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Translating IT metrics into business meaning (value)

Larry Dragich

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Top Stories by Larry Dragich

At the time when we were looking for a monitoring solution (2006-2007) APM as we know it today had yet to be defined. There was no Gartner MQ, real-user-monitoring (RUM) was too high level, “agent monitoring” brought concerns of overhead and complexity, instrumenting the application meant to ARM it (i.e., Application Response Measurement), and transaction tagging was a pipe dream. This created a fierce debate on the risks and rewards of agent vs. agentless monitoring, read The Monitoring Duality of APM. So, when we were developing our monitoring approach, our first priority was to do no harm, then collect performance metrics. We first implemented agentless RUM technology (i.e. wire data analytics) to gain insight into the application behavior and build a baseline that captured a normal workload. Secondly we focused on synthetic transactions to provide visibility d... (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)

Your Next Move During an IT Postmortem Review

[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... (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)