AIOps Blog

What’s New with BMC Helix in Winter Release 2023

6 minute read
Gyanendra Rana, Michi Schniebel

BMC Helix Operations Management with AIOps, a key part of our ServiceOps offering powered by the BMC Helix platform, uses predictive capabilities to proactively improve the performance and availability of IT services across multi-cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments by using artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to manage the complexity and scale of IT operations (ITOps) while delivering fast time-to-value, ease of use, integration via open APIs, and reduced operational costs.

The BMC Helix Winter Release 2023 is now available and offers customers several significant enhancements:

  • Service Topology and Service Modeling
  • BMC Helix Operations Management
  • BMC Helix Log Analytics
  • New BMC Intelligent Integrations
  • Expanded Monitoring Support
  • BMC Helix Continuous Optimization
  • VMWare Deep Discovery

BMC Helix Operations Management Winter Release 2023 features include:

Service Topology and Service Modeling

Network-to-infrastructure-to-application correlation

Based on data collected using BMC and third-party tools via BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations, BMC provides an end-to-end service topology view using automated topology reconciliation with BMC Helix Discovery and our Dynamic Service Modeling (DSM) capabilities.

Service topology binds network devices and interfaces to infrastructure components and servers through to application endpoints, including URLs, and provides users with an end-to-end view to quickly identify an impacted node for faster root cause analysis.


Figure 1. Service Topology and DSM.

Building on our DSM and Topology enhancements, we have improved our Service Blueprint capability to auto-detect relationships across different components. Service Blueprints can be used to model one or more services at a click of a button, making the entire experience very user friendly.


Figure 2. Service Blueprints.

Service Health score enhancements based on impact propagation

The health of a parent service is dependent on the health of its child services meaning if an event is raised on a CI that impacts the child service, the impact will propagate to the parent service. Even if the parent service is not impacted directly and has no events, the health score of parent service shows the propagated impact from its child service. If more than one child service is impacted, the lowest health score is displayed.

This release further improves root cause analysis to provide more flexibility propagating the impact from a child to a parent service.


Figure 3. Impact propagation.

BMC Helix Operations Management

Improved anomaly detection

Anomalies are observations that diverge from a well-structured data pattern, an irregular spike in the time-series data, or unclassifiable data points within a specific data set. An anomaly could occur independently or due to a combination of factors. For example, the combination of slow response time and high memory utilization together may impact the expected system behavior.

The BMC Helix Operations Management Winter Release 2023 has improved anomaly detection by helping customers detect abnormal behavior more accurately and by reducing the occurrence of false positives and false negatives within an environment.

Log Analytics

Log Collection Framework to ingest logs

To provide a smooth onboarding experience and ingest logs easily, this release contains a new user-interface-based log collection framework that uses connectors and collection policies. Connectors are software agents deployed on remote hosts or VMs to collect logs from different software applications.

Log Collection Framework provides centralized administration to manage connectors as well as monitor their health. Collection policies define which set of logs to collect, select the connectors, apply any data source specific configurations, and provide rules to parse and filter logs data.


Figure 4. Log analysis centralized administration.

New BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations connectors

BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations use REST APIs and Webhook mechanisms to communicate with a data source; provide an easy-to-use click-and-connect capability to configure an integration; and bring in resource information, topology, and services from third-party data sources for an end-to-end view of your environment. New additions include:

  • Events and metrics for Nagios
  • Events and metrics for CA/Broadcom
  • Events and metrics for Catchpoint

Expanded Monitoring Support

Users can now take advantage of the Elasticsearch service provided by the BMC Helix platform for full-text search in the BMC Helix Innovation Suite. Elasticsearch is deployed with BMC Helix platform services and can be used to store ingested events and logs.

SAP® HANA Monitoring:
SAP® HANA monitoring is significantly enhanced with additional parameters for the HANA instance and HANA DB. Additionally, it also provides native support S4HANA.

Security Enhancement:
Third-party vault support: With this release, the Monitoring solution can talk to a user-owned, third-party vault system to communicate for authentication. Currently, Oracle Monitoring and CyberArk vault are supported.

