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A well-oiled APM solution comes from correlating bottom-up monitoring (infrastructure monitoring) with insights from top-down monitoring (real-time application monitoring) all within the context of the end-user-experience (EUE). But from what angle should we be looking at APM as it relates to IT strategy? Consider Australia for a moment. Is it a country, a continent, or an island? The answer depends upon your perspective, and, in much the same way, the unique spectrum of APM can be viewed as a framework, methodology, or platform. Understanding these attributes will help raise APM up the stack into the wheelhouse of IT Leadership for greater visibility. To complete this metaphor, think about the monitoring tools themselves as the counties, cities, or streets on which APM is built. This parallels the idea that APM has different facets to consider within its construct... (more)

Containers and Microservices | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

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)

How Internet Outages Can Affect Your Application

Complexity is the new reality of web and mobile applications with almost no new release going out without the addition of services and applications spread across many different companies. But the reality of this new interrelationship is still the same: If a third-party Internet outage or issue occurs, your brand is the one that is affected. With up to 1,500 distinct third-party services available to choose from around the world, it is sometimes difficult to even identify what a service does when it appears in your applications. This forces your team to not only be fully aware of the components you control, but also to be able to follow the trail of services that extends far outside the code and systems your company manages when issues appear. Using Compuware Outage Analyzer data, it is now easier to open a window to these services, seeing data collected across all c... (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)

A Tangle of Applications Hampers Business

The tangled web of applications within international organizations is getting more and more complex, putting strain on the IT department and stunting digital transformation. This comes from a study of over 1,000 CIOs and senior IT decision makers by Capgemini, a provider of consulting, technology, and outsourcing services. According to the report released today, over the last three years, the number of IT decision makers who believe their business has more applications than it needs has increased from just over a third (34 percent) to nearly half (48 percent). Just 37 percent believe the majority of their applications are mission critical. Nearly three quarters (70 percent) believe at least a fifth of their company’s applications share similar functionality and could be consolidated, and a further 53 percent believe a fifth should be retired or replaced. Apps bloa... (more)

Paddling Through Murky APM Waters

It should come as no surprise that more and more organizations are focused on meeting customer service expectations, guaranteeing end-to-end business process delivery and modernizing their IT infrastructures.  But what does this mean for IT operations teams? If we approach this question using an iceburg analogy, the tip would probably be an easy observation, such as “IT operations needs to adopt a business-centric way of thinking.” But dealing with all the change that needs to occur beneath the surface of this statement is what can sink or float an organization. IT operations teams need to start breaking down the internal silos, and learn to paddle their canoe in the same direction.  They need to figure out a whole new approach to IT management with challenges that range from how best to work with emerging IT teams responsible for virtual or Cloud-based environment... (more)

Easing Up on Application Integration

Data and apps integration provider Jitterbit this week released a new version of its solution, Jitterbit 5, designed to be the glue between on-premise, cloud, social, and mobile data, Jitterbit focuses on simple yet powerful integration technologies that can be quickly and easily deployed to create integrated processes and data views. We've seen a lot of interest in light-weight, low-coding integration capabilities as more SaaS and cloud services need to be coordinated. This is now becoming even more pertinent to bringing data together from a variety of sources. Jitterbit 5 aims to raise the level of simplicity even higher with new features that streamline process integration, said the Oakland, CA company. The wizards-based approach allows non-technical users to design integration projects through a graphical, point-and-click interface. I think making more people ... (more)

How Bon-Ton Stores Align Business Goals with IT Requirements

Two or three times a year, Bon-Ton Stores products are featured on Jill's "Steals and Deals" segment on the "Today Show." The products are promoted with huge discounts. As soon as the segment first airs on the East Coast, the "Steals and Deals" site displays the featured products, with links to Bon-Ton's site, usually directly to the deal itself with a special promotion or coupon code. The questions that come up for the business owners are: How successful are these campaigns? What is impacting campaign success? How do we ensure better alignment with IT for future promotions? How successful are my marketing campaigns? Bon-Ton uses its APM solution to analyze statistics of these special promotions. The following graph shows the number of requests hitting the promoted deal on Bon-Ton's site after it airs on the "Today Show." As customers rush to their site to bag the de... (more)

Monitoring Infrastructure Is Essential for Optimizing Performance

The most essential element in optimizing performance is detecting issues before they impact your systems. However, you need to implement constant monitoring on your operating environment to gain this early insight. There are tools to help, but finding one that provides all the right information is often a challenge. Complex interactions between applications, networks, servers and other infrastructure components bury the issues, which make it difficult to find a universally compatible monitoring tool that doesn't add more complexity to the environment. The issue with the tools available today is that they don't dig deep into the data, and/or they tend to focus too narrowly on the type of infrastructure they can monitor. The best monitoring tool provides broad insight into multiple systems and correlates data in a single interface - viewing only part of the system do... (more)

Filling the Citrix Visibility Gap with an Application-Aware Network

Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop is a perfect fit for lowering the costs of desktop management and simplifying access to the hosted applications from any device. Last week we discussed some challenges to application performance monitoring (APM) introduced by Citrix. Apart from getting yet another component in the data center to take care of, the virtualized application delivery becomes "black boxed" from the APM perspective. It gets harder to isolate the fault domain to the network, the infrastructure, or the applications themselves. In the previous post we presented the case of The National Bank of San Borodin (NBSB -name changed for commercial reasons). The bank decided to expand its reach beyond the small island of San Borodin and render the access to its banking applications by its agents through Citrix XenApp. Ensuring good quality of service imposed additional cha... (more)

Evaluating the Performance of SPDY-Enabled Web Servers

As you may already know, SPDY (pronounced "SPeeDY") is a new networking protocol introduced by Google and designed to reduce the web latency associated with HTTP. With SPDY, web pages load up to 64 percent faster than HTTP alone, according to Google. It accomplishes this by adding a session layer between HTTP and SSL that supports concurrent, interleaved streams over a single TCP connection. The initial draft of HTTP/2.0, the future of the web, is based on SPDY, which is a welcome step forward considering that HTTP/1.0 was released in 1996. SPDY holds great potential for mobile devices, for which latency is more of an issue, and the market is catching on. As evidence of this, Microsoft recently announced the next version of Internet Explorer will support the new protocol. Today, SPDY can be deployed on Apache by installing a single module (mod-spdy, the Apache SPDY... (more)