The App Hugger's 5 Truths About Application Recovery - and an Opportunity for Innovation
April 25, 2014

Kevin McCartney

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Application (App) Hugger: Someone who is obsessed with application availability, particularly from the end user perspective — in the same manner that the “server hugger” focuses on infrastructure monitoring.

1. Applications Can Be as Finicky as Cats - OK, They Can Be a Bitch to Manage

Applications are typically very complex, with many dynamic components. They are notoriously fragile since they are constructed with a very specific technical hierarchy, order and dependencies between application components — as well as within the IT ecosystem in which they run. And various application types have different architectures, as well as unique underlying relationships to their infrastructure.

This makes the task of managing multiple applications in a run-time environment very challenging. It requires that the appropriate steps must be taken, and completed in the appropriate sequence, depending on the current state of an application.

2. Users Are Great at Telling You When Something's Broken - Just Let 'Em Try Fixing It

IT operations teams spend a significant portion of their budgets on intelligent software-based systems, tools and staff to monitor their networks, servers and systems to identify problems — before their users find them.

Once a problem is identified and cause pinpointed — a challenge we'll deal with in another App-Hugger Brief — the IT staff begins an application repair or recovery process that is almost always painstakingly labor-intensive and manual — and therefore fraught with risk.

3. Re-arranging Servers and Routers on the Enterprise Titanic

And this problem is only getting more daunting: As the variety of application types (custom, commercial off-the-shelf, SaaS) and platforms (cloud, on-premise, virtual) continues to explode, application recovery becomes even more complex and labor-intensive — increasing the risk of downtime even more.

4. We All Know Scripts and Runbooks Don't Scale

Some IT departments have improved the speed and efficiency of the application recovery process over time with tools like scripts and runbook automation.

But those still require development of individual steps and libraries full of scripts that have to be created and maintained — for each individual application. In many cases the runbook is still a physical binder sitting on a shelf.

5. An Opportunity for Innovation: Why Not Push-Button App Recovery

Next generation Application Management platforms must combine features such as stateful awareness to enable “push-button” application recovery — across all of enterprise's applications, regardless of type or infrastructure. “Push-button” application recovery (PBAR) alerts an authorized IT staff member to trigger a pre-determined sequence of steps and scripts to recover an application. The sequence is based on a carefully defined set of business rules developed by the IT department.

JumpSoft Joins the Vendor Forum

Kevin McCartney is CEO of Jumpsoft
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