conditioning systems: a water sensor should be placed under each AC unit
  • water leaks in floors or roof above the data center & server room: water sensors should be put around the perimeter of the room at around 50cm/3ft from the outer walls
  • leaks of water pipes running through server rooms: a water sensor should be placed under the raised floors
  • traditional flooding: same as second point for water leaks from roof or above floors applies                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               4. Sensors DeploymentAll sensors connect to our Sensorgateway (base unit). A base unit supports up to 2 wired sensors, or up to 8 with the optional sensor hub.
    Application Location Setting SKU Sensor Package
    Rack Level Monitoring
    Sensors to monitor intake temperature Front – Bottom of rack for room or floor cooling, top of rack for top cooling 18-27°C / 64-80°F 182668 Temperature probes*
    Sensors to monitor outtake temperature Back – Top of rack (hot air climbs) less than 20°C / 35°F difference from inlet temperature (typically <40°C / 105°F) 182668 Temperature probes*
    Ambient Monitoring
    Temperature & humidity monitoring in server room small server rooms: center of the room data centers: potential hot zones – furthest away from airco units Temperature depends on type of room setup
    Humidity: 40-60% rH
    306166 Temperature & Humidity Sensor Probe*
    Airconditioning Monitoring
    Early detection of failing air conditioning units next to airco units Temperature depends on setting of airco
    Humidity: 40-60% rH
    306166 Temperature & Humidity Sensor Probe*
    Water Leaks / Flooding
    Detecting water leaks coming from outside of room Around outside walls of server room / data center and under raised floor
    best is to keep a 30-50cm / 10-20″ from outer wall
    180004 Flooding Sensor Probe* with 6m/20ft water sensitive cable
    Detecting water leaks from air conditioning units Under each air conditioning unit 180004 Flooding Sensor Probe* with 6m/20ft water sensitive cable

    * External probes need to be connected to a Sensorgateway (SKU 311323) in order to operate. One Sensorgateway has a built-in temperature probe and can support up to 2 external probes.

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1. Bốn cái khổ của đời người

 Một là nhìn không thông: Không nhìn thấy được bản thân mình lạc trong vòng luẩn quẩn, không thấy vết thương của mình sau mỗi lần tranh đấu, không nhìn thấy nơi yên tĩnh ở phía sau sự sầm uất vô vị, chính là một nỗi khổ lớn của đời người.

Hai là luyến tiếc: Luyến tiếc sự ưu việt của bản thân trong quá khứ, luyến tiếc những sự việc không tới nơi tới chốn đã từng làm, luyến tiếc những hư vinh, những tiếng vỗ tay đắc thắng. Sống trong luyến tiếc thì cả đời sẽ dằn vặt không yên.

Ba là không thể đứng dậy sau thất bại: Cuộc sống ai mà chưa từng thất bại, nhưng nếu thất bại mà lại gục ngã, không thể đứng dậy được thì phần đời còn lại có lẽ chỉ là những lời than trách mà thôi.

Bốn là không thể vứt bỏ: Không buông bỏ được người và sự việc đã đi xa, không vứt bỏ được những mặc cảm về tội lỗi trong quá khứ sẽ giống như mang theo tảng đá khi đi đường dài vậy, thật khổ, thật mệt.

Bạn đã hiểu rồi, vậy bạn có muốn thay đổi hay không?


2. Một đời người, không phải tốt đẹp như trong mơ, cũng không xấu như trong tưởng tượng.

Phía sau mỗi người đều có nỗi đau ẩn chứa, đều có nỗi khổ không thể nói ra bằng lời.

tâm hồn, nỗi khổ, cuộc đời, Bài chọn lọc,

Mỗi người đều bước đi trên con đường của mình. Chỉ cần nhớ:

Khi lạnh hãy mặc thêm áo khoác cho mình;

Khi đói mua cho mình một cái bánh;

Khi đau hãy tự cho mình một chút kiên cường;

Khi thất bại thì tự đặt cho mình một mục tiêu, hãy chịu đau đứng dậy sau khi bị té ngã, hãy đích thực là chính mình.

3. Không nên lấy tiêu chuẩn của mình để đặt yêu cầu cho người khác, cũng không nên đeo kính màu để nhìn người khác.

Bởi vì mỗi người đều có sở thích, cá tính, cũng như giá trị của riêng họ. Những điều bạn thấy không thuận mắt, cũng không nhất định là điều không tốt.

