How to Resolve a Complex IT Problem in Just a Few Clicks with eG Enterprise


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One of the most common and yet difficult things for any admin to accomplish is to trouble shoot end user “slow-time” issues. Application, database, network and server unresponsiveness or “slow-time” negatively affects enterprise performance and end user productivity ten times more often than downtime and can originate from just about anywhere within the enterprise.

Misconfiguration due to human error, missing drivers, intermittent memory faults, network IP cache errors, unbalanced workloads and constrained virtual resources can all be the root-cause of slow-time, or they could just be a resulting symptom, the key to resolving such issues is getting to the root-cause quickly before they spread to other systems and bring productivity to a standstill.

In the following walkthrough, I detail how such a scenario can be resolved quickly and easily before end users notice with the help of eG Enterprise. This example focuses primarily on Citrix and vmware but eG Enterprise can help IT departments maintain maximum productivity for millions of combinations of enterprise components.

eG Enterprise is a 100% web based solution making it possible for anyone in IT from the CIO and IT Managers to admins and helpdesk specialist to proactively monitor their environment anytime, anywhere on any device.

eG Alarms Window for Blog

When a “slow-time” error occurs, eG Enterprise automatically generates an alarm to the appropriate admin so they can take action immediately. The solution correlates and color codes the minor, major and critical alerts and displays them using a layer model with the most critical alert at the top.

eG Alarms Window Details for Blog

According to the alert Virtual CPU usage in the vmware ESX system console is high. The system console is a bootstrap operating system of ESX and should only be using about 2% of the CPU allocated to it, by scrolling over the description we can see the usage has suddenly increased to 100%; left alone this would surely affect Citrix performance and generate a large number of support calls to IT from end users.

eG Detailed Diagnosis Window for Blog

Fortunately, eG Enterprise patented detailed diagnosis technology makes identifying the root-cause a breeze. By scrolling to the right and using the magnifying glass icon, the root-cause is revealed within the Detailed Diagnosis window. The window is displaying information for the top 10 processes using virtual CPU resources; to the right of the window those processes are listed as SAMBA backups.

eG Fix Feedback Window

The root-cause is simply this, the vmware admin is performing a normal backup but it is taking place before the end of the workday potentially affecting Citrix users when they attempt to log on and access applications. The best solution is to contact the vmware admin, explain the situation and either agree to reschedule the backups or adjust virtual resources.

In this case, the Citrix and ESX admin agree to reschedule the backups and then the Citrix admin uses the Fix Feedback feature within eG Enterprise to document the event, as well as the agreed solution and save the record. Resolving the issue took just a few clicks and a quick phone call between admins.

eG Enterprise provides universal insight across platforms and domains whether they exist in the Cloud, the data center or in virtual space, it is for this reason that the Citrix admin had the visibility they needed to identify the root-cause as a virtual resource constraint within the vm’s that support Citrix.

The following is a more detailed look at the Citrix admins view of the eG Enterprise Universal Insight dashboard as well as the methodology and technology behind the solution.

eG Universal Insight Dashboard for Blog

The color codes of eG Enterprise are familiar, green is “Normal”, yellow is a “Minor” alert, orange is a “Major” alert and red is a “Critical” alert requiring immediate attention.

The dashboard provides universal insight for the 12 different components that comprise the two Citrix services they are monitoring. The Component Type panel lists the details for each of the 12 components.

Clicking on the listed services in the middle of the Infrastructure Health panel on the left will reveal which of the two services is generating alerts.

The Measure at – A – Glance panel at the bottom left lists the measurements and tests conducted for each of the 12 components that comprise the two different Citrix service being monitored. Details include CPU utilization, Free memory, Active Citrix sessions, and more.

The bell icon on the top right of the window is a link to the alarm window details viewed previously.

eG Infomart Services Window for Blog

After clicking on the Services panel eG Enterprise presents two Citrix service icons for the different services, it appears that Infomart is the service experiencing major issues, clicking on the Infomart icon opens the list of Web Transactions for the Infomart service.

eG Informart Transactions Window for Blog

The list indicates that Application Access and User Logons are experiencing errors. The Citrix admin may click on the Topology tab or the transactions themselves for a service topology graph for the Infomart service.

eG Citrix Topology Window for Blog

Navigating the Infomart service topology from left to right, end users are connecting to Infomart through a network node, then a web server that is experiencing minor errors; the requests then reach a Citrix Zone Data Collector, which sends the request to one of the Citrix XenApp servers, which is experiencing major errors. The XenApp server then accesses the appropriate file, print or database server on the backend.

