SAP System Landscapes Firmly Under Control

May 30, 2005 by admin

For any company, monitoring its system landscape is an important task that becomes more complex with each additional component or enhancement. Customers can now monitor their entire SAP landscape using the SAP NetWeaver Administrator (SAP NWA), which is specifically tailored to the daily tasks of an administrator. SAP NWA unifies data from the most important administration and monitoring tools for both Java and ABAP applications and can be used across the landscape in a new, browser-based user interface. Administrative functions that are currently spread across various tools, particularly in the Java environment, will gradually be integrated by SAP into the SAP NWA and expanded. In future these will be fully available from a central system.

A central tool

System administrators no longer need to jump between different tools when performing management, fault location and problem analysis across the whole SAP NetWeaver landscape. For instance, if they located a fault in a Java application via the central monitoring system, they would previously need to connect to that system using the Visual Administrator to view the application logs in the Log Viewer and activate a trace in the Log Configurator, which could then again be analyzed in the Log Viewer. As a central tool, SAP NWA enables all instances and applications across the system landscape to be started and stopped, configuration settings and logs to be checked and the smooth functioning of the components monitored from a single monitoring system. SAP NWA additionally provides a framework for plug-ins, that is, tools that enable users to switch directly from the NWA to user management. Other plug-ins, such as for web services, adaptive computing, mobile infrastructure, and portal content administration, will follow.

Work Center

Work Center

The SAP NetWeaver Administrator can be linked both to the entire system landscape and to selected systems. The system landscape can be structured and split into logical groups. This division may be made along technological lines, for instance between development, QA and live systems, or in terms of affiliation with specific business areas. The NWA works closely with the System Landscape Directory to obtain the technical data of the solutions already within the system landscape. The directory is installed along with SAP NetWeaver and needs to be configured once per system landscape.

Quick overview in the Availability Check

System landscape

System landscape

Like the SAP Enterprise Portal, the SAP NWA user interface is based on SAP’s WebDynpro technology. Care was taken in the planning and design of this administrative tool to provide for intuitive user guidance, a high level of familiarity, and support of familiar display formats. The user interface is task-oriented and easy to operate, with links between related areas.
Navigation in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator occurs via Work Centers, such as “Administration” and “Monitoring”, as well as via detail navigation. Frequently used procedures, such as log analysis and trace activation, are connected via links and provide direct navigation to potential follow-on processes.
SAP NWA simplifies system monitoring, configuration, and management for administrators. The procedures frequently performed by the administrator include starting and stopping applications either individually or across the entire system landscape. The “Administration” Work Center shows administrators all applications of the selected systems within the system landscape, including their status. The hyperlink to the application log leads directly to the newest log entries and provides information about the latest events and any error messages.
SAP NWA is also important for central monitoring. The Availability Check can be used to check the availability of all components of a system landscape. The Availability Check, which is the entry page to central monitoring, uses a traffic-light system to provide a quick overview of the availability of all selected systems and their instances. A further key piece of information it displays is the average response time of the system and the number of active users.

Availability Check

Availability Check

The predefined monitor sets familiar from the Alert Monitor of the SAP Computing Center Management System (CCMS) are available for detailed central monitoring. As in the CCMS, the Alert Browser and the entire alert history are available in the SAP NWA. If an administrator wants to investigate an alarm message further, he or she can use the SAP NWA to jump directly to a preconfigured local analysis function of the underlying CCMS.

Analysis of performance problems

The SAP NWA provides a series of graphical reports specifically for those sections of a system landscape programmed in Java. Among other things, these show memory utilization, the performance of running applications, or user activities. Particular attention is drawn to those user requests that tie up the most performance.
If the user reports a performance problem, the administrator can access a special tool in the “Analysis” section. The Activity Trace logs a user’s individual steps across all applications and is designed specifically for use in parallel to live operation.
All of the analysis tools that could previously be used locally for Java applications are now available centrally. The first version of the SAP NWA focused particularly on integration of the Java functions. Its aim is to completely replace the present management tool, the Visual Administrator, by 2006. At the same time, SAP NWA will be enhanced by monitoring and management functions for ABAP.

Dr. Astrid Tschense

Dr. Astrid Tschense

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