Lý giải về hành phúc có hàng ngàn vạn loại, quan niệm về hạnh phúc của mỗi người cũng không giống nhau. Hạnh phúc lớn nhất của cuộc đời chính là có thể được làm chính mình.

Tin tưởng chính mình, đi theo tiếng gọi của tâm hồn mình, không viễn tưởng đặt ra mục tiêu vượt xa khả năng bản thân, không mù quáng ganh đua, bạn chính là người hạnh phúc nhất.

Không có vàng nguyên chất, cũng không có người hoàn mỹ, bởi vì không hoàn mỹ mới là chúng ta đích thực nhất.

4. Hạnh phúc là sự gom góp từng chút từng chút, là được thực hiện từng ngày từng ngày. Đừng làm tổn thương người yêu mến bạn, cũng đừng làm người bạn yêu mến bị tổn thương.

tâm hồn, nỗi khổ, cuộc đời, Bài chọn lọc,

Một người dẫu có tốt đến mấy, nhưng nếu họ không nguyện ý cùng bạn đồng hành cho đến hết cuộc đời, thì họ chính là người khách ghé thăm bạn mà thôi.

Một người dẫu có nhiều nhược điểm, nhưng lại có thể luôn nhường nhịn bạn, chăm sóc bạn, nguyên ý suốt đời ở bên bạn, đó chính là hạnh phúc của bạn.

Ai cũng muốn tìm một người thập toàn thập mỹ, nhưng con ngươi ai cũng có khuyết điểm. Yêu chính là nhường nhịn, thành thật với nhau, trọn đời bên nhau.

Có được một người có thể làm cho bạn vui vẻ cả đời, mới chính là mục tiêu của cuộc sống.

5. Khi những thứ mà ta sở hữu và những chấp nhất của chúng ta trở thành một loại “vũ khí” gây tổn thương, thì buông bỏ chính là giải pháp tốt nhất cho cuộc đời.

Mấy ai có thể biết được mình có bao nhiêu đau khổ, ai biết được mình bị bao nhiêu tổn thương. Nếu nước mắt không đọng lại ở trên mặt thì không ai biết được nó lạnh giá đến chừng nào, cái đau không nằm trên thân thể thì không thể biết nó đau đớn nhường nào.

Bạn có thể nhìn thấy giọt lệ đọng nơi khóe mắt, vết sẹo ở trên thân nhưng không nhất định hiểu được nỗi đau buồn và bi thương ở trong tâm hồn.

Hãy ngoảnh mặt bước đi trước khi rơi lệ, để lại sau lưng một hình bóng kiên cường, bạn sẽ thấy tâm hồn thật nhẹ nhõm trên hành trình kế tiếp của cuộc đời mình.

6. Khi còn trẻ không hiểu biết, trung niên sẽ luyến tiếc.

Có một số thứ, khi bạn hoàn toàn sở hữu được, lại cảm thấy buồn tẻ vô vị; có một số thứ, khi vĩnh viễn mất đi, mới phát hiện ra nó trân quý vô cùng.

tâm hồn, nỗi khổ, cuộc đời, Bài chọn lọc,

Khi lâm vào giai đoạn khốn khổ của cuộc đời, cái gì tới thì muốn ngăn cản cũng không ngăn được, cái gì đi thì muốn giữ cũng giữ không được.

Trong cái được và mất, có những sự việc nhỏ bé không đáng kể, nhưng chúng khiến bạn đau, khiến bạn yêu, bạn hận, khiến bạn cả đời phải đau khổ, cả đời phải khác cốt ghi tâm.

7. Cánh cửa cuộc đời

Đời người tựa như một cánh cửa, có người cảm thấy bi quan khi ở trong cánh cửa tối om, có người lạc quan khi được ở trong cánh cửa tĩnh mịch, có người ưu sầu vì mưa gió khi đứng bên ngoài cánh cửa, có người thấy vui vẻ bởi vì được tự do khi đứng ngoài cánh cửa.

Kỳ thực trong đời người, có rất nhiều thứ không biết như thế nào mới là tốt nhất, chỉ cần bạn cho là đáng giá thì nó là tốt nhất.

