SAP’s CCMS Monitoring Infrastructure — the data source for
alerts in the CCMS Alert Monitor (RZ20), the SAP Solution Manager, and
other third-party tools for monitoring SAP systems — includes three
- Customizable display of complete system landscape monitoring
data in a single screen.
- Automatic alert management, so that when a problem occurs,
an alert is raised and an auto-reaction can be triggered.
- Analysis features to help you check and correct the problem
at its source.1
Of course, when it comes to those alert
management features, it sounds so simple: “When a problem occurs,
an alert is raised.” But have you ever considered the conditions
that set off alerts in your system? In most cases, you’re probably
working with the default threshold settings that SAP provides for monitoring
elements, for example:
- Aborted batch job: 1
- Dialog response time: 2000 msec or more
In many cases, these settings will be just
fine. But to get the maximum benefits from these alerts, these settings
must be checked, otherwise your default thresholds might be too high or
low to accurately reflect the operation and priorities in your system
This article focuses on how to make sure
that CCMS’s automatic alert management features are working optimally
for your system. I’ll start with some common questions about checking
and adjusting alert thresholds for SAP systems with the CCMS Monitoring
Do I Have to Check Every Threshold Setting?
In the CCMS Alert Monitor, several hundred monitoring elements with threshold
settings are displayed — Figure 1 shows just a small fraction
of them, as you might find them in a typical monitor. Of course, you don’t
want to check each and every one of the monitoring elements out there.
Instead, you should only check the settings of the most important monitoring
tree elements (MTEs) for your daily monitoring — the ones included
in your own customized monitors.2 So as a first
step, you can ignore all MTEs outside of your monitors.
||Attributes in the CCMS Alert Monitor (Transaction RZ20)
Which Systems Need to Be Checked?
CCMS Alert Monitor threshold settings may be adjusted for the dedicated
central monitoring system (CEN) that accesses local data3 and in each
CEN also controls SAP components that do
not have their own CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure, such as:
- SAP 3.x systems connected via CCMS agent program SAPCM3X.
- Non-SAP basis systems, like ITS (Internet Transaction Server), connected
via CCMS agent program SAPCCMSR.
For R/3, until Release 4.5, system administrators
could only adjust thresholds individually in each SAP system.
However, for CEN Release 4.5 and up, an
administrator has two options for adjusting settings in those systems:
- Adapt threshold settings manually in each SAP system.
- Configure threshold settings in CEN, store the settings in a container,
and transport the container into the other SAP systems using SAP’s
standard transport mechanism TMS.
Threshold settings differ depending on the type of monitoring attribute.
Some ideas for customizing might include:
|Type of MTE
||aborted batch jobs
||Define an alert to be triggered
only for the first aborted batch jobs.
|Redefine the alert class: instead
of raising a red alert (SAP default), nothing but a yellow alert
||dialog response time
||Customize thresholds for a change from green to
yellow, from yellow to red, and back again
||system log messages
||You can decide individually, per each message
level, whether an alert is raised or not.
The CCMS Alert Monitoring Architecture offers two classes of alerts:
yellow alerts for warnings, and red alerts for severe problems.
When Should I Check Thresholds?
Thresholds should be checked:
- After a new component is added to central monitoring.
- If you find that an MTE produces too many alerts. This may mean that
the alert thresholds are too strict.
How Do I Configure New Threshold Settings?
As I mentioned above, for SAP systems, Releases 4.5 and up, you can configure
new threshold settings in CEN, store the settings in a container, and
transport the container into the other SAP systems.
The container for threshold settings is
called a property variant. SAP delivers the CCMS with the property
variant SAP-DEFAULT, which (as its name suggests) contains all SAP default
settings. SAP-DEFAULT cannot be changed, which means you can return to
the full, initial settings at any time.
Creating your own property variants offers
- You only have to configure threshold settings once. Once you have
created your property variant, the settings can be transported into
various other SAP systems.
