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Automated application performance monitoring: the 'easy' button for IT

Isn’t hitting the “Like” button on Facebook (News - Alert) easy? Wouldn’t it be great if there were an “Easy” button when it comes to, oh, application performance monitoring?

Srinivas Ramanathan, founder and CEO of eG Innovations, recently pointed out that while it’s obvious whenever there is a problem with IT operations in a company, it’s far less obvious where and what exactly the problem is.

Bottom line is, business users just want their equipment and networks to work. They don’t want to get bogged down in discussions of “Well, it’s a middleware issue, that’s not really our department.”

Ramanathan outlines the problem, which is now being exacerbated by virtualization. As he explains, IT operations teams are organized and managed along tiers. So, databases, services and apps all have their own tiers, as well as a unique administrator and tools for administration and monitoring. For example, when a sales rep calls in complaining about how slow his computer is, the first step is to find whose tier has the issue.

This is usually where you want that “Easy” button. As Ramanthan says, “Often, troubleshooting is the most time-consuming and expensive step in the incident management process.”

A problem in one tier will affect performance across all tiers. Virtualization makes it more difficult, since now you have what Ramanathan calls “a new type of dependency,” and “a single malfunctioning VM can impact the performance experienced by all the other VMs.”

“Traditional static approaches to performance monitoring and management are blind to this new reality,” Ramanathan says, adding that “while management of business services that spanned multiple physical tiers was already a challenge, the introduction of virtualization has made the problem much, much harder.”

To address the problem, Ramanathan recommends automated performance management. It can monitor “every layer of every tier,” provide root-cause diagnosis and help determine baselines, so it can tell you when something is out of the ordinary.

Done correctly, Ramanathan says, automated management lets you know where to invest in your infrastructure, mainly by showing you where the existing bottlenecks are.

So really, it’s as close to an “Easy” button as you can get in IT today.

- David Sims

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