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The Technical Administration Work Center within SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP 10 provides tools and capabilities to support the IT operations management teams in the efficient planning, implementation, execution, and reporting of the day-to-day operational activities. In particular it offers applications for managing and documenting system work modes including downtimes, notifying recipients about IT related events as well as managing IT related tasks .  The following picture shows the entry screen of the Technical Administration Work Center as of Solution Manager 7.1 SP10.

Capabilities of the Technical Administration Work Center in Solution Manager 7.1 SP10 include:

 

 

  • Service Availability Management
    Provides availability reporting for systems running business critical functions and allows to check if defined availability SLA’s are met.

Work Mode Management
Allows to schedule and maintain Work Modes (e.g. Down Time, Peak Business Hour) for technical systems, databases and hosts.

Work Mode Management supports: 

  • Scheduling Work Modes for technical scenarios, technical systems, instances, databases and logon groups
  • Long term planning of recurring work modes as well as ad-hoc definition of single work modes
  • Automatic notification of users about upcoming system downtimes
  • Central execution of system downtimes
  • Downtime Reporting and Work Modes planning based on the data from BI reporting

 The Work Mode Management application is tightly integrated with the Technical Monitoring Work Center. For example, Alerting and Monitoring in the Technical Monitoring Work Center will be sensitive to Planned Downtimes, so that no spurious alerts are triggered. It is also possible to define work mode-specific settings in Monitoring Templates so that technical monitoring and alerting can react on metrics and alerts work mode dependent: 

  • Metric thresholds can be customized differently depending on the work modes.
  • Certain alerts can be switched on or off for different work modes.
  • Alert consumers can be defined work mode – dependent.

 Example: During Peak business you would like to get notified if the average dialog response time exceeds 1000 msec. During other work modes you don’t expect a notification at all.

  Work Mode Management allows scheduling the following default work modes: 

  • Planned Downtime
    System is technically down and end users have no access. System administrators can use the planned downtime to execute planned administration tasks that can only be executed during downtimes.
  • Maintenance
    System is technically up and end users have no access. System administrators can use the maintenance to execute planned administration tasks that can only be executed during Maintenances.
  • Peak Business Hour
    System is technically up and the end users have access. Majority of end users are logged in to the system and load peaks are expected.
  • Non Peak Business Hours
    System is technically up and the end users have access. Majority of end users are logged in to the system and load peaks are not expected.
  • Non-Business Hours
    System is technically up and the end users have access. Majority of end users are NOT logged in to the system and load peaks are not expected.

 The Work Mode Management application allows planning work modes for technical systems, ABAP or Java instances, databases, logon groups or technical scenarios.

Work Mode Overview

 The Work Mode Overview screen displays the selected components and already scheduled work modes for these components. Options are available to modify, create or copy work modes. Notification settings can also be maintained here.

Setup Notification Settings

The “Setup Notification Management” button opens the Notification Settings view. Here notifications settings are defined for the managed system. It is possible to add the recipients / recipient lists that have to be notified about upcoming downtimes, define the schedule in which notifications shall be sent and edit notification text templates for text message, e-mail, and system messages.

As a result, the Solution Manager system will automatically notify recipients about upcoming planned downtimes or maintenance via text message or e-mail with respect to the schedule defined.

Work Mode Details

The Work Mode Detail screen can be reached via button “Schedule Work Modes(s)” or by selecting the title of an already existing work mode on the Work Mode Overview. It allows reviewing work mode details, editing existing work modes, scheduling new work modes, sending instant notifications and shutting down managed systems.

Different options enable the easy and flexible scheduling of recurring work modes. It is possible to define weekly or monthly recurrence patterns, take into account different holiday and factory calendars and to define start and end times for each day of the week individually, if required.

For work modes of type Planned Downtime, additionally the option to stop and start managed systems conveniently from Solution Manager is available. The current status of systems (started or stopped) is shown and managed systems can be stopped or started via Web Service Calls to SAP Control or Adaptive Computing Controller.

