I have seen a shift in responsibility for overseeing and managing applications. Application monitoring and management is increasingly moving from application architects and developers and into IT operations. Our clients’ IT management folks are expected to be responsible for ensuring application health and performance and therefore are increasingly relying upon Layered Tech to provide management information and dashboard.
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Every customer running revenue-critical business applications should consider adding application performance monitoring and management. For this reason, we have taken our experience deploying application performance monitoring tools for our customers and released a standard managed solution. Our new Application Performance Management (APM) service, powered by AppDynamics, offers a “managed with” model in which we integrate APM with our customers’ managed hosting and cloud service. We handle the deployment, configuration, monitoring and assist clients with utilizing the APM solution.
Here are 5 important reasons to monitor your revenue-critical business applications.
1. Minimize the business impact of application issues
The more complex your application is, and the higher the rate of change, the more likely your applications will perform poorly or fail.
An effective troubleshooting process today prioritizes uptime over seeking answers, and uses the intelligence and alerting capabilities of a monitoring tool to help you mitigate business impact. When an outage occurs, you can use your application monitoring to quickly identify the problem and come up with a workaround that will get your app back up and running; later, when production is stable, you can consult with your developers and architects about how to improve the application and prevent problems going forward.
2. Find Ticking Time Bombs
Dealing with critical application issues quickly and effectively is key to minimizing the business impact of application failure. However, simply responding to outages is not enough. Smaller problems often go unresolved in applications because operation teams don’t have the time or resources to deal with them. Unfortunately, smaller issues can turn into major outages if they’re left unattended. So, enabling monitoring and identifying issues early is key.
3. Get to Know Your Application
When operations can’t troubleshoot a performance problem themselves, they often call in developers and architects to help. When you add up the man-hours spent fighting fires and the opportunity cost of not working on other projects, this is an expensive way to deal with problems.
To reduce the cost of troubleshooting, operations needs better visibility of their applications. The ops team needs to understand enough about the application that they won’t need to call in the experts to identify root cause. Ideally, ops can locate the root cause of problems quickly, and hand off to development with the right information and context for the fix.
4. Become More Agile
If your development team is agile, then you need to be agile, too. In most organizations the more nimble the development team, the more frequent the incidents. If constant code changes causes your application to perform poorly in production, then your organization isn’t recognizing the benefits of being agile. The solution isn’t to slow down your developers but rather to improve your own processes to better manage change. For some organizations, this means rethinking the way you identify issues.
5. Create Application Transparency for Everyone
Monitoring application performance in production can have effects that reach far beyond IT. The data that your monitoring tool collects represents how your users interact with your application. This data can help inform important decisions about performance-tuning projects, user-interface design, and product roadmap. With helpful, actionable data about your end users, you can change the course of your application and shape your organization’s culture.
Production doesn’t have to be a black box – nor should it be. Today’s applications are complex and dynamic, and the techniques we used to manage them in the past no longer work. This means you need the fastest and most effective way to troubleshoot and solve performance problems. The good news is, business application monitoring is now easier than ever. Check out our Layered Tech APM White Paper to find out how we can help you can crack open the black box.
For more information about our Application Performance Management service, please contact us or visit www.layeredtech.com/apm.
About the Author: As Vice President of Product Management at Layered Tech, Kevin Van Mondfrans (@VANMONDFRANS | +Kevin Van Mondfrans) is responsible for driving the Layered Tech portfolio of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and managed service offerings. With more than 20 years of experience product development and marketing, Kevin has been delivering innovative computing, storage, cloud and service offering with companies such as HP, Dell, and Savvis.
Layered Tech customers can select from a full range of Windows- and Linux-based servers to best fit their business needs. Find out more
By Tom Eagle
Layered Tech announced today that Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is now available for rapid server deployments via Astro, our proprietary automated Web hosting platform. With this addition, we offer a full range of operating systems, including high-performance and secure Linux and Unix systems, with servers that can be provisioned almost instantaneously.
“By adding Windows Server 2008 to our rapid deployment server offerings, our customers can stay current with the latest offerings from Microsoft, explore new features with the .NET product offering and leverage a rich Web server environment that is more robust and feature-driven than previous versions of IIS,” said Layered Tech COO and CIO Terrance Bush.
With Windows Server 2008, customers can develop, deliver and manage rich user experiences and applications, provide a highly secure network infrastructure, and increase technological efficiency and value within their organizations.
Through Astro, Layered Tech customers can quickly customize their rapid deployment servers with a wide range of options, including IIS, Plesk control panel, virtual firewall solutions and DefCon bundled managed services. Astro displays server inventory in real-time and enables near instantaneous server provisioning so that within 90 minutes, our customers can easily configure their server, complete the purchase and have the server available for use.
“We continue to evaluate the latest and greatest server technologies to determine what will best meet our customers’ needs and support their business goals,” Bush continued. “We’re excited to make Windows Server 2008 available within our rapid deployment service offering, provide our customers a wide variety of robust operating system options, and deliver powerful servers in less than two hours after selection.”
The Window Server 2008 editions currently available via Astro include:
- Data Center Edition: an enterprise-class platform for deploying business-critical applications on medium and large servers;
- Standard Edition: the most robust Windows Server operating system to date, due to its increased reliability, flexibility and control;
- Enterprise Edition: an enterprise-class platform for deploying business-critical applications.
Through Encompass, Layered Tech’s centralized client management portal, customers can manage their account, request support, reboot servers and access other critical information such as bandwidth graphs, alerts and notifications. Customers can access Astro and buy servers directly through our Web site at www.LayeredTech.com, and with an open API created by Layered Tech, partners can display inventory and coordinate sales in real-time from their own Web sites.
Astro was launched in January 2009 in Layered Tech’s DataBank data center located in Dallas and the rapid deployment platform continues to broaden so customers can take advantage of additional services within minutes, not hours or days. Layered Tech plans to expand Astro into its Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Chicago facilities in the near future.