News

Introducing the LoadRunner family for 2020

Introducing the LoadRunner family for 2020

Micro Focus LoadRunner has long been the industry standard and leading solution for performance testing solution with LoadRunner (for On-Premise), Performance Center (for Enterprise) and StormRunner Load (For Cloud). As we move into 2020, Micro Focus has standardised their solutions under the LoadRunner banner and re-architected some of the solutions. Meet the new family:

LoadRunner Professional which was earlier called LoadRunner. An On-Premise solution for small teams conducting performance tests.
LoadRunner Enterprise which was earlier called Performance Center. Primarily aimed at enterprise deployments for multiple performance tests to be done in collaboration.
LoadRunner Cloud which was earlier called StormRunner Load. A cloud based scalable solution for performance testing.

DevWeb renamed from TruWeb is now a fully supported Vugen Protocol.

 

Feature Highlights for 2020

LoadRunner Professional 2020

  • Improved Protocol support in DevWeb, TruClient, Web Services and SAP – Web
  • Modernized Controller Online Graphs

LoadRunner Enterprise 2020

  • Support for Elastic Cloud based load generators
  • SSO Authentication
  • ALM Database decoupling

LoadRunner Cloud 2019.12

  • New analysis module enhancements
  • Pause scheduling during a load test run
  • Goal oriented mode enhancements
  • Support for DevWeb scripts
  • Automatic syncs of GIT scripts
  • Enhanced Azure DevOps integration
  • New public API operations

 

LoadRunner 2019.12

With the LoadRunner Cloud team embracing a continuous delivery approach the version number will be named based on the year and month that the update is delivered. This version release is 2019.12 (December 2019). With planned quarterly product updates and releases, the next update is expected on 2020.02 (February 2020).

The latest release adds features to the runtime view for the tests and improving the DevOps integration while also formalising DevWeb (earlier known as TruWeb) as a supported protocol.

A brief summary is provided below:

 

A few of the most interesting and visual changes are

  • Transaction response time breakdown metrics are now available in the real-time dashboards

  • Azure DevOps Integration

LoadRunner Cloud now integrates into your Azure DevOps pipelines and provides summary report for quick view while a detailed report is also available to analyze. When using the LoadRunner Cloud integration with Azure DevOps, upon completion of a task you can view a new artifact that is published on the Summary tab and a brief report on the LoadRunner Cloud tab.

 

JDS consultants have more than 15+ years of experience working with LoadRunner, and Platinum partners of Micro Focus in Australia. Added to our strong experience in DevOps lifecycle management, JDS has the edge when it comes to performance testing that is unmatched by other performance testers. If you are in the process of introducing a new system or application, make sure you schedule a performance test with JDS.

Conclusion

Contact our Micro Focus & DevOps team today on 1300 780 432 or at DevOps@jds.net.au.

Our team on the case

Work smarter, not harder

Pradeep Ramdas

Consultant

Pradeep Ramdas is an experienced Technical Consultant for the JDS DevOps practice.  Pradeep has over 13 years experience, specialising in performance testing and engineering,  including experience with Atlassian Jira, AppDynamics and Splunk.

Other Micro Focus stories

Posted by Jillian Hunter in Blog, Micro Focus, News
Meet us at the ServiceNow Future of Work tour

Meet us at the ServiceNow Future of Work tour

As a Silver Services Partner with ServiceNow, JDS is proud to be a sponsor of the current ServiceNow Future of Work tour. This roadshow of events is taking place across Australia in February and March.

“The ServiceNow Future of Work Tour will help you start empowering employees to do their best work now. Wherever you are on your ServiceNow journey – an existing customer, prospective customer or just interested to know more about our technology, this is a great event for you!” —ServiceNow website

This event is a great opportunity for current and prospective ServiceNow customers to learn more about the technology and speak to our experts at JDS about how it can be implemented in your business.

We look forward to attending the Future of Work events in the following cities. We hope to see you there:

  • Brisbane: 1 March, 2-5pm at the Hilton Brisbane Register
  • Adelaide: 20 March, 2-5pm at the Hilton Adelaide Register
  • Sydney: 21 March, 2-5pm at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney Register
  • Melbourne: 22 March, 2-5pm at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne Register

Our success stories

Posted by Amy Clarke in Blog, Micro Focus, News
Here are the key features of the ServiceNow Kingston release

Here are the key features of the ServiceNow Kingston release

The ServiceNow Kingston release introduces a number of key features to help customers with process improvement. In addition to process enhancements, there are also a number of platform changes which continue to build upon the framework we’ve seen in place since the Helsinki release, so ServiceNow is following the roadmap it laid out back then and continuing to aggressively develop functionality.

Agent Intelligence

Over time, ServiceNow gathers vast amounts of information on the processes a customer uses to manage their business. Agent Intelligence uses that information to apply machine learning to anticipate categories, routes, and assignments based on the unique aspects of each customer. By learning from your personal dataset, Agent Intelligence can streamline the triage process.

  • First level support spends, on average, 12 hours per week categorising requests
  • Due to the large number of assignment groups in most organisations, roughly a quarter of all requests are incorrectly categorised by first level support and need to be re-categorised

Agent intelligence removes the manual effort associated with ticket categorisation, assignment and prioritisation and, importantly, avoids tickets sitting in a queue waiting for attention.

