Lesson Learned in the Wizard of Oz: Always Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain
Why it's crucial to know the impact on applications when the infrastructure changes
January 04, 2017

Jim Perkins
CA Technologies

You can call me a realist if you want, but I am not one enamored with the fantasy of a great and Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The wizard was hiding the truth from Dorothy and her friends when he tried to get them to ignore what was behind the curtain. The truth is the wizard was just a man, but everyone thought he was someone else. Yes, Dorothy and her friends were very happy to seek the great Wonderful Wizard, thinking he had the answers to their desires. But, for the whole of the story, they were chasing after the wrong thing. It wasn't until the end they discovered the true wizard was just a man from Nebraska.

Don't we do the same thing when we are monitoring our application data flows? Our Application Performance Management tool tells us where the bottlenecks are in our transactional data flows, but is it always that simple? For example, we think we know the root of our application performance problem when the database response times are getting longer, but we later find the real problem is in the infrastructure that hosts the database. It is time we look behind the curtain or our APM tool to see the infrastructure.

There are several ways to accomplish this feat. You can invest in server performance monitoring to monitor the infrastructure. But how do those issues impact the applications running on that infrastructure?

Conversely, you can use application performance monitoring tools to show transactional dataflow performance but that does not coalesce the relationship between the application and infrastructure.

We need to change that!

We need a solution that marries application performance monitoring and server performance monitoring. Such a union will yield numerous benefits like:

■ Delivering a comprehensive view of how infrastructure performance is impacting application performance

■ Maintaining visibility to a changing infrastructure that transitions from a virtual environment on premise to a cloud when applications are running on hybrid cloud environments

■ Having an application-transaction topology view and an infrastructure topology view co-exist

■ Knowing the impact on applications when the infrastructure changes

■ Understanding the impact to the user experience on key business applications when the infrastructure changes

I think it's time to convene a discussion on the future of Application and Infrastructure Management. Do you want to join?

Jim Perkins is Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies.

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