Part of BMC’s SQL Performance for DB2 for z/OS software package, Performance Advisor technology identifies performance problems automatically and sends alerts to IT departments with recommendations on how to correct SQL statements.
Using metrics and trend analysis, the new technology also predicts upcoming issues and proactively identifies and resolves performance problems in real time. According to the BMC, Performance Advisor reduces CPU consumption by as much as 85 per cent.
During a visit to the IT World Canada office, CIO Mark Settle explained how BMC’s tools address capacity utilization, application performance, process compliance and response time.
“Business service management is our conceptual approach…the tools at one time were sort of best-of-breed point solutions to different kinds of problems you’d run into in an IT operations environment. Over time, the capabilities of the tools became broad enough and interrelated enough that they actually comprised more of a solution to these more general problems,” he said.
BMC’s industry-agnostic software supports critical business processes through three primary thrusts – assurance and monitoring, automation and service support – said Settle.
In general, these tools allow you to achieve higher capacity utilization by actually monitoring the level of utilization, Settle explained. “The bane of IT shops is you buy a lot of hardware and it becomes underutilized…every application, every new project claims that you have to go out and buy more servers, more storage and after the fact, when you are on your monitoring tools, you find out that your servers are operating at only 20 per cent capacity or the storage is basically filled up with a lot of junk that nobody’s accessing on a regular basis anymore.”
By optimizing application performance, the tools also lead to a higher level of overall efficiency. “Your administrative staff typically scales to support the number of boxes, the number of devices on the network, et cetera. So you’re paying double the cost of having purchased the hardware and having it underutilized, but also in having a larger support staff than you effectively need to manage day-to-day operations. So one of the key benefits is to do more with less, to actually have autonomy,” he said.
The ability to audit and report compliance is another critical issue. According to Settle, third party research analysis on service issues in IT typically show a majority of problems occur through human error – whether a person does something they aren’t supposed to, didn’t have rights to or just cut a corner in the process.
Process compliance is especially important as distributed operations grow. The old days of having all the hardware and all the staff sitting in the same building is increasingly becoming the exception to the rule, he said.
Distributed operations is a huge challenge for enterprises, Settle continued. “Things get more and more complex when the people and the knowledge are no longer co-located with the actual equipment and therefore this adherence to process becomes more and more significant.”
BMC’s tools allow organizations to take a close look at their service disruptions, such as, “How many service disruptions did we work on last month that were reported to us automatically versus those we waited for people to call in?” said Settle. A second question to ask is, “How many events did we avoid altogether because we received a preemptive warning that something was wrong?”
By allowing IT staff to preemptively look into what’s wrong rather than wait for an end user – or worse, the customer – to report the problems, proactive warnings help avoid losing business due to situations such as sluggish Web sites or misplaced online orders, he explained.
“I could talk a lot about business process latency…the bottom line is there’s not a lot of tolerance anymore for little hiccups in system… so the demands of the IT shop to really be up 24/7 and effectively support flawless operations becomes higher and higher all the time,” said Settle.