A guest blog from Chris Booth, Solution Architect at eG Innovations’ partner KedronUK covering how they use eG Enterprise’s SAP monitoring capabilities. KedronUK specializes in delivering IT Service Management, Security Operations, and IT Operations solutions to enterprise customers, including Argos, Vodafone, and the University of Birmingham.  

A typical SAP deployment is usually a sprawling, complex system and is one of the most critical applications an enterprise relies on to keep the business functioning, with it interacting with production, sales, dispatch, HR, and other areas of the business.

 Monitoring SAP Services

Monitoring the performance and availability of SAP is therefore the key. Proactive monitoring may allow minor issues to be resolved before they become major issues. SAP provides a number of tools such as Solution Manager and CCMS, which can be used to monitor the platform. It is, however, worth considering the bigger picture when it comes to selecting the right tool for this particular job.

Why should I consider a third-party tool? I have the tools from the vendor, why do I need something else?

As an independent IT reseller and consultancy specialising in security, monitoring, and management, these are common questions posed to KedronUK. At first glance, it’s a sensible question as who should understand the intricacies and key performance indicators of an application better than the producer of that application, right?

Answering a question with a question doesn’t always provide an answer, but in this case, is a logical response. What other IT resources does your SAP environment depend on? For an on-premises environment, this will undoubtedly cover storage and virtualisation stacks, networking, and more.  Given that one of the benefits of virtualization is to share those expensive hardware resources and make better use of them, a SAP performance issue could actually be caused by another unrelated application, which lives in the same infrastructure. In a modern hybrid cloud/on-premises environment, dependencies will reach out further to include providers such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS.

So, whilst the vendor’s own tools may seem the wise choice, monitoring the wider IT environment brings more visibility. The phrase “knowledge is power” is common but possibly incorrectly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon back in 1597 (I admit, I had to look up that fact!) but regardless of when it was first said, it still rings true today.

The eG Enterprise Suite is application-aware, so it can monitor the key SAP applications/services such as HANA, ABAP, Business One, and NetWeaver to name a few. The monitoring of each application includes multiple tests at multiple layers. As an example, when eG Enterprise monitors an ABAP Server instance, it reports on layers such as SAP Basis, Workload, Work Processes, Gateway and User Sessions. Alongside this, eG Enterprise can also monitor the wider IT infrastructure, such as a VMware vSphere virtualization environment, which may underpin SAP. Unifying such visibility into a single place not only delivers that sort-after knowledge but can also improve productivity for the IT team by reducing the number of tools they need to interact with.

A full list of the platforms and technologies supported by eG Enterprise can be found at: https://www.eginnovations.com/it-monitoring/technologies

Another common issue we tackle with customers at KedronUK is the dreaded “alert cannon”.  As soon as somebody has the rule in their e-mail client to automatically move e-mail alerts from a monitoring system to a sub-folder as the messages are clogging up their Inbox, it’s arguable that monitoring is no longer doing the right job. The eG Enterprise Suite capabilities include event correlation and analytics, which make use of modern AI/ML techniques to reduce the noise and target something that really matters to an IT team – Root Cause Analysis (RCA). I’ve never met anyone in IT, who doesn’t want to resolve an issue as quickly as possible (we all want to look good, don’t we?) so having a holistic view of your infrastructure with quick and easy RCA drill-down is essential.

Expanding on the previous example of an unrelated application impacting SAP performance, a lot of time, and therefore money, can be saved if your monitoring can indicate that whilst your SAP database server is suffering from poor disk performance, the real underlying problem is a run-away process on another VM, which shares the same virtualization host and storage array, consuming all the storage I/O.

To understand more about the correlation and analytics functionality of eG Enterprise, I’d recommend reading John Worthington’s blog post: https://www.eginnovations.com/blog/what-is-event-correlation/.

Find out more

You can learn more about KedronUK’s work and solutions on their website and blog.

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