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About SVA

SVA GmbH is a leading system integrator in Germany and Europe's largest IBM business partner.

BVQ has been developed by SVA since 2006 and focused on IBM's SVC, Storwize and Flash storage products in the early years. Today BVQ also supports Netapp, DELL EMC Unity, Brocade SAN, Cisco SAN, VMware, IBM PowerVM and further storage and compute platforms will be added in the following years.

As the largest IBM Business Partner in Europe, SVA has been involved in a variety of storage virtualization projects with IBM's IBM Spectrum Virtualize (IBM SVC and IBM Storwize) products since 2003, and we discovered early, that monitoring and analysis is needed for the secure and efficient operation of every infrastructure.

In the first years BVQ was used Internally to support our customers, but found its way into the German and then later the international market in the following years on customer's request.

Today, the BVQ product has many unique selling points, which are necessary for consistent monitoring and successful analysis. This includes the ability to monitor, visualize and analyze the performance history of many hundreds or thousands of volumes, VMs or network ports in parallel in only seconds, or to offer easy-to-understand recipes for specialized analysis and monitoring tasks. Depending on requirements and technical depth, various accesses to the data are offered


Brief product description

BVQ is the IT Infrastructure monitoring, analysis and reporting solution for the layers Compute, SAN and Storage. These layers are integrated in BVQ into a comprehensive data model that allows true end-to-end monitoring, analysis, reporting and alerting.

The data determined by BVQ can be used by external programs via an adaptable interface. This for example can be used to simplify data collection in an ITSM environment.

All data is collected in real-time, archived on a long-term basis and are available for the following core applications methods and services.
 

  • BVQ Systems Health map with alerting
    … for automated monitoring and fast response

    Displays the status of all systems at a glance, revealing optimization potential, operational risks, bottlenecks, system limits, and breaches of configuration best practices. A steadily growing number of predefined checks (currently more than 250) secure your operations and ensure high efficiency. Of course, these can be individually adapted or you can create an alert for any metric.
     

  • BVQ Monitoring and reporting
    … for a comprehensive overview

    Predefined dashboards and reports show all important data of your infrastructure, such as capacity utilization and system performance status. The dashboards and reports are intuitive; can be customized and easily shared with your team via a PDF or web-browser-link.

  • BVQ true end-to-end Analytics 

    ... keeping an eye on the whole and not just looking at details

    With true end-to-end analytics, BVQ can monitor the interaction of many systems. Because the performance of the overall environment is determined by the interaction of the individual systems.
     

  • BVQ Expert Analysis GUI
    … for more insight into the Infrastructure

    Our high-performance software platform offers in-depth predefined sample analyses and practical examples that quickly identify the root causes of performance issues. It also provides answers to complex questions about detailed load history and component dependencies within the infrastructure.
     

  • BVQ Connect Interface
    … for integration with ITSM and Business Intelligence

    BVQ Connect integrates all BVQ information into your ITSM or BI systems via a REST interface. For example, the health status, infrastructure configuration and key performance indicators analyzed in BVQ are directly visible in your ITSM system. BVQ Connect relieves the ITSM/BI systems of the time-consuming tasks of analysis, correlation and reduction of data. BVQ standardizes the data allowing you to implement the systems faster and easier.

  • BVQ Platforms

    … for a seamless display of all system areas

    Of course, BVQ can also be used to monitor single systems. However, its true strength is shown when it brings together all layers of your IT infrastructure – Compute, Network and Storage – into an overall End-to-End picture.


  • BVQ Services

    … for the all-round worry-free feeling

    You can operate BVQ yourself as an on-premise solution, or use it as a service. Our SVA experts will help you integrate BVQ into your company, ensure smooth operation and provide fast support for all questions.

     

 



BVQ turns measurement data into answers

BVQ is the cockpit for your IT systems. It creates a clear and logical end-to-end visualization of your infrastructure.  This gives you an always current, clear and detailed overview of complex technical details. If anything unusual happens, BVQ alerts you automatically before problems occur, while monitoring, reporting and analysis quickly gives you the latest information.

BVQ enables a complete service ecosystem that can bring the right expertise from SVA into the planning, customization and operation of your infrastructure monitoring. Examples are the adjustments of the alerts to your needs, special dashboards or reports, problem or planning analyzes. Or the SVA Remote Monitoring Service, which can be adapted precisely to your needs, in which BVQ plays a leading role in the early detection of problems.

