App Performance Monitoring & Management Tools | NETSCOUT

Application Monitoring: Application Performance Monitoring and Management Tools

Too often, application performance monitoring and management of the enterprise infrastructure is limited to the lower tiers of the seven-layer network stack. With respect to application performance monitoring and analysis, the natural inclination is to focus on monitoring the servers, routers, switches, and other equipment that comprise the physical network architecture, as well as the protocols, links, and circuits that allow these components to communicate. What's often overlooked, or treated as a separate issue, is application performance monitoring.

Regardless of how well the physical network is planned and managed, overall network performance will suffer if the applications that are hosted on the network, in the cloud, or in a hybrid of the two and transmit information are compromised. Examples of adverse application performance include erroneous execution, which can completely disable the application or cause the application to overwhelm servers or circuits, and inappropriate or unanticipated utilization, such as when personnel download large files or streaming video or when demand for access exceeds projections.  Similarly, in a cloud or hybrid environment you can lose visibility and control of what's being transmitted and how - often resulting in a poor end-user experience.

Applications

Application performance management tools are essential to monitoring and maintaining the health of applications throughout the enterprise. To ensure application availability and the achievement of service level agreements (SLAs) with all relevant parties, IT personnel must have their fingers on the pulse of who is using the application, when they are accessing the application, where the applications are located, what the applications are doing, and much more.

Application performance analysis

and other management and monitoring tools become even more critical as application complexity grows in N-tier environments and as services move to the cloud.  As the number of users rises and application traffic is segmented into distinct classes of service to meet SLAs, it's crucial to plan, manage, and monitor the end-user experience with the proper set of tools.

Key Considerations

Application performance monitoring and management

must not be conducted in a vacuum. Passive server-side analysis and in-depth WAN- and LAN-based analysis are required to address application performance problems or deviations from established baselines. When

Application performance monitoring

of current and historical conditions is integrated with similar capabilities for the physical infrastructure, issues can be identified and quantified rapidly, and their source isolated to the network, the server, or the application itself.

Additionally, visibility cannot be restricted to just internal, data center deployed applications.  With the rise of rapidly deployed cloud applications, it's crucial to have the flexibility to monitor both internal and external to ensure availability and performance of business-critical applications, regardless of where they're located.

Poor application performance management

and monitoring tools produce negative effects that can be felt across the enterprise – from reduced employee productivity and IT inefficiency to customer dissatisfaction and loss of business. Application performance management and monitoring tools can help proactively avoid problems and mitigate their effects by facilitating fast, accurate reactions when anomalous conditions arise, but only when the application performance management and monitoring tools address the following key considerations:

  • Application baselining and availability (regularly monitor and measure nominal performance horizontally across the entire distributed infrastructure and vertically across all of the seven-layer network stack as the operating environment evolves over time)
  • Round-trip time measurement (determine how long it takes for application traffic to get from source to destination and back) for internal, SaaS and hybrid applications
  • Service availability  for internal, SaaS and hybrid applications
  • Application analysis by traffic class (monitor and manage how much bandwidth applications such as voice, video, Web, FTP, and streaming are using, in real-time and in the past, for each class of service to promote maximum network efficiency)
  • Recognition of incorrect class of service settings (ensure applications aren't initiating performance issues because they have been misconfigured due to an erroneous class of service assignment)
  • In many cases these application performance management and monitoring tools can identify the root cause of problems, but some cases require packet inspection tools. Typically, these basic packet decoders provide a view of packet level transactions which is often helpful, but fall short of providing the information necessary for fast application troubleshooting. More advanced application performance management and monitoring tools can provide higher layer application analysis which can greatly speed problem resolution.