Network Application Performance Alignment to IT Best Practices

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1 Network Application Performance Alignment to IT Best Practices This white paper briefly describes best practices, highlights IT best practices and discusses in detail; IT business service management, the importance of application performance management (APM) automation and the capabilities and benefits of APM product solutions Table of contents Best Practices Business Service Management Business Service Management Transition.3 Application Availability and Performance.4 APM Alignment to IT Best Practices... 5 Application Performance Management Brief Overview of Network based APM. 6 Deploy Manage Solve... 7 Optimize... 8 Conclusion

2 Network Application Performance Alignment to IT Best Practices Best Practices Over time, competition, innovation and maturation of certain sectors and business functions drive the creation and implementation of best practices. Industry sector examples such as construction and manufacturing have been well-documented and benchmarked as significant best practice examples. Business performance improvements driven by best practice adoption in these industries are quantified and empirical. In contrast, technology (IT) can be characterized as emerging in this regard, just beginning to fully focus on best practices disciplines. IT best practices can be summarized as a set of methods, techniques, processes, behaviors and automation that when consistently applied produce increasingly effective and efficient results. The portfolio of available IT process frameworks (ITIL, CMMI, etc), standards, methodologies and automation solutions is extensive. The primary goal of IT best practices is to optimize the alignment and utilization of technology resources towards the execution of business objectives. Business Service Management Business Service Management (BSM) is a key area of focus within IT best practices. BSM is the practice of quantifying, monitoring, measuring, reporting and managing IT services from a business perspective. Examples of business services include application performance and availability, fulfillment of basic services (such as a new account opening), desktop support and many others. Prior to best practice adoption, a majority of IT organizations delivered services from the technology silo or domain perspective. Technology domains include areas such as mainframe and network. Domain based management and reporting resulted in misalignment of expectations and results between IT and business stakeholders. The misalignment drove the need for a perspective change to business service management. Business Service Versus Technology Domain Availability Business Services Desktop Application Network System Availability = 94% (User Experience) Availability = 98.9% Availability = 97.5% Availability = 99.0% Availability = 98.5% Technology Domains Technology Domain Average Availability = 98.5% Figure 1: Differentiates technology domain service level reporting metrics and customer experience or application service level reporting metric perspectives. 2

3 Business service management best practices generally include the creation of service level agreements between IT and the business stakeholder or customer. Significant transformative activities involving people, process and technology are required by IT to transition from technology domain management to the management of discrete business functions and services. Technology monitoring and management automation play a critical role in enabling and achieving BSM objectives. End to end or holistic visibility of application availability and performance is a critical capability for enabling IT to transition to business service management. Existing technology domain specific automation capabilities (monitoring, management and diagnostics) remain critical to BSM. Ultimately, an integrated eco-system comprised of existing domain automation tools and holistic application availability and performance management automation solutions is needed to achieve best practice BSM objectives. Business Service Management Transition IT organizations transitioning to best practice BSM are tasked with leveraging, re-configuring and supplementing existing automation investments to achieve BSM goals. Managing applications holistically with traditional technology domain and overarching manager of manager tools is difficult, if not impossible without supplemental automation capability and improved full lifecycle process discipline. Orderly transition of automation to BSM objectives requires IT to document its current automation architecture, define the future-state architecture, perform a gap analysis, select supplemental solutions, and implement the projects that achieve the new automation architecture. One or more of the automation transition projects will need to generate a quick win so that the IT team can demonstrate application and service management capability progress to justify continued investment. Network resident application performance management appliances deliver proven quick win or rapid time to value for holistic application and business service management capabilities. These network centric solutions address the immediate challenge of quick starting BSM automation and they easily integrate into the longer term strategic eco-system architecture. Automation Architecture Without Solutions Automation Architecture With Solutions Enhanced Visualization Configuration Info Process Automation Enhanced Visualization Configuration Info Process Automation Web Portal App Policy Engine Web Portal App Tech Support Web Portal App Policy Engine Web Portal App Tech Support Web Service Web Service Tech Ops Web Service Web Service Tech Ops Consolidated Event Store Workflow Automation Consolidated Event Store Workflow Domain Probable Cause Alaysis Domain Information Sources Enabling Protocols Collection Techniques Techniques Services Management Domains Network Systems Application Middleware Performance Capacity Security Storage Domain Diagnostics Information Sources Enabling Protocols Collection Techniques Techniques Services Management Domains Network Systems Application Middleware Performance Capacity Security Storage Domain Diagnostics Supported Functions and Processes Figure 2: Identifies the monitoring functions, processes and technology domains that are addressed, supported and enhanced by solutions. 3

