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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Application Performance Management

End user experience monitoring and management is becoming a key for the websites. As the "Software as Service" increases it is more important to mange the services in an end to end perspective. End to End performance monitoring and management have two primary methods.

Active or synthetic monitoring:
This will need a simulated user action recorded and played back from different geographies. One can install multiple hosts across the globe and run the simulated tests periodically to monitor and identify possible availability and performance problems with a web application.

This method can be used to identify common problems with the availability and detect any degradation of performance actively.

Disadvantage is one can only monitor the "predefined access paths" through the application. Also need to have the simulated "agent"s across the different geographies and modify the access paths as needed when the application changes.

Real end-user monitoring or passive monitoring:
This method involves mining the access logs of the application and analyzing the data to identify the performance problems. It can also be done using the "network sniffing" method. Whatever is the method used to get the real end-user access data to the application, this data is very valuable for business to analyze both the performance and the general usage patterns on the application.

As our focus is performance monitoring, the disadvantage is we will get to know the issue after it impacts the users.

There are several products available in the market to do both the active and passive application performance management and one should develop a correct strategy with a right combination of both methods to archive the required service levels with right balance.

A holistic strategy should also include diagnostic tools within the solution.
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