Concepts like artificial intelligence and machine learning can be daunting, and implementations by various vendors can be unwieldy to work with, but ServiceNow has simplified the approach. Simply define:

  • The table on which learning should be applied
  • A filter that captures the best set of data representing your business
  • Which field contains the information that should be observed for learning
  • The field that should be applied (output)

Provide this information and ServiceNow will learn how past incidents were assigned based on their descriptions, and apply that learning to how incidents are assigned in future.

Flow Designer

Allows process analysts to create codeless workflows using natural language for actions. The flow designer includes an integration hub, increasing the ability of ServiceNow to interact with third-party systems. Over time, ServiceNow expects that:

  • Flow Designer will supersede the current workflows
  • Integration Hub will supersede the current orchestration module

Traditional workflows within ServiceNow can be very complex. The Flow Designer is intended to make it easy to walk through the logical steps associated with business processes.

IT Service Management

Now includes:

  • Integration with IBM Watson Conversation Services: allows virtual chat agents to deflect low-level incidents and information collection.
  • Major Incident Management: provides a dedicated workbench for resolving high-impact incidents.
  • Actionable Recommendation: where ServiceNow provides automated recommendations for each instance based on best practices.

IT Operations Management

Now includes:

  • Traffic-based discovery for Business Service Mapping: identifies candidates that could be defined as services. Traffic-based discovery generates maps from network traffic based on machine learning to refine results and reduce noise.
  • Guided User Experience: assists in the creation of service maps and reduce the complexity of maintaining and enhancing service mapping.
  • Discovery patterns: increases application content mapping to assist with cloud integration and cloud mapping of services.

IT Business Management

Now includes:

  • Capacity based planning: allows users to view the hierarchy of strategic business activities.
  • Technology Portfolio Management: allows users to track technology lifecycles, understand technology debt, and the impact/risk to business applications.
  • Sprint & Backlog Management: improves the user experience, making it easier to add stories to sprints, manage schedules, understand burn rates, and shift stories between sprints.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: has been enhanced to allow for group budget/forecasts using a drag and drop interface.

Software Asset Management

Now includes:

  • Packs for IBM and VMWare: builds on the existing Microsoft and Oracle packs to better understand license audit risk.
  • Office 365 Subscription Management: allows users to track consumption and understand costs during peak usage.
  • Reconciliation Grouping Dimensions: allows customers to track cost and compliance based on geography, subsidiary, business units, departments, and cost centres
  • Blacklisted Software: can dictate license behaviour for software that isn’t approved for use.

Security Operations

Now includes:

  • Configuration compliance: identifies and responds to misconfigured software—this can be prioritised based on the CMDB and how CIs are mapped to a service.
  • End-to-End Phishing Response: remediates email attacks by parsing .eml attachments for incident creation, and uses Office 365 integration to search for and delete dirty emails.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Now includes:

  • Continuous Monitoring: prevents compliance “drift” and ensures the corporate posture is maintained. Allows customers to assess and respond to unplanned configuration changes as part of the compliance/risk lifecycle.
  • Risk & Compliance: visualizations include heat maps and policy exceptions to assist in managing critical risks.
  • Sarbanes Oxley: ServiceNow includes out-of-the-box Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) profile structures, common risks, and controls to assist companies in reaching SOX compliance.

ServiceNow is used to manage governance, risk, and compliance by world-leading organisations such as:

  • DHL
  • Barclays Bank
  • Moody’s Investor Services
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • United States Postal Service
  • Turner Communications (Time Warner, CNN, etc.)
  • York Medical

Customer Service Management

Now includes:

  • Appointment booking: allows customers to self-schedule field service visits using an online booking system.
  • Community activity: includes gamification, user self-registration and forum membership, case creation, and knowledge harvesting.
  • Role-based dashboards: intended to provide transparency to senior management on insights gained from customer service management.

Platform Enhancements

  • ServiceNow supports two approaches to mobile computing, using its native mobile application and the browser-based service portal, giving customers considerable flexibility in how they tackle the delivery of services on mobile devices. The Kingston release allows people to use the application offline even if they don’t have an internet connection.
  • Function fields allow for common functions to be performed within a field, such as calculating the days between a start and end date.
  • Workspaces (like the one pictured below) are currently only used to display information for the agile module, but as this is a core functionality change, we expect to see this expanded in following releases as they make information far more accessible and actionable.

Conclusion

ServiceNow Kingston continues to extend the ability of ServiceNow to manage complex business processes from the cloud.

To find out more about how JDS can help you with your ServiceNow needs, contact one of our consultants today on 1300 780 432, or email contactus@jds.net.au.

Our team on the case

Document as you go.

Peter Cawdron

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

5 years

Skills

ServiceNow, Loadrunner, HP BSM, Splunk.

Workplace Passion

I enjoy working with the new AngularJS portal in ServiceNow.

Our ServiceNow stories

Posted by Amy Clarke in Blog, Micro Focus, News
JDS partners with PagerDuty on William Hill digital transformation

JDS partners with PagerDuty on William Hill digital transformation

JDS Australia is excited to announce its new technology partnership with PagerDuty, a leading provider of digital operations management. JDS and PagerDuty are working with the online betting platform, William Hill, to achieve a 100% availability rate of its online betting services, putting them ahead of the competition in ensuring the highest levels of customer service by preventing downtime.


