The world is increasingly becoming more applications-centric. Users rely on applications to reach customers, build products, automate back-end business processes, and perform almost every other task critical to the business. For IT organizations, application performance and availability are the most visible indicators of their success. Increasingly, business performance = application performance. Businesses are dependent on applications that are being delivered across entire IT infrastructure. Accordingly, IT organizations are changing the way they manage performance to be more holistic and application focused. In 2012, EMA found that 81% of respondents regularly leverage cross-domain teams to tackle and manage application performance. Gartner also found, in 2012, that 20% of the Global 2000 are trying to reconstruct their entire IT operational process framework in a way that shifts the central focus to the monitoring and management of applications, rather than infrastructure.
What is application performance? The speed and reliability of the interaction between end users and the application they need to perform business. More and more, research is showing that end user tolerance of poor application performance continues to erode. As people interact with applications both in business and in their personal life, they expect instant access and a consistent experience As applications are being rolled out more quickly, IT needs to deliver them efficiently with virtualization, cloud, all leveraging the same infrastructure. In order to deliver a reliable experience, IT must be able to detect problems before they impact the end user experience and fix problems quickly.
Because applications are becoming more central to the business, speed is critical. Performance is not just a luxury, it is a business requirement. For Amazon.com 100 millisecond increase in web page load time leads to a 1% drop in sales. At Google, where their business is based on eyeballs, a 500 millisecond delay leads to a 20% drop in traffic. And in financial services, brokers can lose $4M per millisecond if the trading platform is 5 milliseconds behind.
So why is it so hard to manage performance? As applications have become more critical they also have become more complex. The introduction of Service-oriented architectures, agile development processes and business units demand faster reaction from IT are all causing applications to sprawl, increase in complexity, while also increasing the rate at which new applications are rolled out or changed. At the same time the introduction of new IT infrastructure technologies, most importantly virtualization and cloud, has increased the complexity of the infrastructure over which applications run. All of these changes have made it more difficult for IT to understand how applications are performing from the end user experience all the way back through transactions, the application layer, application infrastructure, and IT infrastructure.
Adding even more complexity is the fact that the stack can live in your own data center, the cloud, or an outsourced data center. Some applications also rely on third party services, like checking the weather, news feeds, etc. that are not directly under the domain of the applications team. They haven’t built those services, they have no control over them, but they are still responsible for making sure those services perform.
These market dynamics create four main challenges for the IT teams responsible for application performance: Troubleshooting and recovering from business disrupting application failures:Downtime of business critical applications has a direct impact on a business’ top and bottom line. When application outages occur, it is imperative that IT operations, application and network teams are able to detect, isolate and fix the problem as quickly as possible. It can often take days, if not weeks to isolate and fix performance problems, and problems are often only discovered after end users call in. The inability to perform when the application is down is not the type of spotlight application and IT teams want, but is one they often find themselves in with legacy performance management tools. Failure or delay in finding and fixing recurring and persistent performance problemsIntermittent and chronic performance problems negatively impact end-user satisfaction and productivity. While these types of problems may not generate a help desk ticket, they are very likely to get the Apps team / CIO beat up and to continually block IT from focusing on adding new value to the business. Proactively ensure data center migrations, consolidation, expanded deployments, new release, new users are protected from application performance issues:When businesses virtualize, consolidate or migrate their data centers to the cloud, they expect to improve flexibility, cost, and control, but do not expect to negatively impact application performance. When rolling out new applications or expanding existing deployments, it is critical to ensure that the performance business requires will be delivered. Without the right tools to manage and predict the effects of such infrastructure or application changes on application performance, however, businesses often find themselves dealing with unforeseen performance problems. Executive & Business Level ReportingApplication performance is not a single group’s responsibility and has broad implications across IT operations, application teams and business owners. It is imperative in this world of heightened application focus, that IT be able to communicate broadly and in languages tailored to technical and business audiences about application performance.Business Impact of not addressing these challenges:Legacy tools do not fully address these 4 challenges because they provide only a fragmented view, while IT operations are overloaded with raw data but lack actionable intelligence. As a result, problem identification, diagnosis, and resolution take days and weeks instead of minutes. And it can be difficult to communicate the consolidated, cross-functional view of what is really going on with application performance. This current state of application performance management results in significant negative impact to business via:Revenue lossCustomer dissatisfactionProductivity lossDissatisfaction with IT
Today’s complex application infrastructure requires a performance management solution that looks across all critical parts of the application delivery chain. The RPM approach is that whether you are rolling out new applications, consolidating or virtualizing data centers, or migrating to the cloud, managing application performance requires a holistic view that includes: end user experience monitoring, application transaction tracing & component monitoring, and underlying infrastructure and network performance management.End user experience. What is the end user actually experiencing as they interact with the application? Whether using web or thick client applications, and regardless if users are local, around the world, or mobile, you must be able to monitor and troubleshoot the ultimate measure of application performance: the end-user’s experience.Transaction Tracing & Component Monitoring. What an end user perceives as a single operation involves many distinct application transaction across many different application components including the back end database, webserver, middle ware, auditing servers, back end third party services. How do you track, monitor and troubleshoot the performance of each of these critical transactions and dive deep into the various components of the application to really understand what is going on in the servers supporting the application?Infrastructure and Network Performance Management. IT infrastructure exists for one reason, to deliver applications. In order to really understand those challenges, you need to understand infrastructure from applications perspective. How is the performance and availability of the underlying IT infrastructure and network contributing to the performance of the application? The network in particular is a critical application component whose importance continues to rise with the move to cloud, mobile, SDN and network virtualization.ClickAcross all of these, analytics and reporting are required to make this data easy to access and to ensure IT operators and apps teams are not inundated with data that but rather armed with automated analysis and answers to the questions that help pinpoint, isolate and solve the problems
RPM is a recognized leader by Gartner in the APM Magic Quadrant.
