Application Performance Engineering

Subscribe to Application Performance Engineering: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get Application Performance Engineering: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Top Stories

Defending Network Performance with Packet Level Detail My favorite war room accusation is: "It's always the network at fault!" Whether you're the one taking the blame or the one pointing the finger likely has everything to do with which seat you occupy in that war room. I suppose that comes with the territory, because at the same time there seems to be a consensus that the network is vital to understanding that holistic "Big Picture" on how application delivery is experienced by your end users. I suppose we'll have to live with those accusations, but we don't have to take the blame. Here's how you can defend yourself. The view from the network provides both context and accuracy relative to performance and availability problems in your environment. Collecting a combination of network-based performance information and data obtained from points in the application deliv... (more)

DevOps Is Changing the M in APM

There has been a lot of talk among vendors and industry experts in the last year about how APM fits in with the DevOps philosophy. There have been many claims that because a vendor is easy to install and use, it automatically make it a solution catered for a DevOps crowd. This can't be further from the truth. Most vendors provide simple monitoring solutions that provide alerts on performance degradations. The problem is that to do performance properly in a DevOps setting you have to transition away from monitoring the performance of an application and start managing it -not just in the production environment, but across all phases of the software development and deployment process. DevOps is also about the equal share of application ownership between development, testing and operations teams. In order to share ownership you have to share a common language - a commo... (more)

Understanding APM on the Network

In Part 6, we dove into the Nagle algorithm - perhaps (or hopefully) something you'll never see. In Part VII, we get back to "pure" network and TCP roots as we examine how the TCP receive window interacts with WAN links. TCP Window Size Each node participating in a TCP connection advertises its available buffer space using the TCP window size field. This value identifies the maximum amount of data a sender can transmit without receiving a window update via a TCP acknowledgement; in other words, this is the maximum number of "bytes in flight" - bytes that have been sent, are traversing the network, but remain unacknowledged. Once the sender has reached this limit and exhausted the receive window, the sender must stop and wait for a window update. The sender transmits a full window then waits for window updates before continuing. As these window updates arrive, the sen... (more)

State of Application Delivery | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps #Microservices]

State of Application Delivery 2015: Full-stack Security Confidence Security is one the more prominent of the application service categories, likely due to its high profile impact. After all, if security fails, we all hear about it. The entire Internet. Forever. So when one conducts a survey on the state of application delivery (which is implemented using application services) you kinda have to include security. Which of course, we did. But when we asked questions about security we got down in the dirt. We asked the expected questions like what security services organizations were deploying (spoiler: it's a lot of them) and which ones they were planning on deploying. But we also asked some deeper, probing questions about web application security practices and their confidence in being able to withstand an application layer attack. We asked that question because repor... (more)

Case Study: Raising ITs Credibility at Dole Fresh Fruit with APM

As Senior Director/IT Leader of Information Technology at Dole Fresh Fruit North America, I am responsible for providing consistent and reliable distribution services for our division. Dole's mission is to provide our customers with safe, healthy, high-quality products and services. To succeed, our business critical systems must be highly available and we need to quickly identify and resolve problems as they arise. When I assumed this role in March 2008, IT credibility was at an all-time low. Our internal IT user community was very frustrated with the poor stability of the applications supporting our logistics functions including transportation, product tracking and traceability from Dole farms to our distribution centers. System stability was so poor it disrupted our ability to ship products effectively. Formerly, we used and supported systems unique to each count... (more)

What Will the Future Look Like for Performance Monitoring Architectures?

In a previous article, I summarized that Gartner was seeing increased inquiries and spending on IT analytics platforms from buyers that traditionally purchased application performance monitoring tools. This suggested that one of Gartner's "five pillars of APM" - namely analytics, was taking center stage. Now, it seems, Gartner is going one step further in its forecast in a session at the recent Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit. I attended a session by Research VP Will Cappelli and was very interested in a Strategic Planning Assumption that was revealed. "By 2018, 25% of the Global 2000 will have deployed an ITOA platform taking data feeds from a variety of P&A systems up from 2% today and spending on IT operations analytics will account for 10% of the global spending on ITOM tools and services, up from less than 1% today"* I would conclude the f... (more)

APM & MoM - Symbiotic Solution Sets

Maximum productivity can be achieved more efficiently through event correlation, system automation and predictive analysis. Making that a reality however, requires consideration on how to manage the integration touch points from multiple toolsets and openness to the intrinsic value that this integration can provide. A focus on integration techniques, and not necessarily the monitoring technologies themselves, may be a better use of time to achieve a state of harmony within the event to incident flow. When rolling out an Application Performance Management (APM) solution, selection of your Manager of Managers (MoM) and how it will support the overall solution is critical. The assumption underpinning MoM is that the time to market and technical accuracy can be achieved more readily by allowing the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to select their own toolsets and not worry... (more)

Performance Requirements Analysis

Performance is one of the key non-functional needs for any application and performance requirements needs to to be captured as part of requirements & analysis phase in a way that is understandable by all application stakeholders. In this article, we will see the key aspects of performance engineering and how AWStats, a Web Log Analysis tool, can help in extracting performance requirements for any application. Performance Engineering - Phases Performance Engineering is a discipline encompassing activities like Performance modeling, Performance testing and Performance tuning spanning across the development lifecycle of any application. This discipline can be approached in sequential phases: Planning & preparation, Execution & Reporting, Review & Closure. The planning & preparation is a major phase during which the performance requirements are elicited and the performa... (more)

Charmed by the Deep Insights of APM

In a perfect world, APM has all the right elements in place, providing value to the business and IT by giving us the metrics we need and showing us the health of our applications. It alerts us to anomalies when slowdowns occur, and shows us trends on performance. But there are other elements in play that can make the operations a little smoother and our days a little brighter. Having the ability to engage in a fact based conversation about the end-user-experience, instead of “spinning” infrastructure metrics and making assumptions about performance, is an elegant proficiency. Taking the emotion out of performance related problems for critical business applications is one of the intangible benefits that an APM solution can bring to your table. This benefit comes from correlating bottom-up monitoring (Infrastructure monitoring) with insights from top-down monitoring (... (more)

APM: Running with a Renegade - DevOps

Much like electricity, APM will take the path of least resistance when entering into an organization, attracted to the area with the strongest need; lightning, as soon as it is triggered, needs to find ground. It may be brought in to help resuscitate an application that has recently become lethargic or assist the team in rehabilitating an intrinsic codebase. Once the goal is attained however, the propensity to pigeonhole APM as a point solution is high. Now contrast this with DevOps, which is moving forward with a momentum permeating IT and giving us a means to change the way we think and operate as a partner to the business. From a waterfall perspective the sprints in scrum may have tainted the stream, but DevOps disrupts the flow entirely, rerouting the way we do work. The exploration of DevOps springs from the need to keep up with the insatiable expectations fro... (more)

Why DevOps Needs a Friend

As enterprises embrace the DevOps philosophy, and the coalescence of the Development and Operations continues, I foresee the conditions ripening to foster innovative methods of making application performance better and code deployments smoother.  To me, the argument that system monitoring is just a “nice to have” and not really a core requirement for operational readiness dissipates quickly when a critical application goes down with no warning. Application Performance Management (APM) has been bred with all the right elements to give us the insights we need to see the health of our applications. Similar to your most trusted watch dog, it alerts us to anomalies when events occur, providing awareness to the environment that only they can observe. This is where APM can bridge the gap between Development and Operations, supporting the entire application lifecycle. Th... (more)