"We see great opportunity for PagerDuty in Australia and are proud to commence a partnership so early on in the company's growth journey here. It's been a privilege to work with the team at William Hill, which has been both visionary and committed to extracting the most out of PagerDuty's technological innovation, and from our localised experience," said John Bearsley, Managing Director of JDS Australia.

With JDS's domain expertise in application monitoring and incident response, we led a competitive evaluation and proof of concept for William Hill earlier this year, showing how PagerDuty could improve their performance and availability while also cutting down on some of their manual processes. JDS worked with William Hill to quickly implement the solution, which was an integral part of the operations team’s visibility and incident response during the spring racing carnival.

"For most organisations, 99.9% availability is adequate, but not for us, we want 100% uptime and that’s why we’ve put PagerDuty at the heart of our digital transformation and cloud migration strategy," said Alan Alderson, Head of Infrastructure and Operations, at William Hill Australia. "Incidents happen, every business knows that, but with PagerDuty as an integral partner in our digital and cloud journey, we have the right technology to preempt and manage how you respond to them. We want to instil exceptional operational efficiency throughout our teams to actively manage business and consumer expectations so we have standardised on the PagerDuty Digital Operations Management Platform."

PagerDuty integrates with all of our key vendor partners—Splunk, ServiceNow, AppDynamics, and Micro Focus—as well as more than 200 other technologies and systems. This makes it a perfect fit for our customers, who often have complex technology stacks that need constant monitoring to ensure consistent performance and availability.

JDS is a technology partner and official reseller of PagerDuty, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them to demonstrate the technology’s innovative capabilities to a wider range of Australian businesses. If you are interested in PagerDuty, learn more about the technology and our capabilities on the PagerDuty webpage. Alternatively, contact us to find out how it would benefit your business specifically.

About PagerDuty

PagerDuty is the leading digital operations management platform for businesses. Through its SaaS-based platform, PagerDuty empowers developers, DevOps, IT operations and business leaders to prevent and resolve business-impacting incidents for exceptional customer experience. More than 10,000 small, mid-size and enterprise global customers such as Lululemon, IBM and Panasonic use and trust PagerDuty to maximize their time and increase their business response and efficiency. When revenue and brand reputation depends on customer satisfaction, PagerDuty arms businesses with the insight to proactively manage incidents and events that may impact customers across their IT environment. Headquartered in San Francisco, with regional offices in Toronto, Sydney and London, the company was recently listed in the 2016 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 2017 Cloud 100 lists. Try PagerDuty for free at www.pagerduty.com. Follow our blog and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. PagerDuty is a registered trademark of PagerDuty, Inc. in the United States.

About JDS Australia

JDS is a market leader in supporting the end-to-end application lifecycle. We have nearly 15 years of experience optimising performance and availability for a wide range of Australian and international businesses, using a variety of industry-leading tools. As attested experts in IT services and support, JDS is the trusted partner of choice for leading Australian organisations.

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment.

Our team on the case

Focus. Work hard. Stay positive. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Daniel Tam

Account Manager

Length of Time at JDS

10 years

Skills

I am an experienced Account Manager, with a strong capability for problem-solving and creating the solutions that best match each customer’s unique requirements. I have a demonstrated technical capability across numerous disciplines, including:

  • Performance testing
  • Application performance monitoring (‘APM’)
  • IT Service Management (ITIL 3 certified)
  • CMDB, automation and orchestration

Workplace Passion

I have a strong passion for understanding our customers’ unique requirements and helping to create solutions that best solve both their technical and business needs.

Commas save lives.

Amy Clarke

Marketing Communications Manager

Length of Time at JDS

Since July 2017

Skills

Writing, communications, marketing, design, developing and maintaining a brand, social media, sales.

Workplace Solutions

Words matter, so make sure you get them right!

Workplace Passion

Helping a company develop its voice and present that to their clients with pride.

Posted by Amy Clarke in Case Study, Entertainment, News, PagerDuty
AppDynamics 4.4: Know and transform your business like never before

AppDynamics 4.4: Know and transform your business like never before

Having been partnered with AppDynamics for a few years now, we’ve seen the platform grow from a clever but geek-centric tool (that used a lot of Adobe Flash!) to one highly focused on allowing the business to gain insight into how the technology is driving every interaction and transaction with customers and the resulting relationship between technical and business performance. This has been critical to many organisations transforming and disrupting their way into the digital world. Meanwhile, with a couple of clicks, us techies can still dive deep into the diagnostic detail to work out where experiences need to be optimised.

The Winter ’17* release of AppDynamics, their first major one since becoming part of Cisco, builds even further on both of these Business and Technical aspects and brings to life a few golden features that we’ve seen being developed over the past couple of years. Plus, there are a few new gems that will make life easier for us JDS geeks who are tasked with setting up and running the iQ Platform.

*A slight misnomer for those of us in the far reaches of the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, and Indian Ocean.

Business Outcomes

Just about every company we work with that uses AppDynamics has a use case for understanding journeys through a business process. Online application forms, sales forms, online transfer forms, etc. Take for an example, one of your visits to eBay: you need to select the product (ok, products), add to cart, checkout, enter your PayPal details, confirm. Then tasks are sent off to various parts of eBay and the seller—shipping registration, inventory fulfilment. At some point, a person (or perhaps a drone!) needs to put a box on a truck and drive it (fly it?) to you.

