Google Cloud Platform is a serious alternative for SAP Cloud environments. Substantial advances have been made and it now has monitoring systems that enable improved supervision of our system.
Due to the critical nature of SAP environments, monitoring these systems has always been a priority in IT Operations. Traditionally this monitoring has been resolved satisfactorily with generalist tools which included SAP modules o complementing them with more specific tools such as Solution Manager or Focused Run.
Although these kinds of tools have worked well in the On-Premise world, the current tendency towards the Cloud world is also affecting SAP Solutions, with a growing number of clients using IaaS Cloud platforms to deploy their SAP systems.
In these environments, although traditional tools are compatible they present a series of disadvantages such as complex connectivity, increased costs due to having to deploy additional machines or more network traffic.
For SAP environments deployed in Cloud, the logical thing to do would be to use native Cloud tools that will integrate with the tools already available for IaaS monitoring, enabling full-stack monitoring in a single point.
In this article we talk about the solution offered by GCP to monitor SAP systems totally based on Stackdriver and, apart from offering a series of out-of-the-box metrics, it allows us to implement our own metrics.
Thus we will be able to integrate SAP metrics in the GCP global monitoring dashboards themselves. Also, following the Google multicloud philosophy, these tools will probably evolve for systems deployed in GCP and also be used with other Cloud service providers or even for On-Premise systems, and therefore we would expect a reduction in licensing costs if we substitute our traditional tools with the new options offered by GCP.
SAP-GCP Monitoring Agent
Google Cloud Platform and SAP have jointly developed a monitoring agent for SAP HANA, which is included in a development roadmap, and will therefore be improved over time with new functionalities. This agent is capable of compiling tailor-made metrics from the HANA instance and sending them to the Google monitoring console (Cloud Monitoring).
The agent comprises a configuration file where we can indicate the connection parameters and the method for compiling metrics. By default, the agent will compile a set of defined metrics from the SAP HANA database.
At the end of the article there is a link to Google Cloud Platform, where you can find information about the default metrics that this agent compiles.
We can also configure YAML files with SQL requests, to define our own tailor-made metrics.
In the following box, you can see an example of a custom-defined metric to show the use of the physical and virtual memory of a HANA database:
From the monitoring console we can create dashboards to visualise charts of our metrics that can be filtered by different time intervals.
Cloud Monitoring enables us to configure alerts based on the limits that we establish for the metrics, this way we can send an email or an SMS to a support team for them to resolve the problem.
All notification channels can be configured from the Google Cloud monitoring console.
Another useful function of Google Cloud Monitoring is Uptime Checks, a request that we send to a resource (such as a SAP HANA instance or any SAP NW instance) and check if we have a reply. With this we can determine the availability of an instance, a URL, a service or even an AWS load balancer.
Associated with this check, we can create an alert policy to create an incident when the request fails. As with the agent, the policy can be configured to notify by email, SMS or any notification channel; including information relevant to the resource or the resolution procedure.
Below is a view of the “Uptime Checks” console with an example of the availability check of a HANA instance attacking the indexserver port.
Another necessity when monitoring a SAP HANA system is the use of filesystems. We need to know if the HANA data or log has been filled if we want to ensure the availability of our environment.
For this, Google has developed a global monitoring agent: Cloud Monitoring Agent.
This agent is based on the “collectd Daemon” which compiles metrics from the system from Google instances in order to send them to the Google monitoring console.
The following graph shows an example of a metric configured with the Cloud Monitoring Agent to show the use of filesystems:
We can configure an alert policy on these metrics. In the following graph we can see an alert that has been configured to notify should the filesystem exceed the 85% usage limit.
This agent is also able to monitor metrics such as the hard disk, the CPU, the network traffic and other metrics that can be seen on the following link:
Google offers a Cloud console mobile application in which we can manage incidents caused by alerts configured in the agents. From the application we can confirm and resolve incidents without having to turn on our computer. This application is available both on Google Play and App Store.
Ultimately, at present, Google Cloud Platform has a very comprehensive infrastructure, which is in continual development and continually evolves, to ensure the availability of our SAP environment, offering simple and efficient functionalities so that we are able to react to the incidents that our SAP environments generate.
GCP link with metrics obtained by the agent.