Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Miska Kaipiainen, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, IoT User Interface, Agile Computing, SAP HANA Cloud, @BigDataExpo

Java IoT: Article

How Workstation Hardware Problems Can Affect SAP Performance Perception

The Operations team used the aaNPM tool to check the health of the reported application problems

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.

Conclusion
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.)

More Stories By Sebastian Kruk

Sebastian Kruk is a Technical Product Strategist, Center of Excellence, at Compuware APM Business Unit.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...