Until now, AppDynamics has been able to monitor and measure a lot of these individual steps as “Business Transactions.” With Business iQ added, we were able to start to build Funnel charts to see steps in the user journey for web apps. With Transaction and Log Analytics, we were able to fill in a bit more of this picture by capturing common IDs, which allowed us to search for events related to a single activity. All of this was still a bit disparate, though, and required us to do some searching and manual analysis to get the end-to-end picture.

Enter AppDynamics Business Outcomes.

Business Outcomes is all about allowing you to join together events from across a full journey—from initiation to fulfilment of the ultimate outcome. By capturing business data across the application, user experience, transaction analytics, and log analytics components of AppDynamics, we can now track every interaction with the system—automated or user-interactive—related to an individual journey across the “Milestones” that represent each major step of the process. Business Outcomes also takes into consideration “offline” processes, such as underwriting.

Managing experience expectations with Experience Level Management (XLM)

AppDynamics is all about understanding the customer experience, and it helps you capture a wealth of data about this. The new XLM component of AppDynamics makes it easier for businesses to analyse that data and report on things like SLAs and KPIs. XLM is basically a new section of dashboards that are specifically aimed at understanding whether any numeric metric is performing to expectations. I say “metric” because, of course, this could be a technical metric like response time, but it could equally be a business metric like revenue.

The new dashboards allow you to use Business iQ (Analytics) data to report on whether those metrics are meeting expectations. For now, it just allows you to automatically calculate a daily measure of compliance, and then report on that compliance level periodically (e.g. weekly). You can also set exclusion periods to exclude times like out-of-business hours or maintenance periods, etc.

Growing and managing the AppDynamics Platform

Some of our clients have so many apps to monitor that they need multiple AppDynamics controllers. One has six already after only a year! Obviously, this can make it difficult to put related apps together so that Tag and Trace will work to tie together apps that talk to each other.

Enter the new Enterprise Console (EC), and Controller Federation.

EC is an evolution of the former Platform Admin tool which allowed deployment of the Event Service clusters. EC now has a web-based GUI interface (no VB or IP tracing here though), and it allows you deploy, monitor and upgrade the Event Service and Controller, including in a high-availability setup. This can be done both through the UI and CLI and can manage multiple “platforms”—the collective term for a set of Controller and Event Service nodes.

This is still in its early days, but it is a good step towards providing a single view across all the AppDynamics platforms and making upgrades and deployments more automated.

Now that you’ve got your platforms managed, what about having them become friends? Controller Federation, also known as Federated Friendships, will do just that. Until now, only applications that are monitored on the same controller could perform Tag and Trace to see how activity flows between different apps. But it wasn’t always convenient or possible to host apps on the same controller. Now, with CF, controllers can become aware of each other, allowing Tag and Trace to work across all apps in your organisation, and allowing for faster troubleshooting by following traffic and drilling down across multiple controllers. SSO support makes this seamless from a user’s perspective.

Network visibility

AppDynamics is great at telling us where issues lie in applications and gives us a lot of information about the server infrastructure context of the apps. But something we get asked by almost every client is: “Can AppDynamics tell us if the network is a problem?”

Until now, the answer has been “sort of.” We could tell if the app was OK, and we could tell if there was some slowness between when one node makes a call and the downstream node receives it, but we couldn’t really say if it’s the network, or the OS, the Load Balancer, Firewall etc. Our answer can now be: “yes.”

Network Visibility looks for network connections leaving/entering your monitored app, and analyses the low-level traffic using the Network Agent, then builds a picture of the network flow and performance into the Network Flow map. Thus, at a glance, you can tell whether issues are occurring within your apps, or if the network infrastructure is causing you grief.

Internet of Things (IoT)

What would a release of software from Cisco be without something about IoT?

IoT devices tend to be small, low powered, running many different flavours of open source or proprietary operating systems and application stacks, and are put in all sorts of weird and wonderful places. None of this is very conducive to running a Java or .Net monitoring agent and having network communications reporting metrics every minute.

To address this, AppDynamics has developed a new set of APIs and some associated SDKs for Java and C++. These allow an IoT software developer to send data about devices and their activity into the AppDynamics platform. This is quite similar in nature to the Mobile monitoring capability but requires manual instrumentation.

Now for the people who have to make it all work

There are a few smaller features that have been released which will make your life as the person who needs to implement and use AppDynamics a bit easier:

Expanded Universal Agent (UA)

There has clearly been a lot of work here since the UA was released in its infancy in 4.3 for Java on Linux only. It can now do Java on Linux and Windows, .Net, the Standalone Machine Agent and the Analytics agent. This means that instead of needing to install and manage individual agents, you can deploy the UA and then let AppDynamics grab the necessary agent files and configs for you—particularly neat for smaller customers who don’t have automation tools for deployment.

One thing in particular that we are looking forward to trying out is the ability to do Live Attach for Java apps. This means instead of needing to stop, reconfigure, and start Java apps to include the AppDynamics agent, the UA can instead identify a running Java process, and inject the agent into it while still running.

KPI Analyzer

A new tool that leverages machine learning to automatically determine which metrics are contributing to a performing system. For example, if response times are slow, the tool may determine if it was CPU, error rates, or memory saturation that contributed to the slowness. This is currently only available in the AppDynamics SaaS cloud for customers who have requested that it be enabled.

