SUSAN - 10 cases why and how

October 23, 2019 Posted by: Bert Vanstechelman
blog susan-1

SUSAN, your SAP consultant, 24x7. We have summarized 10 real life cases in which SUSAN can be of your and your business assistance. The SUSAN platform is a 24x7 monitoring system that keeps a close and constant look on your system, reporting when things go wrong or, even better, before they go wrong.

  1. CASE: Monitoring of dumps triggered by customer code

Every monitoring system will check for dumps and give an alert when there are too many, but dump monitoring in Susan provides an extra layer of intelligence in categorizing dumps and analyzing the useful information they contain. One practical application of this is identifying which dumps are caused by errors originating in customer code. This can reveal bugs or weak spots in custom applications, leading to better quality of in-house code.

  1. CASE: Expiring certificates

Protecting the confidentiality and integrity of data is one of the major concerns in today's business environment. Secure communications rely on certificates provided by trusted parties. These certificates have an expiration date and must therefore be periodically renewed. If a certificate is allowed to expire, communication will stop, potentially causing major business disruption. Susan proactively monitors the installed certificates and triggers an alert when they approach the end of their validity period.

  1. CASE: Non-SAP interface monitoring

No SAP system operates in isolation: interfaces with external systems, both SAP and third-party, are an essential part of operations. These interfaces use a variety of protocols (remote function call, HTTP, Web Service, file exchange). Susan can monitor these interfaces to ensure that they are fully functional. Both the frequency of monitoring and the level of alerting in case of problems can be customized in function of the interface's criticality to the business.

  1. CASE: Monitoring commercial portals

Customer portals must obey a simple rule: they must be there for customers, always. If the portal is unresponsive or unstable, a dissatisfied customer is literally one click away and they might not return. Losing the connection may mean losing the sale. Susan's monitoring architecture makes it perfectly suitable to perform high-frequency, low-footprint connection checks to ensure that the portal is in top working order.

  1. CASE: Mainframe file systems mounted on SAP server

This might sound like a purely technical matter, but for the customer we are talking about here it is anything but. Their legacy mainframe application constantly exchanges business-critical data with the SAP production system via file systems visible to both sides. Susan constantly keeps an eye on them, making sure that they are accessible and have sufficient free space.

  1. CASE: IDOCS

When e.g. a purchase order is sent to an external partner, it is important for your business that it is communicated without errors. Your SAP system will use IDOCS (Intermediate Documents) to apply as well to the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) standard for an SAP to non-SAP communication as to the ALE (Application Link Enabling) technology for an SAP to SAP communication. So, monitoring the IDOC processing will enable you to alert you and/or your partners when your business communication goes wrong.

  1. CASE: Process Chains

Process Chains are a tool on your BI SAP system to automate a chain of BI applications that are important for your business. Because Process Chains can be quite complicated and long running one cannot sit aside and wait for the result. On the other hand, when a single process in the chain fails, it can endanger the whole chain. So, it is very important for your business to have a white list of process chains monitored and have failures alerted to the responsible people.

  1. CASE: Business Jobs

SAP allows you to schedule a job as a background process that is executed automatically and repeatedly day and night. This can be technical jobs, e.g. system maintenance, but also important business-related jobs, e.g. calculating planning of your production resources. When the execution of a business job fails, the consequences can be quite pricey. Therefore, you can use a whitelist of important business jobs to be monitored. When it goes wrong with a particular job, you want to have the right people alerted by mail, or even by SMS, so they can take appropriate action and save costs.

  1. CASE: Number Ranges

The list of SAP objects that use a unique number to be identified is almost endless: Purchase Order or Sales Order, Material Number or Material Document, Sales Order, Production Order, Maintenance Plan etc. The way of numbering for each object is defined in a so-called Number Range. Some of these Number Ranges are related to e.g. the fiscal year, others just run between numerical margins. But what happens if one runs out of available numbers in the defined range? This can have serious consequences for the unique identification of the related objects and thus it is important to anticipate on this in time by having your number ranges monitored.

  1. CASE: Ease of Installation

Installing and setting up Susan is a breeze: In the monitored systems, you only have two import two transport requests, one with the Susan Agent, the other with the roles. Create a user with the appropriate rules and you're good to go. You can rely on a set of default monitoring thresholds or adapt them to your own monitoring policy by using SUMCO, a user-friendly set of Fiori-based apps. Also use SUMCO apps to focus your needs by blacklisting or, the opposite, whitelisting topics.


If you would like to discuss this case, or prefer a more elaborate explanation, please do not hesitate to contact us

Contact us

Curious about SUSAN? have a look here

 

Bert Vanstechelman