Articles and Presentations by Ben Davies

YouTube

Taking About Performance is a Moviri Viedo interview format where various Moviri SME's get together to discuss any of a host of topics. The series began over a lunch conversation with a client who suggested "This is great stuff, I wish you guys would have recorded this." So we did. This is a list that feature Mr. Ben Davies.
~ 15 minutes

Talking about Performance
Adventures with Chargeback and the value of a useful, consistent lie

Useful consistent lie is a valuable mental model. Helps you realize that the 'exactly correct' answer is almost never relivent.
~ 09 minutes

Talking about Performance
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Average

Average, on average, is a below average metric. And a bit about minimum idle workers.
~ 41 minutes

flycast Partners
Capacity Managaement as a Disipline- What should you expect from a good capacity tool.
We used BMC Truesight Capacity Optimization V11.x as our example.

Moviri USA, gest presenter for Flycast Partners weekly webinar. May 2018
There was a problem sharing the screen (resolved at 6:30) but we fell back on a powerpoint presentation so, while not interactive, it did meet the goals.
~ 50 minutes

Adventures With Chargeback
And the Value of a Useful Consistent Lie

Andrea Vasco invited @MrBenHoney to share with us a revised version of a keynote (well: one of the few that resulted from our work together!) he presented many times over the years, on different stages. The session will showcase HCSC's journey in deploying an internal chargeback process, or - in other terms - a story of what it took to IT to show back to the Business the actual, quantified value of their services.
This topic resonated with many IT directors and leaders across the globe and hopefully will provide valuable insight into the pains our Customers face while selling our solutions internally.
PPT Version


Quest for Actionable Intelligence

This Series focuses on using TSCO (TrueSight Capacity Optimization) with native data as much as practicable, such that any TSCO user can follow the examples exactly, then apply the tools and techniques to other use cases.
~ 20 minutes Screen shot of summary slide

Quest For Actionable Intelligence (1) Value Proposition

This is a webinar conversation about the TrueSight Capacity Optimization Value Proposition for Information Technology
Our goal is to help clarify the capacity optimization value proposition, and to provide specific tools and techniques to assist in the Quest for Actionable Intelligence.
Presentation as PPT

~ 23 minutes

Screen shot of summary slide

Quest For Actionable Intelligence (2) Documentation Options

Our goal is to show options for getting help with your TSCO environment, expand your tools and techniques, and to more effectively, efficiently, and purposefully pursue your Quest for Actionable Intelligence.
We go beyond the obvious TSCO documentation options and the BMC Communities page. Using the most powerful idea – EVER, “If I can do that, then I should be able to do… “ We step through finding a metric of interest ‘on the internet’ then investigating that metric in our environment, then incorporating that metric into our quest for Actionable Intelligence.
Presentation as PPT

~ 34 minutes

Screen shot of summary slide

Quest For Actionable Intelligence (3) Filter Based Reporting

Our goal is to help clarify the capacity optimization mission, and to provide tools and techniques to assist in the Quest for Actionable Intelligence.
With a clear mission and actionable intelligence, the capacity optimization function delivers significant value to the Organization.
In this session – Filter Based Reporting becomes the focus
Presentation as PPT

~ 30 minutes

Screen shot of summary slide

Quest For Actionable Intelligence (4) Exception Reporting

Our goal is to help clarify the capacity optimization mission, and to provide tools and techniques to assist in the Quest for Actionable Intelligence.
With a clear mission and actionable intelligence, the capacity optimization function delivers significant value to the Organization.
In this session – Exception Reporting becomes the focus
Presentation as PPT

~ 22 minutes

Screen shot of summary slide

Quest For Actionable Intelligence (5) Workspace Tab Design and Orginization

Our goal is to help clarify the capacity optimization mission, and to provide tools and techniques to assist in the Quest for Actionable Intelligence.
With a clear mission and actionable intelligence, the capacity optimization function delivers significant value to the Organization.
In this session – The workspace Tab Design and Orginazation becomes the focus
Presentation as PPT

