Spring is here. With the arrival of the season, many take on the task of taking out the old and starting anew. For me, it began with the cleaning and organizing my 5 year old daughter's bedroom As I walked into the abyss of dolls, stuffed animals, goodie-bag leftovers, and unopened new toys, I was getting that overwhelming feeling that was quite familiar. It's the same feeling I would get when trying to make sense of what servers we own, what is compliant, what is under warranty and are we licensed for those Operating Systems.
When walking out of a clean and organized room, where everything has a place and a place for everything, you realize that a 5 year old does not understand that concept too well or care to. But this time it was different. How? I had asked my daughter to help me organize her room. She had a vested interest in making sure she could find the toys that she really loved to play with and a clear defined place to keep those toys going forward. She understood (at least that's what she tells me) that having a clean room is great because it gives her more space to play. In order to get to that understanding we first had to sort out what she had. We made piles of Barbies, Build-A-Bears, My Little Ponies (her favorite) and the rest of the remaining toys and games. Once she realized what toys she had, she started pointing out the toys she wanted to keep and what to donate to charity. As we worked through the piles, it occurred to her that many of the toys were from her toddler days and that she was too big to play with them now. Another benefit was that all the dolls that were missing accessories were now found and she could play with them as if they were new.
When I look at the example above, it made me realize that similar things happen to those of us who are constantly trying to manage and keep an organized server infrastructure. Now obviously there is a lot more at stake when managing your company's server environment compared to a child's room, but the concepts are similar. Let's break that down shall we?
- Knowing the servers you have (making piles of toys)
- Cataloging and sorting the servers (organizing into Barbies, etc.)
- Defining compliance policies on how to build those servers (where and how the toys should be kept)
- Discovering the servers that are not managed (finding new toys that were never opened)
- Finding out which assets are out of warranty (toys that were from her toddler days)
- Having the necessary teams have vested interest in the management of those servers (daughter helping me to clean the room)
- Keeping a standard configuration in place (keeping the room clean and organized)
- Avoiding buying additional hardware (finding accessories for toys that were never played with)
When looking at it from this perspective, one would think that keeping things in order would be easy. It can be if you have the right tools, the right organizational structure and management backing to support those tasks. From a BMC standpoint, ADDM, CMDB and BladeLogic Server Automation can all help in managing and keeping things under control.
Our latest offering is a new utility called the Compliance and Risk Assessment Kit. This utility is available to our Sales and Services teams NOW and can help identify potential risks in your environment. It offers OOB compliance reports which look at the following:
- Compliance and Security overall score based on the items below
- When was a server was last rebooted? Has it been over 60 days?
- Does it have an anti-virus solution installed?
- Which open ports are detected on a server?
- Which runtime version is installed for Java and .Net?
- Which types and versions of Apache, IBM WebSphere, Microsoft IIS, Oracle WebLogic and Red Hat JBoss are installed?
- Which types and versions of database applications such as Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and MySQL are installed?
- The distribution of Operating Systems in the environment. Are you still running Windows 2000?
- The distribution of physical vs. virtual infrastructure
- Which types and versions of BMC products installed?
- Heartbleed detection! Which servers are not patched from the OpenSSL vulnerability (see screen-shot below)?
The utility is also configurable for the different applications that are discovered by ADDM so you can view what is important for your organization. This is a vital step in identifying your risks and with the help of BladeLogic Server Automation, being able to remediate those risks.
If you would like to get this data about your own ADDM environment, let's arrange an assessment with BMC specialists.
For remediation, there is a new Blade ZipKit which identifies servers impacted by the Heartbleed vulnerability and offers auto-remediation for patching AIX, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Red Hat, Solaris and Ubuntu servers. It also helps discover Windows servers that are impacted by the vulnerability.
As we start to control, discover, inventory, organize and understand our environments, the more difficult it can get without the right set of tools to help you along the way. By leveraging the BMC tools I mentioned earlier, server management and compliance can be less daunting and give you more time to enjoy the beautiful spring weather or go clean your child's room.