The ever-increasing number of IT solutions and components presents a
challenge to the teams responsible for monitoring. System landscapes are
much more varied, and the demands for suitable monitoring tools are constantly
increasing. Administrators are looking to tools that can centrally monitor
large, heterogeneous system landscapes, notify the responsible person
automatically in case of errors, provide support when administrators are
solving problems, and allow new components to be included in the monitoring
SAP has provided the basis for a central
monitoring tool with the CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure as of SAP
R/3 4.0, and has continuously developed it ever since. In SAP Web Application
Server 6.10, the CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure provides its full
range of functions, but is now enhanced by new CCMS agent technology available
as free, downloadable software. The result is more extensive, convenient
monitoring of your IT environment and all of the components - SAP and
non-SAP - that are part of it.
How SAP Supports System Monitoring
In the CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure delivered by SAP, data collection
programs monitor various components. Each program stores the data in a
"monitoring segment" (part of the shared memory of each server)
using either a running SAP instance or a running agent.
A dedicated central monitoring system,
or CEN, accesses the locally collected data through a defined ABAP interface
on an SAP instance, or through agent technology on any server on which
the agent is installed and active. With the CEN, administrators now have
a central overview for monitoring and managing the entire mySAP.com e-business
platform from a single console, without logging on to each and every component.
To access this information, SAP provides
two monitors for visual display. The CCMS Alert Monitor (transaction RZ20)
is the expert monitor currently available for administrators. It provides
a customizable, system-wide overview of the system landscape. From RZ20,
you have a guided connection to remote systems in case of an alert.
The CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure
also acts as an information source for the second monitor, the SAP Solution
Manager.1 This new platform for support and
services analyzes and presents system monitoring data in a modern, graphical
frontend geared particularly to business processes.
In Figure 1, the CCMS Alert Monitor
lists the results from the log file monitoring of the file dev_rout located
on the non-SAP host P60090 with matching pattern "Failed." It
also lists CPU information and the monitored processes (saposcol and saprouter)
of non-SAP host P60090, and the CPU information of SAP systems DEV and
QAS (with two instances).
||Information from CCMS Alert Monitor (RZ20)
New Possibilities for Central Monitoring
With the new CCMS agent software, SAP makes central monitoring possible
where it didn't exist before - and enhances the monitoring tasks that
are currently available. Previously you could not centrally monitor SAP
R/3 3.x systems and non-SAP components, and in SAP R/3 4.x systems, you
may have seen additional data bottlenecks while opening a monitor in CEN
at times of poor performance. The new CCMS agent concept provides ways
to access both SAP and non-SAP systems, and helps prevent those bottlenecks.
||Components with no active SAP instance
||This agent determines the fill level
of the file system as well as detailed operating system information.
Log files can be analyzed using external applications. For example,
the Internet Transaction Server (ITS) is completely connected through
the SAPCCMSR agent.
||SAP Basis 4.x or higher
This agent centralizes and therefore improves the monitoring of SAP
systems with SAP Basis 4.x or higher. The central monitoring system
requires at least SAP Basis 4.6C.
The SAPCCM4X agent provides an alternative connection route to the
monitoring information in the shared memory of an SAP instance. Since
this alternative connection route does not require a free work process
in order for CEN to access data from SAP R/3 4.x systems, the connection
route is independent of any of the error status or performance problems
of the monitored SAP instance, and is therefore more robust.
||SAP Basis 3.x
The agent allows you to centrally
monitor SAP instances with SAP Basis
3.x, even though SAP R/3 3.x systems
do not have their own CCMS Alert Monitoring
Infrastructure. SAPCM3X accesses the
dispatcher's old shared memory segment.
||The Three CCMS Agent at a Glance
CCMS agents are stand-alone processes that
act as RFC servers to the CEN. As such, they provide a reliable interface
to the shared memory segment. There are three CCMS agents - SAPCCMSR,
SAPCCM4X, and SAPCM3X - and each has a specific monitoring function
(see Table 1) designed for a particular system, whether SAP or
non-SAP, as shown in Figure 2 below. Advantages of the agent concept
||Central Monitoring Landscape with Agents
The monitoring segment contains all SAP data from the CCMS Alert Monitoring
Infrastructure. This data can be transferred by SAPCCM4X agents without
occupying an SAP work process. As a result, your monitors in the CEN will
open much faster.