Supported platforms:


Additional information

BVQ Use cases

With BVQ, the administrator is always fully informed about all important operating states of the entire infrastructure. He also has a staid overview of the resources as well as the current load and existing performance reserves.

This high level of transparency improves the quality of the services while at the same time reducing costs. In very short time, BVQ provides a high level of information from which the administrator can derive measures for achieving higher operational safety .The factual knowledge gained with BVQ allows cost-optimized and verifiable planning and decisions on the further expansions.


The typical tasks that are performed with BVQ are:


  • Automated System analysis with the BVQ Systems Health map
    The only thing you have to de here is to activate the alerts of the BVQ Systems Health map.

    • Be alerted early if a problem occurs
    • Identify the problem and plan a response using the included solution description
    • Use the results from the Systems Health map to carry out a more in-depth system analysis with monitoring or the Expert GUI or request an analysis from SVA.
    • Connect the results from the Systems Health map with a ticket system so that the problems are automatically and promptly passed on to the right people.
    • Contact SVA for special alerts and tests or connections to external systems.
       
  • Monitoring using the web monitoring tool
    Use the dashboards supplied with the BVQ version, which you can easily adapt or expand.
     
    • Use the delivered dashboards to carry out monitoring at different levels.
    • Create new dashboards to enable special monitoring tasks.
    • Set up dashboards for application or system managers, so that ongoing monitoring tasks can be carried out directly by those responsible.
    • Contact SVA for special dashboards to be created.
       
  • Reporting using the web reporting tool
    Every platform comes with reports which can be run automatically or scheduled. New report types can be created with the BVQ Template Editor.

    • Reading out the results of automatically generated reports via a simple web address
    • Generation of new reports based on existing reporting templates
    • Create own new reporting templates to create new report types
    • Setup schedulers to create automated reporting and seining results directly to system or application managers
    • Contact SVA for assistance in creating a specific report template.
       
  • Performing analysis
    The BVQ Expert Analysis GUI comes with many analysis favorites which act like recipes to lead to very good results

    • Carry out planning analyzes based on measured facts and developments
    • Conduct risk analyzes to identify problems early and avoid them
    • With problem analysis through, you can quickly find the reasons for bottlenecks or misconduct.
    • Be curious to understand the interrelationships between the systems and the systems themselves better and better to become an even more valuable administrator.
    • Our system engineers at SVA will be happy to help you carry out analyzes.
  • Connecting ITSM environments to BVQ to access live measured data
    We already prepared base tables for every object type in BVQ which gives a quick start to retrieve the right data for your external applications like ITSM

    • Replace the existing interface types with a general BVQ interface in order to get from the many different languages for each individual system to a query language. This will significantly reduce the number of scripts and programming required.
    • In many cases, replace complex calculations with many accesses with results access from BVQ. This reduces the complexity in the scripts and the susceptibility to errors.
    • Integrate high-quality results from BVQ such as alerts or events directly into the systems.
    • Connect BVQ with Splunk, Kibana, ServiceNow, Matrix42, Icinga, ...,
    • Feel free to contact SVA for any type of ITSM connection or for ITSM project support.

Major benefits and differentiators

There are a couple of essential points that make BVQ unique. The end-to-end capabilities, the automatic system analysis and the graduated user concept are just a few of the highlights. With BVQ Connect, all these advantages can also be used in external systems, in ITSM in business intelligence.

Another important factor is the people behind BVQ, the expertise of the SVA system engineers, who are on hand to provide advice and assistance if necessary to adapt the system optimally to your needs, perform health checks, to help with planning analysis or solve problems with performance and risk analysis quickly.


  • BVQ supports the relevant platforms of an IT infrastructure
    Broad platform support across all levels of infrastructure: Compute, networking, storage as well as hyper converged and cloud systems. With the ability to perform real end-to-end analyzes.
     

  • Fully automated infrastructure analysis with alerting and the BVQ systems health map
    BVQ continuously monitors all connected systems and reports deviations and problems. Violations of best practice, configuration rules or self-defined threshold values are recognized and reported immediately.
    The results are displayed on just one screen using the BVQ System Health map. BVQ is delivered with a large number of tests that only need to be switched on. The automatic system analysis can be adapted in a wide range to your own special needs. The results of the system analysis can also be used externally via BVQ connect.
     
