Monitoring Best Practices for COMMERCE

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1 Monitoring Best Practices for COMMERCE

2 OVERVIEW Providing the right level and depth of monitoring is key to ensuring the effective operation of IT systems. This is especially true for ecommerce systems like Oracle Commerce, where downtime and poor performance have immediate and profoundly negative impacts on revenues and brand perceptions. Even more disturbing is the fact that these impacts can be far reaching, impacting customer purchase behavior for months or even years as the following statistics indicate : 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. 40% will abandon a website that takes more the 3 seconds to load. A 1 second delay (or 3 seconds of waiting) decreases customer satisfaction by 16%. 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online. Given the direct and immediate correlation between ecommerce website performance, business performance and customer lifetime value, the level of monitoring of ecommerce websites must go far beyond the monitoring of system vitals. It must go deep enough to uncover issues that may affect the customer experience and ideally uncover these issues before they ever impact customers. Tenzing is a managed hosting provider that specializes in ecommerce hosting solutions for Oracle Commerce. Our position in the Oracle Commerce ecosystem gives us a unique vantage point on the impacts of performance on ecommerce success. The range of customers that we serve and our experiences with our customers have impressed upon us the importance of advanced monitoring, so much so that we have invested in technologies and developed specific best practices to ensure the success of our customers ecommerce initiatives. This whitepaper describes our approach to advanced monitoring, one we hope you will find valuable in your ecommerce initiatives. 79 % of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. 2 Dallas Kelowna London Toronto Vancouver

3 A Success-Based Approach to Monitoring A Success-Based Approach to Monitoring Monitoring, at its heart, is an exercise in transforming system data into critical insights, providing those insights to key stakeholders, at which point those key stakeholders take action to deliver measurable customer value. In our experience failures usually arise from a few key missteps: Poor data collection. This key driver of failure can take several forms, from collecting too little data to collecting too much data to collecting the wrong data. All lead to the same result, namely erroneous insights that lead to bad business decisions. Inaccurate insights. Inaccurate insights can be driven by a variety of sources, including observer bias and lack of proper context. Wrong stakeholder. Even the most insightful, impactful observation can become meaningless in the hands of the wrong stakeholder. Getting insights into the right hands must be a top priority. Our approach to monitoring Oracle ecommerce environments is rooted in an approach that ensures that we re continually collecting the right information (i.e. data that accurately reflects the customer experience), drawing the right conclusions from that data (typically in partnership with our customers) and delivering these insights to the right business stakeholders to deliver measurable benefits. We ll discuss each of these elements of our approach in some detail, describing best practices designed to ensure optimal performance of the Oracle Commerce platform. 3 Dallas Kelowna London Toronto Vancouver

4 Proper Data Collection for Managing User Experience As alluded to earlier, to properly track impacts to the customer experience one must be prepared to go beyond just checking for system vitals like memory, CPU, and I/O consumption. These indicators are necessary, but at best serve to rapidly indicate when a problem is already occurring. One must go deeper and collect performance data at the platform level (i.e. Oracle Commerce and the underlying Oracle database) and at the code level. One must also marry these performance statistics to approaches rooted in measuring the customer experience through techniques like synthetic and business transaction monitoring. When combined with other approaches like periodic load testing, these monitoring techniques provide a holistic view of ecommerce website performance from the customers perspective. Most importantly, they enable organizations to identify and remediate performance bottlenecks before they ever impact customers. Figure 1 illustrates how these different types of monitoring work together to proactively deliver a remarkable customer experience. 7 Global Intrusion Monitoring 1 System Vitals Monitoring Basic system availability and performance monitoring (i.e. memory, CPU, and storage consumption.) 3 Platform Monitoring Application monitoring of the ATG platform and Oracle database. 5 Synthetic /Real User Monitoring Monitoring the customer experience. Data-Center level IDS on all traffic. Customer Experience 4 Code Level Monitoring Code level monitoring of JAVA based classes. 6 Load Testing External load that mimics customer behavior to test thresholds of performance degradation. 2 Critical Systems Protection Host IDS/IPS + critical OS file monitoring/protection. Figure 1: Layers of monitoring required to deliver a remarkable customer experience What follows is a detailed description of each of these types of monitoring and performance management tools, how each is used to deliver value individually, and finally how the combination of monitoring and load testing techniques drive proactive system performance on the Oracle Commerce platform. It is important to keep in mind that, while the following solutions serve specific functions, the end goal of a holistic monitoring strategy is to ensure the solution performs consistently, supporting an excellent customer experience across endpoints. Gaining insight into events that affect user experience before they occur, and preventing experience degradation is the key objective in a solid monitoring strategy. Monitoring Best Practices for Oracle Commerce 4

