ITIL Sleuth: The Case of the Missing Data Packets
Applying an ITIL framework to Service Management is less about finding problems and more about treating each problem like a clue. Using IT forensics, each clue by itself is usually not a means to an end, but another step in the journey to a solution. Invoking ITIL change, release and configuration management processes first requires thorough detective work. Taking a situation such as packet loss, Read on to learn how ITIL practices can enable a more proactive approach without compromising Quality of Service (QoS) or Service Level Agreement (SLA) compliance. Can ITIL Help You Get Out of Your Own Way? A good detective follows a clue to the people who can provide answers or lead the detective to more clues. When it comes to network availability it’s been said and proven time and again that 80% of incidents are the result of human error. Make the first step in your detective work a trip to the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to look for clues indicating who made the last configuration change. If that doesn’t provide more clues or a solution, then conduct additional forensic work. ITIL Works Effectively with Good Monitoring Data ITIL Service Transition relies on good data. Using our packet loss example, comprehensive network monitoring solution is your best defense against QoS issues or threats to SLA compliance caused by packet loss. In fact, the right monitoring solution can detect an issue before it becomes a Service Desk incident. An ITIL good practice, Service Validation and Testing is another area where forensic data can uncover a potential service level threat, often before it impacts users or applications. So in the case of the missing packets, monitoring data offers additional clues from items such as round trip response time, latency, jitter and dropped packets. ITIL Service Operation – Separating the Symptom from the Cause Good detectives are able to read into clues separating symptoms from the cause. ITIL Service Operation framework separates Incident Management and Problem Management. In most cases incidents are clues to a larger problem, although sometimes a major incident points to the root cause or a problem is identified without ever reporting an incident. In the case of the missing packets, if a call experiences jitter, that could be the symptom of an occasional dropped packet, which wouldn’t necessarily indicate a major QoS problem. However, if monitoring data indicate packet loss greater than 0.1%, then follow the clues or incidents to the problem of packet loss and conduct root cause analysis to find a solution. ITIL provides an approach that puts Service Management into perspective. With effective monitoring tools, technicians and support teams can act as sleuths to uncover clues and piece them together to have a better understanding of network performance. The ultimate goal is to not only handle incidents and problems more efficiently, but also to prevent them from occurring in the first place, or at least indentify potential issues before QoS or SLAs are affected. Learn how Nimsoft can help you can effectively integrate ITIL solutions within your Service Operation.