Adding to our growing list of best-in-class APM solution features, this Q1-2020 edition introduces features that will further ease the mode of managing and automating business processes.
Traditionally, most Enterprise Monitoring Teams (EMT) took the top down approach of consolidating company wide monitoring in as few central platforms as possible. The EMT sometimes often referred to as the NOC (Network Operations Center) focused primarily in the availability monitoring of network and infrastructures. Application teams were mostly expected to monitor their own applications, being the subject matter expert (SME), and only relied on the EMT for infrastructure monitoring. However with the rise of Apps (everything from back-office to customer facing eCommerce) coupled with multi-tier and multi-vendor environments extending to virtualization and cloud frameworks, the lines have blurred between Apps and Infrastructure. SAP customers are in the thick of this change. EMTs need to evolve to meet the new demands of enterprise apps in the "Age of agile" as referred to in a 2017 BigPanda annual State of Monitoring report. While SAP teams are focused on delivering IT business values to internal and external customers, they continue to look for opportunities to offload application monitoring to EMTs. EMTs risk losing the battle to monitor their critical IT operations when they don't equip themselves with the ability to monitor SAP effectively today and for the future.
For the common SAP Basis checklist, there are critical SAP monitoring tasks which should be automated for continuous health check.
- Batch jobs
- RFC destinations availability
- Security alerts - failed login attempts/lockouts
- Filesystems utilization
- System availability
- Database space utilization
- Blocked or errors with tRFC/qRFCs
- SAP service queue utilization
- SAP service process status
- Program dumps
IT'S THE HOLIDAYS:
The holiday season is a great time to spend relaxing and enjoying life with friends and family, but many times we feel more stressed trying to get our list of things to do DONE before we head out. Just like that Out-of-Office email responder, it is something we as working professionals normally do before we take our break, and there are many other things I'd like to do before I check out of my office. Therefore, I would make a list and check it twice, since it would be nice to not be interrupted on my vacation for things that I consider naughty to not have done.
Is there any correlation between doing a Startup right, perfecting a pitch presentation, and Application Performance Management (APM)? Yes, when looking at it through the eyes of Automation! Let me explain further.
On October 27, 2015, I was proud to represent IT-Conductor as CEO and Co-founder to take the stage in front of 300 attendees at SAP in Palo Alto during the "Art of the Start 2.0 Pitch Challenge with Guy Kawasaki". We were one of five finalists chosen out of 83 applicants to deliver a 3 minutes pitch that night. The 3 minutes pitch was the ultimate result of much work and planning.
At IT-Conductor we're passionate about Process Automation which requires careful thought design around these 4 P's: Plan, Practice, Perform and Perfect IT!
The Art of the Start
In Guy's best-selling Startup guides "The Art of the Start" and the new revision "The Art of the Start 2.0", he makes it perfectly clear that there is careful thought to creating a system that works, even for chaotic adventures like startups to increase their chance towards success. The system is simple, yet with Planning and Practice can be Performed and Perfected (with iterations of course). Guy's motivation is that through his writing and public speaking to help automate the process of starting any ventures in life.
Many IT organizations suffer from the nagging problems of Availability and Performance Management. For customers with enterprise applications such as SAP, it’s tough to manage the growing demands of such environments due to factors such as fast changing technology, repetitive tasks overload, new project demands, outsourcing/insourcing, and cloud initiatives just to name a few.
The only smart way to manage IT to support sustained growth for the business is to work smarter with Application-Centric Service Management & Automation. A topic we will explore in more details in this publication.
More and more SAP customers have been migrating their databases to SAP ASE (formerly Sybase), which raised the need to monitor and manage ASE's availability and performance.
Taking a play-card from our OZSoft HANA Management Pack for SCOM powered by IT-Conductor, we are able to agentlessly monitor ASE combined with SAP HOSTAGENT for outside discovery and availability monitoring. As discussed in the HANA monitoring using Synthetics article, we also offer SAP ASE customers the ability to monitor via native synthetic transactions directly against the database with the release of OZSoft ASE Management Pack for SCOM v1.0.2.
The best way to check the availability and performance of any application or database is to actually login and run something, in this case a transaction. For HANA, the simplest way is to execute a SQL against the database. Automating this would serve both purposes of ensuring the database is accessible as well as being able to provide response time for particular transactions, on a periodic basis. Furthermore, it can be used to automate regular jobs such as health checks or housekeeping, without creating intricate database jobs.
We've had the opportunity to work with HANA both as a Startup porting our application to HANA as well as with our SAP customers running HANA in production scale BW or ECC environments. In the R&D environment we have limited hardware capacity and thus resources, especially memory is always a constraint, so we learnt ways to monitor, and automate to optimize our performance and use of the system. In the customers' production environment, we have seen original architecture plans double in nodes and/or memory before they even got to performance testing phase.
SAP has a pretty catchy new spin since 2014 with the slogan “Run Simple”, well maybe for the business and end-users, but as far as the Basis team is concerned, managing the sprawling SAP landscapes and lifecycle is anything but simple. In my experience, the move to newer SAP technologies (such as HANA, Sybase, BOBJ, virtualization, cloud, etc.) has proliferated more requirements and demands on the Basis, Infrastructure and IT Operations teams. One example of this includes new deployments of SAP HANA which may scale out a Production environment up to 16 nodes. That is anything but simple. But I’ll play along that if you consolidated all your SAP environments into this huge HANA cluster, then it may look simple like in the old days when there was only R/3 and everything ran on it. However, if you’re going to put all your eggs into one basket, then you’ll need to protect it with a Business Continuity strategy for HA and DR which would no doubt be very complex.