Getting the most from your ITSM System
Many customers will implement a state of the art ITSM system but after a while may start seeing performance issues and even fatal errors. You may be wondering how this can be avoided? This blog will go through our top tips to ensure you always get the most out of your ITSM system.
Let’s consider running your ITSM system in the same way as running a car. Imagine that you purchased a small car with a low powered engine when you were a student, however, your circumstances have changed and you now have a partner and three children. Will the car still meet your needs? The answer is likely to be ‘No’.
Solution Architecture and Resilience
The first reason for this would be the size of the car. Physically fitting your family with all your luggage into the car may be a challenge, therefore you are likely to have moved up a size bracket.
The parallel to this is that ten years ago a single AR server, Mid-tier server and database server may have been sufficient for the size of your company. However, this should be reviewed regularly to ensure that the architecture is appropriate for the size of the system. Resilience will be increased if both users and admin functions are balanced between two or more servers. High availability and additional hardware may also be required to take advantage of new tools such as Digital Workplace.
Whilst the car will still get you from A to B, with the additional load incurred by your family it will be significantly underpowered.
System utilisation on the production of AR Servers should be monitored regularly. Newer versions of ITSM software may require more RAM than older ones and as the system grows in terms of workflow and data, the underlying infrastructure may need to be updated.
Remedy Environment, Version and Specification
It is unlikely that the older car model you purchased as a student had some of the features that now come as standard such as central locking or ABS. It may have a player for cassette tapes which are now obsolete.
Take note of version upgrades and patches that are made available to add or change functionality of the ITSM system. Upgrading is becoming easier with later versions, first with the introduction of overlays and now with the Deployment Console, staying up to date with the latest patches is recommended.
Remedy Workflow and Configuration
Performance in car engines is constantly being tuned. In the latest models emissions are likely to be lower and fuel saving measures have been introduced such as hybrid technologies.
In the same way, your ITSM system can be tuned and optimised. Overall numbers of workflow objects should stay relatively static after the initial implementation. If these are increasing dramatically then the system will need a review to ensure that the infrastructure can support the new functionality that is being introduced. Throughput and performance can be improved by ensuring that threads are optimised and hence the load distributed. Using several threads enables the AR System to do multiple database searches in parallel. If searches are taking too long, increasing the number of threads can improve system performance. In addition to this, some admin functions may benefit from running on a specific thread, e.g. running e-mail engine on a dedicated thread ensures that e-mail notifications are not delayed during periods when the system is busy.
Whether old or new, a car will have a service interval when checks are made for any issues that may need to be corrected.
With the ITSM system, it is important to check log files regularly for any new errors. The arerror.log will show any fatal errors that need to be addressed, additional logging and/or help from Support may be needed to ascertain why the errors are present and what to do to correct them.
Occasionally your car will need to be cleaned. If this didn’t happen, the outside would be caked in mud and grime and the inside full of children’s toys and/or food wrappers. This may impact on the aerodynamics and after a few years, would certainly make the journey less pleasant.
Archiving is recommended as housekeeping for an ITSM system, ensuring that only current data is kept in the main forms means that searches will be quicker and more efficient and will improve the end user experience.
Overall, by following these above tips, you can ensure that your ITSM system is working at an optimal level to meet the needs of your business. It is advised to always carry out a yearly health check which may be included in your contract. Consultants will then be on hand to review your ITSM system with respect to each point made above and make recommendations accordingly.
Director of Support Services
Senior Support Consultant