~ 9 minutes

Screen shot of summary slide

Quest For Actionable Intelligence (15) Install HP NNMi ETL Module

Our goal is to clarify installing ETL Modules, specifically the HP NNMi Module
Frequently performed by system administrators not TSCO admins. Helps stich together the tasks and clarifies assumptions on how to get the install software and where to configure the various software pieces.
In this session – The Information Technology Administrator is who is addressed - Not the TSCO administrator.
Presentation as PPT
Alternate Video ~ 9 minutes



Cultural Events and Capacity

     
Cultural Events and Capacity
Speaker: Ben Davies

This is a revisit of a presentation called “Incorporating Weather Data Into Capacity Planning Analysis” Originally presented at St Louis CMG meeting in 2018, and CMG imPACt 2017.
While the original focus was on incorporating weather data into capacity analysis, a relevant observation was made around the impact that cultural events have on IT Capacity. This is a summary of those observations and expanding to include how these observations could be leveraged in the times of COVIS-19.
Guest appearance from Business Continuity Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, and Flexibility as defined in Policy and Procedure.

Adventures With Chargeback and the Value of a Useful Consistent Lie

     

Presented at CMG South West - April 2019.
Adventures With Chargeback and the Value of a Useful Consistent Lie
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

A conversation that explores our adventures with chargeback, and the value of "useful consistent lies". Let's start with stating that change back is easy. Trivial even. It is simple math. What is your recovery target divided by the number of items expected to be 'sold'. There you have it. That is it. You are done.
So what is a useful consistent lie, and what is its value?? Well it is everything around you and how you understand it. When your understanding is sufficient for the conversation, you use that understanding, that useful consistent lie, within the conversation, and the value of the useful consistent lie is that the conversation can now be conducted with a reasonable degree of mutual understanding. Like this. What time is it, right now? Whatever your answer, it is not the most correct to the exclusion of all others, answer. It IS a useful consistent lie. The time may be 12:18 in the afternoon by my digital watch but you may have said it is quarter after noon, lunchtime, mid day, or any other of a host of answers. If you wish the most correct answer you should ask a physicists and set aside a weekend for the nuance of the 'right answer'. So how do these ideas fit together? In a 30 minute session we attempt to explain that. At the end we expect that you realize charge back is easy, except for the people. But you should try it anyway.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Average

     

Presented at CMG South West - April 2019.
The Road to Hell is Paved with Average
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

A conversation that explores a real-world example of how reliance on average on 15 second data slices, failed to reveal actionable intelligence. We will encourage the use of other metrics that seem neglected such as minimum, maximum, and 95th Percentile. The example data is minimum idle workers, an overlooked JVM metric that caused problems in our production environment for months but once found and monitored effectively, eliminated dozens of support incidents a week.

Actionable Intelligence Lifecycle and the Conscious Use Of Conceptual Models

     

Presented at CMG Boston - December 2018.
Actionable Intelligence Lifecycle and the Conscious Use Of Conceptual Models
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

We are using an example of the evolution of a question that turned into a search for data, then making an ETL (Extract Transform Load) to get data into a capacity tool, where we made charts, analyzed them using dozens of different conceptual models, and took action. All using BMCs TrueSight Capacity Optimization 11.3 solution.

While we show the detailed steps used in the TSCO solution, the models, tools and techniques, apply to any data analysis effort. Let me emphasize, the conscious use of models is one of the main points of this conversation.

Actionable Intelligence Demands ACTION to Address Business Risk

     

Presented at CMG Saint Louis - July 2018.
Actionable Intelligence Demands ACTION to Address Business Risk
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

A conversation that explores the investigation mission you SHOULD be on as a capacity manager or performance manager, and shows tools and techniques to leverage senior level authority to drive ACTION. Every investigation should result in some documented action. Every investigation should be focused on business risk, stated as business risk, and addressed as business risk.

Capacity Optimization Tool: What you should expect from a good capacity optimization tool and a surprising benefit of having a good tool

     

Presented at CMG Saint Louis - July 2018.
Capacity Optimization Tool
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

This is a conversation about what to expect from a capacity optimization tool. We use BMC TrueSight Capacity Optimization in our examples, but that tool is not the focus. And we discuss that with good tool and various data inputs, the tool becomes a unique data set "different and apart from the sum of its parts", which provides significant business value, independent of the original capacity mission.

