The Blackboard Reference Architecture: Advanced Performance Management Stephen Feldman ( [email_address] )  Director Black...
Who is this presentation geared for? <ul><li>Directors of Technology and Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Key Decision Mak...
<ul><li>Learn what are reference architectures. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand why reference architectures are important for...
<ul><li>Introduction to Reference Architectures </li></ul><ul><li>The Blackboard Reference Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>...
Where does your institution fit?
<ul><li>An architectural set of best of practices for system deployment. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin with a holistic view of t...
<ul><li>Consider it a blue print for success. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that buildings are not constructed of blue pr...
What is the Blackboard Reference Architecture?
Platform Infrastructure <ul><li>Focusing on a few major players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware Perspective </li></ul></ul>...
Dell Multi-Purpose Reference Architecture
Sun Multi-Purpose Reference Architecture
Alternative Performance Configurations: Multi-Home Clustering Academic Suite Vista/CE Learning System
Alternative Performance Configurations: Distributed Load-Balancing and Clustering Academic Suite Vista/CE Learning System
Alternative Performance Configurations: Server Virtualization (Linux/Windows)
Alternative Performance Configurations: Server Virtualization (Solaris)
Web/Application Delivery and Management Web Servers Application Servers DB Servers Servers Add Up Quickly Variety of Point...
Citrix NetScaler: Reference Architecture Component Web Servers Application Servers DB Servers Reduces Load on Backend Serv...
Storage architectures <ul><li>Ideal architectures should support multi-protocol </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network File Storage...
Monitoring and Management <ul><li>One of the most critical components in the Reference Architecture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
Monitoring and Management: Example Artifact
User Performance Management User Experience Platform Health Infrastructure Networks Applications <ul><li>Assumes platform ...
User Performance Management starts with user experience User Experience Platform Health Infrastructure Networks Applicatio...
Where User Performance Management fits <ul><li>UPM the missing piece </li></ul><ul><li>Without it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>N...
Device monitoring:  Watching the infrastructure <ul><li>Less relation to application availability </li></ul><ul><li>Vital ...
Web Analytics:  Looking at user behavior <ul><li>Studies the behavior of Web site visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Help marketin...
Synthetic testing:  Checking it yourself <ul><li>Local or outside </li></ul><ul><li>Same test each time </li></ul><ul><li>...
User performance management:  See what’s happening <ul><li>See what your users are actually doing </li></ul><ul><li>Monito...
The technology: Real user monitoring <ul><li>Detect individual incidents  </li></ul><ul><li>Capture, alert, localize & esc...
Web Analytics: Behavior Modeling <ul><li>Look into the past to see the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Web Analytics is the anal...
Want More? <ul><li>To view my resources and references for this presentation, visit  </li></ul><ul><li>www.scholar.com </l...
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Short reference architecture

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  • Several recent trends have converged to create a “perfect storm” for the IT managers tasked with delivering web apps: To begin with, IT organizations are consolidating data centers to reduce costs and simplify management. This moves applications further away from end users, increasing the distance application traffic must travel before it reaches its destination. At the same time, application users are increasingly mobile, moving further away from the datacenter and accessing applications via a wider variety of devices and network connections. This exacerbates the situation, resulting in increased latency, greater packet loss and overall stability problems. To make matters worse, applications delivered over the Web use extremely “chatty” protocols like HTTP which generate a lot of back-and-forth “hand-shaking” traffic between the server and the client. And last but not least, mission-critical web applications must be subjected to far more security policies today than ever before to ensure that confidential data is never compromised. Technologies like encryption and application-layer security inspection can be extremely compute intensive, increasing server requirements and further slowing down performance. Unfortunately, web and application servers cannot solve most of these problems, nor were traditional load balancers and traffic management systems designed to address the realities of delivering modern web applications. Server vendors can always sell you more servers. But that’s expensive and complex to manage. And it does little to solve problems like slow response time. Buying specialized point products quickly creates more complexity, which can easily outweigh whatever benefit they were originally bought to achieve. And adding more bandwidth is not only expensive, it does nothing to solve the problem of round-trip latency. The result is an overall web application delivery environment that is expensive, complex, slow and difficult to scale.