On-premise Synthetics agent

You can now host your own Synthetics robot so that you can run scripts from internal locations and/or against internal apps.

New Java framework support

For customers running Mulesoft or Tibco BW, or those running some of the latest clever asynchronous libraries, there is new support for automatic instrumentation here.

Custom dashboard improvements

The ability to format and control the design of widgets has been improved.

Rest APIs for Role-based Access Control (RBAC)

You can now use APIs to manage users and roles, making automation of this easier.

Simple Search

You can now bring up a search box to search across a controller, making it easy to find specific BTs, nodes, metrics, etc.

Analytics Agent Health view

For those using Business iQ and the Analytics Agents, you can now view the health and status of the analytics event pipeline.

Conclusion

The new release of AppDynamics will help businesses better keep track of the ways their customers are using applications, as well as the relationship between technical and business performance. Data and network visibility have been enhanced, cutting down a lot of manual processes for IT teams.

We’ll be following up with more on some of these features as we start to use them in the wild with our customers. Please do reach out to our team if you’re keen to know a bit more about the new AppDynamics release, and we will happily give you a demonstration and talk about how they will fit into your environment.

Our team on the case

Death to pie charts.

Hamish Goodwin

Consultant, AppDynamics Team Lead

Length of Time at JDS

4 years, 10 months, 12 days

Skills

Figuring out and resolving complicated technical problems. Showing people how to get more out of their technology. Teaching people about the way things really work.

Workplace Solutions

I help our clients to understand and improve the way their customers are really experiencing their apps.

 

Posted by Amy Clarke in AppDynamics, News
What the HPE Software move to Micro Focus means for you

What the HPE Software move to Micro Focus means for you

After a year-long planning and transition period, the new Micro Focus announced its official launch on Friday 1 September. The spin-off merger of HPE Software with Micro Focus is one of the biggest deals in IT this year. So, what does it mean for your business?


In their official press release, the new CEO of Micro Focus, Chris Hsu, stated: “We are bringing together a powerful combination of technology and talent uniquely positioned to drive customer-centered innovation at enterprise scale – enabling organizations to maximize the ROI of existing software investments while embracing the new hybrid model for enterprise IT.”

Having come into the role directly from his previous positions as COO of HPE and Executive Vice President and General Manager of HPE Software, Hsu is highly familiar with the workings of this software and the needs of users.

JDS Australia congratulates Mr Hsu, Micro Focus, and HPE Software on this deal and looks forward to partnering with Micro Focus going forward to deliver excellent IT and software outcomes to our customers. JDS will continue to support and work with Micro Focus software to ensure it works for your business.

As with all things in IT, change is inevitable and ongoing. And with change comes a certain level of excitement, but also uncertainty. With this transition from HPE Software to Micro Focus, JDS Australia is here to assist you in navigating any uncertainties or questions you may have.

If you have any concerns or questions about this change, or our ongoing partnership and capabilities with Micro Focus, please contact us by phone or email.

Our team on the case

Commas save lives.

Amy Clarke

Marketing Communications Manager

Length of Time at JDS

Since July 2017

Skills

Writing, communications, marketing, design, developing and maintaining a brand, social media, sales.

Workplace Solutions

Words matter, so make sure you get them right!

Workplace Passion

Helping a company develop its voice and present that to their clients with pride.

Posted by Amy Clarke in Micro Focus, News
Meet the key features of LoadRunner 12.55

Meet the key features of LoadRunner 12.55

HPE Software has just announced the release of LoadRunner and Performance Centre 12.55 this month, August 2017. One of our expert consultants, Lionel Lim, has the details.


I've spent some time going through the release notes and checking out what HPE has in store for us in the performance space and I have to admit, it sounds like a very interesting update.

There are some key features you should be aware of in LoadRunner 12.55. I’ll unpack these in the second half of this post, but the full list of features is below:

  • JMeter tests integration enables the users to run JMeter scripts from inside the Controller, alongside Vuser scripts and view JMeter test results in addition to LoadRunner measurements.
  • HAR files can be generated from the Replay Summary pane (only for Web HTTP/HTML).
  • Updates to correlation rules:
    • Ability to search and apply correlations in HTTP headers
    • Attribute based correlations (ABC): New correlation API allows dynamic value extraction from HTML documents
    • Updated correlation rules (SAP Fiori, SAP NWBC, SAP WebDynpro)
    • Scan using popular encoding methods (Base64/XSS encoded/decoded).
  • MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) protocol is a M2M protocol widely used in IoT (Internet of Things). User can emulate MQTT clients and design, and execute performance testing of BQTT-based IoT systems (sensors, actuators, switches).
  • TruClient scripts converted to code from actions (TruClient Web Scripts only)
  • Support for Dynatrace
    • Integrate Dynatrace graphs during online execution
    • Opens up more metrics to be measured during a test run
    • Combined reports in analysis

One of the biggest features that LoadRunner 12.55 has introduced is integration of JMeter tests, which can be run from the Controller. The added benefit is that the Controller will also be able to collect the essential JMeter tests results and can be viewed via the LoadRunner Analysis although it is very basic information.

The amount of threads will be configured in the jmx file. This means on the Controller, only one user is required from each JMeter script. Other JMeter configurations (e.g. threads, pacing, think time, etc.) should be configured through JMeter before the script is uploaded to the Controller.

