An important aspect of performance (and other) monitoring is where the observer stands when looking at the IT scenario. Each participant has a different view of what is bad performance - network, database, web, system, user personnel, management and external people - customers, regulatory bodies etc. These are what I call viewpoints, a popular concept in IT architecture design methods.
Start with APM and Viewpoints - Part 1
Operations people, but not the business user and others, will be desperately interested in:
■ % Utilizations
■ Wait times
■ Disk space used
■ Disk I/O Throughput
■ Disk I/O response time
■ Memory % used
■ Page rate
■ etc. etc.
End User Viewpoint
The previous factors are meaningless to the user of the application, who is more interested in:
■ Response times ( which depends on overall latency, percentiles, variations but they are not interested in that detail)
■ Variability of that response; large variations equal poor productivity via irritation and loss of concentration
■ Throughput of work where applicable
■ Other "speed" factors relating to their work
Business Manager Viewpoint
This viewpoint might reflect that of the end user is some respects, but will often be even more general:
■ What is the time between receipt of an order, shipment, invoicing and reconciliation?
■ Is the customer satisfied with this?
■ Can we speed up the processes without excessive cost?
■ Other business aspects
There are other people who will have different requirements and perspectives of performance: service desk, external customers, especially website users, and possibly regulatory bodies. They are important and in performance life, one size does not fit all.
When considering performance management, which is more than simply monitoring, the differing requirements (viewpoints) of various stakeholders needs to be taken into account. It is often difficult to retrofit analysis of performance data to cater for people not considered at the design stage. You may be asked by the CEO, out of the blue: "Why do we take 2 days to issue an invoice after shipment while competitor X takes one?"
Role of the SLA
Whose level of service (quality of service, QoS) are we talking about? Basically, all the types of person outlined above. This (rather these) QoS are usually formalized in a Service Level Agreement or SLA. This will dictate what needs to be measured and analyzed:
"If you can't measure it or derive it, you can't report it."
"A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its internal or external customers that documents what services the provider will furnish and defines the performance standards the provider is obligated to meet." [WhatIs.com].
The trick here is to marry these viewpoints which means translating the operational data into service level agreement (SLA) terms and hence into stakeholder perspective, another word for viewpoint All this is complicated when one moves from the relatively simple classical IT environment to the mixed web and application environments, rendered even more difficult to fathom by virtualization and clouds.
There is no reason why external customers shouldn't be part of any SLA drawn up if the APM setup is designed to cover all important stakeholders.
In addition, it should be transparent to the stakeholders outside operations whether the system runs native, virtualized, in a cloud or in a series of school exercise books. The APM design with these differing viewpoints in mind is the key aspect of this.
Dr. Terry Critchley is the Author of "Making It in IT", "High Performance IT Services" and “High Availability IT Services”.
This blog was created from extracts from Terry Critchley's book: High Performance IT Services [ August 25 2016]
In the course of researching, documenting and advising on user experience management needs and directions for more than a decade, I've found myself waging a quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) war with several industry assumptions. Chief among these is the notion that user experience management (UEM) is purely a subset of application performance management (APM). This APM-centricity misses some of UEM's most critical value points, and in a basic sense fails to recognize what UEM is truly about ...
We now live in the kind of connected world where established businesses that are not evolving digitally are in jeopardy of becoming extinct. New research shows companies are preparing to make digital transformation a priority in the near future. However most of them have a long way to go before achieving any kind of mastery over the multiple disciples required to effectively innovate ...
IT Transformation can result in bottom-line benefits that drive business differentiation, innovation and growth, according to new research conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...
While regulatory compliance is an important activity for medium to large businesses, easy and cost-effective solutions can be difficult to find. Network visibility is an often overlooked, but critically important, activity that can help lower costs and make life easier for IT personnel that are responsible for these regulatory compliance solutions ...
This is the third in a series of three blogs directed at recent EMA research on the digital war room. In this blog, we'll look at three areas that have emerged in a spotlight in and of themselves — as signs of changing times — let alone as they may impact digital war room decision making. They are the growing focus on development and agile/DevOps; the impacts of cloud; and the growing need for security and operations (SecOps) to team more effectively ...
As we've seen, hardware is at the root of a large proportion of data center outages, and the costs and consequences are often exacerbated when VMs are affected. The best answer, therefore, is for IT pros to get back to basics ...
Risk is relative. The Peltzman Effect describes how humans change behavior when risk factors are reduced. They often act more recklessly and drive risk right back up. The phenomenon is recognized by many economists, its effects have been studied in the field of medicine, and I'd argue it is at the root of an interesting trend in IT — namely the increasing cost of downtime despite our more reliable virtualized environments ...
How do enterprises prepare for the future that our Cloud Vision 2020 survey forecasts? I see three immediate takeaways to focus on ...
When will we be at a point where virtually all enterprise workloads are run in the cloud and how will that change things for IT? To find out, we commissioned a survey, Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud. The results were fascinating. I'll share three fundamental lessons we learned in the survey ...
The digital war room — physical, virtual or hybrid — is not in retreat but in fact is growing in scope to include greater participation from development and security. It's also becoming more proactive, with on average more than 30% of "major incidents" before they impacted business service performance. In this blog I'm providing a few additional highlights from the insights we got on digital war room organization and processes ...