  • Several recent trends have converged to create a “perfect storm” for the IT managers tasked with delivering web apps: To begin with, IT organizations are consolidating data centers to reduce costs and simplify management. This moves applications further away from end users, increasing the distance application traffic must travel before it reaches its destination. At the same time, application users are increasingly mobile, moving further away from the datacenter and accessing applications via a wider variety of devices and network connections. This exacerbates the situation, resulting in increased latency, greater packet loss and overall stability problems. To make matters worse, applications delivered over the Web use extremely “chatty” protocols like HTTP which generate a lot of back-and-forth “hand-shaking” traffic between the server and the client. And last but not least, mission-critical web applications must be subjected to far more security policies today than ever before to ensure that confidential data is never compromised. Technologies like encryption and application-layer security inspection can be extremely compute intensive, increasing server requirements and further slowing down performance. Unfortunately, web and application servers cannot solve most of these problems, nor were traditional load balancers and traffic management systems designed to address the realities of delivering modern web applications. Server vendors can always sell you more servers. But that’s expensive and complex to manage. And it does little to solve problems like slow response time. Buying specialized point products quickly creates more complexity, which can easily outweigh whatever benefit they were originally bought to achieve. And adding more bandwidth is not only expensive, it does nothing to solve the problem of round-trip latency. The result is an overall web application delivery environment that is expensive, complex, slow and difficult to scale.
  • Short reference architecture

    1. 1. The Blackboard Reference Architecture: Advanced Performance Management Stephen Feldman ( [email_address] ) Director Blackboard Performance Engineering 07/10/07
    2. 2. Who is this presentation geared for? <ul><li>Directors of Technology and Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Key Decision Makers over technology purchase and implementation decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Key Stakeholders in the operational management of the system </li></ul><ul><li>Curious bystanders who walked into the session by accident. </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Learn what are reference architectures. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand why reference architectures are important for enterprise application deployments. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to initial components of the Blackboard Reference Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Short overview of user performance management. </li></ul>What will you attain from this presentation?
    4. 4. <ul><li>Introduction to Reference Architectures </li></ul><ul><li>The Blackboard Reference Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Key Components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform Infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web/Application Delivery and Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced Storage Architectures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring and Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User Performance Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior Modeling (Web Analytics) </li></ul></ul>Presentation agenda
    5. 5. Where does your institution fit?
    6. 6. <ul><li>An architectural set of best of practices for system deployment. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin with a holistic view of the system and narrow down to each essential component. </li></ul><ul><li>Each component must add value to the overall architecture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Without the component the system lacks the quintessential definition of the “Ideal Architecture” </li></ul></ul>What is a Reference Architecture?
    7. 7. <ul><li>Consider it a blue print for success. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that buildings are not constructed of blue prints, but rather are designed from blue prints. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not a pie-in-the-sky idea, but a vision towards enterprise performance optimization. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide an overview of what an enterprise application requires to achieve Level 5 in the Performance Maturity Model. </li></ul><ul><li>Without it, your institution will struggle to ascend beyond Level 2: Monitoring and Management. </li></ul>Why is the Reference Architecture important to you?
    8. 8. What is the Blackboard Reference Architecture?
    9. 9. Platform Infrastructure <ul><li>Focusing on a few major players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware Perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dell </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linux/Windows on Intel </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linux/Windows on AMD </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sun Microsystems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solaris on Niagra/T1 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solaris on Ultra Sparc IV </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linux/Windows on AMD </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linux/Windows on Intel </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform OS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Red Hat Linux </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Windows 2003 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solaris 10 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RDBMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Oracle 10G and Oracle 10G RAC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SQL Server 2005 </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Dell Multi-Purpose Reference Architecture
    11. 11. Sun Multi-Purpose Reference Architecture
    12. 12. Alternative Performance Configurations: Multi-Home Clustering Academic Suite Vista/CE Learning System
    13. 13. Alternative Performance Configurations: Distributed Load-Balancing and Clustering Academic Suite Vista/CE Learning System
    14. 14. Alternative Performance Configurations: Server Virtualization (Linux/Windows)
    15. 15. Alternative Performance Configurations: Server Virtualization (Solaris)
    16. 16. Web/Application Delivery and Management Web Servers Application Servers DB Servers Servers Add Up Quickly Variety of Point Products Chatty Protocols, Long Hauls, High Latency Security Caching Compression SSL Acceleration
    17. 17. Citrix NetScaler: Reference Architecture Component Web Servers Application Servers DB Servers Reduces Load on Backend Servers Eliminates Multiple Inefficient Point Products Reduces Bandwidth Required Security Caching Compression SSL Acceleration