Another great update in LoadRunner 12.55 is that TruClient scripts can now be converted to code from actions. This allows the user to create more complex scripts and is not restricted to only action commands. Converting the script to code mode will also reduce the memory consumption and provide a faster processing user interface compared to running it via actions.

The screenshot below shows the TruClient script in Development mode. The user then selects the Convert to Code button, highlighted in red.

The script is then converted into code mode as shown below. This is less resource intensive compared to running in action mode and will allow for more complex scripting, something that was restricted in the action mode.

Continuing on from JMeter related features, Vugen web scripts can now be converted to HAR files by replaying the script once and then selecting the Save HAR File option in the Replay Summary. The HAR files then could possibly be converted to jmx files using other third-party tools.

Vugen recording for HTTP/HTML has a nice handy feature which is available after recording. The Recording Report tab will give the option to exclude different domains from the original recording by selecting only the required domains and regenerating the script. This is a simple but great feature in removing unnecessary requests/clutter in the script.

Our team on the case

Everyone is here to help each other.

Lionel Lim

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

6+ years

Skills

HP LoadRunner ASE, HP UFT, AppDynamics, Splunk, JMeter

Workplace Solutions

I work on performance issues for our clients at JDS. I make sure the client detects and avoids any potential performance problems with their systems prior to their go-live dates

Conclusion

Once more users have adopted LoadRunner 12.55, we should see even more interesting uses for these new features in the real world. If you have any of your own tips and findings from LoadRunner 12.55, I’d be more than happy to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post with your feedback or questions.

Posted by Amy Clarke in Micro Focus, News
Introducing ServiceNow Jakarta

Introducing ServiceNow Jakarta

ServiceNow has officially launched its Jakarta release.

Our experts at JDS have provided a quick summary to ensure you are aware of the key enhancements in the new update.

Guided setups

These walk through the various aspects of setting up ServiceNow for use with ITSM, ITFM, and ITOM so it is well worth familiarising yourself with them.

Please note, this does not take the place of the ServiceNow Implementation Methodology (SIM).

Guided tours

You can create your own guided tour of various modules to allow for context sensitive help to support end users. You can also modify the OOB guided tours.

Be aware, it's a little challenging to set up as the designer doesn't delete steps properly, so be prepared to do some configuration in the regular form layout of the guide as well. Once configured, users can access these tours by clicking on the help icon, which shows the help side pane. At the bottom, there’s a “tour” button.

Knowledge portal

Knowledge within ServiceNow has been upgraded to be more user friendly. Unlike the customer facing service portal, this portal allows access to multiple knowledge bases, making it ideal to assist internal IT staff at first, second, and third levels of support.

knowledge portal

Security hardening dashboard

This interactive dashboard shows the degree to which an instance of ServiceNow has been secured. It allows system admins to configure key security parameters across the platform.

security dashboard

security dashboard

SLA timelines

You can view the progress of SLAs on a timeline (go through the regular Service Desk SLAs to find this feature). This is a brilliant way for managers to monitor the progress of high-priority incidents without the need to micromanage staff, only getting involved when needed.

SLA timelines

Our team on the case

Document as you go.

Peter Cawdron

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

5 years

Skills

ServiceNow, Loadrunner, HP BSM, Splunk.

Workplace Passion

I enjoy working with the new AngularJS portal in ServiceNow.

Need support?

If you have any questions about ServiceNow or this latest release, please feel free to contact JDS.

Posted by Amy Clarke in News, ServiceNow
Australia’s new mandatory security notifications

Australia’s new mandatory security notifications

The majority of Australian organisations will soon be required to report major data security breaches. But what does this mean, and how can businesses avoid associated risks?

Several years ago, JDS received a fax. This was unusual for two reasons: firstly, it was a fax in the 21st century; secondly, it was an authorisation for payment of 60 million dollars from a large market fund. The fax was from a broker, who was merely confirming 'our' bank account details before sending through the transfer—if JDS were in the business of heists, it would have been a matter of changing a digit or two, then faxing the form back for payment.

As you can tell by the fact JDS haven't converted downtown Melbourne into a tropical beach, no such skullduggery transpired: instead, JDS MD John Bearsley called the broker and explained that he might have the wrong fax number on file. The broker was a bit shocked, to say the least. But what about the client? Did they ever find out?

Under Australia's new mandatory data security notification laws, applicable from 22 February 2018, the broker would have been forced to notify the client and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) of the information breach. This is because, through a simple mix-up, we gained access to personal and private information about the fax's intended recipient, and the breach could have had serious consequences. Under the new requirements, data security breaches are to be dealt with as follows:

  1. Contain the breach and assess
  2. Evaluate risks or individuals associated with the breach
  3. Consider whether there is need for notification
  4. Review and take action to prevent further breaches

The difference between this new schema and any internal risk or incident management procedure lies in the role of compulsory reporting. If there is real risk of serious harm, then the individuals involved, and potentially the police as well as the OAIC, must be notified. This notification is to include the scope of the breach, and information regarding containment of the breach and action taken to prevent further breaches.

