The Real Cost of Downtime and Slow-time within the Enterprise


fortune-500-240cs051211CIOs have a fiduciary duty to ensure the organization they serve has viable future ready solutions for capacity planning, infrastructure management, performance monitoring, measurement of KPIs, downtime prevention and helpdesk resolution. End users have a different perspective, they judge their experience relative to their ability to be productive and complete an end goal.

Traditional studies are based on datacenter incidents and downtime but don’t account for employee compensation or reduced end user productivity. When apps and databases are unavailable or slow and unresponsive, the downstream impact can be truly devastating. Customer loyalty suffers, industry reputations become damaged, and strategic partnerships dissolve, legal liabilities increase, stock values decrease and financial markets collapse.

According to Forbes, the Fortune 500 employ 27 million people at an average compensation rate of $33.00 per hour, a Dun & Bradstreet survey determined that 59% of Fortune 500 experience a minimum of 1.6 hours of downtime every week, and a TRAC Research study determined that slow-time occurs 10 times more often than downtime.

Those statistics indicate that the Fortune 500 experience 24,544 hours of downtime and 245,544 hours of slow-time, that’s a combined 30 years of man-hours annually, the resulting downtime compensation cost is an astronomical $1.2 Trillion which is equal to 12% of US GDP.

The compensation isn’t wasted, employees will do what comes naturally, they will shift priorities or perform their duties manually or at a reduced rate of productivity until continuity is restored, but they will still be working under less than optimal circumstances and may shift priorities to a less profitable endeavor.

Imagine the additional wealth, jobs, investments, savings and charitable contributions that could be created by proactively reducing downtime and slow-time across domains within the enterprise. End users would be happier, productivity would soar and CIOs would be the new captains of industry.

It’s obvious slow-time isn’t just a major nuisance, it’s a cancer within the enterprise, left undiagnosed and untreated it the root-cause can spread to other systems within your infrastructure making it much more difficult to diagnose the root-cause and even leading to unscheduled down-time.

Environment errors spreadRoot-cause diagnosis of slow-time can be extremely difficult, that’s because it can originate due to almost anything and 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, they key to resolving such issues is getting to the root-cause quickly before they spread to other systems and bring productivity to a standstill.

Fortunately there is a solution that can help businesses proactively reduce downtime, slow-time and improve the end user experience.

eG Enterprise is a 100% web based performance management solution, as long as you have an internet connection you will have universal insight into your infrastructure and can take action anytime, from anywhere on any device.

Many of the world’s leading organizations rely on the universal insight that eG Enterprise  provides so they have total visibility across all layers and tiers of the enterprise. Having universal insight enables and empowers them to enhance IT service performance, increase operational efficiency and ensure IT effectiveness.

ImagekideG Enterprise Universal Insight; A Force Multiplier for IT Departments

Enhance IT Service Performance – eG Enterprise automatically correlates performance metrics across every layer and tier of cloud, physical and virtual infrastructures. It provides the universal insight and actionable intelligence that IT departments need to prevent downtime and slow-time so end users are productive and able to accomplish their goals.

Increase Operational Efficiency – eG Enterprise provides a single, unified, customizable interface with intuitive end-to-end topology maps and single-click drill downs for root-cause analysis. Having universal insight across the enterprise accelerates time to resolution, eliminates helpdesk guesswork and helps IT departments keep systems online so business continuity and end user productivity are maintained.

Ensure IT Effectiveness – eG Enterprise with its extensive, detailed historical reports provides CIOs and IT managers the empirical performance data they need to right size the enterprise, balance workloads, eliminate cost overruns and ensure that capacity planning meets the business needs of today while preparing for the emerging technologies of tomorrow.

These benefits are especially important when time is of the essence or budget constraints and natural attrition lead to reductions in IT support staff.

eG Enterprise Universal Insight; Ready for the Borderless Enterprise

Mobilize Your Workforce with Confidence – eG Enterprise provides enhanced capabilities for the full suite of virtualization and mobility solutions from Citrix Systems, including XenDesktop and XenMobile .

The successful deployment and future scalability of a mobility solution is dependent on broad user adoption and application responsiveness, but the introduction of foreign devices on a corporate network poses new threats to the privacy and integrity of confidential data.

