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How to start with Application Operations: SysMon in SAP Solution Manager 7.2

Introduction and motivation

With the next update for the SAP Support Backbone communication at the end of 2019, customers have to ensure their SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Support Package Stack is on level 7 or higher. Every update includes a technical and a business downtime for the SAP Solution Manager system itself which gives customers the opportunity to think about new SAP Solution Manager functionalities beside already used scenarios like Change Control Management, Test Suite, Process Management or IT Service Management.

Compared to the former SAP Solution Manager Release 7.1, Application Operations in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 was totally redesigned from a user interface perspective:

In SAP Solution Manager Release 7.2 we are using Fiori dashboards to visualize monitoring applications like System-, Job- or Interface channel and connection monitoring.

The technical framework behind: the monitoring & alerting infrastructure (MAI) is the same we used in 7.1 or 7.2 Support Package Stacks below SPS7. So customers do not have to re-rollout MAI components for managed systems like SAP Host- or Diagnostic Agents or the CA Introscope Wily framework.

Next to this the SAP Solution Manager comes along with template definitions for common monitoring cases like:

  • Several System Monitoring (SysMon) capabilities like: Short dumps, canceled jobs, dialog response times, user load, CPU- and memory utilization; database related metrics…
  • Several Interface Channel and connection monitoring (ICMon) capabilities like the monitoring of IDOCs-; Webservices; batch input maps; interfaces…
  • PI/PO related metrics
  • Business Intelligence related metrics Bus
  • SAP Solution Manager Self Monitoring metrics
  • ….

Template definitions contains configuration about:

  • How data is collected via MAI components or extractors via RFC destinations
  • Rating by threshold definitions
  • Event and Alert definitions

The default template content allows customers to quickstart a monitoring configuration with the SAP Solution Manager by using the SAP standard or to create own templates by copying the default templates.

Another feature is the usage alert in other SAP Solution Manager scenarios like IT Service Management. The template configuration allows the creation of auto incidents to work with monitoring events in incidents:

Auto incidents can be processed by an IT service desk organisation and forwarded to a Change- or Process Management.

Conclusion 

The system monitoring in SAP Solution Managers contains default content which is ready to use as a SAP best practise approach and can be combined with other SAP Solution Manager features like IT Service Management or Change Control Management as a follow up from alert triggered auto incidents.

Necessary SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Support Package Stack updates can be an opportunity to rethink about the SAP Solution Manager usage to manage customers SAP landscapes.

How to start

Prepare your system

Like every SAP Solution Manager scenario, a performed mandatory configuration according to the Support Package Stack is necessary. The mandatory configuration in transaction SOLMAN_SETUP ensures the basic configuration of the SAP Solution Manager system and the MAI framework like the connection between the SAP Solution Manager ABAP and Java system, the discovery of an CA Introscope Wily Enterprise Manager or the activation of the internal BI content.

  • Step 1: Ensure the execution of the Mandatory Configuration

One part of the mandatory configuration is the assignment of a System Landscape Directory (SLD). The SLD acts as a data source for landscape information and the product catalog. After the synchronisation of technical systems, hosts and database entries the managed system configuration in transaction SOLMAN_SETUP needs to be performed. This is a guided procedure to connect managed systems to the SAP Solution Manager.

  • Step 2: Ensure the data quality of technical systems and the execution of the managed system configuration for every SAP system you want to include in to a monitoring scenario

After the SAP Solution Manager and the relevant landscape is prepared you can start with the basic configuration of the Application Operations: System Monitoring scenario. This includes an update of the monitoring content and the adjustment of general settings.

  • Step 3: Ensure the execution of the system monitoring basis configuration

 

Step 1 till 3 is part of a system assessment during the SAP ALM Consulting Service for Application Monitoring.

How to proceed

Create a concept and prioritize

Sometimes customers are starting their system monitoring scenarios by activating SAPs default templates for the whole landscape and configure alerts and mail notifications. This goes along with frustrated notification recipients and Outlook rules to ignore such messages in the future…

First of all you need to think about the difference between monitoring and alerting. Alerts are messages about an exceptional event while monitoring can be an indicator for this or just a hint during a root cause analysis. So not every metric hast to be an alert with notifications.

Another aspect is the the question about alert consumers. Especially during the initial monitoring configuration false alerts are necessary to identify potential optimizations. On the other hand you do not want to disquiet end users or IT managers with wrong alert messages.

During the Application Monitoring Configuration service we discuss the following contents:

  1. What is your priority of monitoring: like availability, performance, exceptions or more related to the managed object like hosts, database- or application layers?
  2. Are there already experiences (which metrics are in focus; custom thresholds) which can be used in the SAP Solution Manager capabilities or are default templates a way to start with?
  3. Do you run a multi-tier SAP Solution Manager landscape and need to think about the transport of your monitoring configuration?

All these aspects should be clarified before you start your configuration.

  • Step 4: Create a concept

According to your requirements and conceptual decisions you can start with a PoC configuration using non-productive parts of your SAP landscape. This should be the basis for further adjustments and optimizations. This can be used for end user coaching as well.

  • Step 5: Run a non-productive configuration and optimize

As soon as you pass your milestones (e.g.: no false alerting; full monitoring of system availability), you can include further system to increase the precision of your monitoring or add new monitoring cases.

  • Step 6: Make your configuration productive

How to professionalize

Follow-Up and operations

After your monitoring configuration reached a maturity level you should think about follow-up activities like email notifications, auto reactions or auto incidents as an implementation into your IT Service – or Change Control Management.

Beside this, tasks to operate your monitoring configuration should be added into your concept. This includes patching procedures and intervals for MAI components or the monitoring content itself (see SAP Note 2584103 for Rapid Content Delivery to update the monitoring content).

 

If you are looking for more information about the monitoring capabilities of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 or SAP ALM Consulting services take a look at these resources:

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  • Good guide to start with!

    It would be nice to see Application Operations as planned Influence Opportunity in SAP Customer Connection Program.