Based on the color codes eG Enterprise is indicating that the primary focus should be on the Citrix XenApp servers. Clicking on them will present the Citrix admin with either a physical or a virtual topology for Citrix XenApp depending on the supporting host.

eG Virtual Citrix XenApp Topology Window for Blog

The virtual topology indicates that the vmware ESX virtual machine hosting the Citrix Zone Data Collector, the Web server and Citrix XenApp are experiencing critical errors, that is where the focus needs to be. Clicking on that area of the virtual service topology reveals the elements that support those virtual machines.

eG Layer Model Window for Blog

This is the eG Enterprise Layer model for the Citrix XenApp service topology. On the right are all of the elements that support the virtual machines as well as the various tests that correspond to that layer. As an example within the OS layer for the virtual hypervisor are measurements and tests for the System Console, CPU, Disk Space and more; depending on which layer is selected the information within the right panel changes accordingly.

eG Detailed Diagnosis Window for Blog

eG Enterprise has already identified that virtual CPU resources within the system console are constrained. Using the magnifying glass icon on the far right opens the same Detailed Diagnosis window previously accessed from the Alarms window and the same SAMBA errors are viewable, this confirms the previous diagnosis.

Regardless of the path an admin chooses to use, identifying the root-cause of a complex IT problem takes just a few clicks with the eG Enterprise.

eG Infrastructure Health Reporting Window for Blog

The last thing I will cover are some of the reporting benefits that eG Enterprise provides. By returning to the Universal Insight dashboard and selecting the Reporter tab, anyone in IT can pull performance reports for the infrastructure.

Reports are available based on Function, Component, Service, or Segment; two of the more important are Operational KPI and Capacity Planning. Easy access to comprehensive reporting make it possible to maintain business continuity, predict peak needs, ensure future readiness for emerging technologies while keeping costs down and increasing productivity.

The eG Enterprise methodology is simple, the technology is powerful and the universal insight is comprehensive.

For a free trial, to schedule a live demo or obtain more information about eG Enterprise send a request to info@eginnovations.com or go to our website at www.eginnovations.com

Enhance Healthcare IT and Improve Patient Care


innovationwordcloud400FACT: Preventable medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States right behind heart disease and cancer. It doesn’t seem possible but according to “Death by Medical Mistakes Hits Record” in Healthcare IT News it’s true and the related financial costs may be as high as $1 trillion dollars.

Certainly many of the deaths are due to situations Healthcare IT has no influence over, but some are due to preventable problems such as inaccurate and missing records or systems which are completely down, experiencing application or database slow-time when doctors, clinicians and patients are in critical need.

According another Healthcare IT News article “The True Nature of Recovery: 5 Ways to Mitigate Downtime, Data Loss” there are a number of things that Healthcare CIOs and IT managers can do to mitigate the risks to both patients and the bottom line of healthcare organizations. Though the article is focused on disaster recovery it is very quick to point out that knowing your systems, avoiding points of failure and ensuring that you have the data necessary to right-size, avoid cost over runs and prepare for emerging technologies are highly important.

What Healthcare IT organizations need is a solution that helps reduce IT complexity, increases performance, tracks app adoption, offers role based reporting and grants CIOs, Managers and admins “universal insight” across the solution stack as well as all other interdependent physical and virtual layers; and they need the ability to do it all from just a single interface instead of multiple silo-centric tools.

Within our most recent Enterprise Solution Brief specifically for Healthcare IT you will discover

  • 4 key benefits that improve Healthcare IT efficiency and result in enhanced patient care
  • What factors are driving “Healthcare IT Transformation
  • How to “Enable Successful Healthcare IT Transformation
  • How eG Enterprise Universal Insight is “Ready for the Future of Healthcare IT”
  • How eG Enterprise Universal Insight is a “Force Multiplier for Healthcare IT”

Read the brief then let us show you the many ways that eG Enterprise Universal Insight can enhance your Healthcare IT department, improve patient care and save lives.

Email info@eginnovations.com

Call 866.526.6700

ORACLE Database Performance Monitoring, Diagnosis and Reporting with eG Enterprise [Live Demo]


oracle_database_logoJoin the live demo ORACLE Database Performance Monitoring, Diagnosis and Reporting with eG Enterprise on November 19 @ at 11am ET | 10am CT | 8am PT | 4pm UK | 5pm CET.

