|By Sebastian Kruk||
|November 18, 2013 06:00 AM EST||
Introducing SAP is a cost that makes everyone very cautious about the return on this investment. Performance problems with SAP delivery can quickly propagate to seriously affect business operations and lead to tedious war room scenarios. End-user complaints will usually point towards the SAP team, the SAP team will blame the network, and IT operations team will fight back. But what if the root cause of the problem is something altogether different.
The inability to quickly determine the root cause of the performance problem often leads to war room scenarios, especially when the money invested in failing applications comes from public funds. Our client, Nimrod, a country-wide government agency from Republic of Razkavia (names changed for commercial reasons) made a decision to implement its key applications based on the SAP infrastructure. When employees from Rosecoast, a harbor city in Razkavia, started to complain about the performance problems with one of the SAP applications, the operations and SAP teams started to investigate the problem.
Performance Problems at Rosecoast
Almost hundreds of thousands of Nimrod employees use SAP GUI applications each day. The IT operations team has set up Application Aware Network Performance Monitoring (aaNPM), part of the Compuware APM suite, to monitor end-to-end performance of SAP applications delivered to Nimrod employees.
One day, however, the head of IT operations and CIO received complaints from the business department, located in Rosecoast, that its employees were experiencing performance problems with one of the SAP applications. These problems impacted the productivity of the business department and were incurring additional operation costs. According to the manager of the business department, all employees at Rosecoast were affected by these performance problems.
The Operations team used the aaNPM tool to check the health of the reported application problems experienced at the Rosecoast office. As Figure 1 shows, however, neither of SAP servers was experiencing performance problems: Operation time with breakdown metric shows that server times are not too long.
Figure 1: Performance overview across all servers delivering SAP
In the next step the team compared the SAP performance across all locations. The network metrics, i.e., RTT and Server Loss Rate, indicated that there were no network problems at either location (see Figure 2). At Rosecoast, however, the aaNPM tool used by the Operations team confirmed that the total operation times were longer than at other locations.
Figure 2: There are no network problems at Rosecoast, but many Zero Window Size events may indicate issues at the client side
These problems seemed to happen only at Rosecoast and could not be attributed to either network or application problems. Many Zero Window Size events, however, hinted at hardware or software performance problems at the client machines. The team used Advanced Diagnostics Server (ADS) from the aaNPM suite to analyze the load sequence of one SAP TCode operation executed at Rosecoast by one of the users. The report (see Figure 3) showed that most of the time spent in completing the operation was spent at the client application that was busy processing data.
Figure 3: Operation load sequence report for one of SAP TCodes executed at Rosecoast location, shows long idle times when the client application is busy processing received data before requesting more input
The big question now was: what has changed recently at Rosecoast to either the hardware or software at employee workstations that could explain this sudden performance problem leading to long delays in executing SAP applications.
The Operations team looked for the cause of the problem by reviewing the hardware and software change logs. They figured that most of the PC workstations used by the business department at Rosecoast were recenlty upgraded to new ones. After closer examination the Team has discovered faulty memory chips in all new workstation. The complaints from the business operations department stopped once all faulty RAM modules had been replaced.
The Operations team from Nimrod used Compuware APM to manage the performance of SAP applications delivered across the organization. Since, due to government policies, the end-to-end SAP GUI communication is encrypted using SAP SNC (Secure Network Communications) protocol, the aaNPM network probe has been set up to decrypt SNC-protected communication to ensure visibility into performance across the complete application delivery chain. The Operations team has enabled synthetic scripts to ensure both passive and active monitoring of crucial components of delivered applications. The Team has also set up a number of alerts to pro-actively monitor against potential performance degradation problems. Although the problem was hard to spot without feedback from end users, the Team avoided the war room scenario by quickly zeroing in on the root cause of performance problems experienced at the Rosecoast office. Instead of being stuck with an inconclusive report on the health SAP servers, they were able to tell that the root cause was not of the network or application, but in fact faulty hardware.
In the report "Are Users More Aware of SAP Performance Than IT", Gartner indicates that measuring the end-user experience is key to proactive monitoring and delivering expected quality of SAP service levels. Gartner points towards Compuware's Application Aware Network Performance Monitoring (aaNPM) as a comprehensive and SAP-certified solution that can monitor both SAP and non-SAP application components, including integration tiers between SAP and external applications, as well as communication to the back-end SQL database. Compuware APM provides end-to-end visibility of enterprise applications and thanks to passive monitoring of network communication is easier to deploy than agent-based approaches.
(This blog post is based on materials contributed by Krzysztof Ziemianowicz based on the original customer story. Some screens presented are customized while delivering the same value as out-of-the-box reports.)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 28, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 473
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 333
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 548
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 28, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 400
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 28, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 412
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 512
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 28, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 309
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 191
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 28, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 331
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 28, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 434
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 28, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 246
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Nov. 28, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 731
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 28, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 361
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 28, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 541
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 28, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 475
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 451
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 482
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 580
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 329
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 361