Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Synthetic monitoring (active
monitoring) helps reduce key blind spots for critical applications. We just
experienced a production issue on a fully instrumented critical business
application that first appeared nebulous.
During peak volume time the Service Desk was taking calls from users across
random locations stating that they couldn't login, however if they were
already on the system all was well. Even when they logged out they could
still login again and continue working.
Other facts that came in made the issue more perplexing:
RUM showed transaction volume and performance was normal. Deep dive Java
monitoring agents showed the same. There were no glaring HTTP 500 errors and
the backend database was fine. Infrastructure monitoring was green in all
tiers and resource consumption was within baseline.
What did we use to f... (more)
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 AP... (more)
Maximum productivity can be achieved more efficiently through event
correlation, system automation and predictive analysis. Making that a reality
however, requires consideration on how to manage the integration touch points
from multiple toolsets and openness to the intrinsic value that this
integration can provide.
A focus on integration techniques, and not necessarily the monitoring
technologies themselves, may be a better use of time to achieve a state of
harmony within the event to incident flow. When rolling out an Application
Performance Management (APM) solution, selectio... (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)
In a perfect world, APM has all the right elements in place, providing value
to the business and IT by giving us the metrics we need and showing us the
health of our applications. It alerts us to anomalies when slowdowns occur,
and shows us trends on performance. But there are other elements in play that
can make the operations a little smoother and our days a little brighter.
Having the ability to engage in a fact based conversation about the
end-user-experience, instead of “spinning” infrastructure metrics and
making assumptions about performance, is an elegant proficiency. Taki... (more)