The Finnish Transport Agency needed a solution to monitor its systems and services to detect anomalies. The Digia Iiris operational view service fit its requirements. Digia Iiris helps the Finnish Transport Agency keep itself up to date, and also enables other suppliers to have an additional view of the systems. In addition to the operational view service, the solution includes log management.
The operational view service has enabled system operators to learn more about their systems, as they can examine statistics in deeper detail and see whether everything is working as it should. There is a great need to view and understand the status of systems, services and servers.
Jarmo Purkunen, Production Manager, Finnish Transport Agency
What is the state of integrations and servers? Are there problems in the platform? All you need to do is have a quick glance at the screen: if the status indicators are green, everything is fine. And what if anomalies are detected? Then problems can be tackled and corrected preventatively.
This is the Digia Iiris operational view service. It monitors a growing number of systems and services at the Finnish Transport Agency and facilitates the anticipation of incidents. In addition to the operational view service, the solution includes log management.
This challenge will sound familiar to many organisations: the organisation relies on a large number of systems and suppliers, which makes the big picture difficult to grasp and monitor. This is how things were at the Finnish Transport Agency, which wanted a more accurate picture of the status of its systems and servers.
“We had fragmented views from different suppliers of how servers or applications function, but we lacked a cohesive overview and could not see the interdependencies between servers and applications. This meant that it was difficult to resolve problem situations, as we did not have an idea of what was normal and what deviated from normal,” says Jarmo Purkunen, Production Manager at the Finnish Transport Agency.
A solution was required to determine what is normal and to monitor the big picture and any deviations. The Digia Iiris operational view service provided this solution. Piloting of Iiris started at the Finnish Transport Agency in 2016. Implementation could be started in spring 2017. Now Digia Iiris monitors, for instance, the integration tools and platforms of the SOA office and the Lotju system, which collects information on traffic conditions. It is currently being implemented in other systems and services.
Thanks to Digia Iiris, the Finnish Transport Agency has a better understanding of incident management, for instance. The views and data provided by the system have also enhanced understanding of the system environment.
“The operational view service has enabled system operators to learn more about their systems, as they can examine statistics in deeper detail and see whether everything is working as it should,” says Purkunen.
Digia Iiris has helped the Finnish Transport Agency to tackle the challenges of monitoring a multi-supplier environment.
“Monitoring of service suppliers may be set to be supplier-friendly from the perspective of incident and event management and service level measurement. As the client, we are dependent on the measurements performed by the supplier, unless we have another source of measurements available. With Digia Iiris, we can check and compare the monitoring and reporting results of the supplier with the results provided by Iiris, and thereby gain a better understanding of the standard of services provided.”
According to Purkunen, other service and system providers have also benefited from the solution.
“With Digia Iiris, application providers gain an accurate and detailed view of the operations of the services they provide, and an understanding of the normal response times and load levels of the service (baseline). They have viewed this service favourably,” he adds.
However, Purkunen would like to remind that software alone cannot solve all monitoring challenges. However, it is an important tool.
“Establishing an overview requires the kind of information on services, the relationships between services and applications that the operational view service cannot fully provide. In addition, of course, we need to understand when everything is running as it should and when a disruption has occurred.”
As Digia Iiris has improved the complete overview, it has also ushered in changes in operating models and other practices. Operating models have been honed with respect to, for instance, what to do when the operational view service reports an anomaly. When there are clear shared rules, the whole organisation can act more efficiently in exceptional situations.
The special system environment of the Finnish Transport Agency poses challenges for any monitoring tool. Implementation takes time, as the environment as a whole includes different kinds of systems and dependencies. However, hard work pays off.
“In fact, each of our services and systems is different, so every component under the operational view service must be implemented separately. If our environment were more homogenous, implementation would be faster, of course,” says Purkunen.
“But everything works smoothly after the desired indicators have been defined and the operational view service has been launched.”
There will be a demand for an operational view service like Digia Iiris in the future as well. Digia Iiris is currently available to everyone at the Finnish Transport Agency who wants to use it.
“There is a great need to view and understand the status of systems, services and servers,” concludes Purkunen.