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What’s new in ASE Cockpit?


First, what is “ASE Cockpit”?


We introduced ASE Cockpit in the previous blog in this series, here: ASE Cockpit (in lieu of SCC 3 for ASE).


ASE Cockpit is planned to be a new User Interface (or Tooling) component for ASE, and is planned to be released in 2015. The User Interface (or Tooling) of ASE Cockpit will manage ASE. ASE Cockpit is targeted as an essential companion tool for a Database Administrator (DBA) of ASE.


So, what’s new in “ASE Cockpit”?


ASE Cockpit will have all the monitoring and capabilities of SAP Control Center (SCC) 3 for its ASE, plus the support for the following new features/capabilities in upcoming ASE. Due to ASE Cockpit being a superset of SCC 3 in managing its ASE, ASE Cockpit will replace SCC 3 in the packaging of its upcoming ASE release.

  1. ASE Cockpit supports more platforms than SCC 3 for ASE:
    • Added platforms: AIX and HPIA
  2. ASE Cockpit supports new ASE features:
    1. Always-on Option (HA/DR)
    2. Workload Analyzer Option
    3. Data Store and Access Management (DSAM)
  3. Other benefits of ASE Cockpit:
    1. Easier installation
    2. New look
    3. Simpler Alerting
    4. Localization

Now let’s expand on each of the above new capabilities of ASE Cockpit.


A few points to note
  • We will keep ourselves to ASE Cockpit topics. I.e., we will not dwell in-depth into the details of the new features in upcoming ASE. If you do have questions on the new features of upcoming ASE, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we’ll direct you to the folks who may be able to answer your questions.
  • A few preview screenshots of ASE Cockpit will be supplemented to this blog in subsequent updates. This will give you descriptions in pictures.

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Increase in Platform support, and Easier installation

(1 & 3.i)

ASE Cockpit has to support more platforms than SCC 3 because ASE Cockpit is co-located with the ASE and has to support all platforms ASE supports. ASE platform support information is typically included in the product documentation. In contrast to ASE Cockpit, SCC 3 did not have to be located on the same host as the ASE.


But, why is this new capability or attribute of ASE Cockpit significant? This capability is significant not necessarily because a few more platforms were added, but because ASE Cockpit now co-locates with its deployed ASE. Co-locating the ASE Cockpit simplifies the installation and configuration needed before you can manage your ASE with it.


More importantly, this co-location and simplification of ASE Cockpit is important because this is expected to meet a key request/requirement from our ASE customers. As a quick flashback, the inputs and feedback we receivedfrom our ASE customers was to further simplify the SCC 3 installation. And this co-location of ASE Cockpit essentially simplifies the installation steps (vis-a-vis the SCC 3 installation steps).


More info

The above paragraph was the shortened version of the story. Behind the scenes, the quest for our R&D and design was: “How do we further simplify SCC 3 installation that our ASE customers requested?”. A secondary consideration at the sametime was: “How do we provide simpler installation without losing existing functionality to ASE customers?”.


We determined in this process that there were several steps for SCC 3 installation that needed to be done in addition to the installation of ASE itself; and that we could eliminate or simplify those additional steps by deploying a Cockpit co-located alongside the installation of ASE itself.


To further elaborate the “ease of installation” stated above: By co-locating ASE Cockpit we would eliminate or simplify all the install-and-setup/config steps you have needed to do with SCC 3; namely,

  • installing SCC 3,
  • starting SCC 3 server,
  • setting SCC 3 configuration,
  • registering (or discovering) the ASE Server,
  • authenticating the ASE Server,
  • etc.


The almost automated install, registering, startup, etc., by the co-locating of ASE Cockpit with ASE offers a significant progress in ease-of-use and simplification.


+++


Always-on Option (HA/DR)

(2.i)

New for the upcoming ASE release in 2015 is its “Always-on Option”. The Always-on Option of ASE consists of components for High Availability (HA) as well as for Disaster Recovery (DR) implementation. True to its low TCO advantage and commitment of simplifying, with its release ASE will be combining HA as well as DR into one package.


Notably, the key point is that: ASE Cockpit will provide the User Interface (UI) coverage for the management of the ASE Always-on (HADR) environment.

Workload Analyzer Option

(2.ii)

This new option for the upcoming ASE release will enable Workload Capture and Replay of production workload non-disruptively, and utilize the data to diagnose problems, and to understand and manage configuration changes proactively. It will aid in:

  • Identifying problematic queries
  • Investigating client activities
  • Measure impact from configuration changes
  • Evaluate upgrade options and new features to understand their benefits
  • Evaluate migration options by anticipating upgrade/migration benefits

ASE Cockpit will be the UI for this new ASE feature.

Data Store and Access Management (DSAM)

(2.iii)

The new DSAM new in the upcoming release of ASE can enable you to maximize the value of existing storage subsystem by taking into account the varying access frequencies over a period of time, the value of data during the complete data lifecycle, and savings through placing data on the most efficient devices. It will help in:

  • Data usage monitoring
  • Moving data to faster devices, or to archive devices, based on data access activity
  • Enhance performance by keeping active data on high performance storage
  • Reduce costs (enabling more effective use of storage assets)


The UI for DSAM feature will be in ASE Cockpit.

