BMC TrueSight Server Automation Benefits

Jeremy Bragg
Infrastructure Tools Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Take patching as an example. Prior to using TrueSight Server Automation, we used SMS for patching. It was very manually intense. Every month we had one week where we had seven implementers who were on call the whole time executing these jobs. There was no scheduling. Then they were trying to triage on the fly, fix these issues. It was very expensive and it was demotivating for the employees - knowing they have to do this every month. They were scheduling their vacations around it. It was rough. It's not the position you want to be in. Once we got TrueSight Server Automation in, and we were able to take a step back in our process and re-analyze how we do it, we noticed that it provides these capabilities so that we could go into a more automated process. Now the data is all driven from the CMDB, which is owner-controlled data, not IT-controlled data. So the owners get to tell us when we're going to do this effort, and if they want to make a change, they change it in the source, and will then we reflect that into all of our automation processes without any manual intervention. Now, right before patch week starts, I have an automated job that schedules all of the jobs for patching. We've created a set of triage scripts that we've handed down to operators - not even operations staff, but literally operators - who manage all of our patching process now. They're the ones that do the analysis of what the issues are. They follow their triage scripts. They find issues. They know what to do to execute. If there are outliers, there are on-call people they would call, which doesn't happen too often. We've been able to take this very heavy manual process and turn it into a fully automated process which we've been able to hand down to lower-tier staff who are going to be on call anyway. They're already there. Now our staff can schedule their vacations and they can have a life outside of IT. We also took it one step further and we created a portal site so that when a user logs in they're presented with any of the servers they own or support, again based on CMDB data. We give them the ability to enable/disable patching. They can initiate reboots on their servers. We've also taken that from just patching to being able to control the patching process without user intervention. So if the Exchange group says, "Oh, we're doing this big maintenance procedure this weekend. We can't patch our servers," they can go this site, disable patching for a whole block of servers, give their justification, and it just happens. The only user involved is the owner who made the initial request. And with this solution, it has helped to reduce IT ops costs. It's tough to estimate by how much. The tool has been in place in our company for around nine years. There was very heavy adoption at first. Millions of dollars were saved with some of the processes. What's really hard to guesstimate is that, where we came in, there were 1,000 servers. We had no automation tool. We couldn't do compliance. To be able to see if we were meeting our standards, we did it when an auditor requested, and we were on-demand doing these tasks. We always found problems. Then we were trying to fix them at the last minute so that we could present audit with something clean. To be able to create a compliance job that's going to identify and fix this content ahead of time has reduced a whole lot of man-hours. We've really looked more at our time savings than our cost savings. At the end of the day, if we're saving time on having operations staff doing some repeatable event, we can reallocate them to do something else. I don't really see the cost savings, I see the time savings. And then we can have them working on things that are more towards the level that they should be working at, building more content. In the operations staff, in the first year alone, we probably saved 6,000 hours. We were then able to increase that. It's at a pretty set level now. We're very mature in the product, so it's now just utilizing the content we have. Now we just get efficiencies, not having to manually login to a server and install software. We still get some time savings, but we don't really build metrics around those anymore. View full review »
Technical Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
It takes away a lot of manual effort. The reason that the business bought the tool in the first place was to allow them to work in a more efficient way. This tool allows them to manage the IT estate and reach across it, but then using the solution, it allows them to remediate quickly. It's essentially bringing the risk down within IT. We have a number of different BMC tools that are installed and running, as part of the TrueSight family. We are not just using TrueSight Server Automation. We're using other TrueSight management tools, as well. We find that it links very nicely to the whole ecosystem. Our IT estate is scanned by vulnerability management tools, which then feeds into TrueSight Server Automation and TrueSight Vulnerability Management. This allows teams to essentially do their job in a more efficient manner. It is bringing in efficiencies in a way that we can monitor compliance across IT. It is all about provisioning, configuration management, compliance, patch activities, reducing risk, and leveraging automation to do things more efficiently. We use TrueSight Vulnerability Management. This sits above Server Automation, providing the SecOps teams with real time visibility of the vulnerabilities across IT. This allows them to prioritize what they need to do to remediate and fix. The reporting aspects are very good. View full review »
Tech Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Earlier, we had Windows Server Update Services in place. With that, we were only using internal patches. But with BMC, we even configured applications, like IE or things that were Java-related. When we scheduled the jobs, it worked fine. It saved us time and there was no need for resources to monitor them. The jobs worked at the times we scheduled. And, if a job failed we monitored for that. Also, BMC did not have impact in terms of network-related issues. For example, previously, if we staged patches in the daytime, they would use more network bandwidth. In addition, that one BladeLogic was used for almost in 1,000 servers. If we had to do that manually it would be a very big headache. In terms of improving collaboration between IT operations and security teams, there was a security team and they were using Nexpose scanning to analyze the servers. But it was not up to date. We were informed that the patches were not installed and we worked on pushing the packages to the servers which had not been updated. Overall, it saved me time. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about BMC, Red Hat, Puppet and others in Configuration Management. Updated: February 2020.
398,050 professionals have used our research since 2012.