Thành công và thất bại, hạnh phúc và bất hạnh, định nghĩa trong nội tâm của mỗi người là không giống nhau. Mấu chốt là phải năm chắc được điều bạn muốn là cái gì, đừng để nó tuột khỏi tay bạn, đừng để mình phải hối tiếc quá nhiều.

8. Thêm một chút gia vị cho tình bạn.

Tình nghĩa bạn bè, cuối cùng sẽ dần dần phai nhạt. Để có một người bạn đích thực thường phải mất vài năm hoặc vài chục năm, mà đắc tội với một người bạn có thể chỉ trong vài phút, hoặc chỉ vì một chuyện.

tâm hồn, nỗi khổ, cuộc đời, Bài chọn lọc,

Thế tục phù phiếm, lòng người phức tạp, rất mẫn cảm với những lặt vặt nhỏ nhoi, đều là trở ngại cho sự tiến triển của tình bạn.

Có lẽ bởi vì là bạn bè, nên đã thiếu đi một chút băn khoăn, thiếu đi một chút tôn trọng, vì thế mới thành ra như vậy. Giữa bạn bè với nhau khi thân cận quá, quan hệ sẽ trở nên phức tạp, khoảng cách quá xa thì lại mất đi liên lạc.

Hãy biết quan tâm, trân quý, che chở cho tình bạn. Cho dù không trường tồn muôn thủa, thì ít nhất đã từng có một tình bạn khắc cốt ghi tâm.

9. “Thấu hiểu” là thuật ngữ thâm tình nhất, khắc sâu nhất trong thế giới tình cảm.

Thấu hiểu, chính là dùng ánh mắt của ta để an ủi nỗi ưu thương của người khác;

Thấu hiểu, chính là để nhịp tim đập theo nhịp tim của người khác;

Thấu hiểu, chính là im lăng lắng nghe âm thanh của tâm hồn;

tâm hồn, nỗi khổ, cuộc đời, Bài chọn lọc,

Thấu hiểu, chính là trong mắt của tôi luôn có hình bóng của bạn;

Người thấu hiểu, chính là yêu hết mức có thể. Bởi vì chỉ có “thấu hiểu”, mới có thể trầm tĩnh, mới có thể ung dung, mới biết thế nào là trân quý.

10. Cánh “cung” của cuộc đời, người kéo quá cỡ sẽ mệt mỏi, kéo cung không đủ sẽ tụt lại phía sau.

Người coi cuộc đời người như một hành trình, thì sẽ luôn nhìn thấy phong cảnh. Người coi cuộc đời như một chiến trường, thì gặp phải luôn là những tranh đấu.

Cuộc đời chính là như vậy, lựa chọn cái gì thì sẽ gặp cái đấy, không có đúng hay sai, chỉ có chấp nhận hay không.

Học cách quên đi những chuyện làm mình không vui, học cách rời xa những người làm cho mình trở nên hèn mọn. Chỉ cần vẫn có ngày mai, thì ngày hôm nay mãi mãi vẫn là khởi điểm.

Gặp gỡ nhiều người thì biết sự đáng quý của tình bạn

Va vấp nhiều thì biết được sự đáng quý của hiểu biết

Thất bại nhiều mới biết sự đáng quý của tư tưởng

Thành công nhiều thì biết được sự đáng quý của dũng khí

Mâu thuẫn nhiều thì biết sự đáng quý của ý chí

Không thuận mắt nhiều thì biết sự đáng quý của tu dưỡng

Nịnh nọt nhiều mới biết sự đáng quý của chân thành

Danh lợi nhiều mới biết sự đáng quý của xem nhẹ

Xã giao nhiều mới biết sự đáng quý của thanh tịnh!

Kiếp người rất ngắn, hãy cảm ơn vì mình đang được sống, bạn mới có thể cảm nhận được những điều mỹ hảo của cuộc đời này…

Lê Hiếu, dịch từ

Is this the first step towards ITIL v4?


The Qualification:

1. Why are you introducing this new qualification?

The qualification aims to demonstrate that IT Service Management (ITSM) professionals are equipped with the skills to apply ITIL concepts in their organization, ensuring maximum business value by delivering fit-for-purpose and fit-for-use services. At the same time, it’s designed to give confidence to managers that the members of their team are ready to initiate and successfully carry out required improvement initiatives.

