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The benefits of auditing your Alfresco

In the previous article “A 3-step approach to audit your Alfresco“, we have highlighted the importance of performing a regular audit of your Intelligent Information Platform to evaluate its performance and effectiveness. An audit helps to identify patterns that keep Alfresco up & running to sustain your business every day. It is also the starting point for safely upgrading Alfresco, particularly if you are lagging behind on supported versions. Auditing plays an important role in smooth Alfresco administration, especially when it comes to meeting regulatory compliance and forensic requirements. To avoid data breaches, it’s imperative to stay aware of who from which group accessed what document, and who created or deleted a site or site collection. In this article, we’ll focus on three main benefits of running an audit on the Alfresco Digital Business Platform. 

Assess performance

One of the main reasons people ask us to conduct an audit is for solving performance issues. Our team focuses on finding why and where performance is lacking. Then, given our findings, we evaluate the best path from a cost/benefit perspective to make the system performant. We try to identify quick wins that gain time while solving bigger issues along the path. A few examples of what we achieved for our customers: 

  • JMX dumps and inconsistencies – JMX dumps are a treasure trove of information about an Alfresco system. They contain most of the actual settings and internal properties plus other valuable information that will help you diagnose and troubleshoot problems in your system.
  • Log collection and centralization – These centralized logs make it possible to track down requests that took longer than expected. In one specific case, the culprit was a WebDAV mount configuration for the “User Homes” directory, which had a lot of subfolders. By making this correction we were able to lower the load on the system.

Ease maintenance & upgrades

The complexity of the ECM design leads to tricky situations where upgrading becomes risky, time & budget-consuming activities. Therefore, our customers tend to delay those and eventually reach even worse situations. An audit helps to identify the difficulties lying in the path for an upgrade.  By auditing your Alfresco with us you will get, among others: 

  • Recommendation on DevOps tooling and fine-tuning of the DevOps chain, this saves time whenever you want  to make a change/or an upgrade
  • Upgrade path, describing the right path and the actions to follow to upgrade your Alfresco

Improve governance & security

After encountering one or more of the issues above, some customers understood the critical role that an ECM team plays in relation to Governance. 

  • By analyzing the JMX dump of a multi-node cluster that was deployed manually, we could track down manual configuration mismatches between different nodes. As result, our customers were able to automate the configuration process reducing 100% manual errors.
  • Using Alfred Telemetry, part of our Alfred Ops Suite, we gathered metrics on Alfresco and Solr nodes. These metrics were useful to adapt the system architecture to better match the real needs of the system. We improved the search performance by advising our customers to reduce the number of Solr instances but with better CPU utilization. 
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