Saturday, 5 August 2017

How Analytics can enhance traditional IT Monitoring

According to EMA, the average IT organization has more than 10 monitoring tools. Often when speaking to IT departments about SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) they are concerned about adding yet another monitoring tool…

But IT Operations differs from traditional monitoring and can enrich what most organizations are doing.

SAP ITOA can connect direct to device via agent or streaming log files. Or it can leverage existing monitoring tools as a datasource, to avoid disrupting what’s already working in your IT department and to streamline deployment.

Let’s explore some benefits of introducing analytics on top of IT monitoring tools:

Get a Holistic View for Easier Root Cause Analysis & Reduced Mean Time to Resolution

Since any given application relies on multiple infrastructure components (servers, virtual machines, network devices). Finding the root cause involves multiple teams and monitoring tools and invariably ends in finger-pointing. By giving all groups access to health and performance information across IT troubleshooting is faster and easier. Pinpointing the cause of an issue saves time and IT resources—if you know the issue is with a switch why have the applications team and server team work to solve the same issue.

Leverage Predictive Analytics Across IT

Most existing monitoring tools only look in the rearview mirror. Identifying and remedying IT issues as quickly as possible is important, but even better is to anticipate and respond to issues before they occur.

SAP IT Operations Analytics has out-of-the-box predictive analytics. So you can forecast expected behavior and be alerted if something unanticipated happens.

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Static thresholds are a thing of the past with SAP ITOA. Outliers (in red) can trigger alerts when metrics are above or below the predicted range.

Here’s a practical example—CPU load. Less load is inherently better than more load, so traditionally IT has relied on threshold alerting. For example, send an alert if the load is great than 80%. But what if you expect the load to be 70% and it is 20%. That is likely indicative of another issue (e.g. an application has crashed). Predictive would make an estimate of load based on historical information and if the deviation was too great it would trigger an alert.

By using existing monitoring tools as a datasource for SAP ITOA you’ll be able to benefit from predictive analytics across IT. 

Understand the Impact of Outages by Enriching IT events with Business Data

IT events themselves aren’t really the issue—it’s the business impacts they cause. From lost revenue, to poor customer experience IT outages have a hard cost. SAP ITOA can help IT understand the business impact of outages so IT can respond and prioritize accordingly.

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Infrastructure can be assigned to business stakeholders in SAP ITOA. Looks like server02 is suffering from unscheduled downtime resulting in lost profit for the Sales organization.

With the master data plugin you can marry IT events with non-IT data. Some examples are detailed in this blog, but include understanding impacted customers (and their SLAs), learning about the geographical location of outages, and understanding what related devices and applications may be impacted.

We also have a quick video on enhancing existing monitoring tools with analytics for IT.