Eric Klatzer, Melanie Werzi and Martin Gfrerer-Zahradnik spent a whole school year working on their final thesis at the Höhere Technische Bundeslehranstalt (HTL) Mössingerstraße in Klagenfurt. Their A-levels project involves the supervision of the Anexia IT infrastructure and its customers.
In their A-levels, the students developed software components for supervision the availability of IT services. “The aim is to detect problems and irregularities in a system as quickly as possible. Ideally, before performance is affected or even before system failures occur”, says Klatzer. One of these components are “sensors”. “The sensor is a program that connects to a service and collects info about its status. This information is sent to a central monitoring system and visualised.” The data collected in this way can be used for evaluations to analyze problems after the fact. As part of regular checks, the collected data provides insights into changes such as a continuous increase in response times of a service over several months. Finally, both customers and system administrators are alerted when threshold values are exceeded.
The A-levels project focused on three aspects: The development of software-based sensors that query the parameters of services. A service, called “agent”, which automatically provisions and parameterises the supervision of services on the basis of data from the Anexia Engine. And third, an extensive test scenario for both the agent and the sensors to ensure that each component is still fully functional individually and in interaction, even after the release of a new version, and that no unexpected problems can occur.
Once the predefined tests have been successfully passed, the component updates can also be transferred to productive operation. This ensures that all parts of the software function properly in subsequent operation. “Based on the overall system, the SLA can be monitored”, Klatzer says about the A-levels project. “That is, a service level agreement, which, for example, defines an agreement between a service provider and the customers about the expected availability of a service.” Based on the reporting, Anexia as a service provider can prove compliance with the SLA at any time. In addition, the alerting options ensure that, if necessary, the responsible department is quickly informed for the purpose of fault clearance.
“With our A-levels project, we were able to improve the supervision of cloud services at Anexia and thus contribute to an increase in availability”, says Klatzer, who continued working with his classmates after the practical training at Anexia. “We have borne a very large responsibility.”
“Working on the thesis for the A-levels not only pushed me a big step forward in terms of knowledge, but also put me in touch with a great company. Working on projects alongside school was a lot of fun”, says Werzi, who will work to Anexia even during her studies. Gfrerer-Zahradnik was also able to gain valuable experience and expand his knowledge by working with and on the A-levels project: “It’s great at Anexia, the colleagues are nice, and the working atmosphere is generally great. And working alongside school has created a great balance for me.”
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