Introducing INETCO's Unified Transaction Model (UTM) for Application Performance Monitoring
What is the Unified Transaction Model (UTM)?
The Unified Transaction Model (UTM) is a structured, hierarchical framework used in the INETCO Insight transaction-centric application performance monitoring software solution.
In order to monitor, measure, and manage the performance of a critical applications, it is essential to track types of transactions at every level, relate them to one another, and represent them to IT Operations teams in a clear and navigable fashion. Both the high-level transaction of the business and the low-level transaction of the infrastructure must be accounted for. This is the objective of the UTM.
Watch this video, or read the UTM whitepaper to learn more.
Why do you require a UTM-based transaction monitoring product such as INETCO Insight?
The UTM provides a holistic view into big transaction data and complex, multi-application systems.
Multi-step, or hop-by-hop transactions, provide critical information about each part of the system at various different levels. They are essential for performance assessment, understanding response times and troubleshooting. They can take the form of packets that are sent and received; messages that are exchanged; a request that is fulfilled; money and goods that change hands. Each kind of transaction is essential to the assured operation of an application.
However, applications are increasingly complex, distributed, and dynamic. Data being gathered from monitoring tools is getting more difficult to correlate, analyze and interpret. Information about both the overall system, as well as the infrastructure running it, is lost in the amount and variety of different data sources and views, making effective management and efficient problem isolation tough.
The UTM is expressed in four distinct ways:
- A hierarchical model which defines system infrastructure components, their properties, actors, inter-dependencies, relationships, events (messages and sub-transactions), and the overall business process;
- A mapping and configuration process whereby the model structure is applied to a specific IT system in terms of the network topology;
- A real-time correlation process that constructs instances of events (e.g. transactions) at each level of the hierarchy, selecting the events from the lower level (e.g. messages) to aggregate in terms of the topological model;
- An analysis of the events at each level with respect to metrics of performance specific to each level.
The key to the UTM is its structured and hierarchical approach to transactions
Within the UTM, transaction types are defined according to a series of nested levels. The entities at a given level are composed of entities from the level below. For example, an application can be viewed as composed of one or more functional IT services such as a user interface, business logic, and a datastore. And each IT service is composed of one or more servers inter-connected by network links. Events at each level are a type of transaction that are similarly composed of transactions from the level below – exchanges of application messages are composed of network-level exchanges of packets. The basic UTM implementation comprises four levels:
Business level – business processes that employ applications
Application level – end-to-end applications interacting with users
IT services level – inter-operating processes running on nodes
Network level – nodes with interfaces connected via a network
The Unified Transaction Model makes it easy to understand the performance of complex applications. It presents a simple, structured model of how an individual user interaction or business transaction unfolds across multiple application components, network links, devices, and servers and allows you to drill up or down to get the appropriate level of detail. With this approach, the UTM can account for performance at multiple levels of the distributed application and provide rich IT Operations Analytics (ITOA).
INETCO Insight uses the Unified Transaction model to provide an application-centric view of complex IT environments – simplifying troubleshooting and diagnostic processes, and creating actionable intelligence from large volumes of application performance and event data. INETCO Insight is also able to forward these alerts, real-time statistics, complete transaction records, and interval statistics into IT management systems like IBM TivoliNetcool/OMNIbus, HP Operations Manager, NCR APTRA Vision, and Splunk, allowing INETCO Insight customers to leverage their existing IT investment to create more complete ITOA solutions.
For more information on the UTM, read this whitepaper.
“The primary driver for the implementation of INETCO Insight was to provide an operational view of our transactional environment that reflected the customer’s experience. This is particularly useful when system performance degrades as opposed to complete system failures. INETCO Insight allows us to easily adjust our view and sensitivity to proactively detect the onset of system degradation.”
Neal Bresler, Operations and Security Manager