19 June 2014 blogs Alexandre Verkinderen 6 min read
In this blog post I would like to point out the huge benefits and added value that Live Maps is able to bring to the table by using a customer scenario. The example we are going to outline here is a baggage handling service of a big and busy airport.
During summertime, tens of thousands of travelers and their luggage pass through an airport.
The baggage handling service in any airport is a key element and a major focus point for the airport business worldwide. If one step in the baggage handling service is failing, it costs the airport a lot of money, and results in many unhappy tourists.
Here are some interesting facts and numbers about baggage handling costs in airports:
- 4% of delayed bags are due to tagging errors
- 17% of delayed bags are due to failure to load
- 7% of delayed bags are due to loading error
- The total cost of delayed bags for the airports in 2012 was $2.6 billion!!
As you can see, the baggage handling software and components is a key element for a smooth airport experience. All components, including kiosk computers and printers, web services and SQL databases are connected over a high-speed LAN. Everything -from the hardware layer (network devices, hardware servers, etc.) to the operating system and application layer- is being monitored from System Center Operations Manager.
Now let’s look at two different airports: both of them have System Center Operations Manager installed but only one is using it in combination with Live Maps.
For both airports it’s a very busy period during summer vacations. As the airport begins to reach peak capacity, a router experiences a hardware fault, leading to network congestion. Any application attached to this device is going to become much slower. In a typical SCOM environment you would see so many warning alerts during the day that you don’t realize that a critical network event is about to begin.
The baggage handling software becomes slower and, as a result, the queue at the kiosks start to grow.
If you have a SCOM environment without Live Maps, it is difficult to tell what impact the outage of a network device can have on your applications or services as you don’t know the dependencies between IT components.
In order to figure out what is happening, the kiosk assistant calls the helpdesk. The helpdesk operator doesn’t know what is happening either, and in turn calls the on-duty IT engineer to see if he can figure out what is wrong. In the meantime, additional switches and routers begin to fail under increased load and the network congestion worsens. The SCOM console turns into a sea of red and nobody knows where to start troubleshooting the issue.
There is simply no way to tell the symptoms from the root cause. The only solution is to go through each of those alerts one by one. The issue needs to be escalated to the CIO who needs to become involved as he is losing $$$$$$ due to the baggage getting stuck in the airport, the travelers are missing their flights etc. As the SLA is breached, the service owner becomes involved too, and so does the IT manager since a component inside his datacenter is failing.
Although not necessarily with a baggage handling software, I am sure you have all been in a scenario before in which a critical component would fail at a critical moment. This can happen in any other company in any other vertical.
What if you could leverage your existing investments in SCOM and make sure this disaster scenario would not happen in your environment?
This is possible today by using SCOM together with Live Maps!
Let’s have a look at the same scenario but now WITH Live Maps:
As soon as a router experiences a hardware fault that leads to network congestion, you will receive an alert for the baggage handling service from SCOM. The state of the end-user perspective immediately tells you that travelers are impacted, so you are not being overwhelmed with a dozen of false-positives. You can immediately know if it is the end-user that is facing issues or if it’s an application or an infrastructure problem.
As we also introduced Service-based notification, instead of just individual IT component alerting, the service owner will automatically get notified as well. The alert will contain meaningful business impact information so everyone on all different levels can understand the issue and speak the same language!
Before beginning the root cause analysis, you pro-actively notify the helpdesk that travelers and kiosk assistants might encounter performance problems when printing baggage tickets.
By using Live Maps, you are able to quickly drill down and pinpoint the root cause of the network congestion.
You can quickly replace the broken router. The baggage handling service is running smoothly again and a disaster has been avoided. Thanks to Live Maps, the problem is fixed before simple network congestion turns into something much worse.
In a few minutes you are able to quickly identify the root cause of the issue and solve it before a disaster has occurred! The resulting service quality improvements, together with easy maintenance and implementation are what makes Live Maps the ultimate answer to the growing need for automated mapping of IT components to business services regardless of industry or vertical as witnessed by our broad customer base.
Many customers from all industries confirms that with Live Maps we offer you the solution that will lead to:
- Reduction of incidents
- Less business downtime
- Lower System Center implementation and maintenance costs
- Optimized change management process
We made an animated version of this blogpost, you can watch it here.
About Alexandre Verkinderen
Alexandre is responsible for providing Savision with feedback on product features to help shape its products based on customer experience and Microsoft relationships.
Alexandre is a 6 year Microsoft MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management. He has a strong focus on everything around the Microsoft System Center product family and Windows Azure. Additionally, he believes strongly in sharing knowledge amongst his peers. For this particular belief, he founded the System Center User Group Belgium. As an industry expert and MVP, he is a frequent speaker and ‘ask-the-expert’ guest on national and international events like TechEd, TechDays, MMS, etc.