Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Michael Bushong, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0, Big Data Journal

Java: Article

Using a Performance Management Database to Identify Network Problems

Correlating long-term network performance data with transaction response times revealed the actual network problem

Two weeks ago I wrote about how the world's largest exporter of dairy products uses SAP to support their huge delivery chain of dairy products. We recounted how Fonterra used an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool to discover that additional training for employees was necessary to speed up certain critical SAP transactions: some employees weren't optimizing attributes passed to the reports based on custom T-Codes.

Unfortunately, additional SAP training cannot solve all the problems. Separately and unrelated to the training issues, Fonterra started to notice that end-to-end SAP transactions were much slower than usual; especially during the summer months. Correlating long-term network performance data, such as loss rate or RTT measures, with end-to-end SAP transaction response times revealed the actual network problem caused by something nobody thought about.

Managing a Dairy Warehouse with SAP
One of the reasons Fonterra invested in SAP was to keep track of milk delivered to their subsidiaries across the world. Each time a milk can enters or leaves the warehouse it is scanned using a dedicated handheld device (VMU). These devices use wireless networks (WLAN) to connect to the dedicated Telnet servers, which in turn translate the scanning process into communication with the actual SAP servers (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Mobile devices (VMUs) use WLAN to communicate with the Telnet Servers

This process is critical to the whole end-to-end efficiency of the dairy production, as it provides critical information on milk sources, amounts received, processed and shipped, and also provides mandatory data required to comply with food health regulations. No doubt the performance of this IT service is critical to the whole enterprise efficiency.

How Network Issues Affected SAP Performance
A few months ago, employees using those VMUs were complaining that it was taking longer and longer to get the scanned data delivered through to SAP.

Figure 2: There are no significant application performance problems with T-Codes consisting on the SAP transaction (Bin to Bin Movement), which users complained on

The Operations team analyzed the performance of the SAP application. They could not confirm any significant performance problems with the "Bin to Bin Movement" transaction, neither in general (see Figure 2) nor for any major users (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Looking from the SAP server performance there are not significant performance problems that affect users

The Application Health Status report (see Figure 4) confirmed that it was not an application problem as none of tiers were affected. However, the report indicated that the problem might relate to potential network issues.

Figure 4: Poor network performance with high loss rate affects the overall user experience during the scanning process

The Operations team consulted the network metric charts report (see Figure 5), which confirmed network problems, especially with high client loss rate and increased RTT.

Figure 5: The process of sending data using VMUs suffers from increased RTT and high loss rate

Since the traffic was rather low, network congestion was not to be blamed. High loss rate and RTT measures indicated that in fact it was some network problem that affected the user experience of the scanning process.

For more insight, read the full article here

More Stories By Sebastian Kruk

Sebastian Kruk is a Technical Product Strategist, Center of Excellence, at Compuware APM Business Unit.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories from Big Data Journal
Cisco on Wedesday announced its intent to acquire privately held Metacloud. Based in Pasadena, Calif., Metacloud deploys and operates private clouds for global organizations with a unique OpenStack-as-a-Service model that delivers and remotely operates production-ready private clouds in a customer's data center. Metacloud's OpenStack-based cloud platform will accelerate Cisco's strategy to build the world's largest global Intercloud, a network of clouds, together with key partners to address cu...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, will discuss the real...
I write and study often on the subject of digital transformation - the digital transformation of industries, markets, products, business models, etc. In brief, digital transformation is about the impact that collected and analyzed data can have when used to enhance business processes and workflows. If Amazon knows your preferences for particular books and films based upon captured data, then they can apply analytics to predict related books and films that you may like. This improves sales. T...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is n...
When one expects instantaneous response from video generated on the internet, lots of invisible problems have to be overcome. In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Tom Paquin, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at OnLive, to discuss how to overcome these problems. A Silicon Valley veteran, Tom Paquin provides vision, expertise and leadership to the technology research and development effort at OnLive as EVP and Chief Technology Officer. With more than 20 years of management experience at lead...
BlueData aims to “democratize Big Data” with its launch of EPIC Enterprise, which it calls “the industry’s first Big Data software to enable enterprises to create a self-service cloud experience on premise.” This self-service private cloud allows enterprises to create 100-node Hadoop and Spark clusters in less than 10 minutes. The company is also offering a Community Edition via free download. We had a few questions for BlueData CEO Kumar Sreekanti about all this, and here's what he had to s...
Labor market analytics firm Wanted Analytics recently assessed the market for technology professionals and found that demand for people with proficient levels of Hadoop expertise had skyrocketed by around 33% since last year – it is true, Hadoop is hard technology to master and the labor market is not exactly flooded with an over-abundance of skilled practitioners. Hadoop has been called a foundational technology, rather than ‘just’ a database by some commentators – this almost pushes it towards...
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Where historically app development would require developers to manage device functionality, application environment and application logic, today new platforms are emerging that are IoT focused and arm developers with cloud based connectivity and communications, development, monitoring, management and analytics tools. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies, will explore how to rapidly prototype using IoT cloud platforms and c...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? Ion Stoica is co-founder and CEO of Databricks, a company working to revolutionize Big Data analysis through the Apache Spark platform. He also serves as a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Ion previously co-founded Conviva to commercial...