Tag Archives | application performance management

End User Expectations and IT’s Ability to Meet Them – A Bridge Too Far?

Register for the Webcast, February 25thIn the 4th annual survey that CIO’s IDG Research Services conducted with their community members, it is not surprising to find that, consistent with previous years’ results, IT organizations are putting an ever increasing importance on the ability to meet user expectations. What may be surprising, however, are data that reveal [...]

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Ringing in 2014 with the CA APM Global User Community

The APM Global User Community is ringing in 2014 with an action-packed first quarter.  The APM Board of Directors is committed to providing the very best value to community members.  The first quarter line up of community activities is already set:

  • January 16, 2014 – Steve Meller, CEO of Business Service Assurance, will present best practices for data extraction from APM. Marc Chene, CA Principal Product Manager, will also make a brief product announcement. Don’t miss it!
  • February 20, 2014 – Have you submitted a product Idea for APM?  Have you ever used the CA escalation process? The APM Idea & Escalation Workshop will be presented by the CA APM Product Team and John McDermott from the CA Global Escalation Management team. Enhancements versus Escalations:  Bring your questions about Ideas and the CA Escalation process.
  • March 20, 2014 – The APM Product Team will give a quarterly product update.
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Top 5 Service Assurance Daily Posts of 2013

With 2013 in the books, it’s been another great year for the Service Assurance Daily blog. Our Top 5 posts of the year:

  1. Six Important Truths about CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap
    Some of our competitors have been spreading misinformation about CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap, our new free IT monitoring solution.  So Ken Adamson takes the opportunity to offer a number of corrections.
  2. Faster Application Performance Troubleshooting with Advanced Automated Analytics
    Introducing CA Application Performance Management 9.5 with Application Behavior Analytics for faster troubleshooting.
  3. Announcing General Availability of CA Nimsoft Monitor 7.0
    CA Nimsoft Monitor 7.0 is the latest major release of the solution and features a number of new enhancements and features.
  4. CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap: Free of Charge, and Free of Hassles and Re-dos
    This is a guest post from Michael Tarajos, technical solutions engineer at Airlines Reporting Corporation. Michael is one of our first customers that tried out the new CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap tool and shares his experience with it here.
  5. Tale of the Tape: CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap Vs the Competition
    Want to learn how CA Nimsoft Monitor Snap ranks against other monitoring products?  Be sure to check out this blog post from Apprize360 and their new report “Comparative Analysis of Free IT Monitoring Platforms.”

Thank you for reading in 2013 and hope you have a prosperous 2014.

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Is Your Web Site Optimized for the Last Week of Christmas Shopping?

The last week before Christmas could be do or die for both shoppers and merchants as people scramble to make those last minute purchases.  Merchants stand to gain if they are prepared to meet the customer’s needs, one of which is a positive on-line shopping experience. Years ago a commonly accepted response time for a web site was around eight seconds, in reality today it’s probably more like four.  With so many alternatives for on-line shopping for the same or similar merchandise a poor performing website could cost retailers millions in lost sales. According to Adobe System’s recently released Digital Index Cyber Monday generated $2.29 Billion in sales, of which approximately 42% of  was online only transactions with a peak of $150 million in one hour.

With so much at stake it’s no wonder that retailers are doing everything they can to streamline their websites for a better shopping experience from everything through the look-and-feel to speed. Speed alone however isn’t enough. The bigger picture has to focus on availability, performance, and consistency.  We’ve been using CA Technologies APM Cloud Monitor solution to monitor more than 50 websites to better understand how well various retailers are doing in those areas.  Generally speaking there is good news but there are also some speed bumps in the process for some.

Availability has been good overall, with some sites achieving or approaching 100%.  Those that haven’t achieved 100% availability run the risk of losing sales. For example, we’ve observed several sites at 97% availability. That equates to a little over 20 hours of down time, which could be costly if the period of unavailability occurred during peak times. Availability alone, however, isn’t enough of an indicator. A poor performing web site that is 100% available but has long transaction times is likely to find more abandoned shopping carts than a web site with consistently fast transaction times that result in a better overall customer experience.

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Is IT Complexity Impacting Your Critical Business Services?

The business runs on IT. IT is getting more complex. Resources are thin. How do you keep pace?

J.P. Garbani, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., joined us for a webcast on that very topic titled Fact or Fiction: Traditional APM is Enough To Keep Pace with Growing Complexity. In this webcast, which you can watch below, you’ll learn about:

  • The factors driving today’s complexity, which include falling hardware prices and exponential growth in operation system size
  • How complexity is past the point of human capacity
  • Current pain points in application performance management (root cause is still elusive to many)
  • Why the Circle of Blame is still a popular way to problem solve
  • This fun fact: 60% of problems are not seen by IT or its management systems first, meaning end-users/customers are doing the complaining. That is a scary fact. For all the talk we in the industry do about proactive monitoring, we’re still not doing a very good job at it.
  • Why IT analytics can help cut complexity and solve problems more effectively

If you’re drowning in IT management data or find yourself stuck in a Circle of Blame every time there’s an application performance issue, then this webcast is for you.

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The Path to Unified IT Management Technology & Its Return on Investment

Everybody’s got an opinion when it comes to which new IT technologies to bank on and the best way to manage them.

With every decade, there comes a new debate.  One grand dispute was in the 1990swhen Cisco advocated centralized intelligence at the network core to orchestrate network activity and assure quality of service.  In the other corner was 3Com, Cisco’s archrival who advocated intelligence at the network edge.  Cisco was king of “big iron” (core network routers and switches).  3Com was king of Ethernet “NICs” (network interface cards) for PCs and servers and was the king of stackable LAN switching for wiring closets.

