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What do DevOps and Solution Manager have in common?

DevOps.jpg

DevOps is a term that was popularized in 2009 in Belgian by a group of system administrators (similar to the Agile movement).

The adoption of DevOps is being driven by factors such as Agile Development, increased Velocity of Change, Virtualization and Cloud Infrastructure to name a few. The concept is built around CAMS; C – Culture, A- Automation, M- Measurement, S – Sharing. It injects Lean (Agile) thinking into Operations and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). The success of DevOps is as much about a cultural shift as process and technology. This means the breaking down of silos within enterprises and the development of a sharing environment ie shared accountability and operational transparency.

So how does this begin to align to the ALM Processes and Solution Manager?

  • Sharing – The key philosophy behind SAP’s ALM is creating a “Single Source of the Truth” to enable sharing of key information across silos and provide transparency of operations.
  • Automation – Standardization and automation of operations is a key success factor in running Agile SAP solutions. The “Run SAP Like a Factory” methodology supports you in implementing automated monitoring and error handling for your business processes, interfaces, and systems.
  • Measurement – Solution Manager 7.1 has the Business Intelligence framework built in to provide a comprehensive closed-loop methodology, including KPI measurement, system metrics, trending analytics, etc

Not provided is a road map for the change in Culture. This comes from the Executive level – A move from the traditional enterprise approach of information silo’s to a “Lean” way of thinking. Commitment from the top in conjunction with a well thought out ALM Strategy can lead to an evolution in the IT Line of Business.

As always humor is a good starting point for cultural change so here are a couple of tweets from DEVOPS_BORAT

“In startup we are gamify site outage. Three outage and ops team is out”

“Best way for explain concept of DevOps to CIO: is like TaskRabbit, but power by The Avengers”

You can follow DEVOPS_BORAT on twitter for more cultural gems!

Solution Manager Maintenance:

A Reminder that Solman 7.0 or below maintenance expires at the end of 2013. There is no extended maintenance available so start planning for an upgrade to 7.1 to ensure continued maintenance support. A good way to start is by booking your Basis team onto the following EGI – Technical Upgrade of SAP Solution Manager to 7.1 – 12th to 16th August. Also consider Solution Manager as a Managed Service (SMaaMS) to avoid the cost of upgrading.

  • Solman 7.0 Mainstream Maintenance ends Q4 2013 (7.1 will be supported for 6 years)
  • Support Pack 08 has been released with minor enhancements (see link for more information)
  • Support Pack 9/10 is scheduled for release in Sep/Oct (see Solution Manager Roadmap).
    • Integration of eProjects
    • Solution Documentation – process step variants
    • New CTS infrastructure
    • EHP Scope and Effort Analyzer
    • TAO for CRM
  • Support Pack 11 target date is Q1 2014
    • Standard Regression Testing (START) SP 11

Free EGI’s – Schedule for August:

Use the “Region” search filter to refine the search results.

Setup & Upgrade your SAP Solution Manager

  • Solution Manager Basic Configuration 7.1 – 26th to 30th of August
  • Technical Upgrade of SAP Solution Manager to 7.1 – 12th to 16th August

Tool & Process Setup on SAP Solution Manager 7.1

  • Change Control Management III: Change Request Mgmt – 26th to 30th August
  • Custom Code Quality and Clones – 12th to 14th August
  • Incident, Problem and Request Management (ITSM) – 26th to 30th August
  • Process Integration Monitoring and Troubleshooting – 12th to 14th August
  • Roles and Authorization Concept in Solution Manager – 12th to 16th August
  • SAP HANA: Database Administration and Operations – 19th to 23rd August
  • Solution Documentation I: Basic, Initial Upload, Verification – 12th to 15th August
  • System Monitoring & Reporting – 13th to 16th August

Guided Self Service Execution (Also run as an EGI on below dates):

  • Business Process Analytics and Improvement (BPAI) – 19th to 13rd of August
  • Data Volume Management (DVM) – 26th to 30th August

Schedule for September:

Setup & Upgrade your SAP Solution Manager

  • Solution Manager Basic Configuration 7.1 – 16th July to 20th
  • SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 – 9th to 13th Sep
  • Technical Upgrade of SAP Solution Manager to 7.1 – 2nd to 6th Sep

