The Power Of Contextual Remediation – Captain Hindsight Is Actually Useful!

What’s The Deal With Contextual Remediation?

If you’ve had the chance to use ControlUp for a bit, you’ve probably already seen how you can spot an issue on one of the higher level hosts and correlate that red flag to the actual problem by double clicking and drilling down into the VM, the user session, and the processes running within. This is what we at ControlUp commonly refer to as immediate contextual remediation, and it’s one of ControlUp’s trademark functionalities which separates it from competing products – the ease with which you spot an issue, double click on the red cell and quickly get to the root cause.

However, you may not be aware of the fact that this feature used in the ControlUp real-time console is also applicable in ControlUp Insights, our historical reporting and analytics portal. This makes for a very powerful analytic tool, as you can easily drill down between reports to discover the underlying issues’ root causes, identify trends and so on.

ControlUp Insights’  reports drill down capabilities allow you to easily maintain the context while trying to understand the root cause of an issue.

General To Specific – The Funnel Effect

Spotting an issue at the top level, such as one of the host reports, does not mean you can’t get to the bottom of it. For example, (see Illustration in scenario 1 below) when looking at the Host Statistics report, and observing a host showing an high level of Datastore R/W IOPS (1) you can click on that host which will lead you to the Host Trends report (2) preserving the context for that host in the same time frame.

When you spot a point in time in which the Host trend report shows an I/O spike you can click on that point on the graph and get a list of the top I/O consuming VMs at that point of time running on that Host.

Click on the VM to drill down into the Computer Trends report (3) while preserving the context for that VM in the same time frame. You can now spot the point in time in which the Computer trend report shows an I/O spike. You can then click on that point on the graph and get a list of the top I/O consuming sessions / processes pairs and see if one of the users logged into the VM was the one causing the I/O spike. You can even click on that user name to drill into the Session Details report (4), focusing on that particular user’s session, to see what the user was doing to cause that I/O spike.

The Plot Thickens

The aforementioned drilldown scenario is useful, but there’s much more. With the variety of application related reports, you can now drill down from the Application Trends report (1) into the actual Application Usage Details report (2) and then into the specific user session showing that application usage as shown in the Session Activity report (3). (See Illustration in scenario 2 below)

This allows you to identify application usage patterns, peaks and slumps, and correlate them with a specific user or users. For example, who’s using Chrome the most, and when? Which Chrome user consumes the most resources? And of course, you can see that specific user’s activity by drilling further into the Session Details report (4).

The Drilldown Spirit

We at ControlUp don’t believe in static reports. Just like our real time grid invites you to explore, find out what’s going on within seconds and fix the issue right there and then, that hands-on approach resonates in everything we do.

So your historical data is not just sitting there idly; we give you the freedom to dig in and see – hey, what happened there? Why is this CPU working so hard? What happened to cause the I/O spike last Thursday? Who’s using Chrome the most and is it slowing down my farm?

In essence, we keep that “drilldown spirit” alive and kicking so that you can take control, find out what’s going on and utilize the information to your advantage, to keep everything running smoothly. No fumbling between dozens of tools to find out what you need, and then look for the right tool to fix it. With ControlUp, you’ll find that this motto is too true: Saw it. Fixed it.