Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Rajesh Lain, Sebastian Kruk, RealWire News Distribution, Harald Zeitlhofer

Related Topics: Big Data Journal, Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, Cloud Expo

Big Data Journal: Blog Feed Post

A New Breed of Actionable Analytics

Being smart about your monitoring data collection allows you to isolate and resolve problems much faster

Data is dumb but we can't seem to get enough of it these days. An entire industry has evolved to make sense of the massive amounts of data being generated every day. Massive data collection by itself does not guarantee the context required to solve business and IT problems... If we are smart about data, however, it will lead us in the right direction.

Today's businesses are defined by the software they run on, enabling them to innovate and create new services faster. Apple re-invented the music industry through software; Netflix changed the way we consume movies through software; grocery shopping, taxi-hire, parcel-logistics, car rental, travel booking... these are all industries that have been completely disrupted by software.

As more and more organisations depend upon the software they run on, the consumer demand for superior services, faster innovation, and improved performance continues to accelerate. As a result the software required to compete in this unforgiving market only continues to increase in its complexity.

It was only a few short years ago that when I wanted to book my family vacation, we all made the trip down to the local travel agent and sat around a desk while the agent tapped away on her green-screen searching for available flights and hotels. The process of booking our hotels has obviously changed dramatically, and so have the applications that support the process.

For example, below is a screen shot of the Business Transaction flow through a global travel site when a user makes a simple search for a hotel. All the user does is select a destination, some dates and maybe one or two preferences, but the resultant transaction kicks off more than 200 service requests before the results are returned to the user they can make their selection of preferred hotel.

Hotel Search

This rise in application complexity often means we generate increasingly more structured and unstructured data from our applications such as log files, email, alerts, infrastructure stats, network stats etc. Close to 200 billion emails will be sent in 2014, I wonder how many of those emails are false alerts from monitoring tools?

Keep nothing?

I have been helping companies build monitoring strategies for nearly a decade, and the problem I used to regularly face was dealing with organisations that just didn't have enough data. IT departments didn't have the required information to be able to quickly diagnose and remediate problems when they occurred.

Keep everything?

As organisations continue to have a greater dependency on the software they run on and application complexity continues to increase, there is a danger we swing the other way by collecting and storing too much data to be able to make sense of it in a timely manner. My colleague Jim Hirschauer often refers to this as the "home hoarders effect" drawing parallels with people who simply never throw anything out from their homes. The bigger the piles get the harder it is to find what you need, and at some point that pile is going to topple over.

Keep what you need

There are lots of good reasons to keep data, but "just in-case we need it" is not a good reason. It is important to think about why the data is being captured and stored and how it will help solve problems in the future. By keeping the relevant data and throwing away the clutter, you become more efficient and effective in troubleshooting and resolving problems.

But data alone isn't good enough to solve your business and IT problems. Data in and of itself is one-dimensional and dumb. Data doesn't tell you when there are problems, it doesn't tell you when business is going well, it doesn't tell you anything meaningful without some help and a lot more context. Let's explore an example to illustrate my point.

Let's say we have a couple of data points about a person. The data points are...

Heart Rate = 150 bpm

Blood Pressure = 200 over 100

Now tell me, is this person performing well? With these data points we have no idea. We need more data. The table below shows a list of some possible data points we can collect.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.42.29 PM.png

Notice the last attribute in the table. The activity provides us with the context we need to focus on the proper data points to figure out if the person is performing well or not. Here are some more relevant data points...

Distance Run = 100 meters

Time = 9.58s

Now can we determine if the person is performing well or not? I'm not much of a track and field aficionado so I have no idea if this is a good performance or not. I need point of comparison to determine if 9.58 seconds in the 100-meter dash is good. So here is our baseline for comparison sake...

100-Meter World Record Time = 9.69s

Well it looks like the person was performing really well. They set a world record in the 100-meter dash. All of the data points individually didn't tell us anything. We required correlation (context) and analytics (comparison to baseline) in order to turn data into information. I like to refer to this concept as creating Smart Data.

Smart Data Defined

Smart Data is actionable, intelligent, information.

Smart Data is created by performing correlation and analytics on data sets. AppDynamics correlates end user business transaction details with completion status (success, error, exception), response times, and all other data points measured at any given time. It automatically analyzes the entire data set to provide information from which to draw conclusions and take the appropriate action. This information is called Smart Data.

Being smart about your monitoring data collection allows you to isolate and resolve problems much faster, and with a much lower cost of ownership and overhead.

I have recently been working with a company to replace their legacy monitoring tool with AppDynamics. The environment they are monitoring is a good size, consisting of about 1,200 servers and their main application processes approximately 300,000 transactions per minute. They invested in a monitoring tool to help manage the performance of their applications which captured and stored all the data they could "just in-case" it was needed. Unfortunately this approach required an additional 92 servers to be provisioned for the monitoring tool itself, which consumed approximately 80TB of data storage per year. The increasing investments this customer needed to make in hardware, storage, people, and maintenance was too much to manage for them and they decided to look for a different approach.

AppDynamics "smart data" approach to analytics means this particular customer now only requires two reporting servers and the storage requirements were reduced to just 1TB per year. Collecting only the data required to make smart decisions gave them both a 98% reduction in hardware costs and  more effective analytics in the process.

Adding business context

Smart data is not just about resolving problems faster though. In October last year we introduced Real-time Business Metrics and described how AppDynamics customers can use Real-time Business Metrics to extract and present business metrics directly from within their applications. These business metrics provide business context enabling customers to turn smart data into actionable information. Our customers, for example, can see the exact revenue impact of performance problems, the end user experience during an app upgrade, or the real-time impact of marketing campaigns. Smart analytics not only clearly show the business benefits of making immediate improvements, they help direct where limited resources should be invested for further business and application improvement going forward.

AppDynamics is focused on delivering actionable intelligence to sell problems for IT operations and development teams as well as business owners. To learn more about Real-time Business Metrics read here.

The post A New Breed of Actionable Analytics written by appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Sandi Mappic

Sandi Mappic has a passion for making apps go faster. She works with AppDynamics around the clock to help customers resolve performance pain and master application performance management

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems and the inventor of cloud billing panelists, will lead a panel discussion on what it takes to launch and manage a successful recurring revenue business. The panelists will offer their insights about what each department will need to consider, from financial management to line of business and IT. The panelists will also offer examples from their success in recurring revenue with companies such as Audi, Constant Contact, Experian, Pitney-Bowes, Teleko...
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your development arsenal and pick up a few strategies to apply to your own projects.
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the right cloud model can help your business economically overcome the data struggle.
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution