Good News for Administrators

Feature Article | April 9, 2008 by Dieter Krieger

Up to now, administration has not been a core area of SAP Solution Manager. But the focus of the application management solution has now been enhanced to include all central administration functionality for systems related to the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. Administration and monitoring tasks can now be performed from tabs called work centers in the navigation bar of SAP Solution Manager. The work centers bundle key functionality and offer a central entry point and unified access to all the tasks that an administrator needs to perform.

Each work center is based on a role. An administrator may be assigned multiple roles, with each role providing access to a particular work center, such as incident management, system monitoring, and system administration, depending on the administrator’s scope of work. The work centers have a navigation panel and a work area that provide work lists for central, one-click access to frequent task-specific activities, such as managing alerts or processing incidents.

The work centers in SAP Solution Manager are based on Web Dynpro ABAP. Administration tasks are therefore accessible via any Web browser. They can also be called via the SAP GUI, using the transaction code “solman_workcenter”.

Alerting, monitoring, and reporting at a glance

The system monitoring work center provides a landscape overview and enables monitoring of all SAP software components. Status icons indicate the overall status of systems and their individual instances, along with the service status of the instances. This proactive monitoring is based on predefined threshold values for key metrics, such as availability, dialog response times, and CPU utilization. Other information, like architecture (ABAP and Java), installation number, system type, product version, and solution, is also displayed.

The work center also provides component-specific links to administration and monitoring tools, like the diagnostics functionality of SAP Solution Manager, for quick problem detection and root-cause analysis on ABAP and Java for the SAP NetWeaver Application Server component.

The alert inbox displays alerts with key performance indicators from all systems and all solutions, ranked according to their criticality. Alert details, history, and documentation are shown for each alert. Users can navigate directly to the system where the alert occurred and use predefined analysis methods assigned there to the provider of the performance metric. For example, you would click the response time alert to drill down into the critical system, automatically calling a predefined analysis method such as the process overview, which shows currently allocated processes. You can also analyze the critical situation in a wider context using the IT performance reporting options provided in the reports section.

Users can view the status of all checked outbound remote function call (RFC) connections and of RFC connections between SAP Solution Manager and an RFC client. Details include the type of connection (read, write, and trusted), target system, and client.

Within the work center, users can specify which kinds of jobs to monitor. Filter criteria include own jobs, system, client, job name, and prefix and status indicators, such as ready, cancelled, or completed. Users can also filter for jobs that they consider critical.

Reports cover various usage types for systems and solutions, including reports from the SAP EarlyWatch Alert service, IT performance reporting, service-level reporting, and availability reporting. Depending on the usage type, key metrics can include availability of systems and instances, dialog response times, CPU utilization, file system usage, and database growth. To improve the usability of the work center, assisted configuration is provided for reporting, system and connectivity monitoring, and for creating and maintaining solutions.

Bundled administration tools

The system administration work center bundles all administrative tasks on a single tab. Status icons indicate the overall status of selected solutions. The number of open tasks is also displayed. For better efficiency, users can filter for systems with open tasks only. Links to ABAP and Java administration tools, such as log viewers, are provided for each selected system and cover local user and role management for all components.

The work center provides users with access to tools for data archiving, instance management, and database and output administration. Systems can be started and stopped with the management console and the SAP NetWeaver Administrator tool, which can be called by clicking the available link.

The scope of functions that administrators may perform depends on the roles they have been assigned. Standard roles may be adapted for specific needs. Roles contain a set of authorizations that can be restricted or enhanced with role maintenance. With this role-based approach that bundles individual tools and content, users gain easy access to all the tasks and information required for their jobs. Personalization is supported: Users can define their own queries specifying content display criteria and define settings for the appearance of the selected content. That means that they can tailor individual views of systems and solutions and store them for later use.

The integrated content of the work centers allows administrators to detect dependencies and discover potential synergies to further optimize processes within the IT organization, thus reducing the total cost of operations.

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