Optimization / Performance Monitoring Subscription Service


Konstantin Polukhin, Ph.D

Summary

Argos Group is offering a subscription service to clients of Unica that will help solve performance problems that may arise from time to time when they run campaigns. Equally important, the service will help customers anticipate potential performance issues related to the use of Unica software. Available to management is a series of trend reports that allow it to plan and anticipate the capacity and performance requirements for production environments.

The IT environments in which Unica software operates are complex and comprised of networks, databases, servers and multiple-platforms. Identifying and solving performance issues is difficult because of this complexity and the interrelation of the various IT systems. Even though performance issues are not always related to the performance of the Unica software itself, customers look to Unica experts for a solution since it provides the application interface to the users.

Argos has developed a unique approach to performance analysis and optimization that leverages its proprietary log analyzer software. Offered as an annual subscription service, this approach can help Unica customers anticipate and solve performance difficulties as well as present trend analyses of the customer production environment.

Description of the service

The Argos Optimization Subscription Service will offer reports on a regular basis to the customer about the customer's IT environment and the campaigns that the customer is creating. These reports can be divided into 3 categories for 3 target groups:

Trend Analysis (for high-level directors and decision makers)

    • changes in the number of processes by type (selects, merges, snapshots, etc) for an average campaign in production
    • total errors by month for all campaigns in production
    • increase/Decrease in total errors from month to month for all campaigns in production
    • changes in the number of records that an average campaign in production processes per run during a specified time period
    • amount of time in hours of the average campaign run and how that changes during time

Technical Reports (for IT specialists, production maintenance, problem solvers, etc)

    • worst Performing Processes - This reports gives an indication of processes that are consuming the most time and likely increasing the run time for a campaign
    • worst Performing Queries - Queries themselves are generally culprits in performance degradation
    • session Comparisons of Technical Details - This report can give an indication of environmental variables that might affect performance
    • Gant Chart Analysis - This report helps problem solvers visualize the execution of a campaign in production.Statistics on the performance per campaign of interest
    • observed measurements against established thresholds
    • total execution time of the campaign
    • performance of queries sorted from longest running to shortest
    • process performance from longest to shortest
    • identification of possible problem areas
    • suggested fixes where possible

    Statistics for Campaign Development (for campaign specialists to improve development skills)

      • production or testing statistics per campaign or template and by user of that campaign or template
      • production or testing statistics consolidated per campaign or template
      • production or testing statistics per user for all campaigns
      • user statistics can be collapsed into group statistics

      These reports will be delivered on a monthly or quarterly basis in an easy to read format such as e-mail, spreadsheet, or word document. The technical reports for the service can also be delivered on demand when a significant or blocking performance problem arises at the client site. The service will consistently provide valuable information about potential problem areas where a customer might enhance performance of the software.

      Argos will perform the service at its own facilities. The client will be required to send specified log and session files, or conversely can chose to give Argos access to such files in order to facilitate the process when this type of access does not create a security dilemma. Reports and suggestions are deliverable to the client in a variety of formats.

      Introduction of the Service

      The ideal times to start using this service are:
        • when an implementation project is nearing its final stages (manually reviewing log files will identify potential problems)
        • when a project is moving from testing to production (this is the baseline of performance and the starting point for trend analysis)
        • when performance problems arise (faster analysis of the issues)
        • when performance problems have been resolved and are under control

        Benefits of Service

        This service will give directors and managers the ability to plan for the future. High-level trend reports will improve capacity and resource planning as well as provide an outlook for the production performance of campaigns. In addition, utilization of the service will introduce a habit at the customer site of anticipating potential resources that may be consumed in the automation of marketing campaigns.

        Performance issues can have long reaching and expensive consequences for a customer. Long running campaigns can delay or make it impossible to meet a schedule, and they are just one of the steps in the complicated chain of events to produce a communication for a customer/prospect group on behalf of the company. All of the steps in the process must be executed on time because any delay increases costs. A better result is achievable in more manageable ways. The return on a small investment for this performance monitoring service could be significant and the customer will see a more consistent and predictable execution time for its campaigns.

        Details of How the Service Works

        Argos has the skills and proprietary techniques to view the performance of a campaign or many campaigns for a single production run, or the same performance compared over a period of time. Its ability to collect and analyze this data in an automated fashion allows it to provide useful views of the actual production run statistics for Unica Software.

        Argos can identify a number of thresholds in a customer's operations: operational window, length of queries, length of campaigns, time to write output files, etc. With these thresholds, Argos periodically checks these characteristics to identify and produce suggestions for any unexpected degradations.

        Typically, for technical analysis, Argos will analyze run time for a campaign(s), time spent in the databases and poorest performed queries, time spent on Affinium Campaign, time spent for pulling data over the net, time spent writing output results.

        Examples reports: