Computer professionals, by the very essence of their job descriptions, are the protectors of their organization’s core data assets. They are tasked with ensuring key data stores are continuously available. However, ensuring that data is available on a 24 x 7 basis is a wonderfully complex task. Hardware failures, software problems, user errors and disasters all combine to make many technicians lie awake nights thinking about whether their applications will be continuously available.
When a mission-critical application becomes unavailable, it can threaten the survivability of the organization. The financial impact of downtime is not the only issue that faces companies that have critical application failures. Loss of customer goodwill, bad press, idle employees and legal penalties (lawsuits, fines, etc.), must also be considered.
Daily support requests and problem solving often overwhelm IT groups. Understaffing, over-commitment to supporting new and legacy applications, lack of repeatable processes and budgetary constraints are the most common causes of IT professionals being reactive instead of proactive.
The reactive IT professional can be compared to a firefighter; they resolve problems only after the problem occurs. The biggest problems garner the most attention. Their time is dominated by these firefighting activities, reducing the amount of time they are able to spend implementing the processes and procedures required to switch their strategy from reactive firefighter to proactive problem prevention.
RDX has architected a service offering that ensures an organizational focus on problem prevention and not just problem reaction:
RDX Database Operations Center – A team that is dedicated to monitoring, problem analysis, quick problem resolution and alert reduction
A robust SolarWinds monitoring product architecture
Alerting events and contact escalation procedures can be customized to meet each customer’s unique needs
A problem resolution repository containing global and customer specific resolutions
Extensive library of repeatable proactive monitoring processes and procedures that are SOX, HIPAA and ITIL compliant
Customer portals that provide historical trending analysis for key metrics
RDX dedicates an entire team of personnel that are responsible for creating, implementing and enhancing a strategic blueprint for the proactive monitoring and trouble-shooting required to address common issues affecting system availability. Since the support blueprint is already in place, companies employing RDX to support their databases do not have to spend the additional monies required to create and maintain their own in-house monitoring product architecture that includes products, personnel and processes.
Dedicated professionals who are trained in monitoring, database and operating system problem resolution and alert reduction
Responsible for triaging alert notifications and escalating to RDX DBAs, OS support personnel and subject matter experts when needed
Staffed around the clock - 24 x 7 x 365
Main focus is on ensuring that customer environments are available at all times and performing as expected
Also responsible for improving and enhancing RDX’s monitoring capabilities
Proficient using database product administrative tools including Oracle Grid and Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Studio
After an extensive evaluation of leading monitoring products,RDX has chosen SolarWinds to power its monitoring service. SolarWinds' extensive array of monitoring templates allows our technicians to monitor every component of the application architecture including middle tier servers and network devices. RDX has written dozens of deep-dive database, application and operating system diagnostic checks that analyze key availability and performance indicators as well as common issues that are specific to each platform. Custom monitoring checks can also be created for issues that are unique to the customer’s environment.
The environment's flexibility allows RDX to implement agent or agentless monitoring for Windows and Linux/Unix systems. RDX is also able to configure a single monitoring appliance that monitors all targets in the customer’s environment. All monitoring information is stored as historical data in a statistical repository, which allows trending and capacity planning analysis to be performed. Historically tracking the system’s various performance indicators enables RDX’s technicians to trend database performance and track reoccurring usage spikes. This allows RDX to forecast when performance will be good and provide a possible reason when performance degrades.
Although the database is one of the key ingredients of every database-driven application, it is important to understand it is not the only component that can prevent a critical system from being available to the end users. From monitoring a database buffer cache hit ratio to a third-party application error log, the RDX DOC team is able to quickly deploy a customized monitoring solution that meets each, individual customer’s monitoring requirements. Customer meetings are held to discuss additional monitoring checks that are not currently provided. If a new check is required, the DOC team will create, test and implement the customized check. Checks that are unique to the customer will be charged at the standard RDX hourly rate.
Effective measurements are required to judge the success of any activity. The DOC team starts each shift with a review of all notifications that have occurred. Representatives from the DOC team meet with RDX product teams to provide expert advice when necessary. RDX’s alert reduction personnel review historical alert trending reports and perform alert notification analysis and reduction activities for excessive alerts.