There is an app for everything, or so the saying goes. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of business. Organizations increasingly rely on their applications performing to the maximum to guarantee the happiness and satisfaction of their end users. The sheer number of web applications is astounding.
So what happens when applications stop working?
We have all encountered this issue one time or another. Availability issues. Slow response times. Performance bottlenecks. All of a sudden there is a problem accessing your web application. Finding the root cause of the problem, or even figuring out on which side the problem appears (network, database, programming?) can take days, weeks or even months.
Flowmon APM (Application Performance Monitoring) bridges this gap. Our APM solution works on the principle of analyzing real application traffic.
Applications and all user communication are monitored, constantly. So, there is no need to make adjustments on the servers, install agents or modify the monitored application. We are talking about real user experience monitoring. Basically, it is a completely passive way to keep your SLAs in order by ensuring you have full end-to-end visibility.
One question I get frequently when I talk with our partners and customers is: “but what about monitoring applications based on HTTPS protocols?” Let us face it, before long the majority of traffic will pretty much become encrypted. This is also one of the major drives for doing network performance monitoring with netflow analysis, instead of full packet capture. In effect, HTTPS traffic is possible to monitor under specific conditions. A private key must be inserted in APM from the server where the encrypted connection is terminated. Technically, only a connection using the RSA algorithm for the exchange of encryption keys can be decrypted.
Overview of APM architecture
To monitor applications, APM must “see” a copy of network communication between users and the monitored application. This can be achieved, for example, by using a SPAN port, a mirror port or by using a TAP device. Flowmon APM is available as a software module with a central console for Flowmon Collector and APM probe licenses that add APM functionality to Flowmon Probes. Flowmon APM also includes the Flowmon APM TG (Transaction Generator) component, which provides automated testing and a way to monitor your business critical applications. Flowmon APM TG generates transactions to simulate user behavior, measures application responsiveness and reports on SLA.
How do we show you SLA compliance status?
Flowmon APM provides an APM index, which numerically represents application performance in relation to desired SLA levels where 100 represents application performance within SLA limits. The blue area of the chart corresponds to the current APM index value, which range between 0 and 100. The red line shows the transaction count per minute at a given time. Transactions which fall outside the SLA lower the APM index by a weighted average, which allows efficient and effective application monitoring, subsequently identifying problems in applications and affected users.
Basically, the APM index is a number between 0–100:
- If the application response time for all transactions is less than the SLA, then the APM index = 100.
- If the application response time for all transactions is longer than four times the specified SLA, then APM index = 0.
What else can we see?
Using Flowmon APM we can see a lot of additional information, which will give us valuable clues about where the problem in the application performance is really happening.
For example, we can easily check out the following parameters:
- Application response time within a specified timeframe
- Number of concurrent users
- Transaction count
- Error count / error codes
- Transport size and network transport time
So, if you are interested in a completely passive solution with a pre-configured set of tools and reports that can help you maximize your user satisfaction, I invite you to give our APM solution a whirl!