Operating System Data
On systems without SAP Basis, the SAPCCMSR agent can return the SAPOsCol2
data (e.g., CPU utilization, paging rates, file system data, network data).
Administrators can now monitor individual operating system processes like
those in Figure 1, which displays the monitoring data of the SAPOsCol
and SAPRouter processes. Important information can be updated as frequently
as every minute, and you can design a monitor in the CEN to provide detailed
information concerning non-SAP hosts (see "An Example: Monitoring
a Non-SAP Host").
Non-SAP components, such as databases, normally write their status and
error messages to log files. Figure 3 shows the relationship between
agents and internal and external components. You can use the agent to search
these log files for any combination of characters, and to report them either
as error states or target states in the CEN. Figure 1 shows the log file
analysis of the SAP network connectivity program SAPRouter, where the log
file is analyzed by looking for the search pattern "failed." In
this way, you can easily monitor your non-SAP components directly from the
CEN and respond quickly to error states.
||The Agent Concept Up Close
If an alert is triggered in a monitored system, an auto-reaction of your
choice can also be triggered. (Until now, auto-reactions were only processed
in the same system where the alert occurred.) If the CEN is an SAP Web
Application Server 6.10 or later, the agents can transfer the local alert
information to the CEN, where an auto-reaction can be generated.
This means that when an error occurs, e-mail
notifications or scripts can be started centrally from the CEN, requiring
only a single e-mail connection to the Internet from the CEN.
Handling with Push Technology
Alert information from a monitored system is usually requested only when
a monitor is called in the CEN. But using push technology, it is also possible
for the agent to send alert information immediately to the CEN (as of Web
Application Server 6.10 and up), which can then automatically react with
central auto-reactions or e-mail notifications - resulting in less time
spent waiting in the CEN while opening monitors.
An Example: Monitoring a Non-SAP Host
Suppose you want to monitor a non-SAP host that has an Oracle database
on it. After installation of SAPOsCol and the SAPCCMSR agent, you
will be able to set up a monitor in the CEN, which will display:
- CPU and paging rates of the host to give a good indication
of important performance issues.
- Current Oracle database processes.
- Oracle error messages for analyzing the day-to-day health
of the host.
- File-system filling level for tracking database growth
and for log directory analysis.
Conveniently, the database is monitored remotely from CEN, so there
is no need to log on to the database host.
Agents can write alerts to a log file, which third-party software products
can easily access and respond to appropriately.
You can extend agents with regard to the
data they determine and manage. Dynamically linked libraries can be included
via a plug-in interface.
There are, for example, plug-ins available
for monitoring EMC Symmetrix and the ITS. A Java interface, with which
Java programs can read from and write to the monitoring segment, is also
currently being tested.
How to Begin
The CCMS agent software is available as a free download from the SAP
FTP Server SAPSERV.
For detailed information about CCMS agents
and for a copy of the white paper "CCMS Agents: Description,"
visit the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/systemmanagement.
Choose "System Monitoring and Alert Management" and look for
the documents list at the bottom of the page.
more information on the SAP Solution Manager,
see the article "Equip
Your mySAP.com Landscape with a Central Platform for Monitoring and Support
with the New SAP Solution Manager" by
Anja Wolf and Eithne Devine in this issue of SAP Insider.
SAPOsCol is a standalone program that is part of each SAP installation
and can be downloaded from the SAP FTP server SAPSERV.
Dr. Christoph J. Nake joined SAP AG in 1996. Since then, he has had a
great deal of experience in basis administration and system management.
Christoph now works in Product Management of the mySAP Server Technology
Group with a focus on the CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure. You can
reach him at email@example.com.