2. What is the ITIL Practitioner exam based on?

The exam is based on various elements of ITIL, with a strong focus on Continual Service Improvement (CSI), a fundamental lifecycle stage in ITIL; as well as additional guidance covering the practical elements in more detail.

3. How did AXELOS come to the decision to launch ITIL Practitioner? And who was consulted?

Since AXELOS’ inception in 2013, we have been meeting with practitioners globally to understand how they use the best practice portfolio, their successes and challenges. We have been analyzing this feedback, to find ways to help improve organizations’ performance. The new ITIL Practitioner qualification and the accompanying guidance is a response to practitioners’ requests for an additional, practical element to complement the existing ITIL guidance. While the ITIL Foundation qualification confirms a good understanding of what service management is, in addition to introducing all the relevant ITIL concepts and the language, the ‘how’ is addressed only very briefly. ITIL Practitioner addresses the question how to start adopting and adapting ITIL within the organization.

4. What is the official launch date for the first exam/qualification?

Delegates will be able to sit their first ITIL Practitioner exams in Q4 2015.

5. Is this the first step towards ITIL v4?

Our goal is to provide practitioners with the best possible guidance to help with their day to day roles and this requires us to evolve ITIL over time. This will not be achieved with big bang updates, but by continually improving the framework.

As an organization we are always on the lookout for new practices (good and emerging), which we will link to the stable core of ITIL’s best practice framework. ITIL Practitioner follows this principle, adding additional practical guidance to the existing qualification scheme. Some materials will be introduced alongside the qualification to help practitioners identify changing approaches to service management.

6. Will self-study be allowed for ITIL practitioner?

The ITIL Practitioner syllabus is currently in development and so the decision on this has not yet been made. We need to make sure the exam does test practical skills and gives confidence to professionals and their managers alike. The exact design of the exam will dictate whether formal training is required to acquire the skills.

7. What guidance is available to support this new exam? For example will there be a manual that represents core guidance?

In addition to the ITIL core library consisting of five books, and especially the CSI book, additional guidance papers covering the practical application of theory will be developed as support for this new qualification.

The need for a specific study guide will be assessed as the development progresses.

8. What type of assessment will the exam be?

The exam will be a scenario-based multiple choice exam that tests the candidate’s ability to apply the knowledge and the tools in the best possible way.

9. How long is the course?

AXELOS does not prescribe the length of an accredited training course. The training requirements will be those necessary to ensure the delegates are introduced to all elements that are referenced within the qualification syllabus. Our expectation is that on average a good trainer will be able to cover the material in two days, with an expectation that some additional pre- and post-course reading might be required, depending on the delegate’s level of experience.

10. What is this cognitive complexity of the qualification?

The exam will target Bloom’s taxonomy levels 3 – 5. A definition of the taxonomy can be found here. 11. Who will provide the training?

The training will be provided by AXELOS Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) globally.

12. What languages will this launch in?

The exam will launch in English, with additional languages added over time based on community feedback. AXELOS is committed to delivering global best practice, and supporting practitioners in a range of different languages.

13. Does this mean that you are rolling back to ITIL v2 which included a Practitioner qualification?

Although there was a qualification in ITIL v2 called “ITIL Service Practitioner”, this is not related to the new ITIL Practitioner. With the new ITIL Practitioner we are providing help with the ‘how’ for all ITSM practitioners regardless of their job role. Advanced ITIL qualifications (such as Intermediate) are aimed at more job role specific knowledge and skills and are more similar to specific v2 Practitioner qualifications.

Qualification Eco-System:

1. How will this impact on the existing ITIL framework?

ITIL Practitioner is additive to the existing ITIL qualification scheme, and is built on the existing core guidance with additional guidance on good practices added where required.

2. Will ITIL Practitioner add points towards ITIL Expert, and if so, how many?

Once the complexity level of the exam has been agreed, we will assign a specific amount of credit points to ITIL Practitioner that count towards ITIL Expert the same way as Foundation, Intermediate and Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) do today.

