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Translating IT metrics into business meaning (value)

Larry Dragich

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Top Stories by Larry Dragich

[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)

How to Strategically Benefit from AANPM

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 Within IT

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)

Spotting Anomalies When Things Are Calm

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)

An APM Solution: Well-Grounded

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)