What is Data - Code Sheets, Error Levels, Protocols and Endians Oh My!

     

May 2018.
What is Data - Code Sheets, Error Levels, Protocols and Endians Oh My!
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

Code Sheets, Error Levels and Endians Oh My! This is an exploration of what data is, on a binary level. The idea is to show you data as you probably have never seen it before. We will use a packet sniffer, hex editor and hand-outs to show then manipulate binary data. This includes showing how information is encoded into binary data, showing what parity is, how to use xor (exclusive or) to encrypt data and decrypt it too. This excursion will not make you a binary expert, but it will show you the foundation that all binary data is based on, and give you a few tools that you can use to look at the digital data you have. We might even hack a file or two.

Incorporating Weather Data Into Capacity Planning Analysis

     

April 2018.
Incorporating Weather Data Into Capacity Planning Analysis
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

This is a conversation about trying and failing, to get weather data incorporated into our capacity planning effort. The original intent was to use this to help liberate other business data that we wanted to incorporate into our capacity planning efforts, which we eventually did. Along the way we stumbled into using weather data to forecast a spike in VPN and VDI usage.

Adventures with Charge Back and the Value of a Useful Consistent Lie

     

Presented at CMG imPACt 2017 - November 2017.
Session 2L6a: Adventures with Charge Back and the Value of a Useful Consistent Lie;
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

This is a summary of our adventures with chargeback, and the value of "useful consistent lies". Let's start with stating that change back is easy. Trivial even. It is simple math. What is your recovery target divided by the number of items expected to be 'sold'. There you have it. That is it. You are done. So what is a useful consistent lie, and what is its value?? Well it is everything around you and how you understand it. When your understanding is sufficient for the conversation, you use that understanding, that useful consistent lie, within the conversation, and the value of the useful consistent lie is that the conversation can now be conducted with a reasonable degree of mutual understanding. Like this. What time is it, right now? Whatever your answer, it is not the most correct to the exclusion of all others, answer. It IS a useful consistent lie. The time may be 12:18 in the afternoon by my digital watch but you may have said it is quarter after noon, lunchtime, mid day, or any other of a host of answers. If you wish the most correct answer you should ask a physicists and set aside a weekend for the nuance of the 'right answer'. So how do these ideas fit together? In a 15 minute session we attempt to explain that. At the end we expect that you realize charge back is easy except for the people. But you should try it anyway.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Average

     

Presented at CMG imPACt 2017 - November 2017.
Session 2L5c:The Road to Hell is Paved with Average: The Road to Actionable Intelligence is paved with Minimum, Average, 95th Percentile and Maximum;
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

Using a real-world example, we will explore how reliance on average on 15 second data slices, failed to reveal actionable intelligence. We will encourage the use of other metrics that seem neglected such as minimum, maximum, and 95th Percentile. The example data is minimum idle workers, an overlooked JVM metric that caused problems in our production environment for months but once found and monitored effectively, eliminated dozens of support incidents a week.

Incorporating Weather Data Into Capacity Planning Analysis

     

Presented at CMG imPACt 2017 - November 2017.
Session 412: Incorporating Weather Data Into Capacity Planning Analysis
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

This is a conversation about trying and failing, to get weather data incorporated into our capacity planning effort. The original intent was to use this to help liberate other business data that we wanted to incorporate into our capacity planning efforts, which we eventually did. Along the way we stumbled into using weather data to forecast a spike in VPN and VDI usage.

Multivariate IT Capacity Modeling

     

Presented at CMG imPACt 2017 - November 2017.
Session 2L5c: Multivariate IT Capacity Modeling
Speaker: Andrea Vasco, Manager of Operations at Moviri. Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior Consultant at Moviri.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to make a capacity model of an application that has multiple components and functions that are distributed over several devices, where those devices are shared with unrelated applications? This white paper examines this very real-world situation. The results achieved with actual customer data prove that not only is multivariate capacity modeling achievable, but it is relatively easily performed with COST software, tools and techniques. In this real-life example, an IT Organization wants to model a two-fold increase in logins in the next quarter, resulting in the growth of two specific workloads, increasing usage by 350% and 450%, while the rest of the workloads remained essentially the same. The intuitive expectation was that the existing equipment would not accommodate the request, so the IT Organization needs not only to validate the expectation but also to produce options, driven by actual data and detailed analysis. The outcome of using existing tools, available data, and skillful application of modeling and analysis techniques enables the IT Organization to create 4 different scenarios based on budget, risk, IT resource and business impact.

