One of the most time consuming tasks for Basis Administration staff is the process of performing daily system checks. I have found that carrying out regular proactive monitoring of the SAP systems in a large Landscape can take several hours. Some of the old time Basis Administrators do the checks from memory or by using a spreadsheet. Some of the more ALM savvy Basis Administrators can use Solution Manager Central System Administration (CSA) to reduce the time taken to perform these tasks.
Cisco Tidal Intelligent Automation (TIA) offers an easy to use automation solution to reduce the time taken to perform daily checks. Groups of system checks can be quickly created and automatically executed regularly across a large landscape. Exception reports are then automatically created and distributed to help with the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) process.
The old way
You can define a list of periodic manual checks to be performed using the Solution Manager CSA feature. You compile a list of logically grouped administration tasks including:-
- system type checks (such as failed batched jobs or short dumps);
- component specific tasks (such as CRM ICM, PI adapters, or BI queues); and
- customer specific tasks (such as non SAP third party system checks)
The Solution Manager CSA can simplify the process of performing the checks whilst maintaining an audit trail of all checks performed. However, the Solution Manager CSA checking process is still manual, error prone and uninspiring to perform on a regular basis.
The new way
Cisco TIA comes with an out-of-the-box pre-configured Basis Health Check template, which can be automatically performed on a regular basis. Exception reports can be configured and distributed to help improve the RCA process. It is a simple process to add satellite SAP systems to Cisco TIA. Once added, the daily check script automatically picks up the added systems.
I took me less than 4 days to install the Cisco TIA server, although this depends on the size of the landscape to be managed and depth of the checks to be performed. Adding SAP Satellite systems to Cisco TIA takes less than 15 minutes including the creation of an SAP RFC user account. The connection of Java based systems requires a Configuration Tool change and system restart before the monitoring will work.
Typically, daily system checks can take up to 1 hour per Satellite SAP system per day to perform properly. Using Cisco TIA can cut this time by up to 90%. If you have a landscape of 40 Satellite SAP instances, using Cisco TIA would save around 35 hours per week.
Cisco TIA has the potential to save your company thousands of dollars in system outage prevention by providing valuable reaction time to solve problems. Too often the junior Basis Administrator is lumbered with the responsibility of performing the repetitive and manual intensive process of daily checks. The time saved by introducing Cisco TIA, can then be invested in building remediation scripts to automatically self-heal systems experiencing commonly known problems such as failed update reprocessing or file system extensions.
- Cisco TIA also has pre-scripted Basis Daily check capability for Java based systems such as Enterprise Portal and Composition Environment.
- Cisco TIA can be integrated into Helpdesk applications such as Solution Manager Service Desk or BMC Remedy.
- Cisco TIA can also be used for the SAP Business Warehouse Accelerator, BusinessObjects, Windows, Exchange, Cisco Network appliances
- Cisco TIA allows you to write your own scripts for SAP, SSH, Windows Administration and Microsoft Exchange tasks.
- Cisco TIA can be used to automate the process of system copy or system cloning.