Importance of Application Monitoring
Application monitoring tools have grown in importance
IT infrastructure complexity has grown over the years. While networks have become faster and more capable, applications have become more sophisticated yet more complex to troubleshoot. A recent industry survey highlights the importance of application monitoring. This survey found that while 18.2% of all problems were network related, over 73% of the problems reported related to the server and the applications.
Application Monitoring is More Challenging than Before
Client server applications of the past were relatively easy to troubleshoot. When a user reported a slow-down, it was the client, the network, or the application server. Today's IT infrastructure often includes multiple tiers of applications (e.g., web servers, databases, middleware applications, etc.) that work with one another to deliver services to the end-users. To effectively manage such infrastructures, it is important to monitor each and every application tier.
eG Enterprise - Providing Integrated Application Monitoring
Since each application is distinct, administrators often use different application monitoring tools for administering and managing each application. The challenge with using different tools for monitoring different applications is that each tool has its own distinct interface and usage model. Hence, users have a longer learning curve. Furthermore, since different tools are used, a lot of manual coordination is involved in troubleshooting a problem that involves multiple applications.
eG Enterprise offers an integrated web-based interface from where administrators can monitor over 150+ common applications. Administrators can login to the eG Enterprise console and monitor the status of all the applications in their infrastructure. Role-based access and personalized views can be provided for users, so a database administrator can only view the status of the database applications, whereas a network administrator can only view the status of the network devices. By providing a single pane of glass for monitoring all the key applications in an IT infrastructure, eG's application monitoring software simplifies routine monitoring of the infrastructure, since users can now view and drill down into the status of different applications from the same web console.
Active and Passive Application Monitoring
Applications can be monitored using active and passive monitoring approaches. Active monitoring involves emulating accesses to the application and measuring its performance, while passive monitoring involves observing the application behavior and analyzing its performance. Both of these approaches have advantages. eG Enterprise incorporates both active and passive monitoring of applications. By actively emulating client accesses to each application periodically, eG Enterprise provides an unbiased external perspective of the application's performance.
Integrated performance monitoring of applications from a web console
Integrated Monitoring of Applications from a Web Console
While active monitoring is useful in detecting times when an application is not available or not responding properly, for early warning indicators of performance degradations, passive, internal monitoring is necessary. eG Enterprise performs internal monitoring by integrating with the interfaces (APIs) supported by each application. While SNMP was a standard for network monitoring, unfortunately, for application monitoring there is no such standard. Each application supports a different monitoring interface. As the figure below shows, eG Enterprise agents support a number of different interfaces to connect to different applications. The interface used to monitor an application is decided based on the depth of metrics exposed using the interface and the overheads incurred in obtaining the metrics.
eG Agents use different interfaces to monitor different enterprise applications
Support for Agent-based and Agentless Application Monitoring
eG Enterprise supports both agent-based and agentless monitoring for applications. While agentless monitoring does not require software agents to be installed on all the servers supporting the applications, it entails a higher network overhead (higher bandwidth consumption). Furthermore, since many legacy applications are restrictive in the metrics they support for agentless monitoring, the monitoring capabilities with an agent-based approach are often superior compared to an agentless approach.
Benefits of Application Monitoring with eG Enterprise
- Single pane of glass view into the IT infrastructure; administrators can see the real-time status of all the applications in their infrastructure from a web console.
- Web browser interface and a common look and feel across applications monitored means that administrators do not have to learn to use different tools for monitoring different applications;
- Agent-based and agentless monitoring of applications supported;
- Supports active and passive monitoring of applications, thereby ensuring that administrators have both an unbiased external view and an in-depth proactive look at performance of an application.