Work Mode and Downtime Reporting

Downtime reporting allows to compare actual versus planned down times and to check which proportion of planned downtimes was really used and whether downtimes occurred outside the planning windows.

Work Mode reporting allows to overlay planned work modes on a time axis with performance metrics reported by the system. This allows to check the accuracy of planning for example by comparing whether the peak business hours are really planned during the times when the peak number of users logs on to the system.

SAP IT Calendar
Provides a calendar-based overview of the planned Work Modes, It events and change requests for technical systems, databases and hosts.

The SAP IT Calendar displays planned work modes for one or several technical systems in the same calendar view. It provides the following benefits:
The IT calendar can be used as the single source of truth for both IT and business departments with regards to planned up and downtimes for systems.

  • A manual maintenance of work mode and downtime planning sheets becomes superfluous with the SAP IT Calendar.
  • The display of both inactive and active work modes in the IT calendar supports the work mode planning and scheduling process.
  • It helps to answer questions like “When is the next planned downtime for system ABC ” or when “When are the next peak business hours for system ABC” so that both IT and business operations can plan their activities around work mode information from IT Calendar. “

Easy navigation between month, year and day views allows to get an overview over planned work modes as well as reviewing detailed planning. Filtering options on work mode types are available so that it is possible to review for example only the planned downtimes in IT calendar. A details pane on the right side of the IT Calendar provides information about the selected work modes like work mode title, whether it is recurring and so on. It is also possible to change the time zones in which the calendar dates are being displayed.                          .

 For more information on IT Calendar please refer to the Techadm_IT Calendar FAQ .

Notification Management
Allows to define recipient lists for alerts and downtime notifications.

Notification Management allows you to centrally maintain recipients or recipient lists for various SAP Solution Manager applications such as Work Mode Management, Alert Inbox, System Monitoring, PI Monitoring, BI Monitoring, and so on. Different Recipient lists can be maintained for different use cases like notifying end users about upcoming system downtimes or notifying technical operators that they should look into an alert. Notifications can either be automatically created, if a certain alert was triggered or created manually as shown in the example below.

The Notification Management application consists of two parts: The “Global Recipient Pool” and “Recipient Lists”.

Global Recipient Pool

Recipients from various sources can be loaded into the so-called Global Recipient Pool:

  • Solution Manager Users
  • Solution Manager Business Partners
  • Managed System Users
  • Managed System Business Partners
  • Distribution Lists from Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Notes / Domino Servers

Additionally it is also possible to create recipients directly inside the Global Recipient Pool.

Recipient Lists

After recipients were added to the global recipient pool, they should be grouped together into recipient lists. It makes sense to define different recipient lists for different use cases. Examples:

  • Recipient Lists to notify end users about upcoming system downtimes

  • Recipient Lists to notify technical operators to investigate an alert

  •  

Personal Notification Settings

For each recipient it is optionally possible to define personalized notification settings. This can be done in the Global Recipients pool by the person responsible for maintaining recipients and recipient lists. Alternatively each Solution Manager user can perform this activity for his user account via the “My Notification Settings” Link in the Related links section as shown below. The “When Present (On Duty)” settings allow to define how recipients will be notified during On duty times.

In the example below, recipients will be notified on work days between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. CET via mail, after 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. via text message. On weekends recipient will be notified via text message.

It is also possible to define absences like vacations and to maintain substitutes who will receive notifications instead in the “During Personal Absences (Off-Duty)” section. If notifications are sent to a recipient while he is absent, the notification will automatically be forwarded to substitutes.

Guided Procedure & IT Task Management
Allows to define recurring IT operations as guided procedures. Allows to plan the execution of guided procedures via CRM tasks for managed systems databases or hosts and to assign processors or teams. Allows to execute guided procedure related  tasks from task inbox.

