Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis

Get to the core of your issue instantly

While troubleshooting networks, it is often the process of getting to this root cause that consumes maximum time frame. More often than not, 80% of the troubleshooting time is spent in solving 20% of the problem which revolves around the root cause. RCA or root cause analysis does exactly that by pointing out at why something occured.

RCA in OpManager is a single graph view of the events of all the plugins of OpManager. When this happens, the impact that is captured on one of the plugins takes the IT team to the root cause. This is, in other words, a single-graph correlation of the events that happen in your network.

Root Cause Analysis

In the OpManager context, RCA is a single graph view of the events of all the plugins of OpManager. When a particular event occurs, the impact it has on the other plugins and their behavior can be easily identified with the help of this graph. The relative dependency between the different plugins across OpManager and the rippling effect that one change can have on the others is brought across as a single graph so that one can zero in on the root cause faster.

Scenario:

Let us take an instance where OpManager reports that all the devices connected to a particular switch are down. With this information alone, one can just go ahead and troubleshoot what went wrong with that particular switch. But then, that doesn't really help in understanding what triggered that particular action. It doesn't answer why those devices were down in the first place. Knowing this is important because, there is always a possibility that this can happen again.

In order to avoid this from happening again, one needs to know what the root cause of this issue is. By using RCA, it is possible to locate this root cause. A configuration change that was pushed had caused those devices to go down and the Network Configuration Management plugin has the ability to point it out. When this event occurred, a change management alert is triggered in the NCM module exactly at the same time. This is a key learning to the IT administrator and anytime a configuration change is made, he will run a check on the status of devices from next time.

There are quite a lot of scenarios that your network will be prone to and having the RCA module helps a great deal in ensuring smooth management of your network.

What are the benefits that RCA gives you?

1. Collation

All your events associated with the different plugins are brought together in one single screen. By looking at just one place, it is now possible to locate the core reasons for something to go wrong in your network.

2. Improved troubleshooting

Troubleshooting gets accelerated because the IT teams can quickly get to the root cause at one glance. This saves nearly 80% of the troubleshooting time and early restoration of services that are dependent on the related devices.

3. More actionable information

When certain configuration changes are made and those changes trigger a chain of undesirable events, the immediate reflex will be to revert those changes. But, at times, this act of reverting the changes can have an even more damaging impact, Until the IT team is sure enough as to what the exact reason is that triggered a particular problem, they cannot act. RCA provides that actionable insight that the IT team needs at that moment.

4. Establishing standards & best practices

Over a period of time, RCA can potentially help the IT team in establish a standard set of cause and effect relationships between the different elements in the network. When a particular action is to be done, say push a configuration change in the network, the effect could be on the devices and switches. When this is observed to happen frequently, that learning is critical in establishing these cause & effect relationships for certain sets of actions that are part of standard practice. This could further evolve into a set of best practice guidelines for the IT team that makes routine tasks easier & simpler to perform.

5. Minimum downtime

This is the biggest benefit of all. Any aspect of using a network management tool aims at bringing down downtime of the network. We know that downtime is simply unaffordable and each hour of downtime costs the organization quite a lot. By accelerating troubleshooting, the network is quickly restored to usual state thereby minimizing downtime. RCA module helps in achieving this objective a great deal.

Thus, Root Cause Analysis is a highly powerful tool that empowers the IT network administrator thereby helping the entire team save a lot of time and effort in solving network issues.

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