What tools should be used to measure and report on Service Level Compliance

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Service Level Management : One Thread

I have attempted to implement automated, objective service level managment reports using several enterprise management tools and found them all to be lacking in one way or another. One issue most of the tools I have used have is the lack of an ability to express the business impact of one device or service over another. For example, if one file server supports a department with 10 people, and a email server supports the entire company of 1000 people, I have not found a tool that will easily show that a 10 minute outage on both servers has 100000% greater impact from the email server than the file server.

More generally of course, I would like to find a tool, or several tools I can integrate together to produce automated, daily reports, that I can present to customers or management without having to sift through multiple screens of raw data and manually generate reports.

Also consider that many organizations cannot benefit from a report that is not customizable to their needs, environment, etc.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

-- Jeff Hancock (hancock_jeff@bah.com), November 07, 2000


There are some tools like PATROL for SLM (from BMC Software) that allow the user to document in a SLA the total number of users involved in a given business process as well as a list of each user group location. This tool supports the comparison of service level objectives to actual results in current and historical reports and will in real time alert users and IT staff that a SLA breach has occurred. The number of users related to the business process is stored in the SLA within the same database as the actual results. Reports can be developed to show the greater impact for business process with the larger number of users.

PATROL for SLM does in fact present SLA reports that show:

1) the comparison of actual service levels to the objectives in the SLA. (These objectives are for both performance and availability.) 2) during period of non-compliance, the value of other key indicators that may isolate why service level were not acceptable.

Finally, w/ regards to customization...PATROL for SLM uses the Actuate Reporting system to produce reports. The Actuate Developers workbench can be used to customize reports. etc.


-- Dick Manasseri (dick_manasseri@bmc.com), November 13, 2000.

I saw the answer from BMC but am questioning if the functionality mentioned refers only to System Management and not Network related SLM. In my organisation, there is a need to not only to develop SLA but also SLR and SLM. I'm also searching for tools support the process. I'm fully supportive on your comments that the current tool lack in one way or another. I hope with this newsgroup, I can hear more on how other organisation has had achieved SLA, SLR and SLM. By the way SLR, I'm referring to Service Level Reporting that is automated.


-- Stewart Low (stewart@pacific.net.sg), November 14, 2000.

Jeff, End-to-end service level management is one of the greatest challenges we face today. www.ics.de has a tool called Contuinity which based its architecture around www.aprisma.com's SPECTRUM product. Continuity allows for expressive and detailed services definition and allows us to attach a criticality to each piece of the infrastructure. This allows for preconfigured definitive service quality measurement as well as impact analysis when a particular system or network outage is experienced.

Apart from providing historical information about service level compliance, the combined solution also measures service compliance trends as well as year to date performance of the services.

Hope this helps.


-- LT Cho (ltcho@aprisma.com), November 15, 2000.

Jeff, I am working with a company called Peakstone. They have pioneered a new category of Internet Service Assurance solutions that predict, control, and ensure Web site service quality...Peakstone eAssurance™ Web site infrastructure software. Peakstone is the first company to provide a solution that allows eBusinesses to deliver consistent and predictable Web site response times and exceptional service quality, even in the midst of unpredictable traffic conditions and ongoing changes to website infrastructure. With Peakstone eAssurance solutions, Internet-based businesses can better control their customer service through committed response times and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), precisely provision and dynamically allocate site capacity, and mitigate much of the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing growth of an eBusiness. Leading Internet businesses and technology providers such as Alteon WebSystems, BEA, Cisco, CompuCom, DataReturn, Exodus Communications, F5 Networks, FreeRun Technologies, Groceryworks.com, Keynote, Mercury Interactive, and TopLayer Networks are partnering with Peakstone and embracing the company's eAssurance solution. You can find out more at http://www.peakstone.com

-- Mary Bryan (mary@bigsky.net), December 02, 2000.

Now I have a client who is looking for very specific availability reports. The client is a government organization providing network services to multiple customers. They want a Network availability report for each customer. I have been provided this definition of Network availablility without further definition of individual terms such as "user ports" or "all required services". The client has HP Openview Network Node Manager, Trinagy TREND, and Visionael in place and will not likely be purchasing additional tools before the first reports are generated. I have some ideas for definitions and a general strategies which I would be glad to share via email if you are interested. I was wondering if the group had any ideas on how to tackle this problem?

Network availability is the percentage of time network services are available to the user community. Availability is calculated on a per active user port basis. A port is considered unavailable if it does not provide access to all required network services. The network availability calculations will include downtime resulting from authorized outages.

Thanks for your help.

Jeff Hancock

-- Jeff Hancock (hancock_jeff@bah.com), February 08, 2001.

You should check out AperServ Technologies I saw a demo of their technology and it was impressive. AperServ allows businesses for the to seamlessly measure Service Level Agreement (SLA) performance (no software or hardware installation required) of outsourced services in real time and pin points specific service problems and details the millisecond and exact location where the problem occurred on the network, hardware, or applications level. Resolves the through interfaces directly with outsourced service provider’s trouble reporting system. Requests a credit upon finding and resolving a service problem, compares the incident with SLA service levels, and in the event the incident was a violation of the SLA, automatically requests a service credit. And lastly,predicts through proprietary algorithms historic performance trend analysis and predictive availability, scalability and failure prediction and analysis.

It was pretty cool you may want to check them out allthough I know they are not actively promoting the service but do know they have several very large clients allready using the system.

-- Esteban Villalobos (esteban@lazona.net), February 08, 2001.

