Application Performance Engineering

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Compuware Corporation on Tuesday announced the publication of the first volume of its new Application Performance Management (APM) Best Practices collection titled: "2013 APM State-of-the-Art and Trends." Written by Compuware's APM Center of Excellence thought leaders and experts, the collection features 10 articles on the technology topics shaping APM in 2013. For organizations that depend on high-performance applications, the collection provides an easy-to-absorb overview of the evolution of APM technology, best practices, methodology and techniques to help manage and optimize application performance. The APM Best Practices: 2013 APM State-of-the-Art and Trends collection helps IT professionals and business stakeholders keep pace with these changes and learn how application performance techniques will develop over the new year. The collection not only explores AP... (more)

Cloud Computing Performance

"The cloud (whether public or private) is a strong driver of Big Data," noted Michael Kopp, a technology strategist at Compuware, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "A Cisco survey said that 4 out of 5 IT professionals stated that ‘all or some Big Data projects will require cloud computing capabilities.'" Cloud Computing Journal: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it is about saving time - Agree or disagree? Michael Kopp: Agree - The move to cloud is about faster go-to-market, more flexibility, more agility and faster deployments. That being said Cloud costs can easily explode if not monitored and if applications are not specifically tuned toward cloud-based cost structures Cloud Computing Journal: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking / trusting fo... (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)

Monitor App Performance Early and Often

"Vote early and vote often." Back in the 1920s and '30s, when neither election technology nor oversight were as effective as they are today, and the likes of Al Capone were at work gaming the system, this phrase wasn't a joke. It was a best practice. If you want guaranteed results, what better way than to get people to the polls early, and then repeatedly, to vote for your candidate? None of this sitting around until the end of the day, hoping that the election goes the way you want. Capone would tell you, "That's for saps." What does this have to do with cloud computing? All too often we see IT teams taking a "buy it and hope it works" strategy when it comes to adopting cloud-based apps. They migrate their entire user base to the cloud on faith, assuming that they can worry about performance and availability issues later, if ever. After all, everybody in the company... (more)

100 Years in the Movies: One Evening’s Web Performance

Both Paramount and Universal celebrated their 100th anniversary last year, which is a long time to be in the movie business. Arguably, both have made some good, some great, and some bad movies. But, during this year's Super Bowl, Paramount showed Universal how to design a ‘fast and furious' web site that stood up to the flood of visitors during and after the game. This article will discuss not only how Paramount was able to do it, but will also compare Universal and Paramount's Super Bowl web site results, which shines a light on key factors for successful web performance: fewer connections to fewer hosts requesting smaller objects produces a smaller page size having a positive impact on page response time. To begin, Universal and Paramount are near equals when it comes to their web age. Jumping over to http://web.archive.org, I found Paramount launched its first si... (more)

Solving the Performance Puzzle: A Simple APM Methodology

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the basic principles of APM, and a simple methodology that can be applied to any monitoring initiative or strategic discussion about application performance. Since the nomenclature used within this space is still very fluid, the need for highlighting some basic methods of operations for the casual user is in order. The rapid advances in technology are astounding, catapulting Application Performance Management (APM) into a period of intense competition with a multiplicity of vendors and viewpoints. This has created a lot of noise for the consumer when discussing requirements, approaches for implementation, best practices, ROI, etc. Much like the basic needs for human survival: food, water, clothing, and shelter, APM has four elements that will sustain its existence.  These basic principles of APM can be applied to any monitoring... (more)

Zero Hour for Tier Zero Storage

Over the last three years, the market has been abuzz with the news that deduplication technology was going to change the economics of flash-based storage systems forever. In fact just recently, in his article War Between SSDs and HDDs Will Escalate Through 2016, industry analyst Ben Woo of Neuralytix, Inc. noted: "In the next two to five years, the only way flash-based storage vendors can challenge HDD-based storage systems on price is by way of data efficiency. The cost per unit of storage ($/GB) of HDDs is still 1/10the cost of NAND flash. However, data efficiency technologies (such as deduplication and/or compression) from a variety of vendors are showing data efficiency ratios that are over 10:1. The cost of SSD storage media is now coming in line with the cost of high-end HDDs." But the fact is, the performance of these all flash storage systems that provide... (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)

Your Next Move During an IT Postmortem Review

Your Next Move During an IT Postmortem Review Can a postmortem review help foster a curiosity for innovative possibilities to make application performance better? Blue-sky thinkers may not want to deal with the myriad of details on how to manage the events being generated operationally, but could learn something from this exercise. Consider the major system failures in your organization over the last 12 to 18 months. What if you had a system or process in place to capture those failures and mitigate them from a proactive standpoint preventing them from reoccurring? How much better off would you be if you could avoid the proverbial "Groundhog Day" with system outages? 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. Startin... (more)

Hidden Exceptions & Application Performance Problems | @DevOps #APM #DevOps

Case Study: How GeeksWithBlogs Found Hidden Exceptions & Application Performance Problems Exceptions in .NET can be very expensive when it comes to CPU cycles. Read how Geeks with Blogs (http://geekswithblogs.net) used Stackify APM+ to improve the performance of their application. About Geeks with Blogs (GWB) Thousands of software developers use Geeks with Blogs (GWB) to host their own personal blog. The code base has slowly morphed and has been modified by several developers over 15 years. As a free service, GWB decided to use Stackify to try improve the overall page load times and CPU usage with the hopes of also being able to use fewer servers to cut hosting costs and improve application performance and user experience. Here’s their story: How GWB uses Stackify APM+ to improve its application performance We installed Stackify APM+ on our web servers and configured l... (more)

Application Transformation Defined

Application Transformation, as an industry term, is all very well and good; but it begs the inquisitive reader to question its deeper meaning and gain a little extra perspective. After all, most of us would naturally expect all applications to undergo a certain amount of "transformation" over the passage of time - and yes I am even including legacy apps in that statement. Transform to Mobile The reality we face in terms of application transformation today is our journey to mobile. Mobile-based enterprise applications are the new norm and secure migration to mobile platforms is (or at least should be) close to the top of every CIO's to-do list. At the risk of straying into industry marketing terminology, much of the rationale for this application transformation journey is found in the desire to engender greater employee productivity and "enhance the user engagement e... (more)