IT managers can use our Citrix Ready solution to help make slow-time, extended logons and network latency a thing of the past while also ensuring that device compliance and application performance are maintained.

Cloud Ready and Virtualization Aware – eG Enterprise is cloud ready and provides IT managers the visibility they need to monitor the health, performance and responsiveness of mission critical applications. Once deployed the universal insight technology automatically discovers and collects baseline metrics for applications running in the cloud, virtual and physical environments and can provide dynamic, customizable reports for them.

eG Enterprise is the only application performance management solution that provides both an outside view of a VM indicating the hypervisors physical resources used by a VM, and an inside view of the VM indicating which application(s) and user(s) are driving resource usage.

For a free trial, to schedule a live demo or obtain more information about how eG Enterprise can help prevent slow-time and downtime send a request to info@eginnovations.com or go to our website at www.eginnovations.com

eG Innovations Announces Release of eG Enterprise v6 Performance Monitoring Solution


servicetopeG Innovations today announced a major new release of eG Enterprise for performance monitoring, diagnosis and reporting of business-critical IT infrastructures. The v6 release features a sleek new user interface, new customizable dashboards, advanced reports, a mobile application, and broader and deeper monitoring of applications, virtualization platforms and storage.

eG Enterprise v6 introduces new capabilities that make it faster and easier for customers to diagnose problems and manage their IT environment. eG Innovations will be demonstrating eG Enterprise v6 for the first time at VMworld in San Francisco in Booth # 2047 (come to the booth and see us).

“Monitoring IT performance across increasingly complex layers of infrastructure, then gaining visibility of the end-user experience of that performance remains a vexing challenge for enterprise IT,” said Dennis Callaghan, Senior Analyst at 451 Research. “The new features in eG Enterprise V6 are designed to meet this challenge head on.”

“Enterprise customers are looking for intuitive, total performance visibility across every layer and every tier,” adds Bala Vaidhinathan, CTO, eG Innovations. “To achieve this, they often have to use multiple diverse tools to monitor, diagnose and report on the entire infrastructure. eG Enterprise v6 provides different stakeholders customized dashboards and drilldowns that offer deeper and broader visibility end-to-end, across every layer and every tier of the service infrastructure. This allows enterprises to minimize the number of tools they have to use to determine the root-cause of problems. eG Enterprise v6 enables organizations to reduce operations costs, improve IT productivity and enhance end-user productivity and satisfaction.”

New in eG Enterprise v6:

  • One-View Dashboards: With the one-view dashboards, administrators do not have to traverse across multiple screens or tools. They can now get a simplified, aggregated overview of IT services through a single dashboard. The one view dashboards are fully customizable and provide custom views for the different stakeholders in an organization. Executives can view service demand and popularity, while IT managers can get a quick overview of the key service performance metrics. Service demand, resource consumption and service quality are all presented in the same dashboard so IT managers can make intelligent decisions and pre-empt issues that can impact the user experience.
  • Next-Gen User Interface: eG Enterprise v6 delivers a modern Web 2.0 interface providing enhanced ease-of-use, accessibility and personalization of the management console. This seamless interface allows administrators to manage their entire IT environment, whether it utilizes physical or virtual servers and private, hybrid or public clouds.
  • eG Mobile App: eG Enterprise v6 introduces a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Administrators can now track the performance of their key IT services from anywhere, at any time using their mobile and tablet.
  • AnyCloud Technology: eG Enterprise now delivers a consolidated way to manage the entire IT infrastructure, applications and users irrespective of the means and location of the delivery. The universal agent architecture and one-view dashboard provide a unified platform to manage a myriad set of cloud based services and technologies. Administrators have a clear way to demarcate between services delivered to the customer/user and the different types of infrastructure used to deliver it. They can easily keep track of the performance of their dynamically changing environments and the impact on service delivery, SLAs and user experience.
  • VDI Console for End-User Self-Service: With eG Enterprise v6, VDI administrators can configure and publish a console with virtual desktop session usage and performance metrics. This console empowers end-users, providing them the ability to perform basic diagnosis to determine what may be causing a slowdown during virtual desktop access – e.g., their network connectivity, bandwidth usage within their session, system resources used by the session, etc. This self-service console helps reduce user complaints to the help desk and thereby reduces support costs and enhances IT productivity.
  • Enhanced Desktop and Server Virtualization Monitoring: eG Enterprise includes enhanced Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V monitoring capabilities. V6 also extends eG Enterprise’s patented In-N-Out monitoring technology for servers using the Linux KVM hypervisor. For application virtualization and virtual desktop environments, eG Enterprise now includes powerful, new browser monitoring capabilities. Deeper visibility into user logons release to allow administrators to quickly identify and solve slow login issues is also part of the enhancements in this release.

