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Part 3(3): Use Synthetic Transactions to Improve Management Reporting of Business Service Levels

February 01, 2013 | Heroix Staff

The term SLA (service level agreement) is a widely used connotation for a variety of business uses, relating to IT and otherwise. When dealing with an SLA (inside IT) which incorporates the user experience, a clearer view can be seen when dealing with management reporting and troubleshooting. A practical, simplistic way of supporting the best practices for service management: for example, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.

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Synthetic transactions are recognized as a big step up from trying to infer the quality of the user experience by looking at the health of discrete IT components. Knowing that CPU utilization is satisfactory 98% of the time and network bandwidth is satisfactory 97% of the time, for instance, is not enough to judge or demonstrate how well the end-to-end performance of a business application is meeting your SLA. If CPU utilization is degraded 2% of the time, and network bandwidth is degraded 3% of the time, the overall SLA could be degraded anywhere from 3% to 5% of the time, depending on whether the CPU and network degradations overlap in time.

Correlating the many conditions that support the experience into a holistic view eases these processes.The first condition in that business service view is the user experience metric as simulated by synthetic transactions: whether that experience is loading a web page, logging into an account, or executing a transaction. The other service conditions reflect how well the IT components required to deliver that experience are functioning. The overall SLA view reflects the sum of the user experience metric and the underlying transactions at any point in time. This correlated view provides a meaningful bottom line for management reporting.

Having the ability to show the overall service delivery conditions, in a holistic view that quantifies their combined impact on SLA performance, greatly improves IT performance. Generally speaking, this will increase business service levels as well, a win-win. A monitoring solution that houses the capability to annotate notes for management, right next to the performance metrics therefore, increases communication and improves overall productivity.

What therefore, is the end result of using synthetic web transactions for management reporting and business service levels? Those who are in charge of monitoring and reporting on the IT environment have the opportunity to predict and measure the outcome of system consolidation and virtualization.  Utilizing synthetic transactions, paired with monitoring data also brings an opportunity to improve resource utilization without ruining the user experience. To read up on how Heroix is using synthetic web transactions to ease the day to day life of the IT professional, check out www.heroix.com or send us an email at info@heroix.com