Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi

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.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting for Skytap, showed how an incremental approach to introducing containers into complex, distributed applications results in modernization with less risk and more reward. He also shared the story of how Skytap used Docker to get out of the business of managing infrastructure, and into the business of delivering innovation and business value. Attendees learned how up-front planning allows for a clean sep...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We have already established the importance of APIs in today’s digital world (read about it here). With APIs playing such an important role in keeping us connected, it’s necessary to maintain the API’s performance as well as availability. There are multiple aspects to consider when monitoring APIs, from integration to performance issues, therefore a general monitoring strategy that only accounts for up-time is not ideal.
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...
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
These days, change is the only constant. In order to adapt and thrive in an ever-advancing and sometimes chaotic workforce, companies must leverage intelligent tools to streamline operations. While we're only at the dawn of machine intelligence, using a workflow manager will benefit your company in both the short and long term. Think: reduced errors, improved efficiency and more empowered employees-and that's just the start. Here are five other reasons workflow automation is leading a revolution...
We have Continuous Integration and we have Continuous Deployment, but what’s continuous across all of what we do is people. Even when tasks are automated, someone wrote the automation. So, Jayne Groll evangelizes about Continuous Everyone. Jayne is the CEO of the DevOps Institute and the author of Agile Service Management Guide. She talked about Continuous Everyone at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. She describes it as "about people, culture, and collaboration mapped into your value streams....
Cloud adoption is often driven by a desire to increase efficiency, boost agility and save money. All too often, however, the reality involves unpredictable cost spikes and lack of oversight due to resource limitations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, tackled the question: “How do you build a fully optimized cloud?” He will examine: Why TCO is critical to achieving cloud success – and why attendees should be thinking holistically ab...
Docker is on a roll. In the last few years, this container management service has become immensely popular in development, especially given the great fit with agile-based projects and continuous delivery. In this article, I want to take a brief look at how you can use Docker to accelerate and streamline the software development lifecycle (SDLC) process.
We define Hybrid IT as a management approach in which organizations create a workload-centric and value-driven integrated technology stack that may include legacy infrastructure, web-scale architectures, private cloud implementations along with public cloud platforms ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Software-as-a-Service.
Did you know that you can develop for mainframes in Java? Or that the testing and deployment can be automated across mobile to mainframe? In his session and demo at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dana Boudreau, a Senior Director at CA Technologies, will discuss how increasingly teams are developing with agile methodologies, using modern development environments, and automating testing and deployments, mobile to mainframe.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single-threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dave Martin, Product owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how ...
There are several reasons why businesses migrate their operations to the cloud. Scalability and price are among the most important factors determining this transition. Unlike legacy systems, cloud based businesses can scale on demand. The database and applications in the cloud are not rendered simply from one server located in your headquarters, but is instead distributed across several servers across the world. Such CDNs also bring about greater control in times of uncertainty. A database hack ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
API Security is complex! Vendors like Forum Systems, IBM, CA and Axway have invested almost 2 decades of engineering effort and significant capital in building API Security stacks to lockdown APIs. The API Security stack diagram shown below is a building block for rapidly locking down APIs. The four fundamental pillars of API Security - SSL, Identity, Content Validation and deployment architecture - are discussed in detail below.