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Filter Based Reporting with TrueSight Capacity Optimization

     

Presented at BMC Day Chicago - March 2017.
Session 2B: Insurance Customer Case Study, Actionable Intelligence using Filter Based Reporting;
Speaker: Ben Davies, Senior IT Metrics and Reporting Analyst at a very large insurance company, who is now a Senior Consultant at Moviri.

Ben Davies will review how to get Actionable Intelligence using the tools and techniques of filter based reporting in BCO. These techniques are independent of how the workspace is organized. These tools and techniques are valid as soon as the first ETLs are implemented.

As a Moviri consultant, Ben Davies applied these tools and techniques, delivered Actionable Intelligence within 10 minutes of starting the reports. This is a powerful tool that is relatively easily deployed but takes some practice to use well.

Actionable Intelligence and How "Good Enough" Can Take You from Manual to Millions

     

Presented at Engage2016 BMC Global User Conference - September 2016.
Join this discussion to learn about Health Care Service Corporation’s (HCSC’s) journey, from finding data under rocks and manipulating it with Excel to reporting on six million dollar (US) a month in “showback.” We’ll share lessons learned and useful tools and techniques that you can use today, regardless of where you are on your journey. While our examples are specific to BMC TrueSight Capacity Optimization, they apply to most optimization efforts.

We’ll cover the concepts of “good enough is good enough”, incremental improvement or “suck less,” and data as indicator vs. proof. We’ll strive to liberate your thinking on how you can get from where you are to where you wish to be.

     
Early effort with Excel spreadsheet

Writing the Capacity Report with HCSC

     

Presented at Engage2016 BMC Global User Conference - September 2016.
Writing a quality capacity report that all stake holders can use is not as easy as people think. Come to this session to walk through the following key areas: The elements of the capacity report

  • Metrics vs. volumes
  • Threshold analysis
  • Trend reporting
  • Problem recognition
  • The executive summary

     
Bonus files:
Basic Report example;
Basic Report Dot example;
UseCase015 A just in time training example;
Detailed Report example;
Perturbation Theory paper (borrowed from University of Edinburgh);
Introduction to regular perturbation theory (borrowed from NYU | Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)

Making Data as Accessible as Chocolate at a Birthday Party to Liberate Business Users

     

Presented at Engage2016 BMC Global User Conference - September 2016.
Learn how an “open-door” policy that provides access to data from BMC TrueSight Capacity Optimization can help drive agendas that have nothing to do with capacity. We realized huge payback by making data as available as chocolate at a birthday party. That is, removing IT as an impediment, made non-IT groups self-sufficient, enabling them to create their own reports based on “their” data.

In this session, we’ll discuss the challenges and issues we ran into, how we solved for them, and basic familiarization training we provided to solve the immediate need, as well as the just-in-time training situations we’ve encountered. You’ll discover new ways to benefit from BMC TrueSight Capacity Optimization that have nothing whatsoever to do with capacity planning—ways to liberate data and business users who were simply too difficult to deliver to before BMC.

     
Bonus files:
Just In Time Training, BCO Overview
Just In Time Training, BCO Use Case001 - Alert from Monitoring Team
Just In Time Training, BCO Use Case002 - Application Reports
Just In Time Training, BCO Use Case004 - Application SME High Storage Utilization
Just In Time Training, BCO Use Case006 - Application SME Conduct Investigation
Viewer Welcome User
User Welcome User

TSCO (BMC TrueSight Capacity Optimization) Mother Lode for Actionable Intelligence

     

Presented at Engage2015 BMC Global User Conference - September 2015.
Actionable intelligence is obtained in so many different ways, by so many people, that TrueSight Capacity Optimization becomes a virtual mother lode for it. Join us for real-life examples of how HCSC extracts actionable intelligence from TrueSight Capacity Optimization.

