APM - It's All About the Speed
November 05, 2013

Jim Swepson
Itrinegy

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We have all been aware of the importance of managing performance for many years and traditionally the main focus has been on the availability of our internal systems (systems/server application management). APM on the other hand is helping companies to gain a good understanding of their application performance and a key aspect of this is visibility on how applications perform across all types of networks.

Availability has become, over the past decade, an intrinsic requirement in all application performance whether it is internal or external applications. We don’t think about it quite so much, but what is becoming increasingly essential is speed.

Ten years ago when I came into the office I would switch on my PC and whilst waiting for it to boot up, I had sufficient time to go to the kitchen and make a drink, then come back and my PC would be ready. That was then – this is now: Today we turn on our laptops, desktops and tablets and expect them to work almost instantaneously.

This is becoming a typical expectation in today's world where something might be available, but if it isn't fast enough then we are no longer willing to wait. We might feel irritation or even go elsewhere.

This is where APM scores! It is no longer about availability. In the past, for example, an SLA focused on availability. But in these modern times, we are looking at speed as in important component of an SLA. There is an increased focus on the end-user experience and they want an instantaneous response! It needs to be FAST! And it needs to be now!

So what are some of the issues that can make an application perform slowly:

- Long download times on start-up

- Congestion/contention

- Limited bandwidth

- Bad link

- Jitter, loss and latency

A few months back I was working with a company that had virtualized their IT environment, consolidating all their servers from around Europe to the UK. At the same time, they had a new customer facing application that was crucial to how they did business. It wasn't long before they discovered that a 750K xml file was being loaded to every client PC at start-up and this took an average of 7.5s to serve. Users were not happy! With the help of an Application Performance Management solution, the organization was able to ascertain what the problem was and get it fixed. Without the use of an APM tool, they would have had a much tougher time trying to figure out a cost-effective solution.

I recently looked on a website that contained some interesting website stats, and if they are to be believed, website users have a very small window of around 2 seconds before going elsewhere! Now this is probably not the case within IT, we are a bit more patient, but still, it begs the thought: When is available, but slow, no longer good enough?

Jim Swepson is Pre-sales Technologist at Itrinegy.

Related Links:

www.itrinegy.com

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