Superior Web Application Performance in the Cloud

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1 SOLUTION WHITE PAPER Superior Web Application Performance in the Cloud Ensuring consistent service levels for users

2 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION THE USER EXPERIENCE IS THE BOTTOM LINE Yesterday s monolithic web application infrastructures Today s distributed cloud environments Today s complex web applications Only the end user remains the same BMC END USER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT Distributed, scalable deployment and performance management Application visibility regardless of application platform and delivery Seeing the user experience in a cloudy, scattered world In synch with Akamai...3 View third-party delivery...3 Monitor end-to-end application performance...3 Reveal rich internet applications...4 Distributed data collection...4 SUMMARY

3 INTRODUCTION Enterprises that rely on web applications for commerce and business transactions must ensure consistent service levels for their users. A poor user experience erodes productivity, competitiveness, and revenues. At the same time, the adoption of virtualization, cloud computing, and Web 2.0 technologies has rendered application delivery infrastructures complex and highly distributed. Solutions that monitor web traffic from either a single data center or from the server s perspective are obsolete. Businesses require a new generation of tools to assess the user s perspective even when their applications are mash-ups originating from multiple data centers, application delivery networks, and sources in the cloud. BMC End User Experience Management is the only application performance management solution to offer comprehensive, end-to-end visibility into today s distributed application delivery networks. The solution monitors the user experience the most critical reference point in the complex application delivery infrastructure to meet the needs of businesses, retailers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers, and managed service providers competing from dispersed cloud environments. THE USER EXPERIENCE IS THE BOTTOM LINE Web applications are increasingly used to enhance productivity, generate sales, and meet business objectives. Whether you are a SaaS provider, an online retailer, a media provider, or a collaborative community, your websites are vital for transactions and data-sharing with customers, employees, and partners. To glean superior revenue and relationship outcomes, you need to manage and optimize them. The most fundamental measure of a website s effectiveness remains the user experience. Numerous studies confirm that visitors with a better web experience will frequent a site more often, stay longer, view more pages, and return more often. When even minor latency is introduced to an online search performed by Google or Bing, the number of queries per user decreases, as do advertising revenues 1. Clearly, faster web experiences mean better business results. Sophisticated analytics and page designs may go for naught if you are unaware of how users experience your web applications. Consequently, performance management is critical to the success of web applications. Web application performance management measures actual object and page load times to determine how well a site performs. You can assess end-user service levels, identify and diagnose problems, and measure the impact of change to content and application delivery. The challenge for website owners, however, is that the delivery of web applications is rapidly evolving. First-generation tools for web application performance management, such as server monitoring and synthetic testing, no longer meet the needs of today s complex, distributed application delivery environments. YESTERDAY S MONOLITHIC WEB APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURES When applications were delivered via a monolithic infrastructure, web application performance management was simple. All components of a web page its content, graphics, and interactive elements originated from a single data center, and IT controlled the entire stack. If the web servers, application servers, database servers, routers, and gateways all functioned within acceptable parameters, then a business was reasonably assured of sufficient service levels to its end users. TODAY S DISTRIBUTED CLOUD ENVIRONMENTS In today s web environment, however, the traditional monolithic application delivery model is antiquated. Fueled by a host of business drivers, enterprises are turning to virtualization and cloud solutions that obscure and distribute the origin of web content and applications. In fact, you may already be outsourcing application services to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud vendors. For example, you might rely on salesforce.com for sales force automation applications or on Workday and ADP to supply applications for employee benefits management, payroll services, and human resources. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) might deliver your content, and Application Delivery Networks (ADNs), such as Akamai, may deliver your applications. Moreover, you may be outsourcing server functionality to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers, such as Amazon or Terremark. When demand exceeds capacity at a company s data center, the overflow might be handled by the servers of an IaaS vendor. 1 1

4 The new reality is that no single physical data center delivers 100 percent of user content and applications. Delivery is now highly dispersed throughout virtualized and cloud infrastructures. TODAY S COMPLEX WEB APPLICATIONS Web applications themselves are no longer monolithic. They are not comprised merely of content from a company s data center; they also may include elements served from anywhere in the cloud. Web 2.0 and mash-up applications designed to tap the computing power of client devices and service providers add a new level of complexity to performance assurance. Today s web applications also change more frequently and reuse modules that might be built from the ground up for performance. As a result, modern web applications are much more complex, highly distributed, and less predictable. ONLY THE END USER REMAINS THE SAME While complex application delivery methods and new web services enrich capabilities and user SaaS interactions, visibility into this environment is immensely more complicated. Yet, despite an application s dependency on multiple vendors, disparate data centers, and even the user s browser, service levels still must be sustained to ensure a satisfying user experience.??? ADN Virtualized or Multiple Data Centers A single point of reference remains constant the user s perspective. What users actually experience is the most valid reference for assessing the performance of web applications. The question is: As these applications and content generate from multiple data centers, how can you know what users encounter on your websites? MSP: IaaS or PaaS Figure 1. The end-user session consists of content that originates from a number of sources outside a single data center. Deploying traditional monitoring tools in your data center or placing agents on servers is inadequate. Clearly, what is needed is a new generation of monitoring tools engineered specifically for business in the cloud. BMC END USER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT BMC End User Experience Management ensures complete visibility into application delivery and unprecedented insights into the actual end-user experience. The solution enables you to manage, optimize, and troubleshoot delivery of your web applications, regardless of diverse origin or application complexity. It provides the most comprehensive end-to-end application monitoring and management from corporate databases to users browsers. With BMC End User Experience Management, you see the performance of your entire delivery chain, identify its weak links, and rapidly localize issues to garner a satisfying user experience. You also eliminate the latency that hinders usability, frustrates users, and undermines productivity, competitiveness, and sales. DISTRIBUTED, SCALABLE DEPLOYMENT AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT BMC End User Experience Management measures the performance of every constituent element on your delivery network. When applications from your SaaS provider and content from your data center flow to your ADN s network for distribution to users, you can collect metrics from everywhere from each point of origin to a specific user s desktop. Regardless of the number of collection points, all data is integrated, analyzed, and presented in global dashboard views for user and business impact analysis; yet also drills down to individual session details for rapid problem diagnosis and repair. Only BMC offers such all-encompassing insight into the user experience. Moreover, the solution scales to ensure coverage throughout your distributed application delivery environment without imposing additional overhead on web traffic. 2

