Event Management: Reactive, Proactive or Predictive?
August 01, 2012

Larry Dragich
Auto Club Group

Share this

Can event management help foster a curiosity for innovative possibilities to make application performance better? Blue-sky thinkers may not want to deal with the myriad of details on how to manage the events being generated operationally, but could learn something from this exercise.

Consider the major system failures in your organization over the last 12 to 18 months. What if you had a system or process in place to capture those failures and mitigate them from a proactive standpoint preventing them from reoccurring? How much better off would you be if you could avoid the proverbial “Groundhog Day” with system outages? The argument that system monitoring is just a nice to have, and not really a core requirement for operational readiness, dissipates quickly when a critical application goes down with no warning.

Starting with the Event management and Incident management processes may seem like a reactive approach when implementing an Application Performance Management (APM) solution, but is it really? If “Rome is burning”, wouldn’t the most prudent action be to extinguish the fire, then come up with a proactive approach for prevention? Managing the operational noise can calm the environment allowing you to focus on APM strategy more effectively.

Asking the right questions during a post-mortem review will help generate dialog, outlining options for alerting and prevention. This will direct your thinking towards a new horizon of continual improvement that will help galvanize proactive monitoring as an operational requirement.

Here are three questions that build on each other as you work to mature your solution:

1. Did we alert on it when it went down, or did the user community call us?

2. Can we get a proactive alert on it before it goes down, (e.g. dual power supply failure in server)?

3. Can we trend on the event creating a predictive alert before it is escalated, (e.g. disk space utilization to trigger a minor@90%, major@95%, critical@98%)?

The preceding questions are directly related to the following categories respectively: Reactive, Proactive, and Predictive.

Reactive – Alerts that Occur at Failure

Multiple events can occur before a system failure; eventually an alert will come in notifying you that an application is down. This will come from either the users calling the Service Desk to report an issue or it will be system generated corresponding with an application failure.

Proactive – Alerts that Occur Before Failure

These alerts will most likely come from proactive monitoring to tell you there are component failures that need attention but have not yet affected overall application availability, (e.g. dual power supply failure in server).

Predictive – Alerts that Trend on a Possible Failure

These alerts are usually set up in parallel with trending reports that will help predict subtle changes in the environment, (e.g. trending on memory usage or disk utilization before running out of resources).


Conclusion

Once you build awareness in the organization that you have a bird’s eye view of the technical landscape and have the ability to monitor the ecosystem of each application (as an ecologist), people become more meticulous when introducing new elements into the environment. They know that you are watching, taking samples, and trending on the overall health and stability leaving you free to focus on the strategic side of APM without distraction.

ABOUT Larry Dragich

Larry Dragich, a regular blogger and contributor on APMdigest, has 23 years of IT experience, and has been in an IT leadership role at the Auto Club Group (ACG) for the past ten years. He serves as Director of Enterprise Application Services (EAS) at the Auto Club Group with overall accountability to optimize the capability of the IT infrastructure to deliver high availability and optimal performance. Dragich is actively involved with industry leaders sharing knowledge of APM technologies from best practices, technical workflows, to resource allocation and approaches for implementation of APM Strategies.

You can contact Larry on LinkedIn

Related Links:

For a high-level view of a much broader technology space refer to the slide show on BrightTALK.com which describes the “The Anatomy of APM - webcast” in more context.

For more information on the critical success factors in APM adoption and how this centers around the End-User-Experience (EUE), read The Anatomy of APM and the corresponding blog APM’s DNA – Event to Incident Flow.

Prioritizing Gartner's APM Model

APM and MoM – Symbiotic Solution Sets

Share this

The Latest

January 23, 2018

Today, there are multiple market research studies that discuss and estimate a thriving growth for the application development segment. The market scenario seems relevant and business-ready for the growing popularity of applications. In order to keep the performance and functioning of the applications upbeat, enterprises are increasingly considering application performance management (APM) ...

January 22, 2018

Self-service and the concept of “Shift Left” are some of the phrases you will hear the most in the modern service management industry. The reason being is that you want to provide your users with the most important knowledge that you can to help them solve their issues and problems themselves, saving you time to focus on more important priorities. It’s a common problem, sort of a chicken and egg approach, but when you help your internal teams better meet their needs through such efforts, you also want to make sure that what is best for your service department also is best for your users ...

January 19, 2018

Confidence in satisfying and supporting core IT has diminished due in part to a strain on declining IT budgets and initiatives now progressing beyond implementation into production mode, according to TEKsystems' annual IT Forecast research ...

January 18, 2018

Making predictions is always a gamble. But given the way 2017 played out and the way 2018 is shaping up, odds are that certain technology trends will play a significant role in your IT department this year ...

January 17, 2018

With more than one-third of IT Professionals citing "moving faster" as their top goal for 2018, and an overwhelming 99 percent of IT and business decision makers noticing an increasing pace of change in today's connected world, it's clear that speed has become intrinsically linked to business success. For companies looking to compete in the digital economy, this pace of transformation is being driven by their customers and requires speedy software releases, agility through cloud services, and automation ...

January 16, 2018

Looking back on this year, we can see threads of what the future holds in enterprise networking. Specifically, taking a closer look at the biggest news and trends of this year, IT areas where businesses are investing and perspectives from the analyst community, as well as our own experiences, here are five network predictions for the coming year ...

January 12, 2018

As we enter 2018, businesses are busy anticipating what the new year will bring in terms of industry developments, growing trends, and hidden surprises. In 2017, the increased use of automation within testing teams (where Agile development boosted speed of release), led to QA becoming much more embedded within development teams than would have been the case a few years ago. As a result, proper software testing and monitoring assumes ever greater importance. The natural question is – what next? Here are some of the changes we believe will happen within our industry in 2018 ...

January 11, 2018

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) has become a must-have technology for IT organizations. In today’s era of digital transformation, distributed computing and cloud-native services, APM tools enable IT organizations to measure the real experience of users, trace business transactions to identify slowdowns and deliver the code-level visibility needed for optimizing the performance of applications. 2018 will see the requirements and expectations from APM solutions increase in the following ways ...

January 10, 2018

We don't often enough look back at the prior year’s predictions to see if they actually came to fruition. That is the purpose of this analysis. I have picked out a few key areas in APMdigest's 2017 Application Performance Management Predictions, and analyzed which predictions actually came true ...

January 09, 2018

Planning for a new year often includes predicting what’s going to happen. However, we don't often enough look back at the prior year’s predictions to see if they actually came to fruition. That is the purpose of this analysis. I have picked out a few key areas in APMdigest's 2017 Application Performance Management Predictions, and analyzed which predictions actually came true ...