So what construes 'serious harm'? This relates to the type of information, information sensitivity, whether the information is protected, if the information can be used in combination with other information to cause harm, the attributes of the person or body who now hold the information, and the nature of the harm. It ties into existing Australian privacy and information security legislation, and has particular relevance for organisations that hold databases of information, particularly personal or sensitive information, about their customers or users. Consider the following IT security-related disasters that have come to light, noting that a number are based in the US, where compulsory reporting is already in effect:

Bangladesh Bank

A group of internationally-based hackers attempted to steal nearly US$1 billion from Bangladesh Bank after identifying some security vulnerabilities. They compromised the bank’s network, and used the credentials they gained to authorise bank transfers to the tune of US$951 million. Similar attacks have been seen at the Banco del Austro in Ecuador (US$12 million stolen) and the Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam (unsuccessful).

Result

US$101 million of transfers were successfully completed by the thieves; US$63 million was never recovered.

Indiana University

The names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers of a large number of Indiana University students and graduates were stored on an unprotected site. The lack of protection meant that several data mining applications not just accessed, but downloaded all the data files.

Result

Students and credit reporting agencies had to be notified; ongoing risk for financial fraud and identity theft, and associated liability.

Anthem

Anthem suffered a cyber attack in late 2014, with information accessed potentially including names, home addresses, email addresses, employment information, birth dates, and income data. The FBI investigation found that the attacks were conducted by international parties who were curious about the American healthcare system. Almost all of Anthem’s product lines were impacted.

Result

Anthem had to pay US$115 million to settle a class action litigation suit as a result of the breach. They also provided up to four years of credit monitoring and identity protection services to affected customers.

Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC)

Weaknesses in COMELEC’s network and data security meant hackers were able to access the full database of all registered voters in the Philippines. The database contained personal details many of which were stored in plain text, and included fingerprints, passport numbers and expiry dates, and potentially voting behaviour.

Result

The data could be used for extortion, phishing, or blackmailing purposes, and related hacks may lead to election manipulation.

Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank had monitoring and security mechanisms in place. However, Tesco Bank data such as credit card verification had to be accessed by the parent company Tesco, which does not appear to have been as secure. Security is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain, and in this instance, money was stolen and customers defrauded.

Result

Customers defrauded to the tune of 2.5 million pounds. The bank had to pay associated costs, and manage associated brand damage.

Yahoo

Yahoo’s security was breached twice, in 2014 (500 million accounts stolen by a state-sponsored actor) and 2013 (one billion accounts). Information included user names, telephone numbers, birth dates, and encrypted passwords.

Result

Yahoo’s sale price to Verizon was reduced by some US$350 million as a result of the hacks.

The above breaches cover a wide scope of industries—from health to insurance, government, and education. They have led to wide-ranging financial and reputational damage.

It would be naive to think that similar data breaches don't take place in Australia, though at the moment, it is not compulsory to report them. In 2015–2016, 107 organisations voluntarily notified the OAIC of breaches, and we are likely to see a rise in this number once the new legislation kicks in.

What does this mean for your organisation?

If your organisation deals with sensitive or personal information, including data such as emails, passwords, addresses, birth dates, health records, education records, passport numbers, ID numbers, travel information etc., then you need to prepare for the upcoming legislation. Part of this will be ensuring you have the correct policies, procedures, and training in place—and the other part will be making sure your environment is protected. The security of your IT infrastructure has always been, and will continue to be, vital: but now, there is an increased risk to your organisation, financially and particularly reputationally, if you do not ensure your environment is as secure as possible before mandatory reporting comes in. Test and assess your infrastructure and applications now, rather than down the line following a reportable incident.  

For advice or to book an assessment, call our friendly JDS consultants today.

 

Posted by JDS Admin in News, Secure
ServiceNow—The latest and greatest at Knowledge17

ServiceNow—The latest and greatest at Knowledge17

ServiceNow’s Knowledge17 event has now come to a close, with many exciting new features and developments announced. This year’s was the biggest Knowledge event to date, with 15,000 delegates in attendance—the first event, in 2004, had just 85! The theme for 2017 was ‘Enterprise at Lightspeed’, and this idea underpins the year’s featured products.

New ServiceNow CEO, John Donohoe, was the conference’s first keynote speaker. He brings leadership and vision from his time at eBay and Bain, and his speech outlined how experience in enterprise transformation is informing his vision for ServiceNow’s continuing growth. Donohoe emphasised his role as a servant of customers, staff and partners, with his first 100 days spent on a customer listening tour.

ServiceNow have committed to continuing to provide customers with more capabilities out-of-the-box, better visibility over the product roadmap, improved training for new products, and a better user experience.

Event guests included customers, such as Ashley Haynes-Gaspar from GE, who described their experience of business transformation delivered on a ServiceNow platform.  Ms Haynes-Gaspar shared the insights she has gained from her experiences as an advocate for women in IT, and entertained the crowd in her exchange with executive Dave Schneider, referring to him as a great ‘man-bassador’.

GE plans to consolidate 90 systems to a single platform, as well as enhancing self-service through use of Service Portal on top of Customer Service Management, which Haynes-Gaspar demonstrated for the audience. The solution featured GE service agents as the end users, with tabbed views, a Service 360 view, and a responsive solution that provides suggestions on how to resolve cases. A 10% increase in self-service will deliver an anticipated $10m in benefits.

Knowledge17 focused on the idea that automation will drive growth and productivity for organisations, and highlighted new offerings in key areas.

HR Onboarding

One of the most requested capabilities in ServiceNow has been the ability to deliver HR approval and provisioning workflows out-of-the-box. ServiceNow have now responded with an application introducing a new framework that enables onboarding, offboarding, and change activities to be driven by configuration.