3. Are candidates able to substitute ITIL Foundation with ITIL Practitioner?

ITIL Foundation is a prerequisite to take ITIL Practitioner as it supplements, rather than substitutes the Foundation qualification. To that end the ITIL Practitioner syllabus will require delegates to have passed their ITIL Foundation exam and be familiar with the principles of ITSM and the organization-wide common language of ITIL. These learnings will be put in context to answer the ‘how’ of successful improvement initiatives with ITIL Practitioner, which is the next step after Foundation, not a substitution.

4. Will this qualification be positioned between ITIL Foundation and ITIL Intermediate?

Passing ITIL Practitioner is not a prerequisite to sign up for any of the ITIL Intermediate courses, although we do encourage people with advanced ITIL qualifications to familiarize themselves with the scope and approach of ITIL Practitioner, and consider the qualification for additional hands-on guidance.

5. What are the pre-requisites for ITIL Practitioner?

To sign up for ITIL Practitioner, a delegate will need to have passed the ITIL Foundation exam successfully.

6. How does this affect people that are already on the ITIL Expert path?

By being additive to the existing qualification scheme, ITIL Practitioner is another qualification within the scheme providing credits for people on a path to ITIL Expert.

7. Is there a fast track for people that have already invested in the ITIL training roadmap?

ITIL Practitioner, built on the existing ITIL guidance, includes additional guidance and focuses on practical application of the acquired knowledge. There is no comparable qualification in the current ITIL qualification scheme to fast track from.

8. What does this mean to the existing lifecycle/capability courses?

As mentioned above, ITIL Practitioner is additive to the existing ITIL qualification scheme. All current qualifications in the scheme will remain as they are.

ITIL®, PRINCE2®, MSP®, M_o_R®, P3M3®, P3O®, MoP® and MoV® are registered trade marks of AXELOS Limited. AXELOS, the AXELOS logo and the AXELOS swirl logo are trade marks of AXELOS Limited.

Copyright © AXELOS Limited 2015

Next Move: Should I study Prince2 or ITIL?


I have been with my current company for four years as a systems manager. I am an experienced manager of technical teams and have…

I have been with my current company for four years as a systems manager. I am an experienced manager of technical teams and have good general technical skills in mid-range systems, PCs and networks. I am now looking to work for a larger organisation in a service management type role. I recently applied for two positions but was turned down because I did not have an ITIL qualification. I am currently doing a BTec in network management and was looking to do Prince2 for project management. Should I now consider ITIL instead? My employer will not pay for any qualifications.

Research potential employers
Your lack of ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) should not have been the make or break point on which you failed to get a job. You appear to have a solid IT career and obvious technical and people management skills that should make you a good prospect for any company.

It is unfortunate that your company does not recognise these project management qualifications, but you could use that to your advantage when talking to future employers. You could explain that you have the practical knowledge and ability, but have been unable to formalise this because your company is already so confident in your skills that your bosses feel paying for additional training would be a waste.

Have you looked into ITIL and compared the subject areas it covers alongside Prince2? It is my understanding that Prince (Projects in Controlled Environments) is the methodology of choice for central and local government, whereas ITIL seems to be designed more for general commercial applications. The course content looks very interesting but I suspect that you have probably covered most of it in your working day anyway.

Identify the type of company you have a desire to work for, ideally you will know the names of these companies, perhaps there is a specific business area? Use a Web site such as and type in the name of your ideal company and it will come up with a number of competitors in the same field.

Often competitors will use the same software and networks, so once you have found out which companies use which software you will generally be able to apply to all of them in the knowledge that your skills should be appropriate.

Solution by by Tracey Abbott, Zarak Technology

Config Solarwinds Universal Device Pollers for monitoring APC Smart UPS

This is a fairly comprehensive collection of Universal Device Pollers for APC SmartUPS devices. If by chance something is missing from this template that you’d like to see reply to this posting and I’ll update as needed.

Import this UnDP into Orion

To import this UnDP into the Universal Device Poller download the file to your Orion Server and then open the Universal Device Poller Win32 application (Start – Programs – Solarwinds Orion – Network Performance Monitor – Universal Device Poller). From the “File” menu select “Import Universal Device Poller“. Click “Open“, browse to the location when you saved the downloaded file and click “Open“. Select “SmartUPS” from the left hand window of the Universal Device Poller Import Wizard and click “Import“. Finally click “OK“.


