Chapter 1. Introduction to Service Impact

Zenoss Service Impact (Service Impact) quickly reveals the affect that Resource Manager events have on the services that your company uses or provides.

Think of a service as any business activity or interface that is provided to users to accomplish a goal. Examples include systems that represent specific functions like Payroll processing, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, departments in a company, such as Finance or Marketing, and a company website.

A service's availability and performance characteristics are provided by key infrastructure entities, such as databases and application servers, and the hierarchy of those key entities' dependencies on other devices and components, such as compute, storage, networking, and so on.

Most critical applications have infrastructure redundancies so that service availability continues if a subset of devices fail. When IT Operations staff are triaging IT infrastructure problems, it is critical to isolate the source and understand the effect on the service and the business. This effort is called the mean-time-to-know (MTTK). According to industry experts, MTTK is responsible for over 70% of the mean-time-to-repair problems (MTTR). For instance, if an application server crashes, the following questions must be answered to triage the issue:
  • What is the priority? What services does that server support and are those services mission critical or low priority?
  • Are enough redundant application servers available to carry the load, or is the service effectively offline?
  • If multiple symptoms appear, which symptom is the root cause? This information is needed to assign the right team to start working on a resolution.

Service Impact enables you to quickly create service models of services and applications in your environment. Service Impact can display service models as a service model impact dependency graph.

To help you triage service problems, Service Impact performs near-real-time dependency tracking of the individual components of a service. Service Impact also maintains the availability and performance state information of your services. When new events occur at any point in a service, Service Impact knows the origins of the events and assesses whether to generate a service event based on the extent to which the service is "impacted." A service event differs from an infrastructure event.