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 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 the users logged out they
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 t... (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)
Convincing the astute executive who is cautious in not making an impetuous
decision on an APM investment can prove to be challenging. Consider the
amount of due diligence that is brought to bear in the decision making
process. The wide array of APM technologies that need to be reviewed can be
The selection criteria for application monitoring doesn't have to be an
arduous one, lending credence to the idea that an APM solution can be
simplified, understood, and implemented. I'm suggesting that the critical
success factors in the adoption of APM center around the End-... (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)