Please visit www.oblicore.com Oblicore sells a tool that does, I believe, exactly what you are looking for. One the one hand it has the ability to define complex SLA's and on the other hand it connects to various measurement and monitoring tool from all domains of service management - CRM, network, application etc. Of course there are a magnitude of service level reports that can be automated, covering all aspects of service level from provided vs. agreed, deviation etc. Oblicore's system is the first to cover all domains of the SLA, coming from the SLA approach and not from the network management. One of the strengths of Oblicore's product is based on a unique patent pending language for representing the relation between resources and the business service definition. The language is called SLALOM (SLA language of measurement). It's a cool product and the is the most robust and advanced in this field as far as I know.

-- Shahar Tzafrir (shahar@oblicore.com), May 13, 2001.

BMC Software just released a new version of itīs Patrol for SLM, and itīs very integrated with Actuate Reporting (called Service Reporting). This is the most powerfull tool Iīve seen on SLR. Other BMC product specific for ERPīs is Patrol Suite for SAP R/3 (former Opti Systems). Itīs Service Level Reporter module is impressive. Now, we have other almost costless solution of SLM Reporting, thatīs been used with success, that is Patrol Adapter for Microsoft Office (PAMO). Itīs a real simple and free tool (When you buy a Patrol solution) that generate Excel and Web reports of any metrics collected you want. Iīve used it with Patrol for SLM and it worked like a charm.

Best Regards,

Henrique Bernardes

-- Henrique Bernardes (henrique_bernardes@bmc.com), July 30, 2001.

Hello Jeff

I tried to send you a message from greenspun but it didn't get through.

I noticed that you are looking for a tool which you can integrate together with other tools to produce automated, daily reports, that you can present to customers or management without having to sift through multiple screens of raw data and manually generate reports.

Proxima Technolgoy specialises in Service Level Management. We have adaptors for PATROL, HP and TNG. We can collect information from various systems management tools to a central place and produce automated hourly, daily weekly, monthly or yearly reports using slamanage and reportmanage. Please find attached datasheets. For further information, visit our website on www.proxima-tech.com I hope this is useful information for you.

-- Sarita Joshi (sarita.joshi@proxima-tech.com), August 07, 2001.

I suggest you take a look at the products NetPredict has developed to monitor, predict and optimize the performance of networked applications. These tools can determine the delays in the network in real-time and relate these delays to the impact on the productivity of the end user. The focus is on business applications running across WANs. The products have been used to identify excess WAN capacity as well as determining the cost-benefit of adding capacity. They can also be used to determine if the problems are due to a combination of congestion, the application itself, or the server. It can also quantify the extent to which the problem is in the edge router or in the "cloud." I suggest you look at www.netpredict.com.

Please let me know if I can answer any questions.

-- Bjorn Frogner (bjorn.frogner@netpredict.com), October 08, 2001.

Service Level Management, to be accurate, requires an insight into every element of your infrastructure. This includes your network, systes and apps.. which I believe are being monitored by various tools.. and as you mentioned The client has HP Openview Network Node Manager, Trinagy TREND, and Visionael ... to be able to integrate these various tools and bring the data into one centralized datawarehouse and get a centralized "business-centric" view of the infrastructure is a challenge. You need to be able to not only integrate all your data sources but also be able to model your servies and business rules with your infrastructure and business dependencies and then measure them against your SLA.

Take a look at www.prodexnet.com - we integrate data from various management tools and provide accurate service level definitions and rules and measurement.. also, not only do we provide performance information but also reports on events, configuration and trending. With easy to use features, web based allowance for customers and admins to view reports and easy drop and click process to define services, NetGather makes SLM much simpler and effective not to mention accurate...the tools that we currently integrate include HP OV NNM, HP OVO, Helpdesk (Remedy & Service Desk), Ciscoworks2000 and in the process of integrating Lucent VitalNet and Service Reporter (Measureware) and BMC Patrol to name a few.. We can also integrate Trinagy TREND, and Visionael with NetGather, which is our Multi- Vendor Service Management solution..

Please email me if you have any questions - ravi@prodexnet.com

ps: The website is being updated, so please request a PDF file if you would like more details..

-- Ravi Pindiproli (ravi@prodexnet.com), January 04, 2002.

Take a look at the recently released BAM for SD (Service Delivery) solution of Infopractica. It combines NSM, APM en CSD information flows to get a real-time view on your QoS.

And the next step is to combine this IT-infra / QoS health information with "real" business metrics like order processing timeliness, volume, etc.

Visit www.bam.nu for the complete message.


Ivo Beckers Founder Infopractica

-- Ivo Beckers (ivo.beckers@infopractica.nl), June 27, 2002.

Hi Jeff

As you probably know, Trinagy Trend is now part of the HP OpenView product family ans is called HP OpenView Performance Insight (HP acquired Trinagy last year); your environment is now a full HP environment :-) HP OpenView provides different modules for SLM and Reporting. Visit our homepage or contact me.

Gilbert MAURER (a former BMC Software and Compuware Consultant) Solutions Architect HP Switzerland

-- Gilbert MAURER (gilbert_maurer@hp.com), June 28, 2002.

Opticom Inc is a company you should look at. Their product iView automates the service delivery part of service level management. iView integrates with your existing management systems. iView follows ITIL IT Service Delivery disciplines to provide Service Level Management, Capacity Management, Availability Management, Continuity Management. Might be worth a look.

-- Carl Messina (carlmessina@comcast.net), March 15, 2004.

Check out Computer Associates' iCAN suite of products.


ITIL-aligned service management metering, reporting, billing, provisioning, cataloging, and SLA management.

Also, the guys that wrote the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) processes- the global service management standard (www.ogc.gov.uk)- helped develop the MARVAL service management suite; please see www.marval.co.uk.

Cheers Graeme

-- Graeme Lamb (graeme.lamb@iag.com.au), April 05, 2004.

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