Take a first look at eG Enterprise v6 here.

Visit us at VMworld today – booth 2047 – and see the new eG Enterprise v6 live in action!

A Brief Visual Overview of eG Enterprise


Aspen Systems created a nice writeup of the key capabilities and value of eG Innovations for performance monitoring of complex IT environments, and we would like to share it with you:  It’s no secret that there are a lot of moving pieces in today’s virtualized environments. This can bring a lot of benefits in terms of flexibility but also a lot of headaches when trying to determine the root cause of a failure, or an ongoing performance degradation issue, especially when many of these services may be sharing the same virtualization hardware.

Our environments today are a dynamic, moving target. Workloads can be spun up quickly to counter user demand and moved around dynamically based on load. Traditional SNMP-based monitoring systems were created prior to these dynamic environments, and often focus on a single server, switch, or piece of hardware. With so many inter-dependencies and shared resources involved today, it can be a challenge to view the entire service stack, and find the root cause of a outage or performance problem. eG Innovations has a unique approach to viewing all these layers, and helping us pinpoint the cause for a poor End User Experience.

eG Innovations has been doing a pretty good job of this over the years, so this is what we will be covering today in this edition of our “Brief Visual Overview” series.

Bringing “Islands” and “Silos” Together

What problem can monitoring solve?

This scenario above is what we need to avoid. If this looks familiar to you, you’re not alone. Troubleshooting this kind of situation can be a long painful journey of telephone tag, “SneakerNet”, and finger pointing. In a lot of cases, these silos will be monitored by different people and different monitoring systems if they are monitored at all. If we can get our arms around monitoring the highly dependent layers, then we’ll be much further head of the game when troubleshooting, or proactively predicting problems.

Focusing on the Layers of Service

eG allows us to bring all the levels in the virtualization stack together, displaying the overall health of each one with their unique “Layer View” which can be seen below. Breaking things down in this manner allows us to easily hone in on the potential root cause of a performance issue. The health of all layers right from the physical hypervisor level right up the stack to inside the VM can easily been seen, and their status identified by color.

eG Innovations Layers

 

 

At a glance, we can see that there are two layers that seem to be experiencing some kind of warning, one more critical than the other.

Key Products & Features

  • Agent or agentless monitoring
  • Simple single agent licensing model
  • Extensive virtualization support
  • Visibility of all virtualization layers enabling easy root cause analysis
  • Historical reporting and graphs
  • Automatic baselining and thresholding
  • Real-time monitoring graphs & alarms
  • Pre-emptive problem detection & alerting
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Uses HTTP/HTTPS for all monitoring, limiting need for VPNs for remote monitoring
  • Configuration tracking & logging
  • Automatic topology discovery

System Dashboards

At-a-Glance Dashboard

Out of the box, there are some very informative dashboards included with the eG Enterprise solution. You can easily view the status of your hypervisors by going into the primary Monitor/System/Overview tab, which shows an “At-a-Glance” overview of statistics such as CPU Usage, storage utilization, and memory utilization. From this screen, historical statistics can also be called up as needed.

eG_innovations_dashboard1-b

 

Historical View Dashboard

By changing to the “History” tab, we can easily call up performance over time so trends and important events can be tracked.

eG_innovations_dashboard2-history-b

 

Layer View Dashboard

eG makes it easy to view trouble spots across the entire virtualization stack, from the physical hypervisor hardware all the way up the stack to the inside of a virtual machine. This helps with root cause analysis because you can quickly identify performance problems by finding the root cause of the problem.

eG Innovations View Layers Stack

 

Monitoring Agents

Types of Monitoring Agents

eG can monitor your environment using an eG monitoring agent or in “agentless” mode. When using agentless monitoring, a centralized Data Collector is responsible for collecting data from the various types of systems using the existing available protocols such as SNMP, ssh and WMI/PerfMon. This mode of operation will give you basic monitoring functionality of your environment and may be easier to deploy, if you already have services like SNMP enabled.

 

eG Innovations Agentless Monitoring

 

Note: For more information on how Agentless Monitoring works, see Agentless Monitoring

For a much deeper view into your systems an eG “Universal Agent” can be used in conjunction with an “Agent Server” that is installed on-site. This is a single, unified agent that can monitor systems regardless of platform, including VMware, XenServer, Citrix, SQL, Web services, and many others. The agent automatically updates itself as needed, and the overhead on the server is extremely small, typically <1%. If you want detailed metrics of your system that can assist with detailed troubleshooting and root cause analysis, then this is the way to go.

 

eG Simple Monitoring Agent

 

Note: For more information on how Universal Agent Monitoring works, see Universal Agent Monitoring

Reporting

The reporting features within eG Enterprise are very extensive, allowing for in-depth analysis of any part of your infrastructure. Core features of the Reporting module include:

– Service Level Reports

– In-Depth Performance Reports for Every Layer

– Performance Comparison Reports

– Snapshot-in-Time Reports

eG Innovations Report Overview

Very detailed reports can be created by users with appropriate access, and these reports can be saved as templates or exported to PDF/CSV, or even emailed automatically based on a schedule.

eG Innovations Custom Reporting

eG Innovations Custom Reporting

Configuring Logging & Comparison

eG Enterprise has the capability to record and track configuration changes on monitored systems in your infrastructure. This is an optional component, but in our opinion is worth the extra cost. This module is very helpful in determining if recent configuration changes led to an outage or performance degradation which all too often is the case.

Here’s a sample of how the Configuration module can help find misconfigurations and inconsistencies when comparing two vSphere hypervisor hosts:

eG Innovations Configuration Tracking & Comparison

Because configuration changes are tracked historically, you can easily see when these changes occurred most over time.

eG Innovations Configuration Tracking & Comparison

Summary

eG Innovations Enterprise is an extensive, fully featured monitoring solution that excels in monitoring virtualized environments. It greatly decreases troubleshooting time by identifying problematic layers across your virtual infrastructure and has extensive configuration and reporting modules. eG can be set up on premise or purchased as a cloud-delivered service. For smaller environments, a VMware appliance can be used, which may be a good fit for smaller environments and Proof-of-Concept deployments.

Further Reading

Here are some additional links for further reading on the eG Innovations solutions.

Key Features & Benefits

eG Enterprise Key Features

Feature Summary

Value Propositions of eG Enterprise

Platform Support

Application Support

Hypervisor Support

Operating System Support

Installation & Service Options

eG Enterprise Virtual Appliance

Cloud Monitoring with eG Enterprise

eG Enterprise On-Tap (On-Demand Critical Issue Diagnosis)

VDI Performance Assessment

Demos, Videos & Presentations

eG Enterprise Video Presentations

Request a Demo

If you would like more information on how Aspen Systems can assist you with monitoring your environment, please contact us here.

CASE STUDY: Leading Commercial Services Company Boosts User Productivity & Reduces Support Costs with Performance Monitoring


higgins-logoHiggins is one of the leading commercial services companies in Australia. Established in 1949, Higgins has over 800 employees and contractors across 11 branch offices supported by a centralized IT environment that delivers business critical applications to end users. For example, key applications are accessed by employees from branch offices through Citrix XenApp. For operational efficiency, Higgins’ IT infrastructure is fully virtualized. Citrix XenServer is used to virtualize the Citrix applications while the rest of the infrastructure runs on VMware vSphere.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES

As the organization grew, the IT infrastructure had become increasingly critical for the company’s business. Higgins’ small IT team was using a number of diverse monitoring tools that often required a lengthy, manual process for diagnosing and troubleshooting problems. This started to affect user productivity and impact critical business processes.

“It was very difficult to monitor and troubleshoot our complicated IT environment with the small IT team that we have. We would need multiple resources with expert skills to do manually what eG Enterprise does for us with automatic diagnosis of performance issues,” adds Damian Davies, IT Manager at Higgins.