4 Application Availability and Performance Applications are the lifeblood of business. Underlying network infrastructure is the circulatory system that delivers that lifeblood. Business service management success is contingent upon well designed, implemented and managed applications and supporting infrastructures. Customer relationship management (CRM), sales force automation (SFA), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Electronic Health Record (EHR), Patient Data Record (PDR) and other applications are fundamental to daily business operations. Application disruptions have significant and tangible costs. Service availability and management of these critical applications has become a key business metric garnering executive attention and requiring cross-functional alignment and management. Public Web TCP 443 Web URL (Agg) TCP 8080 LB ACME WEB-VIP-ACE ACME WEB/Outside Web Outside Server Aggregation Web Portal NAT ACME WEB/Inside Web Inside Client Aggregation ACME App TCP TCP 443 IntAuth ACME WEB-Portal VIP= Windows Svcs TCP ACME App Server aggregation ACME APP ACME App ACME App TCP Windows Svcs TCP 445 ACME CL1 VIP= SQL= Windows Svcs TCP 445 TCP TCP 1876 ACME DB-VIP Server aggregation ACME CL2 VIP= SQL= TCP 1732 Windows Svcs TCP 135 DC Mainframe ACME App3 TCP Mainframe TCP Authentication TCP 88 ACME Main Frame local VLAN traffic to APP servers ACME CL3 VIP= SQL= VIP = outside VLAN query SQL = server to server query IBM Host *GW connection to IBM Host using SCON Figure 3: Today s applications often run on networks and a host of other inter-related infrastructure components that are complex and constantly changing. Ensuring the availability of a single infrastructure component such as a server is not sufficient to satisfy business service management requirements. Threats to application availability and performance come from many potential underlying causes. Examples of these underlying causes include: changes to the infrastructure or applications, security breaches, the implementation of new applications; and component error within the deployed application or infrastructure. Responsibility for ensuring application availability is shared across multiple disciplines within IT. These cross functional teams need an automation tool that provides proactive identification and automated probable cause analysis of service deviations or disruptions. Holistic application availability and performance management is a difficult challenge as IT personnel lack enterprise-wide visibility of applications and their underlying infrastructure components. Ensuring application availability depends on the ability to dynamically discover applications, users, underlying interdependent infrastructure components and visualize those applications in the context of business services. Comprehensive network centric application visibility and monitoring capability is largely missing from traditional business service management tools. Without this critical capability it s easy to see why so many organizations are consuming manpower during incident events. Limited visibility technology domain based automation leads to extended service disruptions. In this operating model, significant sweat equity is invested to resource a cross-functional team of technology domain subject matter experts during each incident. Additionally, management staff is consumed to orchestrate situation coordination, drive to the team to determine probable cause and resolve the incident by restoring service. 4

5 APM Alignment to IT Best Practices Deployment of datacenter resident Application Performance Management (APM) appliances provides holistic transactional visibility to business critical applications. APM information combined with network flow information provides end to end transaction visibility including the network components traversed. APM appliance solutions passively monitor application transactions as they occur. These appliances differentiate between and report response time for user, network and application tiers. Transaction details and summary information are stored in the appliance database. Detail and summary information is leveraged for troubleshooting, base lining, error detection, performance and availability analysis, trend reporting and many other functions. APM aligns with, supports and optimizes many BSM best practice disciplines. Examples of the BSM disciplines and a description of the supporting APM functionality, include: BSM Discipline Event Management Incident Management Availability Management Performance Management Problem Management Capacity Management Change Management Service Level Management Continuity Management APM Functionality Availability and Performance alerts and events are issued Performance deviation based events are issued Alerting classification by application, group and location Engineer in a box that monitors application transactions Detects deviations from baseline, provides alerting Provides probable cause reducing mean time to resolve Ability to verify resolution or fix results Application availability service level reporting Trend reporting by application, user group and location Analysis to support process and application improvement Application performance service level reporting Trend reporting by application, user group and location Analysis to support process and application improvement Provides automated probable cause analysis Stores application transaction information for forensic root cause tasks and historical reporting Provide application specific utilization trending Pre and post application release utilization analysis Supports network capacity planning (add network flow) Pre and post application release utilization analysis Identify users and applications potentially impacted by planned changes Detects and alerts to NEW traffic patterns within the infrastructure Availability and performance information support design improvements Provides auto-discovered application inter-dependencies 5

