Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Stackify Blog, Andreas Grabner

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Application Performance Management Done Right

APM means different things to different businesses and it can even depend on the application involved

What is Application Performance Management (APM)? Like a lot of good questions, it depends on your business needs.  What is the goal of an ideal APM?  Does it mean 99.999% availability?  Perhaps it is a favorable overall end user experience when using the application but, as compared to what?

My point is that Application Performance Management / Monitoring means different things to different businesses and it can even depend on the application involved.



What is the Goal of APM

“Begin with the goal in mind.” I wish I could take credit for that quote.  What is the goal of the APM? Have you listed out the objectives you hope to obtain from your APM strategy?  This approach will help your team ensure satisfaction with the final solution chosen.  Here are some examples.

  • Minimum of 99.999% availability with lower Mean Time To Know (MTTK) and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR)
  • Less than 50 milli-second response times on 95% of application requests
  • Isolation of end user problems within 3 minutes


List the APM Needed Features

To meet your goals, it is a good idea to write down some of the APM abilities that will help you make the best purchase.

  • Track and trend the most popular behaviors (i.e. volume) with the software
  • Historicaly trend the resources consumed by the servers and applications needed to service the end users
  • Ability to track the End User Experience (EUE) or User Experience Management (UEM) – Gartner terms.
  • Trend availability of the application.  This includes details on how ‘uptime’ is calculated.
  • Long term record of each end systems response time for various functions performed throughout the day/weeks/months
  • Trend the volume of users connected
  • Trend the traffic and the latency of transactions between the servers in the virtual environment
  • Tie end user traffic to a user name
  • An open data mining interface to the raw information collected

Can the Application be Monitored

What about the application allows it to be monitored? Most of us don’t think about this when we purchase a new business application.  How can we monitor it to make sure it is working correctly and servicing 100% of the users it is intended to assist?  What if a connection locks up, how do we find out?  What if a process gets hung, how will we know?  Here are a few questions to ask about the application you have been tasked to monitor:

  • Does the application run on a windows or linux based OS?
  • Will it run in a VMware environment?
  • Will server clustering be involved?
  • How many processes does each server maintain, what are the names of the processes and what are their functions/relationships?
  • Does the application keep a message log?  Can it be sent as syslogs?
  • Will a SAN be involved?
  • Is the application web or console based?
  • Does the application use TCP/IP or UDP/IP?

Selecting an APM

Don’t be surprised if you have to invest in multiple solutions to reach your objectives/goals.  Always ask for a free trial as this provides the opportunity to make sure it delivers on functionality and allows your team to test the vendors technical support.

IPFIX and NetFlow for APM has become the ideal choice to compliment most APM deployments:

  • NetFlow leverages IP SLA for synthetic transaction testing (e.g. URLs).
  • Cisco routers can be configured to export performance monitoring to provide details on each end systems connection time.
  • In many cases, syslogs and event logs can be exported in IPFIX which allows for correlation with traditional NetFlow.
  • VMware and virtual switches allow for native NetFlow exports and NetFlow probes when necessary.

Performance Monitoring with NetFlow ”Scrutinizer leverages a lot of those features to give you visibility into what is going on with every type of application whether it’s voice video or data.” Patricia Costa – Cisco Program Manager – September 2012 webcast on Performance Monitoring.

Reach out to your favorite NetFlow solution provider to find out what you can do with your existing investment.

Michael Patterson
Founder and CEO
Click to download Scrutinizer now!
Join NetFlow Developments on Linkedin.com

More Stories By Michael Patterson

Michael Patterson, is the founder & CEO of Plixer and the product manager for Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer. Prior to starting Somix and Plixer, Mike worked in a technical support role at Cabletron Systems, acquired his Novell CNE and then moved to the training department for a few years. While in training he finished his Masters in Computer Information Systems from Southern New Hampshire University and then left technical training to pursue a new skill set in Professional Services. In 1998 he left the 'Tron' to start Somix and Plixer.

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.


Microservices Articles
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...