Tracking User Active Hours for Better Downtime Planning



  • So this is just something that has been nagging me for a while, and I've been meaning to post about it to see what others are doing.

    We often hear this repeated "we can't afford downtime at any cost". Of course we all immediately say, really let me show you. (and then we go turn something off and see if anyone notices.... :-) )

    Anyways, to be able to respond to that kind of nervous reaction, where management is under the impression that staff is working 24/7/365 what tools have you used?

    There has to be something.



  • Standard operating hours for many businesses may be 7:30am to 7-8pm for those employees who have a ton to do.

    But to be under the impression that the business hours are from 7:30AM to 4AM daily without any evidence of this, or asking why would anyone need to be up so late except for in the most urgent of issues is insane to me.



  • Just use your logging tool to show log ons and offs.

    Or lock/unlock



  • @stacksofplates said in Tracking User Active Hours for Better Downtime Planning:

    Just use your logging tool to show log ons and offs.

    Or lock/unlock

    That doesn't list the actual usage as we rarely get people to log out.



  • @stacksofplates While I get the idea, we're looking for a solid metric of "files being actively used"

    At least that is what I'm trying to determine. Of course, people who just leave work open could effect this..



  • @DustinB3403 said in Tracking User Active Hours for Better Downtime Planning:

    @stacksofplates While I get the idea, we're looking for a solid metric of "files being actively used"

    At least that is what I'm trying to determine. Of course, people who just leave work open could effect this..

    Right which is why I think lock/unlock and log on/off is better. If you can trend that no one is on the systems during a certain time it won't matter if they have files open or not.



  • I wonder if just reporting active VPN connections via the Firewall would be sufficient. I wonder if the ASA we have even has this functionality . . .



  • Maybe NPS has the functionality, even if it doesn't have the ability to send out the information automatically.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Tracking User Active Hours for Better Downtime Planning:

    why would anyone need to be up so late except for in the most urgent of issues is insane to me.

    That's the problem you have. Defining "urgent". Logging activity gives you a sense of the quantity of work carried out after hours, but not the quality.

    An example we might have: our guys are working on a multi-million dollar deal and the client e-mails them from New York in the late afternoon. The client doesn't care that it is midnight where we are in the UK, he expects an immediate answer. That one e-mail is more important than the thousand e-mails we received during the day. In financial terms, it could represent 20% of our revenue. So 0.0001% of IT activity represent 20% of revenue.

    You can't analyse that. You can only trust that if your guys say they need 24/7/365 access, they do.


  • Service Provider

    New client of mine, they are a 6am to 10pm operation. Social care provider, so if someone cannot make a 7am appointment with a person in need, they need the system working to find a replacement. Hotels, 24 hour operation, accounts are processed end of the day from tills and various places.

    Don't bother with stats. Focus on a conversation with management, the system HAS to go down at some point, what point causes the least pain/disruption whilst allowing the IT team to provide the manpower at that time. Stats to "prove the point" would just be an exercise in futility.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Tracking User Active Hours for Better Downtime Planning:

    @DustinB3403 said in Tracking User Active Hours for Better Downtime Planning:

    why would anyone need to be up so late except for in the most urgent of issues is insane to me.

    That's the problem you have. Defining "urgent". Logging activity gives you a sense of the quantity of work carried out after hours, but not the quality.

    An example we might have: our guys are working on a multi-million dollar deal and the client e-mails them from New York in the late afternoon. The client doesn't care that it is midnight where we are in the UK, he expects an immediate answer. That one e-mail is more important than the thousand e-mails we received during the day. In financial terms, it could represent 20% of our revenue. So 0.0001% of IT activity represent 20% of revenue.

    You can't analyse that. You can only trust that if your guys say they need 24/7/365 access, they do.

    And that is why I'm trying quantify who and when people are working while not in the office.

    Because as @Breffni-Potter said (and is true) the system will have to come down at some point, it might as well be planned, rather than unplanned.



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