Platform Support:
The BMC Helix Winter Release 2023 adds the following support for BMC Helix Operations Management: Alma 9.x, Debian 11.x, and Windows 2019 support for System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

Event Management:

Several key features have been introduced for Event Management in BMC Helix Operations Management:

  • Multi-class support for event policies selection criteria
    • Users can select more than one event class within a single event management policy selection criterion, which will significantly reduce the manual effort required.
  • API Key Rotation
    • BMC always treats security as a priority across all of our products, and this release introduces API key rotation, where the API key generated by the BMC Helix platform can be rotated within the key rotation period defined by the user. This key will be automatically sent by BMC Helix Operations Management to all the patrol agents for the authentication process to improve security.
  • Published REST API to execute agent commands (via Patrol Script Language (PSL))
    • BMC Helix Operations Management has introduced this API that can be used with automation solutions/scripting to execute PSL-based commands on a group of patrol agents for agent-related diagnostics or task automation.

BMC Helix Continuous Optimization

BMC Helix Continuous Optimization uses intelligence and predictive analytics to manage IT resources and applications, including those based on Kubernetes and pods, microservices, containers, and multi-cloud services.

BMC Helix Continuous Optimization Winter Release 2023 continues to build on its strong foundation by expanding capabilities to:

  • Improve memory recommendations for Kubernetes containers
    • Review and analyze the improved memory recommendations to resolve a probable risk or efficiency issue with the capacity of your Kubernetes containers
  • Reconcile entities to resolve duplicate data
    • After reconciliation, the duplicate entities are merged and displayed as a single entity
  • Filter entities by entity status in a summary data mart
    • Users can exclude entities that are no longer useful, such as dismissed entities, or include only active entities in the data mart
  • Extract status details of Gateway Server and agents
    • Data is extracted daily by using the Gateway Server Administration Helper system task. Status data for the last 30 days is available
  • Review data from the virtual node namespace in the VMware vSphere view
  • Update all remote ETL engines simultaneously
  • Enhance Moviri – k8s (Kubernetes) Prometheus Extractor to import the CONTAINER_NUM metric for the pod workload
  • Support new versions of operating systems
    • For a full list of supported operating systems, please view this page.
  • Additional AI-driven insights
    • Kubernetes based on Java Management Extensions(JMX) metrics
      AI/ML driven insights aligns Kubernetes and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) configurations allowing for effective Kubernetes service risk mitigation and reducing MTTR for JVM based services.

VMWare Deep Discovery

Discovering guest hosts via vCenter API

BMC Helix Discovery enables you to discover the guest hosts that are managed by vCenter, even if those hosts are not accessible from the appliance or the BMC Helix Discovery outpost being used.

When a vCenter server or appliance is found and a valid vCenter credential is available, BMC Helix Discovery retrieves a list of managed ESX and ESXi hosts. This requires a valid vCenter credential if the vCenter server or appliance was discovered with an SNMP or Windows credential. The IP addresses of these hosts are added, as part of the same scan range, to the list of IP addresses that are going to be scanned. BMC Helix Discovery uses the vSphere API to discover ESX and ESXi hosts.

Secure Shell Protocol (SSH) discovery of ESX and ESXi hosts is a fallback method used when other methods have been unsuccessful. If SSH access has not been enabled, the ESX or ESXi system is not discovered.

Learn more about BMC Helix Operations Management

For an overview of the new features in BMC Helix Operations Management with AIOps Winter Release 2023, please refer to the release notes below:

For an overview of the new features in the BMC Helix Operations Management with AIOps October 2022 Release, please refer to this blog post.

You can also join us on the BMC Helix Operations Management community forum to discuss any of the new features and workflows or share suggestions to improve the product experience.

A big thanks to all the BMC Helix Operations Management users who contributed by submitting PRs, bug reports, and feedback!

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Gyanendra Rana

Gyanendra Rana is a Director of Product Management at BMC. He is responsible for AIOps and cross-product machine learning (ML) and automated intelligence (AI) management and combines a deeply technical background with a passion for bringing new tech to market. He started his career in engineering and, after working for many years, transitioned into product management. He has strong domain expertise in infrastructure tools, log analytics, security, observability, and AIOps for Enterprise management products.

Prior to joining BMC, he worked at Splunk where he led the team responsible for Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning Portfolio across enterprise, cloud and solutions products including Splunk Enterprise, Cloud, and Machine Learning Toolkit (MLTK). In his spare time, Gyanendra likes to read and enjoy all things outdoors.

About the author

Michi Schniebel

Michi Schniebel is Director of Product Management at BMC Software for the Helix ITOM products. With over 25 years of enterprise software, ITOM, hosting, MSPs, and cloud expertise, he is keenly attuned to define the product vision. His experience as a software engineer, Monitoring User, Data Center manager, and Product Manager helps him to understand customer pain points and needs to drive engineering more efficiently to the desired outcome.