The Top 10 Hyperion IT Maintenance Activities That Cost You Time and Money!

 

I often get asked “How many FTEs do I need to maintain my Hyperion system?”

Of course the answer is it depends. Let me outline the top 10 maintenance activities to properly maintain and support your Hyperion system from an IT prospective…

1.) Keep it clean

It’s important to keep the system clean. Over the years, we accumulate stale an unused reports, applications, data, etc. It’s especially important to ensure you remove and deprovision any users that are no longer valid. I recommend a quarterly cleaning. Stale security, applications, and data can impact performance and make upgrades messier.

2.) Backups and disaster recovery

A good backup process is mandatory. There are two types of backups:

  1. Full server wide backup (while services are stopped) along with the database backups. This protects from a server wide issues.
  2. Object level backups including security, reports, applications, and data. This protects from individual object level issues or corruption.

The best approach is to do both, assuming you have the maintenance window to do so. Set a reasonable retention policy and store backups off-site. Restore procedures should be fully documented and tested. Your backup/Recovery and disaster/recovery procedures are only as good as your last full test. They should be tested annually.

3.) Log Rotation

The Hyperion logs can get huge if left alone. Large log files can seriously impact performance as well. Periodic log rotation is needed

4.) Patching/upgrades

Patches are released all the time. It important to keep updated on what’s out there. Just make sure you do not just simply install patches simply because they are out there. You should apply only those that exactly match issues and the products/configuration you have.  Upgrades need to be carefully thought out and fully tested.

5.) Nightly Jobs

In almost every case there are nightly data loads, calculations, backups, consolidations, etc that run and these jobs need to run on time. We must be alerted if jobs fail. Monitoring, automating, and resolving issues with nightly jobs can be time consuming depending on the complexity and frequency.

6.) Troubleshooting and Issue resolution

Of course no system is perfect. An IT staff needs to be ready and on call to support the system at all times. Even if users only use the system during normal business hours, the system is just as critical at night in most cases as important jobs are being run. IT administrators must deal with anything from server issues to end user connection problems.

7.) Health Monitoring

An IT staff should be prepared to periodically check the health of the system by fully logging in, checking logs, services, process, memory utilization and other system resources, etc. Of course this can be done programmatically using standard industry monitoring tools as well.

8.) Helpdesk and Issue Ticketing/Tracking systems

Integrating the Hyperion system with a corporate Helpdesk is becoming more and more common. However, a lot of the time the helpdesk is simply just opening a ticket and not really doing level 1 support, which makes them more of a ticketing overhead than providing true helpdesk services. Training the helpdesk to do level one support can help reduce the time needed by IT staff.

9.) Change Management

IT may need to get involved when migrating objects from DEV to TEST to PROD. Sometimes we need to move files between servers, move databases, etc. Truly understanding everyone’s roles and responsibilities for change management and object promotion is key.

10.) Periodic IT/Finance meetings

I recommend a monthly meeting between the business users of the system and IT. It’s important to talk about general issues, service levels, root cause analysis of historical problems, performance, and what’s on the horizon for changes coming up.

Seem like a lot? It is. Is it a full time job? Depends. Either way, day-to-day maintenance activities like these can be a killer on todays IT administrators that are supporting many enterprise systems at a time, not to mention implementing new projects constantly.

One option to reduce cost and risk but to ensure these activities are always being done is to leverage our Managed Applications group.  It is an affordable and flexible way to meet whatever service needs you have.

 

The basic package is simple help desk phone support for break-fix issues resolution – perfect for the environments that are mission critical, intolerant to downtime, and have a stretched or limited IT department. Our 15-minute service level ticket acknowledgement is standard and 24-hour options are available.

Additionally, you can customize your package to include a wide variety of services such as:

  • Patching and Upgrades
  • Administrative support
  • Developer and functional assistance
  • Server Hosting
  • Nighty job and backup monitoring
  • Proactive server monitoring using automated agents – we know and start resolving before you know!
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • IT Training, best practices, and process consulting (change management, monitoring, help desk, asset management, etc)

The Managed Applications Service is a great way to free up IT for more strategic projects and outsource day-to-day Hyperion IT administration as a service, for far lees than an internal IT staff. Many companies small and large, and even some government agencies have already signed up for this very popular service.

Better up-time, better performance, better protection, faster resolution, lower cost.

Interested? Contact me for a quote: http://erichelmer.com/contactus.aspx

 

~ by Eric Helmer on October 14, 2013.

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