EG ENTERPRISE DELIVERS USER SATISFACTION AND BUSINESS ROI

After selecting and implementing eG Enterprise, the Higgins IT team is now able to maintain user satisfaction and give their management peace of mind. The monitoring solution has also significantly increased the IT team’s productivity. Prior to using eG Enterprise, Higgins estimated that approximately 10% of the IT team’s time was spent on troubleshooting and system monitoring. This time is now spent productively, on strategic IT initiatives.

With eG Enterprise the Higgins team is able to monitor the entire IT infrastructure from end to end – from a single web-console. Their outsourced IT provider also has access to the eG Enterprise console, allowing them and the Higgins IT staff to have a common, consistent view of the performance of their IT infrastructure. With eG Enterprise, Higgins fully unlocked the benefits of seamless application delivery to remote end users. eG Enterprise enabled the Higgins IT team to increase end user satisfaction and productivity, reduce IT support incidents, cost and complexity, decrease downtime and realize faster problem resolution.

“The support from eG Innovations has been amazing. They went above and beyond to help us get everything configured initially and then reconfigured again after our infrastructure refresh. I wish all our vendors were so responsive and helpful!” says Damian Davies.

Read the full case study here: http://www.eginnovations.com/web/success.htm

eG Innovations Named to 2014 CRN Data Center 100


eG Innovations is proud to announce that the company has been recognized in the CRN Data Center 100 annual list, featuring technology vendors whose solutions are vital for powering today’s dynamic IT environments. CRN developed the list to help solution providers navigate the marketplace and identify the top companies and technologies across the data center to best meet their needs as they build solutions for their customers.

“The 2014 CRN Data Center 100 list is validation of our strategy in developing performance management solutions for virtualization and cloud environments. Customers who are transforming their data centers with these technologies increasingly have to balance performance and cost. Building performance management early into the transformation process is a key to achieving this balance,” said Bala Vaidhinathan, CTO, eG Innovations. “Our customers are looking to diagnose, predict and analyze their virtualized and cloud environments to ensure maximum performance, improve the user experience and generally improve the ROI of their IT investments.”

“The Data Center 100 list recognizes vendors that embrace innovation, efficiency and sustainability, to bring the data center to the next level,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “These dynamic companies are led by forward-thinking executives who understand today’s data center environment. We applaud their success and look forward to their continued contributions to this industry.”

Coverage of the Data Center 100 will be featured in the February/March issue of CRN, and online at http://www.CRN.com.

New Webinar: Virtualization and Cloud Performance


cloud-performanceWhether you are virtualizing your IT environment or moving applications to the cloud, the dynamics and complexities of these IT transformations can cause significant performance and user experience issues that diminish the benefits of new IT service models and risk interruption of critical business processes.

Join us on Wednesday, March 12 at 2pm ET / 11am PT for the webinar Virtualized and Cloud Apps – Why a Process Oriented Approach Delivers Maximum Performance to explore how to create service improvement initiatives based on end-to-end services and achieve true IT Service Management, i.e. managing services instead of just processes or components.

Register now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/800828335

Performance management experts John Worthington (Director of Consulting, Third Sky) and Bala Vaidhinathan (CTO, eG Innovations) will discuss:

  • The importance of performance management in virtualized, private/public cloud environments
  • Integrating Event Management with the Service Lifecycle to accelerate business value
  • The benefits of a process approach to performance management
  • The importance of end-to-end IT service visibility for enabling IT transformation

We look forward to seeing you online!

Top-10 IT Performance Management Predictions for 2014


Road 2014In 2014, as organizations look to do more with less, IT performance management will be measured by business value. Organizations are initiating many IT transformation projects to become more nimble, agile and cost-effective. For the success of these projects, organizations will need performance management solutions that are aligned with their IT strategy. Therefore, performance management solutions that enable IT agility, end-user satisfaction and operations efficiency will be in demand.

