|By Rich Collier||
|March 1, 2014 10:15 AM EST||
Application Performance Management (APM) grew out of the movement to better align IT with real business concerns. Instead of monitoring a lot of disparate components, such as servers and switches, APM would provide improved visibility into mission-critical application performance and the user experience. Today, APM solutions help IT track end-to-end application response time and troubleshoot coding errors across application components that have an impact on performance.
APM has a rightful place in the arsenal of monitoring tools that IT uses to keep its applications and systems up and running. However, today's APM solutions have some serious gaps and challenges when it comes to providing IT with the entire application performance picture.
Most APM solutions provide minimal information about the hardware and network components underlying application performance, other than showing which components are involved in each part of the transaction. Those that do a better job usually require users to shift to another screen or monitoring system to get more hardware visibility. As with the blind men touching different parts of an elephant, this approach makes it difficult to correlate hardware performance with all the other components driving the application.
The Virtual, Distributed Environment
Most of today's APM solutions were created before virtualization, the cloud, and complex, composite applications took off in the IT environment. With virtual machines migrating back and forth among physical servers at different times of the day or week, and applications dependent on scores of components and cloud services, APM vendors are hard-pressed to provide visibility into the entire scope of a single application.
As 24 by 7 by 365 uptime becomes increasingly critical to business success, enterprises need to be able to predict and address issues BEFORE they affect the business, rather than after. APM has had mixed success in this area. A recent survey by TRAC Research found that of organizations deploying APM solutions, 60 percent report a success rate of less than half in identifying performance issues before they have an impact on end users.
Enter Predictive Analytics for IT
Filling these APM gaps is how Big Data and predictive analytics for IT can play a significant, highly beneficial role in IT's efforts to maintain application performance. Today, when IT encounters performance issues, it typically has to collect its server, storage, network, and APM folks into a war room to search through mountains of hardware and APM logs, and correlate information manually to isolate the root cause. This resource-intensive process can frequently take hours or even days.
IT has lots of alerts and thresholds to analyze, but those are only as good as the knowledge, experience, and insight of the IT folks who configured them. Just because a server surpassed its CPU utilization threshold doesn't mean that event had anything to do with the root cause of an application issue. Often the real issue is hidden deep in all the delicate interactions among multiple hardware and software components, and may not be reflected in individual thresholds. The same TRAC Research study shows an average of 46.2 hours spent by IT each month in these war rooms searching for root cause. Even more depressing, the root cause is often not found, so IT just reboots everything in the hope that it all works until the same problem rears its ugly head again.
Predictive analytics take over where APM leaves off, harnessing third-generation machine learning and Big Data analysis techniques to efficiently plow through mountains of log data. They discover all the behavior patterns and interrelationships between the IT software and hardware components driving today's mission-critical applications. Over several hours or days, the best solutions baseline the normal behavior of all those components, relationships, and events and use complex algorithms to detect any anomalies that are the early warning signs of developing performance issues. Better yet, because the analytics understand the chain of events involved in the developing anomaly, IT support staff are immediately provided with not only the alert that something is going wrong, but also the behavior of every component involved. This information can shave hours or even days off those war room scenarios. For example, thanks to a predictive analytics for IT solution, a major retailer was able to trace periodic gift card application outages to a misconfigured VLAN. Similarly, a predictive analytics solution reduced - from six hours in the war room to ten minutes - the time it took to diagnose a financial content management performance issue.
Another advantage of predictive analytics solutions is that because they self-learn the normal behavior patterns of underlying components, they drastically reduce the educated guessing that usually goes along with IT staff identifying and setting thresholds against key performance. The inflexibility of these thresholds results in large numbers of false-positive alerts. But with predictive analytics, highly sophisticated algorithms compute the probability of certain behaviors and can therefore generate much more accurate alerts. Some users of predictive analytics solutions have called them the Donald Rumsfelds of IT management tools because they point IT to infrastructure issues they never even knew existed and never looked for. Rumsfeld called these the "unknown unknowns."
However, it is in their ability to be "predictive" that these advanced analytics solutions really shine. By detecting small anomalies early in the game, predictive analytics can alert IT to performance issues and provide enough information to address their root cause before IT or application users even notice them. This can have a dramatic effect on application uptime and performance and a direct impact on user satisfaction and even enterprise revenue. In the case of the document management application, predictive analytics discovered a developing performance issue, and its root cause, the night before it would have affected users placing the application under load on Monday morning.
APM tools have their place in the enterprise, but predictive analytics solutions for IT can kick the effectiveness of those and other IT monitoring tools up a notch by detecting, tracing, and predicting performance issues and their root cause long before any IT war room can.
- TRAC Research, March 4, 2013: "2013 Application Performance Management Spectrum" report.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 21, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,374
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,004
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,422
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,160
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 21, 2014 08:30 AM EST Reads: 2,288
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 21, 2014 06:15 AM EST Reads: 2,128
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 20, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,373
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,387
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:45 PM EST Reads: 1,249
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,382
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 933
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,425
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,465
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,457
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,396
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,567
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,415
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,750
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,924
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,990