Root cause analysis is a method of problem solving used for identifying the root causes of faults or problems. It is widely used in IT operations, telecommunications, industrial process control, accident analysis, medicine, healthcare industry, etc.
End-to-End Root Cause Analysis in SAP Solution Manager offers capabilities for cross system and technology root cause analysis. Especially in heterogeneous landscapes it is important to isolate a problem causing component as fast as possible and involve the right experts for problem resolution. With the toolset provided by Root Cause Analysis this is possible with the same tool regardless of the technology an application is based on and it allows a first in depth analysis by a generalist avoiding the ping-pong game during an analysis between different expert groups.
A typical example (see the below figure) is a problem where an end user experiences a problem while maintaining his bank account data in the corporate portal, the cause may be on the client PC (e.g. browser), in the network or somewhere in the server environment, which itself might comprise different instances of varying technologies. In this example the client request in question first hits a SAP NetWeaver Portal (based on SAP AS Java), then reaches a SAP ERP System (based on SAP AS ABAP) via a RFC call and finally results in a SQL statement which retrieves information from the ERP database.
Root Cause Analysis offers tools for each task in cross-component (end-to-end analysis) and component-specific analysis. Per definition, a cross-component analysis involves several systems or technology stacks, whereas component-specific analysis deals with one system or technology stack.
Overall, Root Cause Analysis works towards simplifying the problem resolution process with-in an IT environment and reducing the total cost of ownership. Benefits SAP’s tools for Root Cause Analysis are:
- Ensured continuous business availability – Root Cause Analysis helps to accelerate the problem resolution process.
- Reduced costs for support experts – The targeted top-down approach of RCA supports a one step dispatching of issues from an IT Generalist to a Component Expert.
- Reduced license costs – Supporting RCA Tools offered by SAP are part of the standard maintenance contract and come at no additional fee.
- One safe access channel to all systems
- Collected data is displayed in unified views, thereby abstracting data from the underlying technology stack. This approach supports the structured top down analysis approach, as generalists and experts start investigating at one common point.