2.5 Managing Time

When gathering service level data, specify when information is captured and used in service level calculations using the following:

  • Time categories: Identify blocks of time for a specific use

  • Calendars: Associate time periods to time categories

  • Schedules: Identify the time intervals for capturing data for specific calendars

Time Management options are set in the Operations Center console in the hierarchy under Enterprise > Administration > Time Management.

Review the following sections to configure and understand time management:

2.5.1 Customizing Time Categories

Time categories classify the operational windows associated with business services so that you can support services at various levels at various times. Time categories are used to identify blocks of time. They are essentially labels that are used by calendars to band sections of time.

Operations Center provides six default time categories:

  • Off

  • Nonpeak

  • On

  • Peak

  • Critical

  • Blackout

Except for blackout, these categories can be customized. Note that these time categories are also used for condition and severity for alarms.

Time categories are fundamental to objectives that require a time category during which the objective applies. For example, establish a 100% availability objective during peak hours when a service is Critical and a 95% availability objective during off peak hours.

To customize a time category:

  1. Expand Enterprise > Administration > Time Management, right-click Time Categories, then select Properties.

  2. Click Time Categories.

  3. To change the Category Name, double-click the name and specify a new name.

    The Blackout category cannot be edited.

  4. To change the color, double-click the color in the Color for Calendar column, then select a new color in the Select a Color dialog box.

  5. To change the default in the Business Service Warehouse, click On (next to the category in the Data Warehouse Default column).

  6. Click Apply.

2.5.2 Configuring Calendars

A calendar defines a specific range of time and days for monitoring the changes in the state of objects.

Understanding Calendars

Calendars can associate bands of time with a time category to add meaning to data and metrics. For example, the hours between 8 AM and 5 PM on Monday through Friday might be defined as peak times, while the hours between 1 AM and 3 AM on Sundays might be defined as maintenance times.

Operations Center ships with a default calendar that is set to 24x7 operational (ON) hours. The default calendar cannot be edited. It is necessary to define new calendars to handle additional needs.

A calendar can consists of one or more calendars that can be used repeatedly to capture performance data. New calendars can be defined from previously defined calendars.

The Calendar Library section shows all existing calendars. Any calendars for which the Make This Calendar a Holiday Calendar option is selected appear in the Holidays folder. The Calendar Visualization section on the right side shows a two-month period with a weekly calendar underneath. The weekly calendar displays shaded boxes of time to represent each time definition (which are shown in the Time Definition section). The (Go to Today) icon changes the display to the current date. When enabled, the (Show/Hide BSA Off Times) icon displays a black grid displays in the calendar to identify when SLA data collection is turned off.

Create new calendars by copying an existing calendar and changing the time definition. The time definition is made up of time intervals that you can modify individually.

Concerning defining overnight time definitions, if a time definition is set up to start on one day and finish sometime the next day (such as it runs overnight), on the first day the calendar is used, it starts running at the Start Time specified by the time definition. For example, assume the time definition specifies a peak time from 8PM until 5AM. On the first affected day, the calendar starts running at 8 PM. The calendar does not run from midnight until 5AM on that first day. To capture that time, a separate time definition must be defined.

It is possible to link a calendar to another calendar. Linked calendars are only editable in the original calendar definition and changes affect all calendars that are link to them.

When creating an SLA, select a calendar to use.

In calendars applied to SLAs, define blackout periods that are maintenance periods or downtime. This calendar is applied to eliminate data used in SLA calculations. However, the data continues to be stored in the Business Service Warehouse to ensure that data is available in the event that the calendar is revised at a later time.

In addition to blackout periods, define a blackout calendar and apply that to elements to specify when the element is down for scheduled or routine maintenance. Like blackout periods in a calendar, Operations Center observes the blackout for calculating SLA health and metrics but continues to collect data. A blackout calendar overrides all other calendar settings for service level metrics.

Creating Calendars

To create a calendar

  1. Expand Enterprise > Administration > Time Management, right-click Calendars, then select Create Calendar.

  2. Enter a name and description.

  3. Set the time definition or select a calendar from which to copy the time definition.

    For steps to create a new time definition, see Creating a Time Definition for a Calendar.

    For steps to copy a time definition from a calendar, see Copying a Time Definition.

  4. To make the calendar a holiday calendar, select the Make This Calendar a Holiday Calendar option.

  5. To use a different time zone, select it from the drop-down list for the Use Time Zone option.

  6. To display a view of the current calendar with another calendar, select it for the Display Current Calendar As Override For option.

    The time definitions of the selected calendar display in a merged view with the current calendar. This is just for viewing purposes; the merged view cannot be saved.

  7. Click Create.

  8. If blackout times apply, continue to Creating a Blackout Calendar.

Creating a Time Definition for a Calendar

To create a new time definition for a calendar:

  1. In the Time Definitions section of the Create Calendar dialog box, click (New Time Definition).

  2. Enter the name and description.

  3. Specify a start time and end time or click 24 Hour to set the time definition to run a full 24 hours from the start time.

    You can enter seconds for the start and end times, but seconds are not utilized as Time Definitions resolve to the minute.

  4. Select an option for Recurrence to set when the time definition is applied.

  5. (Optional) Select an end date for Range.

  6. Select a time category to apply to the time definition.

  7. Click Create.

  8. To set the time category for all times not included in a time definition, click the Set Undefined Times option, then select a time category from the Calendar dialog box.

Copying a Time Definition

To copy a time definition from one calendar to another:

  1. In the Calendar section of the Create Calendar dialog box, navigate to a calendar to use as the basis of the new calendar.

  2. Right-click the calendar, then select Copy.

  3. In the Time Definitions for This Calendar section, right-click the folder in which to save the new calendar, then click Paste to duplicate the calendar.

Modifying a Time Interval

To modify a time interval:

  1. Right-click in the Calendar Visualization section of the Calendar dialog box.

  2. Click Create Override to change the start and/or end time or time category for the time interval.

    To remove the override later and use the default interval defined by the time definition, you can right-click the interval, then select Remove Override.

  3. Click Cancel this Interval to remove the time interval from the time definition.

    To restore the interval later, you can right-click the interval, then select Restore Cancelled Interval.

  4. Click Select on Definitions Tree to select the time definition associated with the interval.

Linking to an Existing Calendar

To link to an existing calendar:

  1. In the Calendar section of the Create Calendar dialog box, navigate to a calendar to use as the basis of the new calendar.

  2. Right-click the calendar, then select Copy.

  3. In the Time Definitions for This Calendar section, right-click the folder in which to save the new calendar, then click Paste Link.

Creating a Blackout Calendar

To create a blackout calendar for a specific element:

  1. In the Operations Center hierarchy, expand Enterprise, then navigate to the element for which the blackout calendar is needed.

  2. Right-click the element, then select Edit Blackout Calendar.

  3. Create time definitions as necessary to specify blackout times when data is not collected for this element.

    SLA data continues to be collected by the BSW by not applied in the SLA objective.

  4. Click Apply.

2.5.3 Understanding Schedules

A schedule defines the time intervals for capturing performance data. Schedules can be linked to a selected calendar to further refine when data is captured.

The default schedules (One Minute, Five Minutes, Audit Schedule) are not editable. Define additional schedules as necessary.

For example, assume a calendar defines a time category (such as ON) for data capture every Monday and Friday, every month, from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. A master schedule can be defined that captures data continuously at fifteen-minute intervals. Then, a second schedule can be defined that uses the same calendar, but captures data at one-minute intervals for a specified period of time.