5 System Vitals Monitoring System vitals monitoring is the most basic layer of monitoring, providing insight into server availability, performance and capacity. At Tenzing, we utilize technology from Uptime Software, Inc. to provide realtime system monitoring of your Oracle Commerce environment, along with a single pane of glass interface in which to manage and review this data. This system provides critical alerting for a variety of system resources and keeps your internal teams and your Tenzing support team informed of any changes to the status of your servers that might impact the availability and performance of your Oracle Commerce solution. In addition, it also assists with capacity planning by collecting and trending historical performance data. Monitoring Dashboard and Charts Tenzing leverages Uptime Software s graphical system monitoring interface to deliver a comprehensive dashboard view of system performance. Uptime has a unified, comprehensive, and scalable IT dashboard for monitoring that is easy to use and fast to deploy. The dashboard intuitively delivers a snapshot of the health of your systems. It proactively monitors all physical servers, virtual machines, network devices, applications, and services. Using Uptime, the Tenzing operations and support teams are able to quickly see and react to core performance issues with regard to resources that may compromise the availability of your system. This enables you to save time and money and keep your business running smoothly. Figures 2 and 3 provide examples of the variety of charts and views that are available into system performance. Figure 2: Real time performance dashboard Figure 3: Real-time dashboard view of system performance 5 Dallas Kelowna London Toronto Vancouver

6 Critical Systems Protection In addition monitoring system vitals at the host level, Tenzing also leverages full hostbased intrusion detection and prevention technologies. At this level, critical operating system files are monitored for changes in real-time, including who made the change and what changed with the file. Granular intrusion protection policies are implemented, providing protection against server incursion and compromise, including zero day threats, while providing real-time visibility into compliance. Oracle Application Monitoring Oracle application monitoring consists of sets of custom monitors that were developed by Tenzing for monitoring key vitals of an Oracle Commerce system. Oracle application monitoring alerts on different application components on your Commerce system such as Apache web server performance, jboss middleware, JVMs and inter-server communications. Database Monitoring The Oracle database is at the heart of your Commerce solution. Optimal performance takes careful consideration, scrupulous oversight and highly specialized expertise in a variety of areas including storage management, backup and recovery management and data management. parameters, we also review these key metrics with customers on a monthly basis. During these meetings we discuss and plan mitigation strategies that ensure that our customers database environments operate at peak performance. Synthetic Transaction Monitoring Synthetic monitoring proactively tests your web, non-web, mobile, streaming and cloud-based applications to validate user action/ response functionality across the user experience. Transactions can be executed matching the profile and perspective of your end users, including: Geographic distribution Browser and device types (Chrome, IE, Firefox, mobile devices/ browsers) Internet connection types (i.e. broadband, dial-up, mobile, etc.) Content types (i.e. static web content, dynamic web content, and streaming media) The goal of synthetic transaction monitoring is to accurately gauge the true customer experience generated by your system under a variety of real-world conditions from your customers perspective. To this end, synthetic transaction monitoring runs automated synthetic transactions against your ecommerce site from multiple geographic locations, and monitors the health and performance of these transactions against baseline goals that you define. Any observed failure or unacceptable slow response time is then logged and reported, allowing us to identify and help address failures that may affect customer experience while on the site. Customers are provided with a detailed dashboard to analyse and help manage service levels and resources as measured against our customers customer experience goals. The following is a list of key performance metrics that should be tracked and analyzed on an ongoing basis to ensure the optimal performance of your underlying database: Database Availability Error log monitoring Database failed jobs Database performance: Inefficient SQL Blocking locks Database backup assurance Partition monitoring Replication monitoring Cluster monitoring Log shipping monitoring Figure 4: Synthetic transaction overall performance view indicating 100% uptime In addition, it is critically important to periodically review these metrics with your hosting provider to ensure you stay ahead of issues. For example, at Tenzing apart from daily monitoring of the data base Figure 5: Individual transaction performance over time Monitoring Best Practices for Oracle Commerce 6