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The new look and feel

(3.i)

ASE Cockpit re-uses various components of its predecessor SCC 3, but with a refreshed UI template and a simplified top-level navigation.


ASE Cockpit will use a UI template consistent with the UI standards at SAP, and will make ASE Cockpit look similar to the IQ Cockpit and ESP Cockpit. (Note that ASE Cockpit will emulate the UI5 UX3 standard at SAP on its Adobe Flash UI, and not use Fiori HTML5 standards used by HANA Cockpit.)


In addition, ASE Cockpit will use the fuller real-estate of the browser compared to the windows-in-a-window layout of SCC 3.


And finally, the top-menu (Application and/or File menus) and top-level toolbar of SCC 3 are simplified with the following three tabs instead:

  1. MONITOR – View the real-time and historical charts
  2. EXPLORE – View database components and entities, and manage them through provided admin functions
  3. ALERT – Manage the alerting setup, configurations and preferences


Simpler Alerting

(3.ii)

ASE Cockpit simplifies Alerting for its ASE to the ease of selecting a checkbox. Where SCC 3 required you to define/setup the name, preferences and thresholds of an Alert before you could apply it, ASE Cockpit simplifies this internally to set predefined thresholds that will trigger its alerts. This simplification gets you started on basic Alerting right after you install ASE. You can then modify these preset threshold values in the “Alert” tab.


ASE Cockpit uses Key Performance Areas (KPAs) as the metrics and/or aggregates for its alerts. These KPAs in ASE Cockpit are a replacement to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in SCC 3. (In other words, the KPIs of SCC 3 have been reclassified in ASE Cockpit as KPAs.) These KPAs are classified into four categories: Availability, Performance, Capacity and Alerts (acronym “APCA”). ASE Cockpit internally has “Collection jobs” scheduled and run to collect these KPA statuses.


Localization support

(3.iii)

ASE Cockpit debut release will support localization in Japanese and Simplified Chinese. Note that, in contrast, SCC 3 did not support Localization. (ASE Cockpit, and SCC 3, are internationalized.)


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Jump to a sub-topic in this blog:

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Next … Which DBA Tool to use with ASE, and when?


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Appendix: Screenshots

(Click on a screenshot to see higher resolution)



  • Login screens


    • ASE Cockpit

Capture.JPG

    • SCC3

Capture.JPG


  • Look and feel
    • ASE Cockpit

Capture.JPG

    • SCC3

Capture.JPG


  • Alert setup


    • ASE Cockpit

Alert_2.jpg

    • SCC3

Capture.JPGCapture.JPG

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5 Comments

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  1. E. Anema

    It would be nice if the monitoring and alerting would work not just for sa-type of users, but also largely for users with just a monitoring role.

    (0) 
    1. Kaleem Aziz Post author

      Erwin, This is a good request. Separation of Monitoring+Alerting and Administration by role/privilege is a good suggestion.

      (0) 
    2. Kaleem Aziz Post author

      Erwin,

      We looked further into ASE Cockpit on this, and some of the new changes in ASE Cockpit will help with this.

      One of the changes for ASE Cockpit (versus SCC 3) is that ASE Cockpit uses ASE for authentication. That means when logging in to ASE Cockpit, you supply ASE credentials, and not separate credentials as in SCC 3*. So, to look at various screens (like Devices, Caches) in Monitor tab of ASE Cockpit, you only require mon_role, and sa_role is not required.

      * In SCC 3’s defense, an added layer of User Management was needed in SCC 3 because it was one interface for ASE, IQ, SRS, DA and ESP; each of which had their own User Management. SCC’s Users (like sccadmin) were then mapped to the Users (like sa) in the real User Management used by ASE, IQ, SRS, DA and ESP. The same mon_role and sa_role privilege can still be emulated in SCC 3, as long as the ASE User mapped to the SCC 3 User had the correct Monitoring, and/or Administration privileges you needed.

      (0) 
  2. Maria-Cristina NORMAND

    Hello Kaleem,

    Thanks to share this!

    I was thinking that the ASE Cockpit looks inspired by ASE DBA Cockpit 😉 I guess the idea is ‘to unify’ ASE administering/monitoring tools whether it be a standalone installation or a Business Suite environment…

    Regards,

    Cris

    (0) 
    1. Kaleem Aziz Post author

      Cris, I agree, the name “Cockpit” in ASE Cockpit does seem inspired from DBA Cockpit. 🙂 But the two are different in technology and scope. ASE Cockpit is used for standalone-ASE administration-monitoring and DBA Cockpit is used in Business Suite environment.

      In our R&D, we did look into combining SCC 3 and DBA Cockpit into one, with the hope that we could administer/monitor both custom standalone and Business Suite with one tool. However, we found that “the database administration-monitoring” as done by DBA required different level of management than “the Business Suite administration-monitoring”. So, ASE Cockpit was developed to be separate and unrelated to DBA Cockpit for ASE.

      We are hoping to spend some more explanation on this in the next blog in this series. We touched just a bit on this topic in the previous blog here: ASE Cockpit (in lieu of SCC 3 for ASE).

      (0) 

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