6 Application Performance Management White Paper Network based APM systems have emerged as an important advancement in IT business service management. They provide complete, enterprise visibility of network, application and service usage. APM solutions identify deviations, errors and disruptions that impact services. APM solutions accelerate achievement of IT business service management goals. Brief Overview of Network based APM Network based APM solutions improve application availability and performance through functionality that includes: Real-time application discovery Application profiling and base lining Behavior and policy monitoring Isolation of applications/systems/users that are affecting application availability Probable cause analysis to accelerate availability issue resolution APM solutions support best practices that enable IT organizations to continually improve availability and performance of business critical applications. APM solution demonstrates value in a multitude of business technology scenarios. The following paragraphs are used to highlight several of those scenarios or use cases. Deploy Deployment of new applications and WAN services can be challenging in today s complex network environments. Some of the most challenging aspects of change lie in datacenter consolidation, MPLS WAN migration, and implementation of Voice over IP. Inability to baseline application and underlying infrastructure performance across the distributed enterprise severely limits pre and post change analysis capabilities. Pre and post change measurement and comparison capability is needed to identify, quantify and resolve change related performance issues. solution meets the following business needs: Validate network readiness Reduce impact by quantifying actual bandwidth requirements Compare current application performance to historical Validate and maximize CoS configuration Monitor bandwidth allocation and protocol makeup for ALL traffic Measure new application utilization and more accurately estimate production impact during development and testing Ensure delivery of VoIP services with quality metrics for every link and call-by-call details Visual Performance Managers application performance dashboard allows you to quickly see the worst performing applications, servers and sites without a single mouse click. 6

7 Manage There are two types of situations that organizations must be prepared to manage. They are planned changes and unexpected events. Each has its own unique challenges and IT organizations should have a comprehensive management strategy in place. Effective strategy for managing planned change includes the ability to establish a performance baseline. The pre-change baseline allows IT to measure the impact to performance and end-user experience after a change. Effective strategy for managing unexpected events should include the ability to see throughout the distributed enterprise. The supporting management solution should provide rapid in-depth analysis that isolates the error condition within an application, system or network. The solution should provide a single point of reference that all stakeholders within IT can reference. The single reference allows disparate teams to collaborate and come to faster incident resolution. solution addresses the following business needs: Validate the impact of change (network and application) Leverage multiple sources of information under a single pane of glass Immediately identify the affected resources (application, server or network) Understand current performance in context with historical baselines Visualize trending for performance degradation Report on bandwidth allocation and application growth Cisco WAAS Aware reports quickly show response time measurements Solve One important element of an effective management strategy is being able to quickly identify error conditions down to the source technology domain component. Accomplishment of this task requires a solution that is not limited in visibility to one technology domain. The solution must see the application path across the enterprise, understand the component inter-relationships and identify the error causing source. realizes this fact and has designed a robust unified solution that utilizes different types of data sources depending on the issue at hand. Most importantly, the reporting, regardless of data source, is rolled up into a centralized view with easy to understand charts and graphs. These views are tailored to individual user reporting requirements. Technology domain error isolation is simplified and the cause of a performance or availability issue is quickly pinpointed. Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) durations decrease and end user Quality of Experience (QoE) improves. The following business needs are addressed: Fast problem resolution with visibility into business critical multi-tier applications with time-correlated backend transactions Display real-time network, application, and server performance Understand the severity and impact of incidents and error conditions View and report on every conversation, host and protocol traversing the network Identify users, sites and applications affected by a slowdown or outage Isolate specific network, data link and physical layer issues on critical WAN links Consolidate and leverage troubleshooting information 7

8 Optimize The proliferation of converged voice, video and data networks creates some unique challenges for IT organizations as they align with corporate business objectives to meet end-user quality of experience requirements. The proliferation of converged voice, video and data networks creates some unique challenges for IT organizations as they align with corporate business objectives to meet end-user quality of experience requirements. An effective QoE management strategy begins with the ability to monitor critical applications across distributed enterprises with end-to-end visibility. In order to effectively take control of these converged environments, IT organizations must have broad visibility and in-depth analysis capabilities that show how one service is affecting another service. capabilities provide the following business benefits: Merge and leverage data sets from different analysis sources (NetFlow, SNMP, probe-based stats, application performance management appliances, etc.) Customized application growth reports Centralized web access Ability to consolidate and leverage troubleshooting information Visual Performance Manager can measure metrics for actual VoIP calls. Conclusion provides a portfolio of tightly integrated solutions that result in network based comprehensive application availability and performance management. The integrated Fluke solutions provide a single holistic view with analysis capability through the Virtual Performance Manager product. pre-integrated appliance based solutions deploy in the fraction of the time it takes to reconfigure and supplement existing manufacturer monitoring frameworks or best of breed eco-systems. solutions provide rapid business service management value, are compatible with major framework products and quick-start business service management transformation. Fore more information on Application Performance Solutions, visit /vpm. Contact : Phone (US/Canada) or (other locations). NETWORKSUPERVISION P.O. Box 777, Everett, WA USA operates in more than 50 countries worldwide. To find your local office contact details, go to /contact Fluke Corporation. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A. 5/ D-ENG-N Rev A 8

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