An important aspect of performance (and other) monitoring is where the observer stands when looking at the IT scenario. Each participant has a different view of what is bad performance - network, database, web, system, user personnel, management and external people - customers, regulatory bodies etc. These are what I call viewpoints, a popular concept in IT architecture design methods.
Start with APM and Viewpoints - Part 1
Operations people, but not the business user and others, will be desperately interested in:
■ % Utilizations
■ Wait times
■ Disk space used
■ Disk I/O Throughput
■ Disk I/O response time
■ Memory % used
■ Page rate
■ etc. etc.
End User Viewpoint
The previous factors are meaningless to the user of the application, who is more interested in:
■ Response times ( which depends on overall latency, percentiles, variations but they are not interested in that detail)
■ Variability of that response; large variations equal poor productivity via irritation and loss of concentration
■ Throughput of work where applicable
■ Other "speed" factors relating to their work
Business Manager Viewpoint
This viewpoint might reflect that of the end user is some respects, but will often be even more general:
■ What is the time between receipt of an order, shipment, invoicing and reconciliation?
■ Is the customer satisfied with this?
■ Can we speed up the processes without excessive cost?
■ Other business aspects
There are other people who will have different requirements and perspectives of performance: service desk, external customers, especially website users, and possibly regulatory bodies. They are important and in performance life, one size does not fit all.
When considering performance management, which is more than simply monitoring, the differing requirements (viewpoints) of various stakeholders needs to be taken into account. It is often difficult to retrofit analysis of performance data to cater for people not considered at the design stage. You may be asked by the CEO, out of the blue: "Why do we take 2 days to issue an invoice after shipment while competitor X takes one?"
Role of the SLA
Whose level of service (quality of service, QoS) are we talking about? Basically, all the types of person outlined above. This (rather these) QoS are usually formalized in a Service Level Agreement or SLA. This will dictate what needs to be measured and analyzed:
"If you can't measure it or derive it, you can't report it."
"A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its internal or external customers that documents what services the provider will furnish and defines the performance standards the provider is obligated to meet." [WhatIs.com].
The trick here is to marry these viewpoints which means translating the operational data into service level agreement (SLA) terms and hence into stakeholder perspective, another word for viewpoint All this is complicated when one moves from the relatively simple classical IT environment to the mixed web and application environments, rendered even more difficult to fathom by virtualization and clouds.
There is no reason why external customers shouldn't be part of any SLA drawn up if the APM setup is designed to cover all important stakeholders.
In addition, it should be transparent to the stakeholders outside operations whether the system runs native, virtualized, in a cloud or in a series of school exercise books. The APM design with these differing viewpoints in mind is the key aspect of this.
Dr. Terry Critchley is the Author of "Making It in IT", "High Performance IT Services" and “High Availability IT Services”.
This blog was created from extracts from Terry Critchley's book: High Performance IT Services [ August 25 2016]
The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly present in our daily lives, at work, in the home and in the public sphere, making the world a more connected place. In fact, 2020 will see at least 20 billion connected devices across the globe. So, let's take a look at the most common iterations of the IoT at the moment, and what we can expect to see in the IoT landscape over the next 5 years ...
In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...
A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...
The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...
One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...
Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...
What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today ...
As companies adopt new hardware and applications, their networks grow larger and become harder to manage. For network engineers and administrators, the continued emergence of integrated technology has forced them to reconfigure and manage networks in a more dynamic way ...
The complexity of data in motion is growing and risks undermining the success of the modern data-driven enterprise. A recent survey of data engineers and architects, conducted by StreamSets, sought to bring some perspective to the new reality in the enterprise, leading to some interesting insights about the enterprise data landscape ...