- You can use property variants to change thresholds for a particular
MTE by having it switched from one variant into another. This changes
all threshold settings stored in the active property variant for the
- You can link property variants to particular operation modes (i.e.,
time of processing). For instance, your SAP system can automatically
switch to another variant (with different threshold settings) as it
switches from day to night processing. This might adjust settings such
as dialog response time thresholds, which is a less important value
during overnight processing.
What About Those MTEs That Appear Again and Again in
For Release 4.5 and up, you can set thresholds for each monitoring attribute
individually. However, there are monitoring attributes that appear several
times in the Alert Monitor; for instance, each SAP application server
has the monitoring attribute CPU_Utilization, which will appear
as often as there are SAP application servers. For these, SAP has created
containers called attribute groups, and set threshold values for
the attribute group to save you the trouble of customizing each MTE.
How Do I Adjust Thresholds in CEN?
Here is an introduction to some of the screens and steps you’ll
encounter when you adjust threshold settings in CEN. Threshold customizing
of single message attributes is typically not necessary. For performance
attributes and logfile attributes, adjustments are more common.
Let’s start with a performance
attribute like dialog response time. First, from transaction
RZ21 (the “Monitoring: Properties and Methods” screen),
create one or more property variants (see Figure 2). Activate one
of your variants. All threshold customizing will be stored in the active
||Maintenance of Property Variants in Transaction RZ21
("Monitoring: Properties and Methods" Screen)
Second, start one of your monitors in transaction
RZ20 (see Figure 3). Expand
the tree-based structure, and check all monitoring
attributes of the local system by selecting
a monitoring attribute and choosing “Properties.” If
necessary, change the thresholds by clicking “Display” --> “Change.”
||Threshold Settings for a Performance Attribute
In the example in Figure 3, under the “Performance
Attribute” tab, all monitoring attributes of attribute group R3DialogResponseTime
The threshold customizing of logfile
attributes is a little bit different from the other attribute types. Internally,
these alerts have both an alert class (yellow, red) and, within
each alert class, a severity rating between 0 and 255. Severity
ratings offer a fine-tuning of the alert class.
For example, if there is a break in the
connection between SAP and the frontend, this will trigger a red alert,
but will be rated as less severe (red, 9). If ABAP aborts, though, a red
alert will be issued, rated at a severity level of 50. If a user locks
up because the wrong password was entered, this will issue a very high
level of severity (red, 255), since it could indicate that someone is
trying to hack into the system.
The important point is that it is very
rare to see the system issue a severity ranking higher than 50. So if
you customize a log attribute so that an alert is only triggered for red
alert messages with severity higher than 50, you will likely see no alerts
for this log attribute. But you can change the default SAP severity ranking
— kicking important messages over the (red, 50) level, as in Figure
4 — so alerts will be triggered for these messages. An alert
is then raised if the log attribute setting is higher than 51.
||Threshold Settings for Log Attributes
In addition, from the “Filter”
tab in RZ20, you can redefine the SAP alert ranking. In Figure 4, the
log message RS0 (“Update service deactivated”) is redefined
at 100. This alert leads to a log monitor that is highly sensitive to
log messages, which are crucial to your systems.
And note that threshold changes are stored
in the active property variant. After threshold customizing is finished
for one property variant, activate and proceed with the next one.
For More Information
- SAP note 492442 deals with some general
problems for threshold settings in Release
- The SAP training course Advanced SAP
System Monitoring (ADM106)
is currently under development. This two-day
course will deal with all related techniques
of the CCMS monitoring architecture, especially
the appropriate customizing. For more
information, contact your local SAP country
representative and watch for more information
for coverage of auto-reactions and system analysis in a future article
in SAP Insider.
monitors is covered in my column in the
April-June 2002 issue of SAP
For the full article, see the Article Archives.
more background on the CEN, see my column
in the January-March 2002 issue of SAP
Insider, available at the Article
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 mySAP Technology product management with a focus
on the CCMS Alert Monitoring Infrastructure. You can reach him at email@example.com.