Apply This UnDP to Nodes

To apply this UnDP to your APC UPS equipment open the Universal Device Poller as described above. Click on “Assign Pollers“. Expand “All pollers“, check the box next to “SmartUPS” and click “Next“. Expand “All Nodes” and select the APC SmartUPS device from the list of Orion monitored nodes and click “Finish”.


Add the Universal Device Poller Status to your View

Click “Admin” in the top right of the Orion web interface and then click “Manage Views” under “Views”. Select “Node Details” from the list and click “Edit“. Click the green [+] to add a resource to the view. Under the “Node Detail Reports – Resources that apply to a single network node” select “Universal Device Poller Status” and click “submit” to add the Universal Device Poller Status to the Node Details view. Lastly click “Done”. Your changes will be saved and you’ll be returned to Manage Views. Now when you navigate to a node that has the SmartUPS UnDP applied to it the Universal Device Poller status tabular data will be displayed in the web interface of Orion.


Service Portfolio vs Service Catalog: 5 Reasons You Should Know the Differences

At first glance, the service portfolio and service catalog almost seem like the same thing. After all, both contain details of IT services. However, there are important differences when you’re talking about service portfolio vs. service catalog.

two hammers
To the casual observer, these may look similar, but use the wrong one for the job, and the differences become obvious.

service portfolio is an overarching document used in the management of the life cycles of all services: including those no longer offered, those currently offered, and those in the pipeline. The service portfolio is more of a living historical document of service-related activities.

service catalog, on the other hand, details the currently-active IT services and may include information on those that will be deployed soon. The service catalog is an “outward facing” document for your end users.

To use an analogy, suppose you’re an architect. Your portfolio contains examples of work you have completed for your clients, work representative of what you’re doing now, and information about where you want to take your expertise in the future. If you as an architect were to create the equivalent of the “service catalog,” it would contain information about exact services you provide, how the services are performed, how long they take to complete, and how much you charge.

There are several reasons you should understand the service portfolio vs service catalog differences. Here are 5 of them.

1. To Remain Consistent with ITIL Framework

This is a matter of good corporate IT hygiene. When you bring in a new IT service manager, collaborate with another company on an IT initiative, bring in a consultant, or take on the task of creating a service catalog and portfolio, knowing the difference between the service portfolio and the service catalog keeps everyone on the same page and makes communication easier.

2. To Prioritize Your Efforts

There are varying opinions on which should come first: the service catalog or the service portfolio. The choice may depend on many factors, including how well-documented past IT services were and what your resources allow. The service catalog is a more focused document, and many people think that this is where your initial efforts should be focused, followed by use of the information in the service catalog as a springboard to creating a service portfolio. The “right” answer about which to tackle first depends on your particular organization’s priorities and resources.

3. To Know Where to Place Your “Marketing” Efforts

The service portfolio is usually an internal document that the IT help desk and management use to gain a historical overview of IT services, assess what worked and what didn’t, and try to lay out long-term plans. It doesn’t “market” services, per se. Your service catalog, however, being an outward-facing document primarily directed at end users, really is like a catalog: here is a service you may be interested in, what this service does, how it’s done, and how long you can expect it to take. It should be written with less “IT-speak” so that end-users understand and appreciate it.

4. To View ITSM Both Long Term and Short Term

Service portfolio vs. service catalog is also about long-term versus short-term. The service portfolio gives the long view and helps you determine how to play the long game, with fewer specifics. Technology changes so rapidly that trying to nail down specific future services using just the information in your service portfolio may be an exercise in futility. Your service catalog, on the other hand, is about here and now, and the near future.

5. To Prepare End Users for Upcoming Changes

Just as your local game store gives you release dates so you’ll know when to expect an anticipated product, your service catalog can tell end users: “Our social help desk app is scheduled to launch September 1” (or whatever). Service catalog users generally have less interest in long-term plans with unknown effects (like when your new data center is expected to be complete), and are more interested in finding out things like, “When does the help desk integration with Salesforce Chatter go live?” or “When will the IT help desk start using remote desktop support so I don’t have to wait for someone to show up or walk me through a fix?”

The service portfolio and service catalog are both important, living documents that make planning and delivery of IT services better. Samanage, a leading cloud IT service management software provider, gives you the tools you need for creating and managing your IT service catalog and developing a service portfolio that can help your organization map out where it’s been and where it needs to go.

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