Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

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

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Digital Performance Management: From Alarm to Resolution | @DevOpsSummit #APM #Agile #DevOps

Application performance problems can be quite challenging to resolve and even more difficult to predict.

Digital Performance Management: From Alarm to Resolution
By  Nicolas Vailliet

Application performance problems can be quite challenging to resolve and even more difficult to predict. In my role as Dynatrace Guardian Consultant - leading the implementation of APM best practices with our customers - I've experienced quite a few "head-scratcher" situations. In this blog, I'll relate a recent problem that had most of the IT department scrambling early one Monday morning.

In the Guardian's shoes
My customer is a global financial services company, providing hundreds of online services to world-wide consumers. One of them helps businesses research auto history records, representing 5% of the company's activities. Let's call this application CarFacts. (While the names have been changed, the story you are about to read is a reasonably accurate retelling.) Dealers in particular leverage information from CarFacts to uphold their professional reputation and to finalize transactions, relying on their subscription to the company's website for clear and accurate statistics on vehicles.

When browsing the web application, end users submit diverse parameters in order to generate a report on a particular set of vehicles. Each month, the customers are billed for the total amount of reports generated. It was no wonder, then, that when the support team received a dozen calls from customers reporting a painfully slow or even unavailable system, the fire alarm was triggered.

Infrastructure Performance management vs. Application Performance Management
While most IT teams have domain-specific infrastructure performance management (IPM) tools, the global monitoring team to which I belong is responsible for comprehensive end-user-driven application performance analysis using two complementary Dynatrace Application Performance Management (APM) solutions: Data Center Real User Monitoring (DC RUM) and Application Monitoring (AppMon). DC RUM is a passive network probe-based APM solution, with its main use cases being end-user experience monitoring and fault domain isolation, while AppMon, an agent-based APM solution, provides deep-dive root cause analysis for application performance and availability problems.

Figure 1: DC RUM monitors user experience and provides fault domain isolation, while AppMon traces transactions for root cause analysis.

My customer's IT department was in triage mode that day. Can you imagine being back at the office on Monday morning, after a peaceful and well-deserved weekend, and being caught in a tornado, right after passing through the door?

No morning coffee break
Without wasting a second, the support team logs the complaints and raises a priority-1 incident for CarFacts. The ticket is picked up by the incident management team who hurries to assemble a response team. Each IT team is represented: application support, global monitoring, development, database, system and network. Completing the team with an incident management representative and a manager, in case escalations are needed, we ended with a taskforce composed of at least 8 people. A conference bridge is set up and we all receive the symptoms reported by the end-users.

Here are the facts: at around 8:50 a.m. that Monday morning, the average response time for logins jumped from 5 seconds to 35 seconds. Help desk phones began ringing shortly after DC RUM's response time alert; this was no fire drill. The CarFacts application's health index had dropped to 50%, and - the business manager pointed out the metric that she cared about most - 86% of the almost 900 users were impacted by the problem. It means almost no reports are being generated, and it means the company is losing money...

Here are a few DC RUM dashboard snips, with private information masked.

Figure 2: DCRUM Application Health Status reporting poor performance for CarFacts on Monday morning.

Figure 2: DCRUM Application Health Status reporting poor performance for CarFacts on Monday morning.

The data center - specifically, the web tier - is isolated as the primary reason for the slowness, at the same time showing that there are no network issues and no contributing problems at the application server or database tier. The end-user network is also performing well. The network team and the database administrator can go relax, leave the call and have that coffee break...

Drilling down a level, DC RUM identifies the pages that are impacted. These are the landing page and the sign-in page, with page load times ranging up to 30 seconds or more; other pages are relatively unaffected, even as DC RUM shows less load than usual.

We also noted some HTTP 500 errors for these same pages.

Figure 3: A breakdown of HTTP 500 server errors by operation (url).

Figure 3: A breakdown of HTTP 500 server errors by operation (url).

So that's a brief view into DC RUM's "outside-in" perspective of the problem; as a network probe-based monitoring solution, we use DC RUM for an enterprise-wide perspective of our applications as well as key parts of the supporting infrastructure such as load balancing. It provides an understanding of internal and external user experience, a view into the business impact of degraded performance, and automates fault domain isolation.

Fault Domain Isolation vs. Root Cause Analysis
The excitement reaches the next level within the team: DC RUM alerted us and provided us with the fault domain, the landing and login pages on the web servers. We are getting closer to the root cause, and in just a few minutes! Selecting the impacted landing page operation (URL), I click on the Application Monitoring PurePath link on the DC RUM dashboard. Drilling down from one Dynatrace application to another is as simple as a click and should get us directly to the answer to our problem.

Figure 4: The faulty operation is identified and a drill-down link to Application Monitoring allows RCA.

Figure 4: The faulty operation is identified and a drill-down link to Application Monitoring allows RCA.

A few seconds later, my AppMon client pops up and displays an application-centric view of our slow transactions. I close the DC RUM interface, bearing in mind I may come back to it later to further document the incident and to analyze the business impact.

A new screen is now displayed on my monitor, showing a transaction flow and a response time hotspots analysis view based on AppMon PurePaths, or end-to-end transaction traces. Those PurePaths are generated by the agents injected in the web and application servers of CarFacts.

Figure 5: DCRUM / Application Monitoring integration.

Figure 5: DCRUM / Application Monitoring integration.

Click here for the full article.

The post Digital Performance Management: From Alarm to Resolution appeared first on about:performance.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By APM Blog

APM: It’s all about application performance, scalability, and architecture: best practices, lifecycle and DevOps, mobile and web, enterprise, user experience

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...