The Guided Procedure & IT Task Management applications in the Technical Administration Work Center provide an integrated tool set to document & define recurring administrative tasks as guided procedures, plan the execution of the defined guided procedures , execute them centrally and track the execution of the guided procedures.

Guided Procedure Management

Guided Procedures support  the IT operator during  the execution of his daily operational activities through:

  • Step-by-step execution
  • Detailed activity description
  • Central access to required managed system functions
  • (Optional) Automatic steps or activites
  • Logging of every activity 

The Guided Procedure Management application provides access to all management functions for guided procedures.

 

Guided Procedure Browser


From the Guided Procedure Browser you can get an overview over all guided procedures that are available for selected managed systems, databases or  hosts.
It allows the creation or editing of guided procedures and to execute them ad-hoc for selected managed systems, databases or hosts.

Guided Procedure Authoring

The GP Authoring environment provides the possibility to create or edit guided procedures. It is possible to add easily  steps, help texts and activities with jump-in links into Solution Manager or the managed systems to the guided procedure. SAP delivers some automated steps (Plug-ins) and automatic activities that can be re-used in customer -specific  guided procedures  to automate certain tasks or activities. All of this can be achieved without ABAP programming skills.  
Optionally you can also create own activities or custom Uis to automatize certain administrative tasks. These actvities or custom UIs can easily be re-used in guided procedures. The creation of these activities or custom UIs requires ABAP programming skills.

 

Guided Procedure Runtime

The GP Execution wizard guides you through the execution of the steps and activities that have to be performed. All steps of the wizard have an consistently design which makes it easier for you to navigate. On the top of the wizard you find a roadmap telling you where you are in the basic configuration. Every wizard page contains a help section, which is marked in orange on the slide. The help section provides detailed information to each step, such as what needs to be done and what will happen in the background. The activities section, which is marked blue on the slide, lists all single activities during each step along with the documentation for the IMG activity. The documentation from the IMG activity describes what exactly has to be done, e.g. in manual steps and also provides error handling procedures. If you have to provide input values for a step you will enter them in the activities section as well. The Log section shows detailed logs for every activity that was performed.

Guided Procedure Log Book

The Guided Procedure log book provides an overview over GP execution and allows to answer the following questions:

  • Which Guided procedures were executed in a certain time frame (day, week, month) for all or a certain managed object ?
  • How many Guided procedures are not processed at all?
  • Were the Guided procedures executable without errors?
  • Review of comments and status of executed Guided procedures

IT Task Planning 

IT Task Planning allows to plan the execution of guided procedures  in advance. For example the execution of the "daily system health check"  guided procedure for the ERP production system can be planned daily starting at 8 am and the execution of a customer-specifc "Client Copy Guided Procedure" can be planned for the test and QA system for next Tuesday starting at 4 pm. It is possible to assign either individual users or support teams as processors for the guided procedures. It is also possible to plan a guided procedure in expert mode where different steps are relevant for diferent managed systems or different processors have to execute different activities. A CRM task is generated for each assigned processor of a guided procedure.

IT Task Inbox

The It operator can get an overview over all tasks that are assigned to him or his team in the task inbox. He can assign himself to a team task and execute the related guided procedure as soon as the task is due.

 

SAP delivered Guided Procedure Content

SAP delivers guided procedure template for common administration tasks as well as re-usable configurable automatic steps (so- called Plug-ins)  that can easily be customized and used in customer defined guided procedures.

Guided Procedure templates for regular administrative tasks

SAP delivers with Solution Manager 7.1 SP10 the following guided procedure templates:

The guided procedure templates consist of manual and automatic steps to check the health state of  . They should be copied into customer name space and adapted.

Plug-ins

Plug-ins are re-usable configurable automatic steps  that can easily be customized and integtrated  in customer defined guided procedures. The following slide gives an overview over the plug-ins already available with Solution Manager 7.1 SP10.

Examples for customer specific Guided Procedures

The following shows some examples for regular administrative activities that have been implemented customer specific as Guided Procedures:
 
 
  

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