Application Performance Engineering

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One of the biggest drawbacks in IT operations is that we work in silos, with loads of attempts made to connect functional departments before but it seems like very little progress has been made. With applications being the lifeblood of businesses, it is imperative that there is a common bridge between departments to deliver fast, effective and agile solutions. But the fact is that we work in a distributed tiered environment and with these walls around functions and tiers it is difficult to get this seamless approach of delivering fast, effective solutions and when you add operations to the mix you have multiple stakeholders with conflicting agendas, delegating application performance to the firefighting exercise that ensures business is severely impacted. It is important that app developers, app owners and/or operations create a cross cultural alignment and come to... (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 ... (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... (more)

Accurately Identify Impact of System Issues on End-User Response Time

Triggered by current expected load projections for our community portal, our Apps Team was tasked to run a stress on our production system to verify whether we can handle 10 times the load we currently experience on our existing infrastructure. In order to have the least impact in the event the site crumbled under the load, we decided to run the first test on a Sunday afternoon. Before we ran the test we gave our Operations Team a heads-up: they could expect significant load during a two-hour window with the potential to affect other applications that also run on the same environ... (more)

Spotting Anomalies When Things Are Calm

Monitoring application performance on the surface and the currents below is a great way to build a performance baseline and provide application fluency. Ironically, the deep dive tools sets in place today still may not provide all the insight you need to quickly resolve anomalous behavior. Standing back on the shore waiting for an event to go by may not be the best approach for proactive monitoring. Synthetic monitoring (active monitoring) is needed to help reduce the blind spots for critical business applications. For example, we just experienced a production issue on a fully inst... (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 av... (more)