Real-Time Monitoring Metrics - The Magical Mundane
September 12, 2012

Larry Dragich
Technology Executive

Share this

Application Performance Management (APM) has many benefits when implemented with the right support structure and sponsorship. It's the key for managing action, going red to green, and trending on performance.

As you strive to achieve new levels of sophistication when creating performance baselines, it is important to consider how you will navigate the oscillating winds of application behavior as the numbers come in from all directions. The behavioral context of the user will highlight key threshold settings to consider as you build a framework for real-time alerting into your APM solution.

This will take an understanding of the application and an analysis of the numbers as you begin looking at user patterns. Metrics play a key role in providing this value through different views across multiple comparisons. Absent from any behavioral learning engines which are now emerging in the APM space, you can begin a high level analysis on your own to come to a common understanding of each business application's performance.

Just as water seeks its own level, an application performance baseline will eventually emerge as you track the real-time performance metrics outlining the high and low watermarks of the application. This will include the occasional anomalous wave that comes crashing through affecting the user experience as the numbers fluctuate.


Depending on transaction volume and performance characteristics there will be a certain level of noise that you will need to squelch to a volume level that can be analyzed. When crunching the numbers and distilling patterns, it will be essential to create three baseline comparisons that you will use like a compass for navigation into what is real and what is an exception.

Real-Time vs. Yesterday

As the real-time performance metrics come in, it is important to watch the application performance at least at the five minute interval as compared to the day before to see if there are any obvious changes in performance.

Real-Time vs. 7 days Ago

Comparing Monday to Sunday may not be relevant if your core business hours are M-F; using the real-time view and comparing it to the same day as the previous week will be more useful - especially if a new release of the application was rolled out over the weekend and you want to know how it compares with the previous week.

Real-Time vs. 10 Day Rolling Average

Using a 10, 15 or 30 day rolling average is helpful in reviewing overall application performance with the business, because everyone can easily understand averages and what they mean when compared against a real-time view.

Capturing real-time performance metrics in five minute intervals is a good place to start. Once you get a better understanding of the application behavior you may increase or decrease the interval as needed. For real-time performance alerting, using the averages will give you a good picture when something is out of pattern, and to report on Service Level Management using percentiles (90%, 95%, etc.), will help create and accurate view for the business. To make it simple to remember, alert on the averages and profile with percentiles.

Conclusion

Operationally there are things you may not want to think about all of the time (e.g. standard deviations, averages, percentiles, etc.), but you have to think about them long enough to create the most accurate picture possible as you begin to distill performance patterns with each business application. This can be accomplished by building meaningful performance baselines that will help feed your Service Level Management processes well into the future.

You can contact Larry on LinkedIn.

Related Links:

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

Event Management: Reactive, Proactive, or Predictive?

APM and MoM – Symbiotic Solution Sets

Larry Dragich is a Technology Executive and Founder of the APM Strategies Group on LinkedIn
Share this

The Latest

July 14, 2020

As systems become more complex and IT loses direct control of infrastructure (hello cloud), it becomes both more difficult and more important to capture and observe, holistically, the user experience. SaaS or cloud apps like Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, and Workday have become mission-critical to most businesses and therefore need to be examined when it comes to experience monitoring ...

July 13, 2020

Newly distributed operations teams are struggling to cope with the sudden change to the WFH (work from home) concept. IT operations teams were traditionally set up to work from centralized locations, unlike software and engineering teams. Some organizations have overcome that by implementing AIOps solutions; others are using a brute force method of employing more IT operations analysts to keep the distributed NOCs going ...

July 09, 2020

Enterprises that halted their cloud migration journey during the current global pandemic are two and a half times more likely than those that continued their move to the cloud to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs, according to Virtana's latest survey report The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT ...

July 08, 2020

Every business has the responsibility to do their part against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint while increasing sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing optimization of IT infrastructure is one method companies can use to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainability and increase business efficiency, while also keeping costs down ...

July 07, 2020

While the adoption of continuous integration (CI) is on the rise, software engineering teams are unable to take a zero-tolerance approach to software failures, costing enterprise organizations billions annually, according to a quantitative study conducted by Undo and a Cambridge Judge Business School MBA project ...

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...