Monday, January 26, 2009

Service Level Management Made Easy with BTM

Implementing Service Level Management successfully requires appropriate technology support. Service Level Management involves both business processes and IT processes that need to be carried out. Business Transaction Management provides the tools that both the Business and IT need in order to perform the tasks that are critical for a successful implementation. This article reviews some of the steps that need to be taken in order to implement Service Level Management and how Business Transaction Management supports each one of those steps.

Service Level Management Step 1 – Review Existing Services

By auto-discovering all of the services that are being provided by a monitored system, Business Transaction Management makes this step an especially easy one. Believe it or not, most organizations aren't even aware of all of the services that they are providing. Since Business Transaction Management solutions see all of the services that are being provided - in the form of business transactions - all of the information about the services, what resources they consume, who is using them and how often they are being utilized is readily available.

Service Level Management Step 2 – Negotiating With Customers

Most organizations are not aware of the service level that they are providing – most customers have no idea what the service levels they are receiving are. Business Transaction Management solutions provide all of the metrics that are needed for this negotiation to occur in the most accurate fashion possible by providing in depth data about all of the service levels.

Service Level Management Step 3 – SLA Management and Monitoring

SLAs can be easily produced based on current metrics that are provided by the Business Transaction Management solution. Out of the box, SLAs are defined based on the average latencies that the system records. The SLAs can then be modified according to the outcome of the agreement between the customer and the IT service provider. The Service Level Agreements are then monitored for every single transaction activation - continuously. An alert is sent out the moment SLAs begin degrading so that they can be taken care of before a major service disruption occurs. SLA management becomes automatic once a BTM solution is implemented

Service Level Management Step 4 – Implementation of a Service Improvement Policy

Business Transaction Management is a key tool in improving service. It not only reports the service level – it also shows the breakdown of every single transaction across the entire infrastructure so that the areas that are in the greatest need of improvement can be identified.

Service Level Management Step 5 – Establishing Priorities

Business Transaction Management solutions provide Valuable metrics that aid in the establishment of priorities. Some examples of those metrics are; what users are using specific services, how many times a minute is a specific service being called upon and which services are in need of the greatest improvement.

Service Level Management Step 6 – Planning for Service Growth

Business Transaction Management solutions provide resource consumption metrics of services across all of the servers that they utilize making service capacity planning easy. The Service Level Manager can see what part of the total resource consumption is being consumed by an individual service. The consumption profile of an individual service can be seen across all tiers and the breakdown of how the service is consuming resources at each tier can be seen. With the help of this data the Service Level Manager can accurately plan for service growth.

Service Level Management Step 7 – Charging for Services

Business Transaction Management solutions provide the IP address of each and every service call making chargeback easy. If a specific user name is needed this can also be provided. The level of service being provided is monitored continuously so that SLAs can be easily proved out.

Availability Management and SLA Management

Traditionally availability management looks at the availability of individual silos. The problem with performing availability management in this manner is that even if each one of the silos is managed to an availability of 99.9% the actual availability of a service that depends on four separate silos is 99.9%^4 or 99.5%. Therefore the only kind of availability management that truly keeps the business in mind is SLA Management.

The First Step towards Service Level Management – BTM

In conclusion; Business Transaction Management supports Service Level Management's responsibilities by:

  • ensuring that agreed IT services are delivered when and where they are supposed to be
  • liaising between Availability Management, Capacity Management, Incident Management and Problem Management to ensure that SLAs are achieved within the resources that are defined by the Business Management
  • Provide data that will help produce and maintain a service catalog
  • Helping to ensure that services are provided in a cost effective, secure and efficient manner


 


 

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charleyrich said...

Good customer story on BTM and SOA at Humana Healthcare using Nastel AutoPilot at: http://www.itworldcanada.com/a/Daily-News/c337df6b-f71e-4d1f-ae14-a5db1bb200a6.html

--Charley Rich

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