06 August 2015 blogs Dennis O’Reilly 4 min read
The key to successful alerts is ensuring the right people are alerted in the right way and at the right time.
Imagine one of your organization’s business critical services goes down due to a server’s outage. How many different people need to be notified?
- The IT manager on duty will focus first on getting the server back online, but attention will soon turn to diagnosing and repairing the glitch via the log files that recorded the server’s performance history.
- The business managers of the products affected will need a record of any transactions that were interrupted by the outage, but they’ll also require a status report on key apps.
- The CIO/CSO/CTO wants an assessment of the outage’s financial impact, as well as any current or future liabilities caused by the problem.
All three of these groups need to be notified when one of their business services is performing poorly, but each group has its own definition of “poor performance.” The IT department focuses on operational aspects. Operational performance encompasses each service’s uptime and availability. However, it’s just as important to measure the service’s overall efficiency and how well it balances loads across distributed networks. (In other words, how connectable and mobile-friendly it is.)
Developers are most interested in any problems with the functional performance of the service in terms of its ability to continuously test and validate. Going even further, peak functional performance requires agility: How adaptable is the service to new uses without requiring new development?
Business managers think in terms of business services, both customer-facing and inward-facing. As applications become more integrated and distributed, a key indicator becomes the performance of the entire business process: What is the outage’s impact on our customers and end users?
C-level executives need to know the effect of the outage on the company’s bottom line. Executives may also challenge other stakeholders in the organization to leverage the outage to help meet company goals or even gain a competitive advantage.
Ensuring that most system-related interruptions are welcome
As Alistair Croll writes in a May 20, 2015, post on O’Reilly Radar, “the perfect interface is one that’s invisible until it’s needed.” Croll describes the process of hacking your notifications to personalize them. For example, whether you want your phone to buzz in response to a notification depends on what you’re doing at the time, and how important the alert is to you. So if you’re in a meeting when trouble strikes, the only phones going off belong to people who need to respond to the situation immediately.
That’s the scenario addressed by Live Maps , which transforms Microsoft System Center into a plug-and-play business service management solution. Service dashboards, service maps, and component maps offer distinct views into a service’s performance: IT’s functional perspective; business managers’ process and application perspective; and executives’ high-level strategic/financial perspective. All this information is delivered in the color-coded Service Dashboard and Live Maps Mobile Console.
Notifications have become an everyday — and often every-hour — occurrence. But as with any other technology, alerts can be a help or a hindrance. With the right solution, you can increase the chances that the next system-notification you receive will be well worth the interruption.
About Dennis O’Reilly
Dennis O’Reilly is a technology expert who has written articles that range from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. He spent more than seven years, from 2000 until 2007, as Senior Associate Editor running PC World’s award-winning ‘Here’s How’ section and ‘how-to features’, among other duties. From 2008 to 2010, he performed as Technical Editor for the Windows Secrets newsletter, and has written many ‘how-to’ articles for CNET’s Worker’s Edge blog. He also designs, builds, and manages several different web sites.
In June 2014 he was awarded Juris Doctorate and Master of Legal Studies degrees from Empire College School of Law in Santa Rosa, California.