LF

Managing and meeting SLAs

with Globalscape EFT

For many organisations, the first indication that a transfer has not happened, is a call from a user who is missing the file. If there is a SLA in place for the delivery of that file, then the phone call inevitably comes after the SLA has been breached. You need to know if a file transfer has failed before an SLA is breached. This article explains how Globalscape EFT helps you manage and meet SLAs in two different ways: Triggering a notification when a file is not received. Or meeting your SLAs using EFT Insight Module

How to trigger a notification when a file is not received

EFT, like many other MFT solutions, can trigger processes when key files are uploaded to the system. This all works fine but in some cases you need to know when a file has NOT been received by a key time.

One of the simplest ways of achieving this is to have a trigger file which is deleted when the critical file is uploaded.

For our example, let’s assume we need a file to be uploaded by a bank using the user account “mark” before 5PM. As it may take a reasonable time to upload the file, we want to know if it has been uploaded by 4PM in order to chase the bank.

Three separate rules are required to get this working.

  1. A rule to create the trigger file daily at a specific time.
  2. A rule to remove the trigger file when the critical file transfer happens.
  3. An Action rule for notifying key users that the transfer has not happened.

The first rule is simple to setup.

Create a scheduled rule to run at midnight with a “Perform File Operation” action. This should create a file with a known name. E.G. Create a file called D:\Staging\Critical Files\Staging.txt

The next event rule is a simple upload successful rule, which will delete the trigger file when the actual file is uploaded by the bank. Ensure that the upload is restricted to the key user or folder to mitigate risk.

The final stage is the action for the non-event itself. Set a scheduled task to run at 4PM each day, which checks if the trigger file exists. If it does exist then the “warning” email is triggered to the interested party informing them that the file transfer has not happened.

This is a scheduled rule to run either before or at the expected time.

There are alternative techniques to check if the file has been uploaded. If the filename of the uploaded file has a predictable name, then event rules can be built to scan for the existence of this file and send an email if it does not exist. There are scenarios where that could fail if the file is removed for processing before the “check” time.

The above uses functionality built in as standard in EFT Enterprise. To achieve this on EFT SMB, will require the Timer and File Transfer Client modules. Alternatively a similar set of event rules could be built with EFT SMB using simple “command” scripts and a combination of event rules and the Windows scheduler. Please contact Pro2col and we can advise on how this can be achieved.

More complicated methods can also be used to achieve the above using combinations of the ARM and AWE modules.

Meeting your SLAs using EFT Insight Module

The Insight Module is a valuable EFT optional add-on, that allows you to identify if a transfer has not happened before the SLA is breached. It provides a detailed level of reporting and monitoring of your SLAs that cannot be achieved with EFT alone.

EFT Insight Module provides the following:

  • Real-time status of your servers and sites
  • Views of transfers in and out of your system
  • A dashboard giving key system statistics
  • The run history of event rules configured on your system

Expectations feature

EFT Insight contains a feature called ‘expectations’. This allows you to build out a rule to check if a file transfer has been completed. The system will send you an email if the transfer has not taken place by a certain time.

By setting the expectation-check for before the file is needed, you have advanced warning and time to contact the sender and address any difficulties BEFORE the SLA is breached.

Expectations can be set for filenames, file sizes, senders or for transfers. You can also track timeframes and a certain number of files. So – for example – you can set a rule to check that at least three files of 100KB or more have been uploaded from a specific group of users, with a file name starting ‘finance’. The screenshot below shows this particular example.

Notifications are not limited to the support email address. They can be set up to go to a third party, account manager or anyone else who needs to know if the transfer has not occurred.

Complex expectations

You can also set complex expectations to track if several event rules have triggered, and raise alerts if they have not. Account managers, for example, can set it up to be notified if there is an issue with one or more of the event rules for their accounts. These can be specific to a customer SLA or a standard format across all accounts.

Troubleshooting

When a transfer fails, Insight really speeds up the troubleshooting process. It accurately pinpoints which of several steps in an event rule failed, meaning you can quickly identify the problem. You do not need to go through the cumbersome process of analysing logs to see where the event rule failed.

Finally, Insight displays high-level information in a dashboard view. Errors are highlighted and can be addressed quickly. Failed logins, PCI compliance, most active user tables and other KPIs can also be displayed in the summary screen, as pictured.

Insight is available on EFT Enterprise and SMB. More information is available here. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a demo or quote.

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