Here are our predictions for the top-10 trends in IT performance management in 2014

  1. End user experience will be a key success factor by which IT success will be measured. Businesses will expect IT to find problems before their users do, pinpoint the root cause of the problem and solve the problem at the earliest. IT organizations will seek solutions that will allow them to provide great user experience and productivity.
  2. Application Performance Management (APM) will become virtualization-aware. Virtualization adoption will continue to grow in 2014. At the same time though, enterprises are beginning to realize that virtualization is not just yet another infrastructure silo that can be operated and managed independently. In 2014, we will see enterprises start to include virtualization as an integral part of their application performance management initiatives. Monitoring and management tools will also need to do the same – performance management and root-cause diagnosis tools will need to understand virtualization and its related dependencies to be effective.
  3. Virtualization vendors will seek to become application-aware. In 2014, mission-critical applications like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics will be virtualized at a faster pace than they have been in the past. Along with this trend, will be the need for faster and more accurate diagnosis and troubleshooting so administrators can quickly understand where the bottleneck lies – whether a slowdown is in the application or in the virtualization platform. Virtualization vendors will feel the need to provide tools that enable faster, deeper and better correlated performance visibility. IT will be challenged to go beyond a hypervisor-centric view and basic virtualization metrics and will need tools and processes that will help them ensure user satisfaction and productivity.
  4. Domain-specific intelligence will grow in importance for performance management. For many years, the “how” to monitor has gained credence over the “what” to monitor. Enterprises have often focused on how management products work – agent or agentless, what protocols, etc. We expect this to change in 2014. As IT organizations come under pressure to do more with less, they will seek management tools that are more intelligent, can find problems without human intervention and in a proactive manner. To address this, management tools will need to embed a greater degree of domain expertise than they have done in the past. Collecting the key metrics, setting the right thresholds, and displaying the right reports out of the box will be some of the capabilities required from performance management tools.
  5. Enterprises will prioritize management tool consolidation over new acquisitions. Enterprise customers will want to invest in new tools only if they absolutely have to. In that sense, enterprises will want to look for solutions that can address several of their needs so that they do not have to acquire multiple tools and look at integration between them. The ability to cover multiple areas of management (performance, configuration, availability, etc.), to support multiple technologies (e.g., application tiers), and to operate across multiple platforms (Unix, Windows, virtual), will be important criteria that enterprises will use to assess what management tools will work for them. When procuring new tools, customers will also focus on how these tools can be integrated into their current systems and processes.
  6. Flexibility will be a key when it comes to performance management. Enterprise infrastructures are being changed constantly and that will continue to be the case in 2014. From a performance management perspective, enterprise will want to look for solutions that can allow them the flexibility to manage different types of environments, so they do not get locked in to a specific hypervisor or application type, but have the flexibility to reuse their existing management system for their new environments without a lot of additional investment.
  7. Management has always been about big data – now, it will be about automation. IT managers and their management tools have always had to deal with lots and lots of metrics and event storms. In 2014, the focus will shift to intelligent analysis of the collected data. There will be pressure on IT organizations to do more with less and enterprises will seek tools that can help them make efficient use of their IT operations teams. Proactive alerting, predictive reports, accurate and automated root-cause diagnosis, single click problem isolation will all be capabilities that will help enterprises lower their total cost of operating complex IT infrastructures.
  8. Return on investment will dominate discussions around management tools and processes. The success of IT will hinge on the impact to business. The same will be true of IT performance management tools. Performance management tools will need to help IT better serve their business by providing proactive alerts on business impacting issues before users notice, by highlighting sub-optimal utilization situations, or identify optimization scenarios that will allow IT to do more with less.
  9. New technologies will create new opportunities. Mobility, BYOD and virtual desktops will all continue to gain a foothold in the enterprise. The success of these new technologies will be closely tied to the performance that users can experience when using these technologies. Performance management will therefore grow in importance in these areas, providing scope for innovation and new solutions in the areas of mobility management, VDI management and so on.
  10. Enterprises will make the shift from silo to collaborative management. In 2014, IT organizations will feel increased pressure from their lines of business. To meet the expectations of their lines of business, IT organizations will have to ensure that there is less finger pointing and that they are working together for the success of the business. Collaborative management will be the theme and organizations will be looking to provide a greater degree of performance visibility across their individual silo tiers to the help desk, so it is easier and faster to troubleshoot problems and identify the tier that is responsible for a problem.

To a successful 2014!