7 APM Assure APM Assure is an advanced managed service that provides an unparalleled level of application performance management for your Oracle Commerce store. It represents the pinnacle of monitoring technology, with the ability to automatically identify the structure and interdependencies of your application code, establish performance baselines for each section of your application code, and alert when code sections underperform to established baselines. APM Assure dramatically speeds up root cause analysis and remediation by identifying the specific section of application code that is driving poor site performance. APM Assure provides the following capabilities: APM Assure is an optional service that we recommend to our customers for each Oracle Commerce deployment. Visualize and Map JVM Application Dependencies: APM Assure automatically discovers and maps all tiers that service and interact within your Java application and JVM. This gives you a high-level view into your application performance far superior to that of other Java performance tools. Figure 6: Application flow overview Automatic Memory Leak Detection: APM Assure helps you detect and troubleshoot memory leaks and object thrash issues, even under production load. Figure 7: Memory Leak Detection Monitor JVM Health and Performance: APM Assure helps you understand the health of your JVMs with key JAVA profiling metrics like response time, throughput, exception rate and garbage collection time, as well as key system resources lik CPU, memory, and disk I/O. Figure 8: JVM Health 7 Dallas Kelowna London Toronto Vancouver

8 Troubleshoot Java Code Latency in Minutes: APM Assure provides full visibility into Java code execution as business transactions and requests are processed by the JVM. This allows you to isolate latency and pinpoint its root cause in minutes. Figure 9: Application performance waterfall chart Trending of JMX and Custom MBean Metrics: APM Assure provides a comprehensive metrics viewer that allows you to correlate, trend and analyze key metrics from your JVM and Container (via JMX) as well as metrics via custom MBeans. Figure 10: Custom Metric Trending Distriubuted Business Transaction Tracing: APM Assure provides advanced tag-and-follow tracing of distributed transactions across your JVMs. It also provides a simple intuitive view of how a distributed business transaction executes and where bottlenecks exist. Figure 11: Business Transaction Tracing/Drilldown Monitoring Best Practices for Oracle Commerce 8

9 Peak Assure Peak Assure is Tenzing s latest addition to its suite of Advanced Managed Services that can be used with solutions both inside, and outside of Tenzing data centers. Tenzing has partnered with SOASTA, a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in Integrated Software Quality Suites, to help customers effectively manage load on their ecommerce websites during peak seasons and marketing campaigns. Peak Assure is designed to build, execute, and analyze performance tests on a single, powerful, intuitive platform. It can scale the tests to any load testing requirement, up to millions of geographically dispersed mobile or web users. This solution will help customers determine their site readiness and uncover any infrastructure or application resources that will need to be upgraded to handle the increased load. Figure 12: Peak Assure Performance Dashboard View As part of the Peak Assure service, a team of load testing engineers work with our customers to define the parameters and frequency of load test scenarios, as well as executing load testing on their behalf. Typically, customers of Tenzing will target these tests against their production infrastructure at off-peak times ahead of seasonal spikes in demand. In combination with the monitoring solutions described earlier, our customers are able to quickly identify and remediate performance bottlenecks before they impact customers, leading to greater peace of mind and peak revenue performance during these seasonal spikes in customer activity. 9 Dallas Kelowna London Toronto Vancouver

10 Global Intrusion Monitoring Global intrusion detection systems reside at the edge of Tenzing data center networks. At this level, Network traffic is monitored and billions of events are analyzed using signature and behavior based correlation, as well as threat scenario modeling. Incident identification is based on a global view of thread activity across thousands of customer environments. If suspicious patterns appear, our operations team is notified to investigate, where potential threats can be quickly remediated. A broad spectrum of threats are identified before ever making it into a Tenzing data center. Figure 13: Network Threats CONCLUSION The combination of a comprehensive monitoring solution and proactive load testing tailored to your Oracle Commerce environment can have an immediate and beneficial impact on your ecommerce revenues. This combination ensures that you are proactively addressing performance issues before they impact your customer experience, enabling your organization to capitalize on peak periods of demand, establish brand affinity and loyalty, and generate positive word of mouth marketing. For more information, please reach out to Tenzing at or us at Monitoring Best Practices for Oracle Commerce 10

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