Stopping the Application Management Blame Game through Integrated Infrastructure Management Tools

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When a critical order processing application for business operations slows down, it creates a ripple effect: sales personnel in branch offices struggle to process orders, cash flow suffers, the help desk is inundated with calls, and the entire business comes to a standstill. Within the organization, there is confusion and frustration as nobody knows where the fault lies, whom to hold accountable, and how to prevent recurrence. The server team maintains that servers operate at 99.9% availability, hinting at potential network issues. Conversely, the network team asserts that WAN links are functioning properly. This situation begs the question: Is it the fault of the applications team, the server team, the network team, or the absence of an integrated infrastructure management approach?

Who is to blame: Unfolding the ERP application crisis

The incident unfolded when a sales executive in a branch office encountered difficulty processing an order while attempting to access the ERP application via the corporate WAN. Just as the customer disappeared from sight, the sales executive contacted the help desk for assistance. The issue was swiftly escalated to the IT head, triggering a blame game among the application team, server team, and network team. Each group deflected responsibility, challenging the others to prove fault. Adding to the confusion, each team presented reports indicating high availability of their assets at the time of the incident, further complicating the situation.

Monitoring the network, systems, and applications as disparate entities without proper integration is the root cause for blame game. Moreover the individual tools assure false security by claiming that every entity was available at the time of problem. But the realtime user experience is a combination of lot of factors including which server they are served from, what was the health of that server at that time, was the application really available at that time, and what was the response time with respect to that server etc.

Poor application performance could be due to many reasons including:

  • At the network level
    • Non-availability of the primary WAN link between head office and the branch office
    • Longer round trip time experienced in the WAN link due to congestion
    • Performance issues on Router leading to increased latency
  • At the server level
    • Insufficient resources (CPU, Memory etc.) on the Server due to increased loads
    • HardDisk or NIC card errors resulting in slow or poor server performance
    • Unusually high traffic activity on the Server at certain times (Peak hours)
  • At the application level
    • Application's data persistence module was not optimized and was causing intermittent connection problems
    • Application went through a major revamp and was crashing often. Probably wasnÂ’t well tested before deployment.
    • Application load shot up at the particular moment causing poor performance to everybody

The first step in stopping the blame game is to avoid the false security assured by the point products which fail to pin point the root cause of the problem when hurricane hits your IT.

Network Monitoring without an integrated approach
Network monitoring without an integrated approach
would result in an unproductive IT environment

The Solution: Integrated Approach to Network, Systems, and Applications Management

Integrated approach here refers to the ability to gain real-time visibility into the performance of your Network, Servers and Applications, and pin point the root cause of failure, when it occurs. An integrated IT infrastructure management solution would assign higher importance to the server which runs the application and would escalate the disc space utilization issue through appropriate alarms and notifications.

Network Monitoring - Integrated Management Approach
Implementing integrated management solution
results in a productive IT environment

ManageEngine Suite: Cost Effective Integrated Network, Systems, and Application Management Tools for SMEs

For SMEs who cannot afford traditional infrastructure management solutions such as HP Openview, CA Unicenter, IBM Tivoli, and BMC Patrol, ManageEngine offers an affordable range of products that offer the integrated management experience when clubbed with a centralized trouble ticketing software.

Empowering Network Teams: Essential Tools for Comprehensive WAN Visualization and Monitoring

With OpManager at your disposal, real-time and continuous monitoring becomes effortless, facilitating the supervision of WAN devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, and servers. Network administrators gain insights into traffic patterns, application utilization, and bandwidth consumption, allowing them to clearly discern device interconnections across the WAN and minimize the likelihood of network disruptions.

Netflow Analyzer empowers administrators to perform detailed analysis of NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX, and other flow data produced by network devices. It provides insights into traffic patterns, bandwidth consumption, and additional metrics. Identifying top talkers and detecting anomalies becomes more straightforward, thereby ensuring optimal performance, availability, and security across the organization's distributed networks.

Enhancing Server Management: Essential Tools for Effective Server Monitoring

OpManager offers robust server monitoring capabilities, allowing administrators to stay informed about CPU usage, memory utilization, disk space, and network traffic. This insight aids in understanding the health and status of servers. Administrators can monitor patterns, anticipate capacity requirements, and optimize resource allocation to prevent performance bottlenecks. Moreover, for a streamlined management experience, organizations can leverage OpManager Plus, which provides unified visibility across IT infrastructure, including network, storage, and application metrics. This comprehensive approach facilitates monitoring and troubleshooting tasks for the admin team.

Leveling up Application Management: Essential Tool for the Applications Team

Application Manager proves invaluable in simplifying tasks for the application team and pre-emptively avoiding blame on application administrators for any mishaps. This tool facilitates the comprehension and analysis of crucial application performance metrics, including response time, throughput, error rates, and transaction tracing. Administrators can effortlessly pinpoint issues that directly impact user satisfaction, such as delayed response times or errors occurring during application use and many other efficient features.

Integrated Console for IT Troubleshooting

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus helps in providing a single console for IT troubleshooting. Alarms generated in OpManager, Applications Manager, and NetFlow Analyzer can be automatically converted into tickets in ServiceDesk Plus. In the case discussed above, two tickets would be automatically generated for the same server. One from OpManager for low disc space and other from Applications Manager for poor response time. These tickets will give the totality of the problem and help in getting the unified view. Moreover the administrator can merge these two tickets into a single problem and work on resolving the issue.

The single console for IT maintenance will help in knowledge sharing and developing a knowledgebase over a period of time. ServiceDesk Plus offers a web based knowledge base portal which accumulates the notes added so far and serves as a ready reckoner for freshers.

ManageEngine Enterprise Infrastructure management solutions
ManageEngine Enterprise Infrastructure management solutions
offer value for money

For more details on ManageEngine solutions and how they can help you manage your application, systems, and network seamlessly, please contact sales@manageengine.com.

 
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