In this session you will get a practical view of the tools and techniques HCSC uses and hear from the practitioners about:

  • Analysis of diverse data that is assembled in TrueSight Capacity Optimization
  • Chargeback to projects and APM applications
  • IT costs vs. IT charges in chargeback models
  • Opening TrueSight to 'the masses' and how to conduct just-in-time training for various constituencies that arrive at unpredictable times
  • Views customized to application owners and equipment owners, as well as views focusing on opportunity cost
  • Analysis used to find over-used equipment (and provide more resources)
  • Analysis to root out under-used systems for retirement (the concept of server vs. service is important here).
This is not just theory! Ben Davies and James Kistler will walk through how TrueSight Capacity Optimization, along with clever analysis, redefined a 'well understood' metric, making it into a real-time indicator of actionable intelligence and reports, appropriate for application owners to take action.
     
Bonus files:
Engage Training Attachment (zip)
BCO Chargeback Doc - While this is not very 'clean' it is good enough for our purposes, and we improve it each time it is used.

Cost Transparency with BMC Capacity Optimization (BCO)

     

BMC Technology Day - March 2015
An updated conversation, based on the BMC Engage2014 presentation, on why chargeback was important to us, what got in our way, and how we overcame the obstacles, and how we were able to achieve chargeback goals using BMC Capacity Optimization (BCO).

     
Bonus files:
BCO Chargeback Doc - While this is not very 'clean' it is good enough for our purposes, and we improve it each time it is used. (same chargeback doc)

Cost Transparency with BMC Capacity Optimization (BCO)

     

Presented at Engage2014 BMC Global User Conference - September 2014.
A conversation on why chargeback was important to us, what got in our way, and how we overcame the obstacles, and how we were able to achieve chargeback goals using BMC Capacity Optimization (BCO).

     
Bonus files:
BCO Chargeback Doc - While this is not very 'clean' it is good enough for our purposes, and we improve it each time it is used. (same chargeback doc)

What Is Data - Code Sheets, Error Levels and Endians Oh My!

     

Presentation for the Tulsa Chapter of ISACA. A 'lunch and learn' format the visual slides are simple and the text of the presentation is included. April 2011.
This is an exploration of what data is, on a binary level. The idea is to show you data as you probably have never seen it before. We will use a packet sniffer, hex editor and hand-outs to show then manipulate binary data. This includes showing how information is encoded into binary data, showing what parity is, how to use xor (exclusive or) to encrypt data and decrypt it too.

     
Bonus files:
8-BIT SINGLE-BYTE GRAPHIC CODED CHARACTER SET FOR OGHAM
USPS INTELLIGENT MAIL® BARCODE (4-STATE CUSTOMER BARCODE)

OSI Model from the IT Auditor Perspective

     

Presentation for the Tulsa Chapter of ISACA. A 'lunch and learn' format the visual slides are simple and the text of the presentation is included. Oct 2008.
Knowing that the OSI networking model exists, and basically how it operates, allows the auditor to place context around a point of audit, allows a framework to take a complicated compliance question and break it into manageable parts (how it fits into the OSI model), examine those parts, then re-look at the question in a holistic view. Then, with some confidence, the auditor can issue an opinion of compliance.

Ten things you need to know to use your computer productively

     

Published on the MLCU.COM site in 1996.
This article has been referenced by libraries, schools and by consultants in two dozen places in the US, in Singapore, and in Hong Kong. Written in 1996 it is as relevant today as it was then.
This includes the bonus item of the most powerful idea in computing... "If I can do that... Then I should be able to do..."

The New York Times article "Buying a New Computer"

     

Published April 8, 1996
Referenced my then web site "The Computer Guy" ahead of Apple, Compaq, IBM, Dell, Gateway 2000 and Computer Discount Warehouse. That was a big deal in 1996.
The article title is How to Buy Computer Hardware. While the specific examples are dated, the thesis still holds.