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City of Zurich improves system availability by proactive SAP monitoring

Published on 02.13.2017

syslink Xandria relieves IT teams from daily SAP checks

Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, is known as a cosmopolitan financial center with a very diverse economy and high quality of life. The municipal government of Zurich invests heavily to enhance the city’s technological infrastructure to support a high volume of financial transactions and to attract new business.

In 2007, however, the city’s SAP environment grew increasingly more complex as a result of the City Council’s strategic and standardization initiatives. The burden of system monitoring became so fragmented that administrators had to resort to writing their own custom scripts just to keep up with daily monitoring operations.

“Setting up a Xandria environment including installation and configuration of three management agents took about four hours,” said Eichkorn. “Adding a fourth SAP system took another 30 minutes, and the fifth one required only 10 more minutes.”

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Syslink Xandria relieves IT teams from daily SAP checks

Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, is known as a cosmopolitan financial center with a very diverse economy and high quality of life. The municipal government of Zurich invests heavily to enhance the city’s technological infrastructure to support a high volume of financial transactions and to attract new business.

In 2007, however, the city’s SAP environment grew increasingly more complex as a result of the City Council’s strategic and standardization initiatives. The burden of system monitoring became so fragmented that administrators had to resort to writing their own custom scripts just to keep up with daily monitoring operations.

Seeking an SAP monitoring system to reduce IT workload


Olaf Eichkorn, leader of SAP Basis Team for the Zurich IT Services Department (OIZ), knew something had to change. So, in 2007, the city embarked on a request for proposal and selection process to bring the enormous task of monitoring its SAP systems.

The highest priority requirement for the new system would be to relieve the load on IT staff. Due to limited budget for IT personnel, the new system would have to be less human resource intensive, both during the introduction and daily operation phases. The city narrowed their search down to two candidate systems. One was syslink Xandria.

Straightforward installation and auto-detection of all systems

From the outset, syslink Xandria proved to be the simplest, most intuitive SAP monitoring solution for Zurich. “Setting up a Xandria environment including installation and configuration of three management agents took about four hours,” said Eichkorn. “Adding a fourth SAP system took another 30 minutes, and the fifth one required only 10 more minutes.”

As the Zurich Basis Team discovered,  syslink Xandria is not only easy to install, it also comes pre-configured with SAP system best practices. That means as operations grow in size, they don’t have to grow in complexity. syslink Xandria auto-discovers new SAP and database instances and requires only one agent per physical server, relieving IT departments from spending hours installing and configuring new systems. The system then automatically applies pre-defined real-time and daily monitors and checks per system and database type, preventing human errors and reducing the time it takes to set up all the monitors manually. With its standards-based interface, Xandria requires no CCMS configuration, greatly simplifying system monitoring for growing IT organizations.

Excellent Support and Lower Cost of Operation

Eichkorn was equally impressed with the way syslink’s solution engineers transferred successful know-how to the OIZ staff, enabling them to further adjust the powerful syslink Xandria custom checks to fit their specific needs. “Our support calls were answered in a very competent way, in time and quality,” said Eichkorn. “During this time, the syslink installation support engineers transferred the essential know-how to the OIZ staff in order to enable us to further extend the Xandria environment ourselves.”

With all questions answered and all monitoring systems up and running, Eichkorn and his staff made the obvious choice. “The efforts of implementing and operating Xandria were only a small fraction compared to the competing product, so we made an unambiguous decision for Xandria.”   

Conclusion

OIZ now monitors all production SAP systems of the City of Zurich, proactively detecting and responding to issues before they become problems. Their current production systems include:

  • 75 SAP systems
  • 35 additional application servers
  • 35 standalone databases
  • 5 SAP HANA instances

syslink Xandria decreased the department’s administrative burden, freeing the team to pursue new, valuable business initiatives. New systems can be added to the monitoring process in an efficient and effective way due with the following highlights:

  • Proactive monitoring leading to improved system availability
  • Extreme ease of use and automated checks, relieving IT teams of administrative burden
  • Very small footprint of Xandria management agent for better performance
  • Fast and competent support brings helps maximize system uptime

Plans for Future Use

Now that Xandria has freed up OIZ administrators’ time, the city plans to implement predictive analysis for better resource planning. By understanding trends of SAP resource usage, the OIZ team will be able to plan and budget for upcoming requirements more effectively.

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