  • True end-to-end analysis capabilities
    The interaction of systems in an infrastructure is the area that requires the greatest attention in monitoring and analysis today. BVQ can perform tasks seamlessly across system boundaries. This makes interdisciplinary relationships quickly visible and complex problems quickly understood and solved. Compared to other multi-platform tools, BVQ uses a greatly expanded approach. The different platforms are not only brought together in one application but also closely interwoven, so that a large number of connections are created (like a multi-dimensional network), all of which can be used in analysis, monitoring, reporting and alerting.

  • Best practice and configuration monitoring based on a deep understanding of the system topologies
    BVQ deals intensively with the topological structure of the systems. This is important because the end-to-end connections are established at this level. Another advantage is that BVQ can use this knowledge to carry out many best practice and configuration monitoring.
     
  • BVQ is easy to use and has the right access to the results for every type of user
    BVQ enables entry into system analysis at various technical levels. From the easy-to-understand automatic analysis with the BVQ system health map to easy to use reporting, monitoring. The technical guru will prefer to deal with the BVQ Expert Analysis GUI, with which he can analyze thousands of objects in the shortest possible time down to the deepest areas. The great advantage of this approach is that the individual tools do not present more technical overhead than is necessary. Calling up the systems health map, a dashboard or a report is no more complicated than calling up a web link. Complex operation is only available in the BVQ Expert Analysis GUI and there it is wanted in order to make many results possible.
     
  • Deep problem analysis with the BVQ GUI
    If you find performance bottlenecks in monitoring or alerting that are not easy to explain, use the BVQ Analysis GUI to start a deeper root cause analysis. The BVQ Analysis GUI is well prepared for this task because it allows you to quickly discover the problem areas and easily jump between the layers of one or more systems. Drill-downs allow the analyst to go deeper and deeper to find a problem causer. Drill-ups help him to visualize the effects of a problem. End-to-end analysis makes it easy to determine if problems are due to misbehavior in the system itself or to other systems. One of the great strengths of the BVQ Analysis GUI is that it displays the results of many objects simultaneously on a single chart to speed up the analysis process. The results of several 100 or 1000 objects can be visualized in seconds to find outliers. Another great strength of the GUI analysis is that it automatically keeps track of the topology so that drill-downs and drill-ups do not give false results. With this feature, you can also easily switch between systems, such as VMware to the storage or the SAN network to start an end-to-end analysis.

  • BVQ connect module for the ITSM infrastructure connection
    The REST interface allows to use the BVQ results in applications like Splunk, Elastic, ServiceNow, Power BI or SAP BI and many more. The REST interface is easy to use and dramatically reduces the development effort and data volumes in the connected systems by providing results in tabular form or as chat data. The full strength of BVQ can be used, such as End-to-end relations, all metrics, means or peak values or aggregations at all levels.

  • Quick and easy installation
    BVQ is installed and ready for use in just a few minutes. This is important because it means the implementation time is short and there are few risks. Updates to existing BVQ installations can be carried out quickly and in a few simple steps.

     
  • The service around BVQ
    BVQ is developed in close cooperation between system experts and a professional development team, and it is precisely these experts who are available to provide high-quality technical help in analysis cases or with adjustments. The BVQ team is used to providing support worldwide.

     

BVQ Core applications

The BVQ Server is the central application, which we will only deal with at the end of this chapter because the information always refers to the other applications.

BVQ Systems Health map

The BVQ Systems Health Map is an automatic system analysis that is displayed in a very easy-to-understand manner. The display uses a so-called sunburst diagram, which is interactive and allows drill downs in all levels.

The BVQ Systems Health Map is a web application that can be accessed via the BVQ server's entry page. The results of the BVQ Systems Health map are obtained from system alerts that are already included in the basic version of BVQ. BVQ 6.2 already contains over 250 system alerts that will be expanded further.

The results of the system alerts are sorted hierarchically according to the topology of the systems or according to categories. The results of the alerts are based on the traffic light principle with the additional color blue, which marks possible optimization potential.


Pict.: Image section from the BVQ Systems Health Map.