Security Response

ServiceNow are recognising the increasing importance of security to the enterprise, and have identified security response as a key area requiring automation. The growth of IoT and the increasing prevalence of attacks means staff do not have the capacity to respond to security incidents and vulnerabilities without the assistance of automated remediation. ServiceNow Security Operations extends existing SIEM capabilities to provide triage and automated response. It also leverages the policy and compliance capabilities found in GRC to monitor and proactively manage risks in IT.

The Consumer Experience

A fundamental principle underlying ‘Enterprise at Lightspeed’ is that enterprise users are entitled to an experience like that associated with consumer services in our lives outside of work. Central to delivering this type of experience is the Service Portal, which links the intuitiveness and flexibility of the modern web service UI to the power of the ServiceNow platform.

Performance Improvement

Donohoe acknowledged that customers are demanding better performance from ServiceNow. He outlined performance improvements expected from the upcoming release of Jakarta, and committed to continuing to provide improvements in future releases.

Software Asset Management

While ServiceNow has included hardware asset management for several years, IT operations professionals have been screaming for the addition of Software Asset Management (SAM) capabilities. ServiceNow has stepped up, and their new SAM module provides automation for managing software inventories. It features native integration with systems of record such as SCCM, as well as the ability to sync with sources on an ongoing basis. It is a significant improvement for those of us that have been managing true-ups in Excel, because ServiceNow is able to provide a central, automatically-synced record. Where SAM truly shines is in the ability to build intelligent business rules that model your actual licence entitlements, and proactively manage allocations. IT Ops can make real savings, not only by lessening labour efforts, but by reducing software licensing costs.

Intelligent Automation

Intelligent automation of IT operations promises to provide greater visibility and proactive management of IT. JDS continues to follow this trend closely, as we have been bringing this capacity to customers for several years via a range of products in the industry. ServiceNow brings a new approach, with a ‘Guitar Hero’-style user interface that maps events onto timelines. The potential is there to provide more meaningful insights for IT, enabling staff to more efficiently manage incidents, problems, and changes in their environment. ServiceNow uses machine learning to provide automated responses to issues based on event and response histories. ServiceNow CTO Dave Wright demonstrated how the approach is capable of raising incidents for future issues that have not yet occurred. Exciting as this is, we will want to take care with this feature in customer environments, to be sure we are not generating unnecessary noise.

Benchmarking

Jakarta brings the ability for IT managers to benchmark performance of their operation against peers in industry groups. This will be valuable for organisations that apply a continual improvement approach to their IT operations, and which are mature enough to benefit from a data-driven approach.

Over the next few weeks, JDS will continue to bring you insights into our experiences and learnings at Knowledge17, and what lies ahead for customers—so stay tuned!

Posted by JDS Admin in News, Products, ServiceNow
The Australian Defence Reserves Support Council Awards JDS

The Australian Defence Reserves Support Council Awards JDS

Lt. Samuel Abdelsayed receives the 'Employer Support Award - Medium Business' on behalf of JDS.

Lt. Samuel Abdelsayed receives the ‘Employer Support Award – Medium Business’ on behalf of JDS.

JDS has again been awarded by the Australian Defence Reserves Support Council, an organisation which assists Reservists both within Australia and overseas.

This is the second time JDS has received an ‘Employer Support Award’.  Staff member, Lieutenant Samuel Abdelsayed, nominated JDS for being supportive of his Reserve activities and enabling him to attend all training activities and courses.

JDS Managing Director John Bearsley says that Sam’s service in the defence forces is to be highly commended, highlighting the role of service in developing professionalism and problem-solving skills.

Thanks go to both the Defence Reserves Support Council, and to Sam for his demonstration of leadership and commitment.

 

Read more:

 

Posted by JDS Admin in News
JDS is now a CAUDIT Splunk Provider

JDS is now a CAUDIT Splunk Provider

Splunk Enterprise provides universities with a fast, easy and resilient way to collect, analyse and secure the streams of machine data generated by their IT systems and infrastructure.  JDS, as one of Australia’s leading Splunk experts, has a tradition of excellence in ensuring higher education institutions have solutions that maximise the performance and availability of campus-critical IT systems and infrastructure.

The CAUDIT Splunk offering provides Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) Member Universities with the opportunity to buy on-premise Splunk Enterprise on a discounted, 3-year basis.  In acknowledgement of JDS’ expertise and dedication to client solutions, Splunk Inc. has elevated JDS to a provider of this sector-specific offering, meaning we are now better placed than ever to help the higher education sector reach their data collection and analysis goals.

What does this mean for organisations?

Not-for-profit higher education institutions that are members of CAUDIT can now use JDS to access discounted prices for on-premises deployments of Splunk Enterprise.  JDS are able to leverage their expertise in Splunk and customised solutions built on the platform, in combination with their insight into the higher education sector, to ensure that organisations have the Splunk solution that meet their specific needs.

 

Secure organisational applications and data, gain visibility over service performance, and ensure your organisation has the information to inform better decision-making.  JDS and Splunk are here to help.

 

You can learn more about JDS’ custom Splunk solutions here: Active Robot Monitoring with Splunk.
Contact one of our Australia-based consultants today on 1300 780 432.

Posted by JDS Admin in Higher Education, News, Splunk