[This article first appeared in APM Digest almost a year ago and has been
re-posted on LinkedIn. The general concepts still hold true when
considering 3 simple steps for continual service improvement.]
Can a postmortem review help foster a curiosity for innovative possibilities
to make application performance better? Blue-sky thinkers may not want to
deal with the myriad of details on how to manage the events being generated
operationally, but could learn something from this exercise.
Consider the major system failures in your organization over the last 12 to
18 months. What if you had a system or process in place to capture those
failures and mitigate them from a proactive standpoint preventing them from
reoccurring? How much better off would you be if you could avoid the
proverbial "Groundhog Day" with system outages?
The argument that system monitoring is just a... (more)
Adopting an Application Performance Management (APM) strategy will help you
manage the quality of the Customer Experience. The challenge is that APM has
evolved into a mosaic of monitoring tools, analytic engines, and event
processors that provide many solutions to different problem sets.
When you step back and look at the big picture it all comes into focus, but
when you're trying to rationalize one technology over another, things aren't
so clear at close range. Product overlaps, ongoing costs, and ownership come
into question, and then someone will eventually ask why so many too... (more)
The "Butterfly Effect" theoretically describes a hurricane's formation being
contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings weeks
before. This highlights a sensitive dependence on environmental conditions
where a small change at one place (Dev Env) can result in large differences
to a later state (Production).
Consider the possibility that a small innocuous code change could go
undetected, promoted through Development & QA, and then have catastrophic
effects on performance once it reaches production. The environmental variants
need to be minimized and clo... (more)
Monitoring application performance on the surface and the currents below is a
great way to build a performance baseline and provide application fluency.
Ironically, the deep dive tools sets in place today still may not provide all
the insight you need to quickly resolve anomalous behavior.
Standing back on the shore waiting for an event to go by may not be the best
approach for proactive monitoring. Synthetic monitoring (active monitoring)
is needed to help reduce the blind spots for critical business applications.
For example, we just experienced a production issue on a fully inst... (more)
A look into ITIL's Continual Service Improvement (CSI) model and the
Application Performance Management (APM) framework indicates they are both
focused on improvement. I see them as being two sides of the same coin. APM
defines the approach and toolsets that CSI uses while leveraging specific
processes in Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation.
If you’re thinking about how to build a sustainable APM solution and how it
can be anchored into the IT culture, consider focusing on the integration
touch points with existing IT processes.
Within the CSI model there ar... (more)