5 APPLICATION VISIBILITY REGARDLESS OF APPLICATION PLATFORM AND DELIVERY While monitoring the end-user experience enables you to quickly determine when a performance problem is occurring, it is essential to link that experience to both application platform performance and delivery mechanisms in order to gain insight into the root cause of a problem. Companies use a variety of platforms, such as Java EE,.NET, middleware, and mainframe resources, to deliver their applications. To support this diversity, you need an application performance management solution that is optimized for all of these platforms to ensure complete visibility into end-to-end application performance from the browser to SQL queries regardless of application platform. Figure 2. BMC End User Experience Management provides global visibility into business and user impact, with drill-down to individual user session details. BMC End User Experience Management integrates with BMC Application Problem Resolution, as well as with third-party deep-dive application diagnostics solutions, to speed problem diagnosis. Automatic collection and correlation of data across these applications is performed continuously, thereby significantly reducing the time and effort it takes to isolate, prioritize, diagnose, and repair application performance issues. If a single second delay in page load time can equate to millions of dollars in sales over the course of a year for a site that generates $100K per day 2, it s paramount to find and fix performance issues as quickly as possible. While the multiplicity of application platforms obscures performance issues, application delivery using cloud resources, such as Akamai s application acceleration, further complicates the task of providing superior application service levels. That s why BMC partners with Akamai to offer the unique capability of providing visibility into application performance across the Akamai cloud. SEEING THE USER EXPERIENCE IN A CLOUDY, SCATTERED WORLD BMC End User Experience Management provides deep, multi-faceted views of all end-user traffic, particularly at the user s browser. Regardless of where applications originate or how they are stitched together, BMC End User Experience Management ensures that hundreds of leading organizations and Fortune 500 companies sustain critical service levels and customer expectations through 20/20 visibility into the user experience and behavior. IN SYNCH WITH AKAMAI Only BMC End User Experience Management views all content and applications delivered by the Akamai APS Enterprise Solution. The solution monitors all users of an application, or just specific groups, and tracks how content from Akamai and your data center merge to create the user experience. You can off-load application delivery to Akamai s cloud-based services confident of full visibility, management, and control over each end-user s experience. VIEW THIRD-PARTY DELIVERY BMC End User Experience Management monitors web delivery from providers of managed services and third-party applications. You can leverage outsourced services without losing insight into, and control over, your web applications. MONITOR END-TO-END APPLICATION PERFORMANCE BMC s Open Application Visibility Architecture allows customers to use a seamless, end-to-end solution for monitoring web application performance. Through this open architecture, the BMC End User Experience Management Application Visibility Connector provides tight data and console integration between BMC and an expanding range of deep diagnostic capabilities into a single, comprehensive application performance management solution. 2 3

6 REVEAL RICH INTERNET APPLICATIONS BMC End User Experience Management tracks the performance of rich internet applications (RIAs) in users browsers. More importantly, the solution integrates this telemetry with all metrics collected across the delivery network to furnish holistic views of application delivery from providers to users. DISTRIBUTED DATA COLLECTION Only BMC End User Experience Management offers distributed data collection that obviates the need for hardware appliances at each location where data is being served. Multiple instantiations of collector software can sit literally anywhere in the cloud. SUMMARY BMC End User Experience Management ensures complete visibility into application delivery and unprecedented insights into the actual end-user experience. The solution enables you to manage, optimize, and troubleshoot delivery of your web applications, regardless of diverse origin or application complexity. It provides the most comprehensive end-to-end application monitoring and management from corporate databases to users browsers. To learn more, visit BUSINESS RUNS ON I.T. I.T. RUNS ON BMC SOFTWARE. Business thrives when IT runs smarter, faster and stronger. That s why the most demanding IT organizations in the world rely on BMC Software across distributed, mainframe, virtual and cloud environments. Recognized as the leader in Business Service Management, BMC offers a comprehensive approach and unified platform that helps IT organizations cut cost, reduce risk and drive business profit. For the four fiscal quarters ended March 31, 2011, BMC revenue was approximately $2.1 billion. BMC, BMC Software, and the BMC Software logo are the exclusive properties of BMC Software, Inc., are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other BMC trademarks, service marks, and logos may be registered or pending registration in the U.S. or in other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 2006,2009,2011. BMC Software, Inc. All rights reserved. 4 *209047*

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