 

The BVQ Systems Health map acts like a constantly updated analysis of the overall system and can be used by the administrator as a daily task list to constantly improve the system and eliminate risks.  The chart is interactive and can be set with simple mouse clicks to exactly the level you are interested in. But it can also be used as an attractive wallboard representation to show a glance the overall status of the IT infrastructure.

Quick jump into deeper analytics (New in the upcoming version 2021H1)
 

With the System Health map, you can go to the first analysis stage at the push of a button. If, for example, a high latency has been determined, you can jump directly to a chart with the situation at the push of a button and from here you can freely jump to others
definable charts further analyzing to isolate the problem.
 



Pict: The picture shows the violation of the latency rule and also the limits at which the alert reacts.

 


Easy to configure

The Systems health map can be easily configured and put into operation. Alerts delivered with the Systems Health Map can be toggled on or off with a button or customized. Included best practice tests, typically have no additional parameters where the ranges of performance limit can easily be customized in tabular form.


Pict.: The configuration of the Systems Health Map is very clear and simple.
The included system tests are turned on or off. The parametrization is carried out in a table.

In addition occurring System Health map statuses can be sent as notification or written in freely definable log files. Access via REST interface allows ITSM systems such as ServiceNow, Nagios,  Kibana, Splunk, ... to actively use the System Health Map data.

BVQ Monitoring interface

BVQ is delivered with a monitoring interface to the software tool Grafana, which is already used in many companies today for a variety of monitoring tasks. Grafana is part of the BVQ Installation process and can be installed optionally. It is also possible to Integrate BVQ into an existing Grafana installation, as long as the Grafana versions are compatible with each other.


Pict. : BVQ monitoring via a browser. BVQ uses the very common Grafana for the Monitoring Interface.
This makes it very easy to operate BVQ monitoring in conjunction with existing monitoring.


Prepared dashboards are available for each platform. The current list of dashboards can be found here.
Monitoring-Dashboards included in the scope of delivery


For access to the BVQ measured values, a dedicated Grafana data source was developed, which provides the complete range of all BVQ measured values. This data source also enables aggregations and peak value calculations on all topological levels and supports cross-platform end-to-end access.

Similar to the BVQ Expert GUI, the performance is very high and a large number of measured values can be displayed in a very short time.

The BVQ Grafana datasource also supports the development of your own dashboards.

The SVA Expert team is available for targeted training according to your requirements. Special dashboards can be created by us as a service measure.

BVQ Reporting

BVQ Reporting uses templates that can be easily assembled from existing and newly created elements.

This means you can quickly implement general and very specific reporting requirements.


Pict.: Two examples of reports that were generated with different methods.
Reporting via BVQ Reporting engine and via external data access through Excel.

 
BVQ ships with prepared reports for Storage, SAN and VMware. The creation of own reports is possible and explained in our online documentation.

Reports included in the scope of delivery


These reports can be created in the background as HTML or PDF files using a built-in scheduler. Completed reports can be sent by e-mail or simply accessed via a web link that always points to the latest report, so that reporting can be easily integrated into corporate communication.

The creation of your own reports is easy and can be carried out with BVQ on-board tools. There is also a separate Template editor with which the elements of the report are compiled via widgets.

Using the BVQ Connect Interface, reporting can also be carried out using other tools that are available on the market.


The SVA Expert team is available for targeted training according to your requirements. Special reports can be created by us as a service measure.


BVQ Expert Analysis GUI

For the performance and problem analysis, a system expert can use the BVQ Expert GUI, which is deliberately delivered as a separate application so that the user of monitoring, reporting or Systems Health map is not confronted with the higher complexity of an analysis tool.

The Expert GUI provides access to a very large number of metrics that can be used in various combinations and hierarchies. Special features of this GUI are an extremely high level of interactivity and performance in the analysis analysis and an extremely fast representation of large series of measurements.

For example, the GUI allows you to present 1000s of volumes or VMs on a chart in a very short time. This is very important because it allows you to spot outliers in no time and the speed of analysis is high.


Pict.: The analysis GUI offers prepared analysis dashboards with which most problem cases can be solved directly.

 

A goal in the BVQ analysis is to make problems or potential risks visible at a glance. To achieve this, special analysis dashboards have been developed, which are included in the scope of delivery. These dashboards cover most problem cases and are clearly documented in the product.
 