Another related raging debate was about “big bandwidth.”  Because bandwidth was getting so cheap (in part due to Moore’s Law), some pundits argued that “you could just throw bandwidth at the problem and throw out all the emerging techniques for intelligent control.”

This certainly was entertaining.  And if you wanted to pick a fight in the press, “bandwidth versus brains” was the right topic.

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IT Needs to Put More Emphasis on Managing and Measuring the Customer Experience, Poll Finds

A recent poll on Business Service Reliability (BSR) found that IT needs to put an increased focus on managing and measuring the customer experience to improve business outcomes.

The poll—conducted by IDG Research Services on behalf of CA Technologies—sought to determine how organizations measure both BSR and the customer experience that IT provides. BSR is CA Technologies approach to helping IT transform by providing a clearly-defined framework for managing and measuring customer interactions.

The majority of respondents (58 percent) are using a combination of surveys and other metrics (e.g. application downtime and call-center volume) to measure the customer experience. Just over one quarter (26 percent) reported that IT delivers an exceptional experience. The majority of respondents (61 percent) classified the customer experience as adequate. The remainder described it as inconsistent – the customer experience meets the expectations of the business some, but not all, of the time.

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Big Data Analytics, Business Processes & Application Performance Management: A Technologist’s Perspective

By Jim Metzler

IT organizations need to continually show the value they provide to the company’s business unit managers.  Business Unit Managers, however, typically see that the value provided by IT coming primarily from the applications they use to run their respective groups.  Hence, effective application performance management is an important way for IT to add value.  However, application performance management is a double-edged sword: Do it well and you add business value.  Do it badly, and your company runs a great risk of losing revenue.

Research that I recently conducted shows two key facts relative to application performance management.  One of those facts is that the majority of times that the performance of an application is beginning to degrade, that degradation is noticed first by the end user and not by the IT organization.  The other fact is that the management task that IT organizations are most interested in getting better at is rapidly identifying the cause of degraded application performance.

One of the primary obstacles that prevents IT organizations from getting better at application performance management is the fact that IT organizations have an ocean of management data to analyze.  This data comes from the continually growing number of business transactions plus it comes from a complex, distributed IT infrastructure that is both physical and virtual, and which is increasingly provided by third-party cloud computing vendors.

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Big Data Analytics, Business Processes & Application Performance Management: A Business Manager’s Perspective

On an ever-increasing basis, organizations run their businesses critical processes on IT. The result of that increased reliance on IT is that if those IT functions are not doing well, then neither are those business critical processes. For example, my research shows that two thirds of the time that one or more of a company’s business critical applications are performing badly, the company loses revenue. In addition, my research also indicates that the majority of times that the performance of an application is beginning to degrade, that degradation is noticed first by the end user and not by the IT organization.

One of the primary reasons why end users tend to notice application degradation before the IT organization does is because IT organizations have an ocean of management data to analyze. This data comes from the continually growing number of business transactions as well as from a complex, distributed IT infrastructure that is both physical and virtual, and which is increasingly provided by third-party cloud computing vendors.

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Video: What is Application Behavior Analytics?

We’ve written a lot about our new Application Behavior Analytics feature in CA Application Performance Management. For those that prefer a visual approach, you can watch CA Technologies CTO John Michelsen explaining Application Behavior Analytics and how it can benefit your IT organization’s APM efforts:

Do you need deeper insight into complex application issues? Learn more about CA APM 9.5 with Application Behavior Analytics.

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Reporting is a quick view of mountain tops, Analytics shows the structure under the clouds

Analytics Go Beyond Simple Reporting

Analytics is a hot term in IT and business, but it can be a bit hard to define, particularly when it comes to how they might differ from or add value to reporting techniques we’ve used in the past. This tweet that came across my timeline Friday afternoon perfectly describes the role of analytics and reporting:

Reporting is a quick view of mountain tops, Analytics shows the structure under the clouds

Perfect, right? Based on the number of retweets the original tweet received plus the retweets of the versions I shared via my personal account and our @CAsvcAssur account, I’d say many agree with the analogy as it applies to any type of analysis from business intelligence for financial services to IT operational analytics.

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Apple iPhone 5C

How Will Carriers Fare On iPhone Launch Day?

Christmas is coming early – September 20th, to be exact – for wireless carriers around the globe. That’s the day Apple’s two new iPhones will go on sale.

Apple introduced its new flagship iPhone 5S and lower-priced, plastic-shelled iPhone 5C yesterday in Cupertino and if history is an indicator – the iPhone 5 sold 74.6 million units in the second half of last year, up 38% from the previous year – there will be a lot of consumers running out to buy the new devices.  Yes, the initial reaction to Apple’s news seems to be a bit more muted than previous announcements, but I think there will still be rush of folks looking to refresh older phones (iPhone 4S and older) as well as new Apple customers drawn in by the lower cost iPhone 5C and its candy color options.

When the first iPhones went on sale back in 2007, there was only one carrier here in the US that carried them. You wanted an iPhone, you had to go that carrier. While I am sure they cared about the customer experience and wanted to make getting the hot new iPhone as painless as possible, they didn’t have the pressure of anyone going to the competition over a bad experience. They didn’t even have to worry about flack on social media either back then. I even dropped the carrier I was on at the time – which has better reception in my neck of New Hampshire – to get the iPhone.

Today, though, multiple carriers offer the iPhone, so it’s even more important for them to offer a seamless experience to those rushing out to get the new device. They don’t want to alienate customers and suffer brand damage when disgruntled users take to Twitter, Facebook and other outlets to vent.  That’s where a robust application performance management system comes into play: To help mitigate performance problems and deliver a great end-user experience.

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