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Beyond Data Center Monitoring

SAP IT Operations Analytics Is Blazing the Trail to the Next-Generation Data Center with Strong Co-Innovation Partners

by John Schitka | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 4

October 10, 2016

Regardless of your company’s goals or focus, you need a reliable data center. The growing complexity of IT environments makes data center management an increasingly challenging task, however. Simple monitoring is no longer enough — you need real-time insight into what’s happening across your IT landscape, so that you can rapidly identify and fix problems, and even prevent them before they occur. Learn how SAP IT Operations Analytics meets these needs by providing a real-time view of your data center operations, along with functionality for predictive and automated data center management. 

Data centers are at the heart of any company’s operations. Whether you are working with a mission-critical application, maintaining an ecommerce site, or providing a cloud-based service, you need a reliable data center. Modern IT landscapes are complex places, supporting a widening array of interconnected networks and data, and making data center management a challenge for many organizations, particularly when it comes to root-cause analysis.

SAP IT Operations Analytics, an SAP HANA-based application designed to support seamless data center management, helps SAP customers with this task. Initially developed to manage SAP’s own internal data center, it provides a holistic, real-time view across data center landscapes. With a host of features and capabilities, such as automation, developed both by SAP and in collaboration with co-innovation partners, SAP IT Operations Analytics is not only optimized for modern data center landscapes, but is poised to meet the needs of the next-generation data center.

Analysis Across Your Data Center Landscape

SAP IT Operations Analytics provides a single pane of glass across your data center landscape, enabling you to monitor everything in one place. It aggregates large volumes of event log data from various applications, operating systems, devices, and more, letting you perform real-time analyses on that data via a consolidated dashboard view to determine — and prevent — the root causes of potential problems.

You can perform a detailed analysis of events in your data center landscape by building and running complex queries — known as query stories — based on any tables in the database. The results can then be viewed as tables and charts in a central dashboard. SAP IT Operations Analytics supports SQL for the development of these queries, so you do not need to learn a proprietary query language, and the latest release (support package 01 for version 2.0) introduces a new feature that makes development even easier — the analytics builder, a visual tool based on Google Blockly that provides guided SQL query development (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 — The analytics builder provides guided development and execution of query stories for detailed analysis

The visuals generated by query stories enable end users to drill down into detailed metrics to gain a deeper understanding of data center events. While creating a query story requires basic knowledge of SQL and use of the analytics builder, once built, it can be used by any authorized end user via the SAP IT Operations Analytics dashboard. An executive, for example, can check their dashboard and easily drill into details without accessing the analytics builder itself.1

Not Just Predicting Problems — Automatically Acting on Them

Alerts about problems, especially predictive ones, are critical to successful data center management. SAP IT Operations Analytics enables you to configure alerts that are triggered by detected patterns and correlations, allowing you to resolve incidents in real time and prevent failures before they ever happen.

Now imagine a data center management tool that can go a step further by automatically solving an identified problem as, or even before, alerts are sent. SAP IT Operations Analytics is making this concept a reality with functionality that can automatically prevent system availability problems. Through co-innovation with Intel, the latest release of SAP IT Operations Analytics includes dynamic storage provisioning functionality that increases system availability by automatically adjusting to changes in data center utilization.

Underestimating peak load can cause unexpected downtimes from system failures when IT cannot scale the data center in time. Using simple rules, SAP IT Operations Analytics prevents this by triggering the system to increase storage by 10% if the utilization threshold exceeds 90%. Conversely, if utilization drops below 70% of the storage currently available, the tool will trigger the system to decrease storage by 10%, releasing it back into the data center storage pool for other use. All of these adjustments occur in the background without human intervention. And SAP IT Operations Analytics keeps a detailed log of events and actions taken, which can be analyzed to inform long-term optimizations.2

This is just one example of how SAP IT Operations Analytics is bringing the advantages of automated data center management to SAP customers. Another is the role it plays in “Project Benjamin” — a joint endeavor between SAP, Cisco, and Vnomic — where it is paving the way to the next-generation data center (see the sidebar “SAP IT Operations Analytics: Powering Automation”).

SAP IT Operations Analytics: Powering Automation

Automation, and the ability to provide feedback on automated processes, is key to modern data center management and necessary for next-generation data centers. The ultimate goal is a self-mitigating data center that requires only overseeing — and SAP IT Operations Analytics is paving the way to achieving that goal with a key role in “Project Benjamin.”

“Project Benjamin” — a collaborative undertaking by SAP, Cisco, and Vnomic, a member of the SAP Startup Focus program — offers end-to-end, zero-touch automated delivery, governance, and auditability of SAP applications on a programmable infrastructure. SAP is using this co-innovated solution to automate large-scale proof of concepts for deployments designed to scale to Internet of Things and big data use cases that could grow to over a petabyte of raw storage.

SAP IT Operations Analytics is a critical part of this end-to-end deployment, providing feedback on the progress and status of all systems and devices, and laying the groundwork for the next-generation data center.

Modern Data Center Management

The modern large enterprise, with its massive amounts of data and its expansive, interconnected networks, requires an IT management system that provides accurate, real-time insight into every corner of the IT landscape. SAP IT Operations Analytics is designed to create comprehensive pictures of complex environments, enabling organizations to prevent incidents and fix issues that would otherwise cause damaging downtime.

From powering easy performance analytics, to automatically fixing storage issues, to being a driving force behind technological innovation and data center automation, the capabilities of SAP IT Operations Analytics are vast and relevant for a great deal of use cases, from daily management and root cause analysis to power management. To learn more about the capabilities of SAP IT Operations Analytics, visit or contact

1 To learn more about this feature, view the video “SAP ITOA: Building Complex Queries” at [back]

2 To learn more about this capability, view the video “Proactively Add More Storage to Hardware Devices Using SAP IT Operations Analytics” at [back]

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John Schitka
John Schitka

Senior Director in Solution Marketing

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