Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Sanjay Uppal, Liz McMillan, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Nicholas Lee

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Agile Computing

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Holographic Haystacks — Capturing Business Transactions

Why archive every business transaction?

The other day I found myself in a discussion with a prospect regarding the merits of capturing complete stack traces for every transaction that flowed through their production system. You see AppDynamics doesn’t do that; we capture problematic business transactions, and this bloke seemed concerned someone would one day ask him for the details of a specific transaction that our method would leave him underprepared to fulfill. As the conversation played on, we explored the cost – both literal, in the sense of hardware required for data warehousing, and virtual, like the compounding impact additional polling during bad times has on performance. Ultimately we arrived at the conclusion that understanding your haystack is better than having the haystack. This point can be subtle, so let’s explore how we got there…

Fullscreen capture 782014 31924 PM

Since AppDynamics automatically baselines business transactions, we can very quickly tell the difference between a normal transaction and an outlier, or in the context of this analogy: hay vs. needles. When we encounter a piece of hay we record the metadata of the transaction. You know: how long the strand is, where it resides, who put it in the stack, etc. In fact, the part of me that humbly struggles with homonyms likes to think of this as a piece of “hey.” I imagine someone (a business transaction) flying past me on the highway and waiving “heeeyy!” as I feverishly jot down some key details about their ride. For the most part I already know enough about them, they’re speeding along unabated, just like the plethora of friends to follow, no need to dig too deep, just note the event so we can better understand our “heystack.”

In contrast, when a particular transaction performs several standard deviations outside of the norm, or perhaps worse than a given threshold, we need to know more than “it’s slow.” This is where the context before content idea really starts to come into light. Because we know what a good piece of hay looks like, and because we understand how our virtual haystack looks at any given moment, we have the context to both appreciate and spot the needles – the need for content. Needles are special. They’re shiny. And you probably want to trade them for hay. So we need to know all their specs. We need content.

No worries, that’s why AppDynamics captures complete transaction flows for these items. But what if – returning to the highway analogy for a moment – a funeral procession (a bout of bad performance) drives by? The act of gathering information during this kind of needle storm could exacerbate the issue and result in exaggerated wait times, inaccurate information, and a unnecessarily pitiful user experience. Well we have the context to understand when that’s happening so AppDynamics will automatically throttle back needle gathering to ensure our application never negatively impacts yours. Remember the ultimate goal here is to ensure you have all the tools you need to deliver an exceptional user experience, in the short and long term.

Thinking about the long term for a moment … we should probably use this information to improve the performance of the application. So let’s pass the data about the problems along, shall we? But … if all you ever gave your team were needles, they might forget what hay looks like. This lack of context could hinder their ability to remediate issues. To mitigate these risks, AppDynamics will snag the occasional piece of hay… just for comparison’s sake and ensure your team, your developers, have all the context and content they need to improve the performance of your applications.

So as you can see, you don’t need to house an entire haystack to effectively identify and remediate problems. With a clear understanding of what the haystack would look like – a holographic haystack, if you will – a few pieces of hay for reference, and a spotlight on all your needles, you’ll have everything you need to see, act, and know more quickly than ever before.

Also check out how Citrix uses AppDynamics to capture business transactions, increase visibility, and lower their MTTR for their complex applications.

Take five minutes to get complete visibility into the performance, and start finding those needles, of your production applications with AppDynamics today.

The post Holographic Haystacks — Capturing Business Transactions written by appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By AppDynamics Blog

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...