CN keeps its IT from derailing

Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced in June that Canadian National (CN) has selected HP OpenView management software to monitor, report and provide a centralized systems management strategy for the North American railroad’s distributed, multi-vendor IT environment.

CN will use the HP software to seamlessly monitor, control, manage and respond to changes within its IT environment across a broad range of operating systems, applications and services.

From one central point of command, the HP software will automatically uncover bottlenecks and initiate actions within CN’s distributed infrastructure, which consists of more than 1,000 routers across North America and 32 field locations using UNIX and Windows servers, according to the release.

Using OpenView Internet Services, CN IT managers expect to predict, diagnose and troubleshoot problem occurrences, anticipate capacity shortfalls and manage and report on service-level agreements.

HP OpenView Operations’ monitoring of the back-end infrastructure is intended to enable CN to report with a breakdown of important components related to the response time of end-users from the data centre servers through the Internet and back to CN’s customers’ desktops.

“HP is enabling us to automatically detect problems leading to quick resolution with minimum impact to our clients,” the announcement attributes to George Bozikian, CN’s director of IT operations. ‘This helps us repair our network more quickly, reduces downtime and ensures that our customers experience the same level of excellent service they expect and are accustomed to receiving.”

CN is using HP OpenView Performance Agent, a response measurement solution that works across multiple applications, databases, networks and operating systems from a single interface alerting IT of disturbances. This solution is intended to help improve the way CN monitors internal operations that are critical to the success of the railway.

CN is also reported to be one of the first enterprises to pilot HP Software Self-Healing Services for OpenView in order to achieve greater overall system effectiveness and reduce infrastructure costs. As a pilot customer, CN will be testing new HP technology that combines an embedded self-healing software “engine” with integrated support services to reduce time and costs, noted the news release. In theory, should a connection be lost with OpenView, the self-healing services will be triggered. An engine will troubleshoot the problem, collect fault data and system information, alert key CN IT staff and recommend a corrective course of action via a set of Web services. The accelerated access to fault recommendations is designed to increase overall system effectiveness and reduce infrastructure costs.

In other HP news, the company also announced in June that it had expanded its StorageWorks portfolio. The enhanced storage systems, software, solutions and tools are intended to increase application uptime, data recovery speeds and customer choice.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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