Application Performance Engineering

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Containers and Microservices Create New Performance Challenges Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction. The problem is there are a lot of moving parts in these designs; this makes assuring performance complex especially if the services are geographically distributed or provided by multiple third parties. Similarly the use of containers disrupts the traditional operating system instances used in physical or virtual ser... (more)

The Anatomy of APM

By embracing End-User-Experience (EUE) measurements as a key vehicle for demonstrating productivity, you build trust with your constituents in a very tangible way.  The translation of IT metrics into business meaning (value) is what APM is all about. The goal here is to simplify a complicated technology space by walking through a high-level view within each core element.  I'm suggesting that the success factors in APM adoption center around the EUE and the integration touch points with the ITIL / ITSM processes. When looking at APM at 20,000 feet, four foundational elements come ... (more)

Why Averages Are Inadequate, and Percentiles Are Great

Anyone who ever monitored or analyzed an application uses or has used averages. They are simple to understand and calculate. We tend to ignore just how wrong the picture is that averages paint of the world. To emphasis the point let me give you a real-world example outside of the performance space that I read recently in a newspaper. The article was explaining that the average salary in a certain region in Europe was 1900 Euro's (to be clear this would be quite good in that region!). However when looking closer they found out that the majority, namely 9 out of 10 people, only ea... (more)

Holiday 2012: In the First Week of the Season, My Site Performance Was...

It's been a busy and successful seven days for online retailers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic and sales were well above 2011, and there was the extra benefit to those businesses that started deals on Thanksgiving Night. The traffic data collected by the Compuware Ecommerce and Retail Real use Monitoring index matched almost exactly the pattern seen by Akamai for all of their US ecommerce and retail customers on the three busiest days. Mobile Commerce Performance for many mobile sites has been cited elsewhere as being slow on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Looking at the... (more)

Achieving the Full Promise of the Cloud

As the cloud market explodes, a distinct chasm has become apparent between the operation of infrastructure and applications. Sharing, isolation and load balancing issues in the network, combined with high density virtualization in compute and storage resources, can adversely impact the performance of applications running across the network, frustrating application developers and end users alike. Enter application defined networking (ADN), which offers great business value for cloud users. A complement to software defined networking (SDN), ADN enables applications to directly con... (more)

APM Convergence: Monitoring vs. Management

APM is entering into a period of intense competition of technology and strategy with a multiplicity of vendors and viewpoints. While the nomenclature used within its space has five distinct dimensions that elucidate its meaning, the very acronym of APM is in question: Application Performance ... Monitoring vs. Management. It's strange to think that we would not normally use monitoring and management synonymously, but when used in the APM vernacular they seem to be interchangeable. This may be a visceral response, but I see the APM idiom converging on itself and becoming a matter... (more)