A Videographer's View of Application Performance Monitoring
October 28, 2011

Charley Rich
Nastel Technologies

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Whip out a cell phone and almost anyone today can feel like they are a videographer. Flip cams and video cameras abound everywhere. Who cares about quality anymore? Just pop whatever you recorded on YouTube and become a star!

Of course, this is far from the skill and expertise a serious videographer approaches the world with. Even if the equipment isn't Hollywood quality, there are some very basic skills every camera master learns. IT professionals can learn something from these video and camera loving professionals.

Every videographer learns the power of the lens. It's the camera lens that controls what the camera is able to capture. For example, a zoom/telephoto allows the photographer to change whether the camera focuses on something closer or something farther away without requiring a change of lens.

A wide angle allows the photographer to capture more of what the eyes are able to see as they work together. A camera can't capture the grandeur of a landscape without a wide-angle lens.

And a macro/close-up lens allows ultra close-up photography so the camera can capture pictures of something at larger than life size. Amazing discoveries occur under a macro lens.

A videographer needs three cameras to get all three different views. The results get sorted in the cutting room. The film is spliced together and becomes a movie.

Fast cut from the fantasy of on-location camera work on the latest JJ Abrams flick to the cold, hard truth of the datacenter at 2 AM. Unfortunately, splicing the output of multiple monitoring tools together and making sense of the results isn’t nearly as much fun or as rewarding as being a videographer.

Are you finding, as an IT professional, that you feel like you're in the middle of a cutting room floor, trying to figure out what's supposed to be fitting where and not getting the answers you need in the time required? There is an alternative happier ending to this movie. Application Performance Monitoring (APM).

APM is the tool you need to keep business transactions flowing through your enterprise as smoothly as a completed movie rolling through the projector.

APM in the hands of an IT manager is like having all three camera lenses focused on the IT stack at the same time. Instead of having to take the information to a cutting room, the complex event processing engine enables an automatic switch between the various views needed to keep applications available and performing.

For example, APM gives you the wide angle view of what's happening across the entire application stack for each transaction. It gives you the overview. Then it zeros in like a zoom lens on different points along the application path, providing a real-time view of each stop the transaction takes in its journey from end-to-end.

Finally, APM enables that larger than life macro view. It amplifies those things that IT wouldn't otherwise see—problems emerging when they're too small for other lenses to pick up. Combine this macro view with the situational analysis of complex event processing (CEP) and preventing the impact of mission critical IT outages becomes an automated process.

While the results of APM may not appear as creative as a videographer's, chances are the results will be far more profitable and without too much of a stretch perhaps even life-changing -- APM can help you avoid even being in the datacenter at 2 AM.

Charley Rich is VP Product Management and Marketing at Nastel Technologies.

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Charley Rich is VP Product Management and Marketing at Nastel Technologies and has over 28 years of technical, hands-on experience working with large-scale customers to meet their application and systems management requirements. Prior to joining Nastel, Charley was Product Manager for IBM's Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager software, where he co-authored an IBM Redbook, charted the product roadmap, managed an agile requirements process and was recognized for his accomplishments by winning the Tivoli General Manager's Award. Recently, Charley was granted a patent for an Application Discovery and Monitoring process.
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