Thousands of abandoned or rarely used applications cost organizations millions of dollars every year, according to recent survey results. IT can be more vigilant in curing this application bloat within the infrastructure, which is just waiting to wreak financial havoc on the enterprise. Without thorough monitoring of these unused applications, millions more dollars in operating costs are at risk, along with overall IT performance. More than half of the respondents of the survey, conducted by research firm Harris Interactive, believed this IT diagnosis was affecting their infrastructure.
Here are five tips for how an application performance monitoring (APM) solution can diagnose bloated apps and bring your infrastructure back to life:
1) Focus on what's important
The Symptom: There's a storm of noise with applications and the din intensifies when there are performance issues (e.g., your monitors may generate a large number of alerts in no particular order that indicate any number of problems, but it's difficult to see the true root cause of the issue).
The Cure: Using an APM solution, IT can see all alarms correlated within the context of associated applications, users, and transactions and can quickly spot the root cause of an application performance issue instead of spending a lot of unnecessary time solving ‘symptoms' or peripheral issues.
2) Make sense of the complexity
The Symptom: As enterprises grow, so do the number and complexity of their applications. Many IT departments are at the mercy of independent, seemingly unrelated alerts to make them aware of performance issues across their environment. These alerts can be overwhelming and contradictory, with disparate teams dealing with each separate alert. The database team deals with database-related alerts, and the network team with network-based alerts, but nobody is looking for trends or cross-function relationships between any of the alerts, making resolution much more difficult.
The Cure: IT needs to look at alerts in a different way, to avoid traditional first-in-first-out processing by multiple individual technology silo teams who have no way to understand which individual alerts are associated with what business impact or priority. An APM solution provides a more accurate picture of the complete problem, its severity, the issues that need to be resolved, and in what order.
3) Cut through the complaints
The Symptom: Any time there's a performance issue, IT is inundated with complaints. To further complicate things, stakeholders sometimes provide inaccurate information, which results in an incomplete and inaccurate picture of the performance issue.
The Cure: IT can proactively identify these issues before the barrage of angry phone calls by leveraging tools that quantify performance issues with actual facts. IT can then see exactly what users are seeing in real-time, with full correlation to what is happening within the associated applications and infrastructure.
4) See it from the user's point of view
The Symptom: As applications become more complex and users become increasingly savvy in how they use them, expectations about application performance increase.
The Cure: Developers and IT often don't adopt a user's perspective when pinpointing application problems, even though this can be the fastest path to resolution. An intuitive APM solution will help you see exactly what your application users see, so you can resolve problems faster.
5) Keep up with the pace of change
The Symptom: To meet or exceed users' expectations, apps must be upgraded more regularly than ever before. This constant cycle demands new ways of looking at application development, deployment and day-to-day management ─ including formalized Agile Development and DevOps disciplines, in which APM plays a critical central role.
The Cure: As enterprises embrace the fact that their critical apps need to be constantly updated, they must ensure that the updates perform optimally. APM enables IT to continually monitor performance from development and test cycles all the way through production, minimizing the number of post-deployment performance ‘surprises.'
So, the ultimate cure? Exterminate application bloat with APM and stop the drain on financial resources and overall IT performance. The enterprise ─ and your infrastructure ─will be glad you did.
By John Newsom, Quest Software (now a part of Dell)
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond