By embracing End-User-Experience (EUE) measurements as a key vehicle for demonstrating productivity, you build trust with your constituents in a very tangible way. The translation of IT metrics into business meaning (value) is what APM is all about.
The goal here is to simplify a complicated technology space by walking through a high-level view within each core element. I’m suggesting that the success factors in APM adoption center around the EUE and the integration touch points with the Incident Management process.
When looking at APM at 20,000 feet, four foundational elements come into view:
- Top Down Monitoring (RUM)
- Bottom Up Monitoring (Infrastructure)
- Incident Management Process (ITIL)
- Reporting (Metrics)
Top Down Monitoring
Top Down Monitoring is also referred to as Real-time Application Monitoring that focuses on the End-User-Experience. It has two has two components, Passive and Active. Passive monitoring is usually an agentless appliance which leverages network port mirroring. This low risk implementation provides one of the highest values within APM in terms of application visibility for the business.
Active monitoring, on the other hand, consists of synthetic probes and web robots which help report on system availability and predefined business transactions. This is a good complement when used with passive monitoring to help provide visibility on application health during off peak hours when transaction volume is low.
Bottom Up Monitoring
Bottom Up Monitoring is also referred to as Infrastructure Monitoring which usually ties into an operations manager tool and becomes the central collection point where event correlation happens. Minimally, at this level up/down monitoring should be in place for all nodes/servers within the environment. System automation is the key component to the timeliness and accuracy of incidents being created through the Trouble Ticket Interface.
Incident Management Process
The Incident Management Process as defined in ITIL is a foundational pillar to support Application Performance Management (APM). In our situation, Incident Management, Problem Management, and Change Management processes were already established in the culture for a year prior to us beginning to implement the APM strategies.
A look into ITIL's Continual Service Improvement (CSI) model and the benefits of Application Performance Management indicates they are both focused on improvement, with APM defining toolsets that tie together specific processes in Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation.
Capturing the raw data for analysis is essential for an APM strategy to be successful. It is important to arrive at a common set of metrics that you will collect and then standardize on a common view on how to present the real-time performance data.
Your best bet: Alert on the Averages and Profile with Percentiles. Use 5 minute averages for real-time performance alerting, and percentiles for overall application profiling and Service Level Management.
As you go deeper in your exploration of APM and begin sifting through the technical dogma (e.g. transaction tagging, script injection, application profiling, stitching engines, etc.) for key decision points, take a step back and ask yourself why you're doing this in the first place: To translate IT metrics into an End-User-Experience that provides value back to the business.
If you have questions on the approach and what you should focus on first with APM, see Prioritizing Gartner's APM Model for insight on some best practices from the field.
Larry Dragich is Director of Enterprise Application Services at the Auto Club Group.
You can contact Larry on LinkedIn
For a high-level view of a much broader technology space refer to slide show on BrightTALK.com which describes “The Anatomy of APM - webcast” in more context.
The amount of data, research and case studies on the benefits and effectiveness of hybrid cloud keeps growing. Yet some people are still skeptical, thinking that it’s just a play to keep data centers relevant in a public cloud age. Some recent outages of cloud-based systems may be just the thing to bring hybrid cloud skeptics around ...
Monitoring a business means monitoring an entire business – not just IT or application performance. If businesses truly care about differentiating themselves from the competition, they must approach monitoring holistically. Separate, siloed monitoring systems are quickly becoming a thing of the past ...
A growing IT delivery gap is slowing down the majority of the businesses surveyed and directly putting revenue at risk, according to MuleSoft's 2017 Connectivity Benchmark Report on digital transformation initiatives and the business impact of APIs ...
Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. Without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lose a lot of visibility into these containers resulting in operational blind spots and even more haystacks to find the presumptive performance issue needle ...
Much emphasis is placed on servers and storage when discussing Application Performance, mainly because the application lives on a server and uses storage. However, the network has considerable importance, certainly in the case of WANs where there are ways of speeding up the transmission of data of a network ...
The majority of IT executives believe investment in IT Service Management (ITSM) is important to gain the agility needed to compete in an era of global, cross-industry disruption and digital transformation, according to Delivering Value to Today’s Digital Enterprise: The State of IT Service Management 2017, a report by BMC, conducted in association with Forbes ...
Let’s say your company has examined all the potential pros and cons, and moved your critical business applications to the cloud. The advertised benefits of the cloud seem like they’ll work out great. And in many ways, life is easier for you now. But as often happens when things seem too good to be true, reality has a way of kicking in to reveal just exactly how many things can go wrong with your cloud setup – things that can directly impact your business ...
IT leadership is more driven to be innovative than ever, but also more in need of justifying costs and showing value than ever. Combining the two is no mean feat, especially when individual technologies are put forward as the single tantalizing answer ...
The move to Citrix 7.X is in full swing. This has improved the centralizing of Management and reduction of costs, but End User Experience is becoming top of the business objectives list. However, delivering that is not something to be considered after the upgrade ...
As organizations understand the findings of the Cyber Monday Web Performance Index and look to improve their site performance for the next Cyber Monday shopping day, I wanted to offer a few recommendations to help any organization improve in 2017 ...