Have you seen this BBC article in September 2015 "Will a Robot take over your Job?"? The first thing I did when I read it was I immediately checked if SAP Basis was in the list, or at least IT Analyst / Architect. Phew! Luckily I think we're still pretty safe. But that doesn't mean we should stop finding ways to make our daily repetitive tasks more efficient, and if possible automate them. This is where IT Operations process automation can help. Yes SAP Basis and IT Operations folks can be just as cool applying DevOps to automate a lean enterprise IT. Not sure what DevOps is? I like this non-conforming take on DevOps by Stephen McKay "What (I think) Enterprise IT really needs to learn from the DevOps movement" especially his challenge at the end 'So go prove it - go make a difference in your IT department, and make IT a different experience in your Enterprise'.
Back to the meat of this publication, we're going in depth to reveal how IT-Conductor can help SAP Basis and IT Operations compose and schedule a process which automates a set of cross-platform activities involving administrative scripts, and jobs such as Basis housekeeping tasks, database scripts such as HANA Mini-Checks, and OS-level scripts.
The fundamental building blocks for this process automation are the various activities which we automated in previous article SAP Basis, Let's Automate IT (Topic 3: Automated Operations)
Step 1: Create Process Definition using Process Composer
The IT-Conductor Process Composer is a graphical tool which allows the creation of activities and link them with transitions where dependency conditions can determine how one activity triggers another including sophisticated branching logic like while, loop, if, etc. See the video below for a demonstration. The activities are flexible definitions of cross-platform tasks to perform, with available ones listed in the diagram below.
Step 2: Schedule the Process
The definition is analogous to a Scheduled job in SAP, it needs to be linked to an IT-Conductor Schedule, which specifies the date & time window as well as periodic attributes to run with. Once it's linked, it can be 'released' similar to SAP batch jobs and instantiated to run with parameters configured by the owner of the process. These processes can be monitored and each activity has its own logs and controls such as suspend, and restart. The process as a whole set of activity can also be started on-demand, as well as used in a Recovery action when defining alerts and threshold overrides for exception-based monitoring in IT-Conductor. This is especially powerful if known recovery actions can be automated to self-heal certain system issues, for example initiating archive log backup and cleanup when the database archive log filesystem is full.
Topic 4: Cross-platform Process Automation
SAP Basis Automation brings DevOps benefits to managing enterprise IT including:
- Centralized repository of system administration scripts for the application and technology stack
- Cross-platforms automation
- Batch schedule management
- Monitored execution logs
- Centralized operations reporting
Since IT-Conductor is a cloud-based service, you too can start automating many tasks (FREE for the first 2 SAP Systems connected, remember there is no complex software installation needed, so just subscribe and give it a try). We would love your feedback also of tasks that you'd like to see automated, yes we'd love the challenge, so SAP Basis, Let's Automate IT!
- Topic 1: On-demand Performance Report we covered how performance charts can be generated and delivered adhoc.
- Topic 2: Visual Root-Cause Analysis provides practical scenarios to find root-cause and correlations in a few simple clicks.
- Topic 3: Automated Operations details how to centralize admin scripts as actionable activities
Send us your wish-list to email@example.com or comment below!
If you think our Automation is cool, try our cloud-based SAP Monitoring, FREE for the first 2 SAP SID's