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  • 1. Chapter 14 Managing E-Business and Network Systems
  • 2. Introduction
    • Managing e-business systems and their underlying infrastructure is a critical success factor for managers
    • In the e-business world, networks are the key ingredient linking, systems, processes, and people
      • Networks add value and complexity to information infrastructures
  • 3. System Operational Disciplines
  • 4. Managing Batch Systems
    • Batch systems processing involves receiving and aggregating incoming transactions and distributing the resulting output data
      • Regularly scheduled applications
      • Applications are commonly executed on centrally located computer facilities
        • Accounts payable, inventory, ledger
      • Applications commonly use computer scheduling because of interjob dependencies
  • 5. Network Systems Management
    • Networks form the basis for many well known and emerging businesses
      • Amazon, eBay
    • Network technology enables and encourages restructuring and re-engineering processes
    • Web technology adds new dimensions to a firm’s systems and management processes
  • 6. Network Management’s Scope
    • Network management’s focus is broad and diffuse
      • Managers are responsible for owned as well as leased assets
      • Boundaries are also blurred between data and voice applications
    • Network managers must provide seamless support for customers while tracking and solving problems across the enterprise as well as those involving outside vendors
  • 7. Managers’ Expectations of Networks
    • Growth in networked applications demands increased network management capability
    • Users expect networks to be capable, reliable, and cost effective
    • Unfulfilled expectations are an important source of difficulty for IT managers; networks can be a prime source of failure
  • 8. Network Management Disciplines
    • Disciplined techniques are critical for network management success
      • SLAs incorporate customer expectations of reliability, responsiveness, and availability
      • Managers must focus on problem, change, and recovery management
      • Performance planning and analysis, capacity planning, and configuration management are also important
  • 9. The Disciplines of Network Management
  • 10. Network Service Levels
    • Users view networks as a unified entity, so the SLAs must treat applications, computer and network hardware, network links, and user workstations as an integrated whole
      • SLAs must include measures of availability, service quantities, and reliability
      • They must include some measures of workload
  • 11. Configuration Management
    • Configuration management includes a database containing an accurate record of the network’s physical and logical connections and configurations
    • Configuration management’s scope includes
      • Physical Connectivity
      • Logical Topology
      • Bandwidth
      • Equipment (inventory and specifications)
      • User Information
      • Vendor Data
  • 12. Fault and Change Management
    • Fault management is similar in many ways to problem management
      • Networks can be created with monitoring to automatically flag failures and attempt to reconfigure
      • Faults can arise from hardware, software, or configuration failures
      • Troubleshooting these failures requires the skills of network engineers and technicians and access to configuration databases
  • 13. Recovery Management
    • Network managers must plan to recover from local disasters as well as disasters affecting vendors
      • Redundancy in name (using different carriers for reliability) may not be redundancy in fact (the carriers use the same physical ROW)
      • Managers must remain aware of this problem and explicitly address it when initiating SLAs with telecom vendors
  • 14. Network Management Systems
    • Automated tools that help manage and operate networks
      • Gather statistics from routers and switches
        • SNMP traps
      • Exist as hardware embedded in the network to create diagnostic logs
      • Monitor network usage and performance
    • Vendors offer integrated monitoring and management packages
  • 15. Performance Management
    • Techniques for defining, planning, measuring, analyzing, reporting, and improving on infrastructure performance
      • Defining performance
      • Performance planning
      • Measuring performance
      • Analyzing measurements
      • Reporting results
      • System tuning
  • 16. Defining Performance
    • System performance is the volume of work accomplished per unit of time
      • CPU throughput, network transmission bandwidth, number of transactions posted
      • In e-business applications, system response time is a critical performance measure for end user satisfaction
      • With rapidly improving hardware performance, managers are shifting from increasing HW efficiency to improving end user satisfaction
  • 17. Performance Planning
    • Establishes objectives for human/ computer system throughput
      • Workload characterization is the cornerstone of all performance and capacity programs
      • System performance and associated factors must be well understood prior to system capacity increases
      • System tuning (optimization) can also yield performance increases without capacity expansion
  • 18. Measuring and Analyzing Performance
    • Measuring response time and system throughput under a variety of workloads is critical
      • Transaction service time
      • Transaction rates
      • Average response time
    • These measurements are used to judge delivery of SLAs, capacity trends, and tuning results
  • 19. Network Performance Assessment
    • Network managers must monitor performance to exceed SLAs
    • As usage and loading changes, network bottlenecks occur
      • Without some system of monitoring, resolution of these problems is delayed with user satisfaction declining
      • Network availability is a calculation derived from MTBF and MTTR
      • Availability = (MTBF)/(MTBF + MTTR) X 100
  • 20. System Tuning
    • System tuning or optimization can be used to create performance increases without capital expense
      • Risks of performance tuning include the risk of change as discussed earlier
      • Sometimes limiting access to a resource, while decreasing capacity, improves throughput
      • Tuning of complex systems can be very time consuming and tedious
  • 21. Capacity Management
    • Process by which IT managers plan and control the quantity of system resources needed to satisfy user needs
    • The goal is to match available system resources with those needed to meet service levels
      • Must also anticipate future needs and plan for increased usage
      • Must also identify obsolete or underutilized hardware and services
  • 22. Capacity Analysis
    • Managers must perform a detailed analysis of current system resource requirements
      • Acts as a benchmark for proposed changes
      • Needs to identify daily workload peaks as well as peak loading for weekly and monthly timeframes
      • Capacity assessment and monitoring must be a continuous process in rapidly growing e-businesses
  • 23. Capacity Planning
    • Managers must anticipate future need and plan accordingly
      • Techniques range from simple to complex
      • Managers must pick the correct metrics to follow, as technology changes so do needs
      • Planning must be grounded in fact and logic, not hunches and guesswork
  • 24. Additional Planning Factors
    • Changes in the organization’s strategic directions that might modify or increase IT services
    • Business volume changes (either increases or decreases)
    • Organizational changes (always a potential impact on IT resources)
    • Changes in the number of people using IT services
  • 25. Additional Planning Factors
    • Changing financial conditions within the firm or industry
    • Changes in service-level agreements or service-level objectives that might have a bearing on system performance requirements
    • Portfolio management actions that might impact system throughput, such as the addition of new applications or enhancements to current applications
  • 26. Additional Planning Factors
    • Testing new applications or making modifications to current applications that require additional system resources
    • Application schedule changes initiated by operations or user managers
    • Schedule alterations for system backup and vital records processing
    • System outage data and job rerun times from the problem management system
  • 27. Linking Plans to Service Levels
    • Periodically the performance and capacity management processes must be reviewed to assess their effectiveness
      • Did forecasts agree with actual demand?
      • Did capacity needs match capacity resources?
      • Were service levels met?
      • Were budgets adequate?
      • Are customers satisfied?
  • 28. Management Information Reporting
    • Reporting is an essential role – it creates transparency to IT operations
      • The intent of reporting is to
        • Improve operations
        • Promote organizational learning
        • Engage customers in dialog that generates results
      • Communication increases trust and confidence between participants
      • Reports are essential not only to providers but also customers
  • 29. The Network Manager
    • Network managers need to be skilled generalists
      • Their duties transcend organizational, political, cultural, and geographic boundaries
      • Technology adoption enables and mandates structural changes
      • They must be capable tacticians, understanding where they need to take the firm and how to get there
  • 30. Summary
    • Centralized batch systems and network applications depend critically on network performance and computer resources
    • There exists a strong link between system performance and system capacity
    • Quality IT business processes must be an overriding consideration in the IT organization