Achieving High Levels of Accuracy

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2008-09-15 Print this article Print


With the Zenprise database populated, Zenprise begins analyzing symptoms of potential trouble throughout the network. As more data gets collected, Zenprise correlates symptoms together to establish a confidence level of the accuracy of its predictions. To achieve high levels of accuracy, Zenprise uses a technology called ZenPro, which works its way through thousands of complex decision trees to take the discovered symptoms and turn around the underlying causes. 

The decision trees were created by Zenprise engineers to look at every scenario imaginable for a given symptom, running through if-then scenarios to see whether collected data supports one theory over another. As more data comes to light to support certain hypotheses, ZenPro first makes an educated guess as to what the problem is (a Probable Cause), then promotes the problem to a Root Cause when the system has full confidence in the diagnosis. ZenPro can take 7,000 detected events representing 400 distinct symptoms and synthesize that down to about 16 problems to resolve, a world-class timesaver if I've ever seen one.

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Zenprise administrators can see this intelligence at work in the Diagnose and Resolve tab of the Zenprise Console-a Windows-based application that can be utilized for anything from help desk-based remediation and testing of end users' smart phones to helping an engineer troubleshoot the MAPI connections between the Exchange and BES environments. Once a Root Cause is determined, Zenprise presents a graphic depiction of the workflow (with links to supporting documentation including Microsoft or RIM knowledgebase articles and more detailed remediation advice) to help resolve the problem.

Help desk administrators can only see the User Dashboard, which provides tools that help troubleshoot a device and application performance issues. Once a user reports a problem, help desk administrators can quickly find the right device (by user's name, phone number, e-mail address, carrier or device type) to see the device status and Exchange characteristics. 

Help desk administrators can see a device's available and maximum memory, associated BES and Exchange servers, network type, and device IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. Zenprise also displays the signal strength and battery level for the device as it was last reported by the BES server, although this data may be out of date for use in troubleshooting (depending on when BES last collected the information). 

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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