Application Performance Engineering

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


Top Stories

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 earned around 1000 Euros and one would earn 10.000 (I over simplified this of course, but you get the idea). If you do the math you will see that the average of this is indeed 1900, but we can all agree that this does not represent the "average" salary as we would use the word in day to day li... (more)

Intelligent Complex Event Processing with Artificial Neural Network

In the current world, data is continuously being generated across various layers of organizations and environment due to changes in the system states or due to the occurrence of new events. These changes in the state of the existing system can happen due to the arrival of a new order request, customer service calls for complaints or feedback, changes in the company stock prices, text or multimedia messages, emails, social media posts, traffic reports, weather reports or any other kind of data. Simply producing reports using these data on a pre-defined schedule is not enough. Decision makers need real-time alerts and intelligent insight of all that is happening within and around the organization so that they may take meaningful reactive and proactive action before it is too late based on the new information being continuously generated. A powerful technique called C... (more)

Building and Maintaining an Application Performance Community

Two years ago, my team decided to extend our community portal to become "a real"APM Community where members (both commercial and free products) can go to find help and educational content on all topics regarding Application Performance Management (APM). The most critical pieces to that community were: free access to all relevant content (documentation, best practices, knowledge base, downloads) as well as a very active discussion forum where members can get answers to their questions. Two years later I have to say we achieved this goal with more than 60,000 registered members. In this blog I want to first share the Lessons Learned and then discuss the ideas we have for the future. Lesson #1: Give Access to Content We know that APM is a very broad topic. We have many best practices on how to analyze, optimize and manage application performance from small to enterprise... (more)

Patterns for Building High Performance Applications

Performance is one word that is used to describe multiple scenarios when talking about application performance. When someone says I need a High Performance Application, it might mean any/all of the following: Low web latency application ( meaning low page loading times) Application that can serve ever increasing number of users (scalability) Application that does not go down (either highly available or continuously available) For each of the above, as an architect you need to dig deeper to find out what the user is asking for. With the advent of cloud, every CIO is looking to build applications that meet all of the above scenarios. With the advent of elastic compute, one tends to think that by throwing hardware to the application, we may be able to achieve all of the above objectives. The patterns employed to achieve the above scenarios at times are different and it i... (more)

Will IT Operations Analytics Platforms Replace APM Suites?

Gartner recently published an important report titled "Will IT Operations Analytics Platforms Replace APM Suites?"* The report is based on Gartner client Inquiries about enterprise performance and availability strategies and these enterprises report a near-universal commitment to the idea that monitoring, performance and availability should be application-centric. At the same time the report suggests the rate at which investments in new on-premises Application Performance Monitoring (APM) technology appears to be slowing down. It attributes this to observations that enterprises have perhaps prematurely come to believe that IT operations analytics (ITOA) platforms can be deployed as a substitute for traditional APM suites. It concludes that IT operations analytics platforms are not a substitute for traditional five-dimensional APM portfolios, but the importance of an... (more)

A Discussion on Top Performance Problems for Hadoop and Cassandra

In the last couple of weeks my colleagues and I attended the Hadoop and Cassandra Summits in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was rewarding to talk to so many experienced Big Data technologists in such a short time frame - thanks to our partners DataStax and Hortonworks for hosting these great events. It was also great to see that performance is becoming an important topic in the community at large. We got a lot of feedback on typical Big Data performance issues and were surprised by the performance related challenges that were discussed. The practitioners here were definitely no novices, and the usual high-level generic patterns and basic cluster monitoring approaches were not on the hot list. Instead we found more advanced problem patterns - for both Hadoop and Cassandra. I've compiled a list of the most interesting and most common issues for Hadoop and Cassandra ... (more)

Real-World Application Performance with MongoDB

Recently FireScope Inc. introduced the general availability of its Stratis product. Stratis brings all of the FireScope Unify capabilities to the cloud, with the added advantage of a new architecture that delivers near infinite scalability. Moreover, the new Stratis architecture provides scalability at all application layers including its back-end operations, which were newly designed to leverage the benefits of MongoDB. In this article we will discuss several of the architecture choices that were made as part of this effort with the hope that others might benefit from the research and analysis that was performed to bring this product to market. As background a functioning FireScope deployment has the ability to gather metrics from all forms of existing IT assets, normalize the gathered metrics, provide historical analysis of the metrics, and most importantly provid... (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 of expectations vs. aspirations. Application Performance Monitoring is the expectation of the tool sets themselves and how to implement them. Gartner provides five dimensions that describe these technologies which are not meant to be so "prescriptive" as much as they are "descriptive" Appli... (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)

Bridging the Chasm

If you are an IT manager, application owner, architect or developer in a corporation leveraging a mainframe, then today is a revolutionary day: Application Performance Management is now available end-to-end for the mainframe. Read about how this will drastically change the way we manage developing, refining, testing and bug-fixing applications involving a mainframe. The Pain Are you a mainframe developer that spent hours optimizing mainframe code and still receive complaints about bad mainframe performance from the distributed guys? Or are you a Java or .NET developer calling mainframe transactions and not satisfied with their performance? Stop playing the blame-game. APM extended its end-to-end scope and can now follow every single transaction into the mainframe, 24x7: End-to-end visibility for the mainframe has arrived. Developers and architects are now able to ... (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)