CA Tuesday Tip: Cleaning Up the Backyard!

Discussion created by Hallett_German Employee on Jul 7, 2012
Latest reply on Aug 12, 2012 by Hallett_German
CA Wily Tuesday Tip by Hallett German, Sr. Support Engineer for 7/10/2012

While working on a customer site involves some problem-solving and thinking on your feet, it also includes making recommendations for required housekeeping.
I envision it as cleaning up the front yard to get to the entrance. What are the risks of "keeping a messy yard?"

- Extra data storage is used to store and CPU/memory to process a growing number of metrics, reports, application maps, transaction traces, dashboards, etc. whether needed or not.
- It takes more time to read through a log with non-stop avoidable error messages simply because an APM management module has an invalid path.
- More likely to have database and performance issues because of the "extra weight."
- More unneeded metrics increases the possibility of clamping as well as extra time to find the true metrics that you need. It also makes it harder for someone new to ramp up in learning what is important.
- On the APM CE side, many false positives about invalid or missing components exist that would have been eliminated in an updated recording
- It is harder to show value of solution if cannot find crucial metrics and reports quickly. This makes it less likely to appeal to executive audiences with all the time sifting to find the right reports

Why is an APM "messy yard" maintained?
- As stated in previous months, APM administrators often have a lack of time due to being in a reactive environment.
- Cleanup is not perceived to have a high payback for the time involved.
- APM Administrators do not have the experience to do a rigorous cleanup.
- APM does not provide comprehensive utilities to do an extensive cleanup.

So how does one get a "clean yard" in the APM universe?
- 2-4 times a year, take the time to
- Eliminate avoidable errors in the logs.
- Review if anything can be removed (management modules, alerts, SNMP traps, dashboards, CEM recordings and recording.
templates/parameters), APM Reports (Introscope and CEM), CEM definitions (run the Business Transaction Save to CSV button).
- Optimize configuration (turn off unnecessary logging, evaluate definition and alert thresholds).
- Vacuum APM database if sluggish. (This happens automatically but sometimes an extra manual run is needed).
- Review monitoring strategy, monitoring roadmap, run book

Is there a "worst APM backyard ever" that I encountered? As much as it would be fun to tell,that's an answer that I'll keep to myself. Please do what you can not to be a future candidate for this category. Clean early and often!!

Questions for discussion:
1) Question for Yourself -- Is your "APM backyard" clean or messy? If messy, when do you think you may clean it up
2) How often do you cleanup your "APM backyard."
3) Would having an APM utility to assist you doing this help?
4) What additional or related topics would you have liked to see the above article include?