Application Performance Management 

Application Performance Management and the Power of Advanced Analytics

EMA’s Julie Craig calls analytics “the secret sauce” for making performance metrics useful

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What does an episode of a television show that aired in 1952 have to do with application performance management? In a recent Webcast on APM and the power of advanced analytics, Julie Craig, Research director for Application Management at Enterprise Management Associates, compared today’s processing of application performance metrics to the “Chocolate Factory” episode of I Love Lucy. It’s a very apt analogy.

“Today, it would be an assembly line with candy several feet high, that would more closely resemble the big data operational environments we’re seeing today,” Craig said. “The product changes, but the idea is the same: humans have limits, whether they’re wrapping candy or analyzing metrics. Today’s massive application ecosystems generate far too many metrics for us to intelligently troubleshoot without real-time analytics.”

Craig went on to say that to that the problem is not a manpower issue either, as throwing more people at the problem won’t help. “We’re beyond the where we can throw people at the problem. I really think there’s no other answer at this time than analytics and automation,” she says. “Analytics are the secret sauce that transforms machine data across the application ecosystem into actionable, useful information. They mitigate complexity and take lot of info and make meaningful to humans.”

This is precisely why we’ve added Application Behavior Analytics to CA APM. Baselines and thresholds are great for determining extreme behavior in an application and the underlying infrastructure, but there’s more that can be gleaned from the rich performance metrics. Application Behavior Analytics helps IT get more value from the data they’re collecting and troubleshoot complex problems more efficiently.

You can hear the entire Webcast with Julie Craig in the player below. If you’re wondering how advanced analytics can help your IT organization, I highly recommend listening as she provides great insight into the power of analytics.

Also, as a bonus to readers of the blog: We received one more Q&A question as we were signing off from the live webcast and didn’t get a chance to answer it. We do here:

Q: “Is this more a about solution functionality or ability to deal with the exponential growth of data to analyze?”

Julie Craig, EMA: “Regarding the question, it’s a “chicken and egg” kind of question. I don’t think you can really separate the two, and the webinar was about the two in context to one another. The data provides the ‘breadcrumbs’ pointing to the sources of application problems. The solution provides the smarts to really understand the application in context to its underlying components and interrelationships—and this info is actually contained within the data.

When we talk about apps, we have to deal with the fact that they are becoming increasingly distributed, abstracted (i.e. virtualization and Cloud components), and interconnected (i.e. one app calls a component of another app). The only way to troubleshoot environments like these is to analyze the ‘big data’ they generate. So:

  1. From the solution functionality perspective, you need intelligent solutions capable of correlating and analyzing ‘big data’ to pinpoint the source of a problem
  2. From the ‘big data” perspective, this ‘big data’ is only getting ‘bigger’ over time. So it’s not going to get any easier for humans to manually track and analyze.

The unspoken truth is that most IT organizations would have trouble accurately mapping even one componentized application manually. Almost none could do this for ALL their apps, which means that demand for APM products will likely continue to grow.”



Are you putting analytics to work in your IT operations group? Tweet us @CAsvcAssur.


Jason is a tech marketer/journalist with 20 years experience.

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