Monitoring and evaluation does not stop at performing daily checks or configuring an email alert. It also means tracking activities and reporting of collected data to make timely decisions.
During every project implementation or upgrade, it’s important to think through and optimize processes like technical monitoring, administration, persistence management, database management, end-to-end root-cause as a part of the solution document.
Where do we start?
- Analyze your environment: Identify current and future monitoring needs and use as a filter to decide the scope and tool. Consider what needs to be monitored from the application, hardware, network and security perspective.
- Define your budget: Estimate what and how much you can spend on monitoring. Identify cost, time and resources needed to achieve it. Don’t cut corners here.
- Establish guiding principles: To ensure that monitoring and evaluation is valid, timely and reliable.
SAP’s in-built monitoring capabilities within the application server can handle most of these points. But SAP also offers Solution Manager, which can be used for availability monitoring, business process monitoring, service level reporting, IT service desk, IT analytics and much more.
Here are some examples:
- Application Monitoring: Choose 20-30 business critical transactions – those that are are heavily used across the business community or whose failure would have big business impact. Use SAP Solution Manager to configure and setup methods to monitor these transactions and define performance benchmarks. A typical example might be a standard batch job ending with high SQL runtime cost with possible contributing factors including slowdown during peak hours or recent changes in program or database performance, and CCMS monitoring could be used for performance analysis.
- Hardware Monitoring: Hardware monitoring helps identifying hardware bottlenecks and operating system problems. Most issues can be seen from the Solution Manager alerting infrastructure, but some issues related to I/O network also need to be addressed. You should use standard OS monitoring and alerting tools to monitor the OS and Network related activities, and pay special attention to cluster setups.
Monitoring and evaluation isn’t as easy as it sounds, but the following guidelines should help:
- Understand the SLA’s for each supporting system. Consider different timescales – from error situations to long term planning and analysis of trends.
- Pay attention to tools and process. System monitoring using properly configured tools must be maintained 24/7. Identify key indicators and data sources. Follow best practice guides and benchmark each application accurately.
- Specialists can’t know everything. Colleagues who deal with day-to-day monitoring generally understanding the technology well, but they often do not have specialized knowledge – for example, the business objectives or functionality of a particular job or transaction.
- Communication is key. Form teams and delegate work and ensure regular meetings are scheduled between teams representing different aspects for system monitoring. Document key issues based on trends and have the team trained on more frequent errors.
- Seek help. Finally, get help from SAP or find the best IT vendor for your organization. Remember, no IT team can handle all issues and there are more smart people outside the building than inside.