Easy as 1, 2, 3 – Isolating Application Performance Problems

I can isolate the source of any application performance problems using only three pieces of information. Any guesses as to what they are?

If you guessed transaction response times, you’re right, give yourself a point. Chances are you’re reading Bernd Harzog’s blog religiously. If you measure hop-by-hop, layer-by-layer, transaction response times tell you where the slowdown or breakdown is.

If you guessed transaction rate, you’re also right, give yourself another point. If you measure transaction rates, you know under which conditions the problem occurs and can begin to recreate it.

The third one is the hardest. You need the content of the transaction – where the error codes, status information, customer details, amounts, etc. live. The content, or the profile, of the transaction gives you the details you need to investigate root cause.

Now, hands up for who collects all this information in one place…anyone, anyone?

And therein lies the challenge. These three pieces of information are scattered across multiple tools, teams, and systems of record. You can’t bring them all together without a lot of manual effort. Who loves war-rooms?

This is where network-based transaction monitoring tools can make a real difference. They constantly measure hop-by-hop response times at every layer (i.e. network, infrastructure, and application). They compute transaction rates. And, they correlate the two previous metrics with critical data from every transaction. In fact, they actually automate most of the problem isolation process, making it much less painful, expensive, and time-consuming.

So if you love hanging out in a tense room, with a dozen of your closest colleagues at 7pm on a Friday, eating cold pizza staring at packet traces or debug logs…carry on. If you’d like to be home with your family, with the satisfaction that you found the problem at noon and spent the afternoon breaking ground on new projects, learn more about transaction monitoring tools. The three pieces of information you need are already there.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…Watch our 3 minute video on business transaction management.  Meet Marty and Sam, two IT operations managers working for (fictional) payment processing companies.  Both rely heavily on their performance monitoring tools to manage complex payments environments, but that is where their similarities end.