Tool & Process Setup on SAP Solution Manager 7.1

  • Configuration Validation – 17th to 19th Sep
  • Data Volume Management: Methodology and Infrastructure – 9th to 13th Sep
  • Enablement of SAP Enterprise Mobility – 2nd to 6th Sep
  • Incident, Problem and Request Management for VAR’s – 9th to 13th Sep
  • Job Scheduling Management – 16th 20th Sep
  • SAP HANA: Database Administration and Operations – 23rd to 27th Sep
  • System Consolidation & Rollout of Country Versions – 2nd to 4th Sep
  • Test Management I: SAP Test Workbench – 9th to 11th Sep

Guided Self Service Execution (Also run as an EGI on below dates):

  • Performance Optimization (PERF) – 2nd to 6th Sep
  • SQL Statement Tuning (SQL) – 16th to 20th Sep
  • Security Optimization Service (SOS) – 23rd to 27th Sep

Meet the Experts (1 hour presentations with Q&A)

  • The SAP Support Portal Demo – 10th Sep
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3 Comments

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  1. Chris Kernaghan

    James,

    I have been a big champion within the community for DevOps within the SAP eco-system and always believed that SAP Solution Manager is a tool which outperforms many of the tools that the IT world has available to it. The biggest thing that Solution Manager does not have, in my opinion is the inherent ability to take data from non-SAP monitoring sources or push data to non-SAP aggregators/visualisation tools easily (note the word easily)

    Enterprise IT silos are not going to abandon their tools for Solution Manager, in the same way their tools do not provide us that single source of the truth that you talk about and provides Solution Manager the head and shoulders position above many other tools. DevOps is Enterprise wide, not silo’d and until these issues are addressed, or SAP can show how to do it properly – then SAP talking about DevOps is a non-starter and people will be forced to find alternative solutions or continue to live in a silo’d existence.

    I am not happy about that last paragraph but it reflects a massive opportunity for SAP to provide administrators the same focus as it is currently providing to developers in their toolkits and frameworks so they can provide deeper value into Enterprise IT – instead of saying “We’re SAP admins, we’re special and we do things differently”.

    I would love to connect to discuss further and see where the road leads.

    Chris

    P.S. I really really want you to show me I am wrong in my assertions

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    1. James Pearce Post author

      Hey Chris great feedback. Certainly DevOps is an Enterprise wide initiative and SAP has not traditionally played well across applications. Until recently SAP has been about evolution of its applications and processes built around a closed system which has limited the usefulness of Solution Manger (also not very user friendly). I believe this is now changing as SAP moves to a growth through acquisition strategy (Sybase, Successfactors, Ariba, etc) along with innovations like HANA. In Solman 7.1 with enterprise support SAP has begun extending licencing enterprise wide (Service Desk, CA Wily Introscope, etc) and added SAP IT Infrastructure Management (comprehensive CMDB to round out alignment to ITIL). Along with this is the ability to manage non-SAP components via CTS+, LMDB, MOPz and embedded BI to integrate non-SAP data into Analytics and Dashboards. Granted it is early days in the opening up of Solution Manager, but I believe this will accelerate as processes and applications move to run on a hybrid on-premise and cloud based landscape. SAP is investing in improving the usability to help speed up adoption and integrating to 3rd party solutions to help fill the gaps. What we also need is a cultural shift, such as DevOps, to take advantage of the emerging technologies to improve business agility and reduce cost. It is a work in progress!


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      1. Chris Kernaghan

        James,

        It is great to hear that Solution Manager is being opened up, I do love the many things it can do and the capabilities it has when working with the Automation and Measurement side of CAMS. If the platform opens up more, and that is a real opportunity for the developers to leverage OData integration and exposing of data from Solution Manager to create excellent models for integration with other tools.

        So I love the SAP IT Infrastructure Management aspect, but would love to see this paired with things like CFEngine, Puppet or Chef so we can perform core builds from the bare metal to application, having each piece of information logged at the time of installation (how much time would that save in terms of reduction of bad data in the LMDB), there is also scope to have CTS+ integrated with these tools as Chef and Puppet are configuration management tools, they enforce configuration rules which is great for O/S, DB, JAVA, HANA as the CTS+ does not reach into these layers to proactively manage configuration – CTS+ can be overridden with direct configuration.

        I have been working with some people within SAP, discussing these aspects and I firmly believe that this is possible with the right people, the capability within the application is there – SAP do not need to build the end to end solution, but provide the tools to enable people to do it. Look at the success of SAPUI5, a light agile framework which enables people to do amazing things and look what has happened – they have!

        As regards the BI component of Solution Manager, I have yet to see anything in it that has made me want to use it – a harsh statement I know. For reporting on IT objects and their metrics, not SLAs, I like a lot of adhoc reporting and I have not used the BI aspects of Solution Manager enough to give a solid opinion on those.

        Chris

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