Missed the AIMS Integration Monitoring Bootcamp? Here's a full recap.



January 24, 2022

We were thrilled to welcome a great group of integration pros to the Motion 10 offices in Rotterdam this week for the first ever AIMS Integration Monitoring Bootcamp! Here's a full recap of the event for those who couldn't make it.


Wilfred Noppers kicks things off

The kickoff is done by the chairman of the day: Motion10 co-founder Wilfred Noppers. He starts by introducing Motion10, the circle of growth we all live by at Motion10 and their own transfer to a hybrid or cloud based way of working. Integrations that are currently being done in BizTalk are shifting more and more to the cloud.

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(Cloud) integration and innovation are the subjects of the day and the issues that have brought us together. How to monitor these ever-growing integrations is a question that has been around ever since the first integrations were done. Wilfred shares with his audience that Eva de Jong (that's me!) has been a pioneer on monitoring and in the introduction of AIMS within Motion10. He also discusses how De Goudse insurance is the first Motion10 customer to work with AIMS, and to great satisfaction.

wilfred_m10

The attendees are invited to introduce themselves. Ten different companies are present at this event with a total of 20 consultants, managers and integration experts. They all recognize the problems described by Wilfred. Monitoring and unexpected downtime is something that causes many problems for every customer.


Although the industries of the companies present are vastly different, they are facing the same issues; how do we manage and monitor our existing integrations and how do we move these integrations to the cloud whilst continuing to monitor them.

Challenges of Digital Business and Cloud Transition

gijs_m10Motion1o CTO and Co-Founder Gijs in ‘t Veld tells us about the difference between traditional business and digital business; traditional business as we know it (using an ESB to connect to on prem systems and customers), but we are becoming more adaptive to an agile our way of working, connecting using intelligence, ecosystems and ‘things’.

Gartner stated earlier this year, that integration is at the core of the digital business technology platform. The more you innovate, the more you have to integrate. Gijs points to Gartner’s Pace layers to explain how this works.

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Questions we have about application modernization are; how to do it in a smart and safe way.

The IT evolution and trends on application development and integration is discussed, a start at Mainframe in 1970’s to API’s in 2014+. Gijs explains to us where we came from but most important; where we are going! Devops is the way to work in IT; cloud innovation is constant, short time to market, development and operations have to be combined to keep up with the paste that moving towards the cloud makes possible.

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We work using integration Layers: On prem app and databases, SaaS and PaaS apps, and on top of that we place our integration layer. We use PowerApps, PowerBI, Flow and other tools as a GUI to the outside world.

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Because the environment is getting more complex, more integrations are done with more diverse tooling, which makes monitoring more important.

Ricardo Torre introduces AIMS

ricardo_bootcampRicardo launches into a practical session where he showed how quickly you can go from an email anomaly warning from AIMS (detected using Machine Learning) to the root cause of the problem.

He also discussed the inherent challenges in monitoring, including:

  • BizTalk Configuration Changes
  • Suspended Messages and Errors
  • BizTalk Performance
  • Throttling
  • Capacity Management
  • Server Performance
  • Identify Physical bottlenecks
  • SLA Management
  • Configuration Changes
  • Failures and Errors
  • Logic Apps Performance
  • Capacity Management

 

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It is important to know when anomalies occur, because you will need to react. Not only monitoring on failure but also monitoring on performance is very important, throttling being one of the known issues we experience with BizTalk. Scaling and billing is important on azure, as is managing SLAs.

AIMS uses AI and machine learning, by gathering thousands of metrics that are important, correlating them and presenting them in a fine-grained monitoring dashboard.

When monitoring your integration environment, you want to move from reactive to proactive and not having to waste time on troubleshooting by preventing downtime in critical business processes.

Enabling tracking is not needed with AIMS agents, because the only data being captured are metadata and metrics. If AIMS can capture this data, you can use it to feed the agents or create a custom agent using the .NET based SDK. 

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Demo: Anomaly detection with AIMS

Ricardo provides the audience with a quick demo of AIMS, by showing how to solve common issues companies have with monitoring today and how easy it is to solve these problems using AIMS anomaly detection. A detailed page appears, showing the status, where the deviation occurred and at what time.

The ‘Timeline bars’ tab shows the timeline of the anomaly, so, when did it first start and when was it triggered. It contains a lot of individual deviations, giving a complete view on when the different deviations started, how long it took and when something was impacted.

When going to the messaging pattern associated with the anomaly, you can see the Send Port is displayed as orange, indicating an anomaly. The anomaly is also indicated on the right side, displaying one open alert. Some interesting statistics are shown over the last 7 days, already indicating the cause of the anomaly.

When selecting this Send Port, you will discover exactly what deviations occurred at what specific time, and you will learn the anomaly occurred due to an increase of message volume during the night. You will be supplied with interesting information, like the application name, the Send Adapter and Pipeline and the BizTalk Host. The node statistics on the right side show a red line that represents the values that are actually measured, while the blue area reveals the normal behaviour pattern.

Selecting ‘See in analytics’ will allow you to see the deviations in a report. You are able to edit a report to your wishes. You can add more statistics, use different colours and chart types, choose specific periods and resolutions etcetera. After saving the report you are able to set it as your personal dashboard.

You can start looking for the parameter you wish to display, by scrolling down the provided list or by typing in the name.

If you want to see the entire environment you are monitoring with AIMS, you use topology. The Overview section will provide you with a complete overview of your environment. Showing your Microsoft SQL server, Windows server, BizTalk server and other parts of your environment.

Zooming in on the BizTalk Server, you will be able to filter on all different artifacts and parameters. You can even find Messaging Patterns, enabling you to visualize your messaging routes. You can see your Receive Ports, the Orchestrations your message will go through, as well as Send Ports. You will also find any errors and anomalies here, as well as some analytics.

Going to events, you will find a complete overview of all errors and warnings. You are able to filter on different parameters to narrow down your search. You can filter on date range, event level, event status, node type or type in keywords.

Hands-on Labs

m10_labThe attendees are invited to use the AIMS for the first time during the event with hands-on Labs with help from Ricardo and I. We start with creating a top component report in AIMS. In the second lab, the attendees are introduced to an environment health report. In the final lab, attendees are able to solve one of the common issues companies have with monitoring today and see how easy it is to solve these problems using AIMS anomaly detection.

Presentation and Demo: Cloud monitoring with AIMS agents

Monitoring for PaaS services is something that is asked more and more. Ricardo Torre shares great news; AIMS has developed an agent for Azure monitoring, which is in preview now!

Using the AIMS Azure agent enables you to capture all metrics and billing data from your Azure Subscription. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence the data is used to predict anomalies and prevent downtime.

Even on billing, the agent will alert you when your Azure consumption is going to be higher than usual.


Presentation by Ricardo Torre: AIMS SDK

The last presentation of the evening is about how to use the AIMS SDK to build an agent which pushes meta data, metrics and events into backend system. The SDK is based on .NET and used to create custom agents where needed. This is a quick and easy way to connect your integration applications to your AIMS environment.

Download SDK on: https://github.com/aimsinnovation

All attendees completed the labs successfully and were rewarded with a certificate and a Motion10 chocolate bar!

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Let's do it again!

All-in-all, this was a great event with excellent participation from the attendees. We had fun working together with integration pros on the hands-on labs, and it was great mingling during the networking afterwards. Some new AIMS fans were created during the Bootcamp, and it's something we definitely hope to repeat! 

Topics from this blog: Blog

Author

BizTalk and Azure integration consultant, technical writer and #aimsperformancepro.

Eva De Jong

BizTalk and Azure integration consultant, technical writer and #aimsperformancepro.

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