Register now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/928964023

The Oracle database platform is powering many of today’s business-critical applications and services. As applications and IT infrastructures are getting more complex and interconnected, performance issues anywhere in the IT infrastructure can quickly cascade and negatively impact end user experience. When Oracle database access is slow, is the issue with the Oracle database configuration or sizing? Or could it because of the storage tier? Virtualization platform? Application queries? Network?

Join this live demo to see how next-generation performance monitoring & analytics provides deep visibility into Oracle database environments to accelerate the diagnosis of application and server performance issues, and quickly restore user experience. During the live demonstration, we will show you how to:

  • Have a single unified monitoring solution that addresses your database, virtualization, network and storage monitoring, diagnosis, analytics, and reporting needs;
  • Use intelligent analytics to analyze and correlate performance inside the database server and across the other tiers of your IT environment to provide unparalleled speed & ease of proactive alerting, diagnosis & analysis;
  • View best-in-class customizable dashboards that integrate performance metrics regarding the database and other tiers to provide real-time role-based and domain-based views on user experience, system and service health, resource consumption, capacity and more;
  • Report on historical performance and trends and analyze usage patterns to right-size and optimize your IT infrastructure for maximum ROI;

We look forward to seeing you on November 19!

Microsoft SQL Server Monitoring: SQL Server Sprawl and Heterogeneous Versions Cause Monitoring Headaches


Microsoft SQL is Widely Deployed in Enterprises

According to the Microsoft SQL Server team on TechNet , SQL Server is world’s most widely deployed database. In its October 2013 magic quadrant, Gartner identified Microsoft as a leader, second only to Oracle.

Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems

Database Gartner Magic Quadrant1Source: Gartner (October 2013) – http://gtnr.it/IKDu9G

SQL Server’s success is attributed to multiple factors:

  • It is simple to install and easy to maintain.
  • Several third party applications and development tools support SQL server.
  • It has a wide array of functionalities and with the scalability enhancements in its latest releases, it represents a good option for enterprises.
  • Microsoft also provides lower cost, service-provider friendly licensing that makes deployment of SQL easy.

SQL Server Proliferation Results in Sprawl

The very success of SQL server has contributed to a high degree of proliferation, leading to SQL server sprawl.  Almost all applications today use a database server for data storage. Because of its licensing and ease of use, many packaged applications and in-house applications use SQL server as the backend. To minimize conflict between applications, many a times, a separate SQL server or SQL instance is used for each application.

Since it is simple to deploy, application owners themselves often deploy and use SQL server, instead of depending on a database administration team. Over a period, this uncoordinated deployment has resulted in a proliferation of SQL server instances, leading to SQL sprawl.

Yet another artifact of this evolution is that an enterprise often has multiple versions of SQL server running in parallel.  A recent survey conducted by Paul S. Randal shows that enterprises are still running several older versions of SQL server. In fact, as the table below reveals 45% of enterprises still have SQL Server 2000 deployed!

What’s the oldest version of SQL Server that you have in production?

Oldest version of SQLSource: SQLSkills.com – http://bit.ly/1dnRpvj

What makes the problem worse is the fact that often, when an application is decommissioned, the database server it uses has to be manually decommissioned. This also results in SQL server instances being left running but not used.

From a resource usage perspective, for optimal performance, SQL server has been designed to use up all of the memory available on the servers (or VMs) that it is hosted on. If there are unused instances of  SQL server running, these will unnecessarily take up a lot of the memory resources. In environments where SQL server is deployed on virtual machines, the bloated memory usage of unused SQL instances could even impact the performance of applications hosted on other virtual machines.

The Need for Unified Monitoring of Microsoft SQL Server

To manage SQL server in an enterprise, the IT team needs to be able to:

  • Automatically discover all the systems where SQL server is running;
  • Be able to monitor all the SQL instances, to determine ones that are least used or rarely used;
  • For the ones that are in use, determine if the resources allocated for each instance are optimal or not.
  • Measure the performance of each SQL server instance to determine the availability and responsiveness of each instance.
  • Have a consistent way to monitor different versions of SQL server, so administrators do not have to learn different tools for each version.

eG Enterprise provides IT administrators a single, integrated monitoring solution using which they can monitor, diagnose and report on the performance of SQL Server across all of the commonly deployed versions and in a consistent manner. SQL versions 7.0, 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2012 are supported.  Monitoring of named and port-based SQL instances is supported and SQL clusters can also be monitored from the same console.  IT administrators also have the option of monitoring SQL Server in an agent based or agentless manner. For more information on the eG SQL monitor, see http://www.eginnovations.com/web/sqlmonitor.htm