A couple of months ago I announced a new blog series on Advanced Rendering and which technical features enterprise organizations need to succeed. This week I’ll talk about the seventh of the 10 important items: system reporting.
Remember report card time from when you were in elementary school? Twice a year we’d be presented with an ominous piece of paper, sealed in a big brown envelope, that we had to take home and show our parents. No matter whether you felt you had done well or not that term, carrying that scary brown envelope with sweaty, nervous fingers over to your parents who were patiently waiting for it at the kitchen table was a momentous occasion. Watching them tear the envelope open, examining what was inside as closely as though it contained the key to life, we’d stand there desperately trying to read their faces for clues on what would happen next. The report held the answer to our future (well at least for the next few weeks).
That report card, whether we liked it or not, was an incredibly useful marker for how we were doing in school. Enterprise software, much like elementary school children, also requires report cards (of a sort). Reporting tools for business-critical applications are necessary for figuring out how the software is working, areas in which it’s struggling, and how it can be optimized to work more efficiently.
The need for system performance reporting
IT departments are often inundated with support and service requests when something goes wrong with enterprise-wide software. While having high availability architecture and monitoring and alerting tools help to alleviate this problem, system reporting takes it one step further.
Job processing times can vary greatly due to the type of job that is being processed. For example, performing Optical Character Recognition on a 12-page scanned document takes significantly more CPU resources than it does to combine 3 separate files into one PDF document. In addition, the demand on the Advanced Rendering system can be bursty at times, which makes it difficult to predict the system size required to meet end users’ expectations.
Adlib’s reporting tools
Adlib PDF provides a number of reports that help IT departments to better manage their systems:
This report collects the average load on the complete system as well as on each transformation engine. The load can be reported hourly, daily or weekly, allowing IT to identify the periods of greatest demand and any bottlenecks occurring in the system. By analyzing the periods of peak demand, IT can detect whether the system sizing is accurate.
Job processing time:
This report provides the time the system takes to complete a job, as well as the source of the job and the date and time it was submitted. This allows IT to confirm if the system is achieving the service-level agreement (SLA) commitment, along with the times the system did not meet the SLA. This data is also useful for calculating the charge-back cost for the system usage to the various business units.
This report provides the number of jobs processed by the complete system, in addition to jobs processed by each transformation engine. The jobs processed can be reported hourly, daily or weekly, providing IT with the information to assist in sizing the system and perform capacity planning.
This report provides the percentage of jobs that completed successfully for each time interval – hourly, daily or weekly – so IT can identify if the system is failing, and to what degree.
With the help of our Professional Services team, a number of additional reports can also be added to Adlib PDF to meet various organizational needs. All reports allow for filtering and sorting the information to allow users to narrow down the information they need. In addition, all report data can be exported to Microsoft Excel for further analysis and reporting. This information can be used to determine things such as the percentage of system usage by business unit and to support the business case for system capacity planning.
Adlib’s system reporting provides the necessary information to enable IT to optimally manage the application with little effort, and ensure committed service performance.
Not all report cards are bad.
Feedback and reporting
Feedback on performance and services is always useful to organizations like Adlib that provide business-critical applications for a variety of industries. We’ve recently developed a customer insight research panel which gives customers a chance to provide feedback on a regular basis (kind of like report card). You can find more details on that here and on how to help us make better products and be a better company.
Next week I’ll be discussing the necessity for central platform management within an enterprise. Stay tuned!
If you missed any of the previous posts in this Advanced Rendering series, check them out here: