Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Jamie Madison, Dalibor Siroky, PagerDuty Blog, Stackify Blog, Matt Lonstine

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

IT’s Little Secret: Too Little End-User Experience Data Use By @GKaiser | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

To understand service quality, we should be measuring end-user experience

IT's Little Secret: Too Little End-User Experience (EUE) Data Use

Many of us are grappling with the modern demands of digital business: developing new mobile apps, evaluating security in the face of IoT, moving to hybrid clouds, testing approaches to defining networks through software. It's all part of the hard trend toward service-oriented IT, with a primary goal of delivering a premium end user experience (EUE) to all your users - internal, partners, and customers - with the speed, quality and agility the business demands.

How do you meet these elevated expectations? As modern data centers evolve rapidly to meet these agility demands, network and application architectures are becoming increasingly complex, complicating efforts to understand service quality from infrastructure and application monitoring alone. Virtualization can obscure critical performance visibility at the same time complex service dependencies challenge even the best performance analysts and the most effective war rooms. While this may read like a recipe for disaster, within are secrets to success.

How beautiful is your app from EUE perspective?
Remember the adage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? The same applies here; service quality is in the eye of the user. It's hard to argue with that, especially when we consider the user as the face of the business. Of course, to understand service quality, we should be measuring end-user experience. (Let's work with the intended definition of EUE, which is end-user response time, or "click to glass." We'll ignore vendor attempts to dumb down its meaning, and acknowledge it is a subset of the more comprehensive term user experience, or UX.). In fact, EUE visibility has become a critical success factor for IT service excellence, providing important context to more effectively interpret infrastructure performance metrics.

You may already be measuring EUE. Some of your applications - particularly those based on Java and .NET - may already be instrumented with agent-based APM solutions. But there are a few challenges to an agent-based approach to EUE:

  • These agent-based solutions may not be available to or suitable for operations teams
  • Not all Java and .NET apps will be instrumented
  • Your agent-based solution may not measure EUE
  • Your agent-based solution may only sample transaction performance (let's call this some user experience, or SUE)
  • Many application architectures don't lend themselves to agent-based EUE monitoring

An important lesson: EUE measurement is key
For these and other reasons, IT operations teams have often focused on more approachable infrastructure monitoring - device, network, server, application, storage - with the implication that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. The theory was (or still is) that by evaluating performance metrics from all of these components you could assemble a reasonable understanding of service quality. The more ambitious - in some cases, thought-leaders - combine metrics from many disparate monitoring solutions into a single console, perhaps with time-based correlation, if not a programmed analysis of cause and effect. We might call these manager of managers (MOMs), or sometimes label it business service management (BSM); too often we referred to them with unprintable names. Some still serve us well, likely aided by a continual regimen of care and feeding; still more have faded from existence. But we have (or should have) learned an important lesson along the way.

EUE measurements are critical for IT efficiency for many reasons, including:

  • You will know when there is a problem that impacts users
  • You can prioritize your response to problems based on business impact
  • You can avoid chasing problems that don't exist, or deprioritize those that don't affect users
  • You can start troubleshooting with a problem definition that matches your metrics
  • You will know when (or if) you've actually resolved a problem

Complexity drives APM evolution
We (collectively as vendors and customers) continue to mature our performance monitoring capabilities, evolving from real-time monitoring and historical reporting to more sophisticated fault domain isolation and root cause analysis; maybe we're using trending or more sophisticated analytics to predict, prevent, or even take action to correct problems.

One of the compelling drivers is the increasing complexity - of data center networks, application delivery chains, and application architectures - and with this, an increasing volume of monitoring data stressing, even threatening, current approaches to performance monitoring and IT operations. It's basically a big data problem. And in response, IT operations analytics (ITOA) solutions are coming to market as an approach to derive insights into IT system behaviors - including, but not limited to, performance - by analyzing generally large volumes of data from multiple disparate sources. The ITOA market insights from Gartner tell an interesting story: spending doubled from 2013 to 2014 to $1.6B, while estimates suggest that only about 10% of enterprises currently use ITOA solutions. That's a lot of room for growth.

Everything old is new again
I'll not dive into ITOA in any depth here, and point out that the value of ITOA goes beyond our focus here on incident and problem management. For example, it can offer important value for change and configuration management. But let's focus on the use of ITOA for performance management; data sources could include system logs, topology information, performance metrics, events, etc., from servers, agents and probes. The information is stored, indexed and analyzed to accomplish important goals such as identifying trends, detecting anomalies, isolating fault domains, determining root cause, and predicting behavior. Does this start to sound familiar? The resemblance to earlier MOM-like efforts to combine disparate monitoring data is striking. That's not to downplay the many capabilities and analytic promises that ITOA makes, such as machine learning, that should give it stronger legs; it's simply to point out an obvious similarity. And, in fact, ITOA is often talked about as the future of APM.

Click here for the full article.

More Stories By Gary Kaiser

Gary Kaiser is a Subject Matter Expert in Network Performance Analytics at Dynatrace, responsible for DC RUM’s technical marketing programs. He is a co-inventor of multiple performance analysis features, and continues to champion the value of network performance analytics. He is the author of Network Application Performance Analysis (WalrusInk, 2014).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.