Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Anders Wallgren, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, AppDynamics Blog, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, @CloudExpo

@BigDataExpo: Blog Feed Post

A New Breed of Actionable Analytics

Being smart about your monitoring data collection allows you to isolate and resolve problems much faster

Data is dumb but we can't seem to get enough of it these days. An entire industry has evolved to make sense of the massive amounts of data being generated every day. Massive data collection by itself does not guarantee the context required to solve business and IT problems... If we are smart about data, however, it will lead us in the right direction.

Today's businesses are defined by the software they run on, enabling them to innovate and create new services faster. Apple re-invented the music industry through software; Netflix changed the way we consume movies through software; grocery shopping, taxi-hire, parcel-logistics, car rental, travel booking... these are all industries that have been completely disrupted by software.

As more and more organisations depend upon the software they run on, the consumer demand for superior services, faster innovation, and improved performance continues to accelerate. As a result the software required to compete in this unforgiving market only continues to increase in its complexity.

It was only a few short years ago that when I wanted to book my family vacation, we all made the trip down to the local travel agent and sat around a desk while the agent tapped away on her green-screen searching for available flights and hotels. The process of booking our hotels has obviously changed dramatically, and so have the applications that support the process.

For example, below is a screen shot of the Business Transaction flow through a global travel site when a user makes a simple search for a hotel. All the user does is select a destination, some dates and maybe one or two preferences, but the resultant transaction kicks off more than 200 service requests before the results are returned to the user they can make their selection of preferred hotel.

Hotel Search

This rise in application complexity often means we generate increasingly more structured and unstructured data from our applications such as log files, email, alerts, infrastructure stats, network stats etc. Close to 200 billion emails will be sent in 2014, I wonder how many of those emails are false alerts from monitoring tools?

Keep nothing?

I have been helping companies build monitoring strategies for nearly a decade, and the problem I used to regularly face was dealing with organisations that just didn't have enough data. IT departments didn't have the required information to be able to quickly diagnose and remediate problems when they occurred.

Keep everything?

As organisations continue to have a greater dependency on the software they run on and application complexity continues to increase, there is a danger we swing the other way by collecting and storing too much data to be able to make sense of it in a timely manner. My colleague Jim Hirschauer often refers to this as the "home hoarders effect" drawing parallels with people who simply never throw anything out from their homes. The bigger the piles get the harder it is to find what you need, and at some point that pile is going to topple over.

Keep what you need

There are lots of good reasons to keep data, but "just in-case we need it" is not a good reason. It is important to think about why the data is being captured and stored and how it will help solve problems in the future. By keeping the relevant data and throwing away the clutter, you become more efficient and effective in troubleshooting and resolving problems.

But data alone isn't good enough to solve your business and IT problems. Data in and of itself is one-dimensional and dumb. Data doesn't tell you when there are problems, it doesn't tell you when business is going well, it doesn't tell you anything meaningful without some help and a lot more context. Let's explore an example to illustrate my point.

Let's say we have a couple of data points about a person. The data points are...

Heart Rate = 150 bpm

Blood Pressure = 200 over 100

Now tell me, is this person performing well? With these data points we have no idea. We need more data. The table below shows a list of some possible data points we can collect.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.42.29 PM.png

Notice the last attribute in the table. The activity provides us with the context we need to focus on the proper data points to figure out if the person is performing well or not. Here are some more relevant data points...

Distance Run = 100 meters

Time = 9.58s

Now can we determine if the person is performing well or not? I'm not much of a track and field aficionado so I have no idea if this is a good performance or not. I need point of comparison to determine if 9.58 seconds in the 100-meter dash is good. So here is our baseline for comparison sake...

100-Meter World Record Time = 9.69s

Well it looks like the person was performing really well. They set a world record in the 100-meter dash. All of the data points individually didn't tell us anything. We required correlation (context) and analytics (comparison to baseline) in order to turn data into information. I like to refer to this concept as creating Smart Data.

Smart Data Defined

Smart Data is actionable, intelligent, information.

Smart Data is created by performing correlation and analytics on data sets. AppDynamics correlates end user business transaction details with completion status (success, error, exception), response times, and all other data points measured at any given time. It automatically analyzes the entire data set to provide information from which to draw conclusions and take the appropriate action. This information is called Smart Data.

Being smart about your monitoring data collection allows you to isolate and resolve problems much faster, and with a much lower cost of ownership and overhead.

I have recently been working with a company to replace their legacy monitoring tool with AppDynamics. The environment they are monitoring is a good size, consisting of about 1,200 servers and their main application processes approximately 300,000 transactions per minute. They invested in a monitoring tool to help manage the performance of their applications which captured and stored all the data they could "just in-case" it was needed. Unfortunately this approach required an additional 92 servers to be provisioned for the monitoring tool itself, which consumed approximately 80TB of data storage per year. The increasing investments this customer needed to make in hardware, storage, people, and maintenance was too much to manage for them and they decided to look for a different approach.

AppDynamics "smart data" approach to analytics means this particular customer now only requires two reporting servers and the storage requirements were reduced to just 1TB per year. Collecting only the data required to make smart decisions gave them both a 98% reduction in hardware costs and  more effective analytics in the process.

Adding business context

Smart data is not just about resolving problems faster though. In October last year we introduced Real-time Business Metrics and described how AppDynamics customers can use Real-time Business Metrics to extract and present business metrics directly from within their applications. These business metrics provide business context enabling customers to turn smart data into actionable information. Our customers, for example, can see the exact revenue impact of performance problems, the end user experience during an app upgrade, or the real-time impact of marketing campaigns. Smart analytics not only clearly show the business benefits of making immediate improvements, they help direct where limited resources should be invested for further business and application improvement going forward.

AppDynamics is focused on delivering actionable intelligence to sell problems for IT operations and development teams as well as business owners. To learn more about Real-time Business Metrics read here.

The post A New Breed of Actionable Analytics written by appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By AppDynamics Blog

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@CloudExpo Stories
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will shares the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
Peak 10, Inc., has announced the implementation of IT service management, a business process alignment initiative based on the widely adopted Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. The implementation of IT service management enhances Peak 10’s current service-minded approach to IT delivery by propelling the company to deliver higher levels of personalized and prompt service. The majority of Peak 10’s operations employees have been trained and certified in the ITIL frame...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...