APM - Translating IT Metrics into Business Meaning Value

Larry Dragich

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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 closely monitored to prevent the anomalous behavior. Depending on transaction volume and performance characteristics there will be a certain level of noise that will need to be squelched to a volume level that can be analyzed. This is the precipice where APM intersects Capacity Management and a... (more)

The DNA of APM: Event to Incident Flow

This article is the corollary to “The Anatomy of APM” which outlines four foundational elements of a successful APM strategy:  Top Down Monitoring, Bottom Up Monitoring, Reporting & Analytics, and ITIL / ITSM Processes.  Here I provide a deeper context on how the event-to-incident flow is structured. It is the correlation of events and the amalgamation of metrics that bring value to the business by way of dashboards and trending reports, and it’s in the way the business interprets the accuracy of those metrics that determines the success of the implementation.  If an event occur... (more)

Real-Time Monitoring Metrics - The Magical Mundane

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)

Why DevOps Needs a Friend

As enterprises embrace the DevOps philosophy, and the coalescence of the Development and Operations continues, I foresee the conditions ripening to foster innovative methods of making application performance better and code deployments smoother.  To me, the argument that system monitoring is just a “nice to have” and not really a core requirement for operational readiness dissipates quickly when a critical application goes down with no warning. Application Performance Management (APM) has been bred with all the right elements to give us the insights we need to see the health of ... (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)