BVQ Expert GUI Favorites included in the scope of delivery

 

Using the BVQ Expert Analysis GUI, you can, for example, display thousands of volumes or VMs in a very short time in a diagram with various metrics. This is very important because you can use it to find outliers very quickly, which you can concentrate on in the following analysis steps. This is precisely the time advantage, which can sometimes be days, so that problems can be understood and solved quickly.

The following steps are perfectly supported by the high interactivity of the analysis GUI. Metrics can be shown and hidden. Topology-controlled drill-ups and dill-downs ensure that you can move quickly through the data, and BVQ ensures that you also see what belongs together topologically and avoids errors and incorrect interpretations.

In the case of multiple platforms or infrastructure layers, BVQ enables seamless movement between the worlds. This makes very complex analyzes, such as to visualize the load of individual storage volumes through operations in VMs, at the push of a button.

The BVQ team has developed a structured approach especially for the analysis, with which you can get to the actual point of the problem quickly and reliably.

BVQ analysis is very powerful and opens up so many possibilities. For this reason we offer analysis service in case of problems or health checks and training to enable to do the analysis by yourselves.


BVQ Alerting

In addition to the alerting from the Systems Health Map, own alerts can be defined in BVQ.

There are two possibilities here that differ in complexity and adaptability.

In addition to the System Health map alerts, which can be easily adjusted with parameters, BVQ also has a predefined set of alert templates that can be adapted in an extended framework using a dialog system.

Pict.: Dialog system for the parametrization of the system alerts. This makes it very easy to define alerts which are more complex and better adjusted to your situation. The next level is to use the BVQ server alert definitions which allows to have unrestricted access to all possibilities of alert design.

 

There is also an expert level that allows the unrestricted definition of alerts. Here you have a lot more options to adjust alerts. Our SVA experts are happy to help with the planning and creation of these alerts and are also available for dedicated training courses.

The alert results can be used in several ways. Options include notifications, log file entries, sending warning results by e-mail or sending to applications such as Slack, checkMK, Icinga, SVAMON or ticket systems such as Jira or ServiceNow. Alert resulst can also be accessed via the REST interface.


BVQ Connect  interface


The REST interface from BVQ is very easy to use. There are already prepared tables for all essential objects, which can be queried via a simple HTML link. The HTTP links can be generated directly from the BVQ server and are immediately ready for use.

The great advantages of the BVQ REST interface are access to all collected data via just one interface type. The data of different systems is received with one language, which drastically reduces the effort and complexity for interface development. Since BVQ also provides object levels with aggregations, results in many cases can be simply fetched instead of having to be calculated. An example of this is the capacity of a pool, which is the sum of all volumes, or the VM with the highest CPU load, which you would otherwise have to determine by reading in and sorting of a large table. With BVQ this kind of data can be simply retrieved. 

BVQ supports every application that can work via REST interfaces.


Pict.: The interface dialog in the BVQ server which provides an URL for a predefined tables.

BVQ Server

The BVQ server controls the complete BVQ system and is responsible for the scanning of the connected systems and the further processing of the data up to storage in the database.

The BVQ Server takes over all calculations for reporting, external interfaces and alerting and presents the System Health map.


In more detail:

  • BVQ uses Mongo DB as the central data store.
    The database will be installed when BVQ is installed.

  • The BVQ server has an initial screen that shows the most important system information.

  • BVQ Systems Health Map is calculated in the BVQ server and output in the reception screen.
    The management of the Sstems Health map alerts and the categories is done in the server.

  • BVQ Alerting is managed from the BVQ server.
    Here you can find the alert templates and the dialog system with which complex alerts can be created.
    Self-defined alerts can be part of the System Health map.

  • The BVQ scanner will be managed in the BVQ server.
    Here you will also find the log files and the possibility to add new scanners directly or delete them.
    Depending on the nature of the platform, the scanners read the data at intervals of minutes or a few seconds.
    These data are then further processed in the BVQ server and stored in the database.

  • BVQ Monitoring is delivered as a Grafana plugin and fetches the data directly from the BVQ server.

  • The BVQ Reporting Engine and REST interface is operated and controlled from the server.

  • The BVQ user account allows users to create different roles.

  • With BVQ Backup, database backups can be performed adhoc or scheduled

  • Further administration functions allow the generation of a support package or the monitoring of the performance of the BVQ server.


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