Riverbed Performance Management (RPM) gives IT visibility and actionable insight to deliver the application performance users and the business demand. RPM’s unique combination of end-user experience monitoring, transaction tracing, deep component monitoring, and IT infrastructure / network management maximizes the performance, availability, and productivity of critical applications, for:Complete Visibility: Bring together the complete application picture: end user, application transactions, IT and network infrastructureReal Answers: Apply “big data” analytics to automate analysis and troubleshooting, dramatically accelerating problem diagnosis and improving IT efficiencyRight Information: Present the relevant information about application performance to a wide range of audiences, business and IT
Transaction Tracing & Component Monitoring. What an end user perceives as a single operation involves many distinct application transaction across many different application components including the back end database, webserver, middle ware, auditing servers, back end third party services. How do you track, monitor and troubleshoot the performance of each of these critical transactions and dive deep into the various components of the application to really understand what is going on in the servers supporting the application?RPM Products:AppInternalsXpertAppInternalsXpert records and indexes all transactions in a unique, highly scalable big data approach to transaction tracing. It is all about deep application component monitoring and transaction tracing across the multiple components and tiers that make up the back end of the application. It places agents on servers in the data center, and the data is sent up to a big data storage area called “transaction trace warehouse.” Every single transaction that is going on across these servers is stored, indexed, and correlated. So you can understand, when a user hits a web page, or is using an application, where on the backend through all the different tiers of that application, what transactions are happening in support of that operation, what actual Java or .net methods are being exercised to fulfill that operation. AppInternalsXpert not only offers a way of understanding at a detailed level, but also provides the ability to quickly browse huge amounts of data and understand where the performance bottlenecks are at the backend tiers of the application, at the application and code level. It is geared to application teams, app support, app developers, LOB app operations teams. AppMapperXpertAppMapperXpert utilizes existing performance data from multiple sources to produce run-time application dependency maps, for a complete picture of the application and infrastructure components that enable a production application. It allows IT to go deep into application, to map out what methods are being used, and help IT map out applications at the code level.The key difference for Riverbed Performance Management is: Competitors have to go on to each server, instrument with an agent, and decide in advance what they want to monitor before they can start monitoring. In contrast, AppInternalsXpert can’ track every transaction without impacting application performance. It uses lightweight agents that collect data on every transaction, send it up to the Transaction Trace Warehouse, so that every single transaction is stored. It is a big data approach applied to performance management – where it is easy to search and perform analytics without having to know in advance what you want to monitor. You can store everything, and have it easy to access and find, even with billions of transactions, we can help you pinpoint what is important.
Infrastructure and Network Performance Management. IT infrastructure exists for one reason, to deliver applications. In order to really understand those challenges, you need to understand infrastructure from applications perspective. How is the performance and availability of the underlying IT infrastructure and network contributing to the performance of the application? The network in particular is a critical application component whose importance continues to rise with the move to cloud, mobile, SDN and network virtualization.RPM infrastructure and network performance management products:Cascade ProfilerCascade Profiler offers end-to-end network monitoring, reporting and analytics. It utilizes network flow data (NetFlow, sFlow, J-Flow, IPFIX and other popular flow statistics), and complements it with packet-based performance metrics (from Cascade Sharks and Steelheads) to proactively monitor and troubleshoot application and network performance. Profiler puts together a complete picture of how clients and servers interact and communicate across the enterprise infrastructure (including WAN and LAN). It automatically baselines performance and usage. Profiler uses that baseline to proactively notify the admin about important performance events and their likely causes that would otherwise be extremely difficult to detect and find.Cascade SharkCascade Shark provides scalable, high-performance continuous packet capture, rapid indexing, and long-term storage to ensure that packet-level information is always available for trouble shooting and granular, real-time and back-in-time analysis. AppResponseXpertAppResponse provides End-user-Experience monitoring, troubleshooting of VoIP, video, databases, application transactions and regional network monitoring and troubleshooting.AppResponse is a great tool for focusing in on and understanding how specific applications perform and behave across the network.AppSensorAppSensor provides infrastructure, (servers, network routers and switches) device monitoring by polling data about device health (CPU utilization, memory utilization,…) leveraging SNMP, WMI and IPSLA.AppSensor provides an important perspective by pointing to infrastructure-level health factors that affect application performance.
RPM provides a complete end-to-end Application and Network Performance management solution. Further, when combined with the complete Riverbed product portfolio, Riverbed provides customers the ability to not only monitor and troubleshoot performance, but to actually accelerate performance with our WAN Optimization, ADC and Storage acceleration solutions.