By default, the primary means of analyzing the performance of an infrastructure component – a network device, a server, or an application – is by using a layer model representation. The layer model is hierarchically structured and each layer mapped to specific functionality of the component. Tests and measurements are mapped to each layer and the state of a layer is determined based on the status of the measurements mapped to it. The layer model representation is used for automatic correlation of metrics – when a similar priority problem happens at two layers, the problem at the higher layer of the layer model is attributed to being caused by the lower layers. The layer model representation has several advantages:
- By using a common model for representing heterogeneous infrastructure components, eG Enterprise makes it easy for an administrator to monitor different components with diverse functionality (the monitoring model in the eG Enterprise representation was similar).
- The layer model representation makes it easy to demarcate problems – e.g., is a problem with an application being caused in the operating system layer, or in the network layer, or in the application layer?
The main limitation of the layer model representation is that if an administrator is interested in an at-a-glance view of the key metrics for a component, this is not available. Further, when looking for a specific measurement, administrators need to know which layer the measurement maps to. Otherwise, they would have to click through each of the layers to find the measurement of interest.
To address these shortcomings, eG Enterprise now includes specialized dashboards for network, system, and application monitoring. In addition to the layer model, administrators can access key metrics at the network, system, and application layers directly from the dashboards. For example, in the system dashboard, administrators can view at a glance, the CPU utilization, memory utilization, disk usage, current system configuration, top CPU and memory consuming processes, and other key system metrics.
Thus, these dashboards:
- Serve as a single, central console that not only depict the current state of a layer, but also instantly indicate the root-cause of issues pertaining to that layer, thereby enabling administrators to go from problem effect to the problem source in no time!
- Combine both raw and graphically represented data, and facilitate an in-depth analysis of not just live performance, but also the historical performance of a particular layer, thus shedding light on potential anomalies;
- Aid administrators in effectively analyzing the past trends in the performance of a layer, so that they can easily forecast future performance;
- Enable service level audits on-the-fly, and thus help administrators accurately determine when a layer slipped from the desired performance levels.
While network and system dashboards are provided for all the supported application types, the application specific dashboards are available for selected applications only. Future releases of eG Enterprise will include dashboards for additional applications. While the network and system dashboards are similar for different applications, the contents of the application dashboards and their look and feel are different for different applications.
By default, the layer model representation of every application is accompanied by a System Dashboard and a Network Dashboard. In addition to these dashboards, a few selected applications are provided with an Application Dashboard as well.
The sections that follow will discuss each of these dashboards elaborately.