    18. 18. Storage architectures <ul><li>Ideal architectures should support multi-protocol </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network File Storage (NFS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fiber-Channel SAN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IP/SAN (ISCI) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Internet File System (CIFS) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High-Performing (I/O per second) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read/Write Performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Replication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Handle growth and change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Least interruption </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Storage Utilization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility in mixing spindle type and speed </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Monitoring and Management <ul><li>One of the most critical components in the Reference Architecture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Without monitoring and management tools in place it would be the equivalent of walking in a pitch-black room with no lights. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visibility is essential with enterprise applications. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issues can be highlighted and observed in real-time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprise architectures are large…M & M tools can help make the problem more manageable. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>M & M tools assist with going back in time to understand patterns, trends and key events. </li></ul><ul><li>Automate problem detection and notification — you don’t have to ask about current status </li></ul><ul><li>M &M tools assist with the quantification of problems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide critical diagnostic information about why something happened. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most M & M tools make the data digestible to stakeholders of the system who are often not as technical as you are. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Monitoring and Management: Example Artifact
    21. 21. User Performance Management User Experience Platform Health Infrastructure Networks Applications <ul><li>Assumes platform health is the only indicator of user performance or app availability </li></ul>Impact Verify Escalate Alert
    22. 22. User Performance Management starts with user experience User Experience Platform Health Infrastructure Networks Applications Detect Investigate Localize Resolve
    23. 23. Where User Performance Management fits <ul><li>UPM the missing piece </li></ul><ul><li>Without it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No way to measure end user experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No immediate detection of user errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No problem reproduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No view of what really happens in production </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Performance Management </li></ul><ul><li>Incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Service levels </li></ul>Synthetic testing Reachability, baselining, CDN, competitors, load Platform Mgmt Devices, functions, agents, databases Web analytics Conversion, SEO, traffic, campaign ROI Users Systems Operations Marketing Synthetic testing Reachability, baselining, CDN, competitors, load Web analytics Conversion, SEO, traffic, campaign ROI Platform Mgmt Devices, functions, agents, databases $
    24. 24. Device monitoring: Watching the infrastructure <ul><li>Less relation to application availability </li></ul><ul><li>Vital for troubleshooting and localization </li></ul><ul><li>Will show “hard down” errors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But good sites are redundant anyway </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Correlation between a metric (CPU, RAM) and performance degradation shows where to add capacity </li></ul>
    25. 25. Web Analytics: Looking at user behavior <ul><li>Studies the behavior of Web site visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Help marketing teams support business objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Report on effectiveness of campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze visitor demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t look at the impact of performance on user behavior </li></ul>
    26. 26. Synthetic testing: Checking it yourself <ul><li>Local or outside </li></ul><ul><li>Same test each time </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent for network baselining when you can’t control end-user connection </li></ul><ul><li>Use to check if a region or function is down for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Limited usefulness for problem re-creation </li></ul>
    27. 27. User performance management: See what’s happening <ul><li>See what your users are actually doing </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor usage while in production </li></ul><ul><li>Get real-time visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Re-produce problems for troubleshooting </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize problems based on the impact to actual users </li></ul>
    28. 28. The technology: Real user monitoring <ul><li>Detect individual incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Capture, alert, localize & escalate </li></ul><ul><li>Store detailed user performance data </li></ul><ul><li>Share with other IT systems </li></ul><ul><li>Measure capacity at different loads </li></ul><ul><li>Report on subscribers, regions, etc. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Web Analytics: Behavior Modeling <ul><li>Look into the past to see the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Web Analytics is the analysis of how users behave on the system. </li></ul><ul><li>While built-in product features are helpful to understand user behavior, analyzing log data can provide more meaningful statistics. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal is to understand the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are your users spending their time? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How long are they spending? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are they coming from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are they going? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What patterns do they exhibit when they are interacting with the application? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What types of errors or failures are they experiencing? </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Want More? <ul><li>To view my resources and references for this presentation, visit </li></ul><ul><li>www.scholar.com </li></ul><ul><li>Simply click “Advanced Search” and search by s_feldman and tag: ‘ bbworld07 ’ and ‘ refarch ’ </li></ul>

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