Continuous innovation and optimization – build better software faster with metric-driven DevOps

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100% Performance Overhead by WebSphere Activity Log: When Dev is Not Aware of Settings in Production

The potential overhead and performance impact of log outputs has been discussed in several of our previous blog posts. In this new case we came across a severe response time impact on WebSphere caused by incorrect usage of a global shared logging service. The following two graphs show average and maximum response time of one of our customer’s key online service pages. Spikes up to 500s (for one… read more

I’m Not Scared of DevOps and you Shouldn't be Either

DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago.  By definition, DevOps is the natural alignment of IT performance to business profitability. The relevance of this has yet to… read more

DevOps is Changing the M in APM: Performance Requires Management – Not Monitoring

There has been a lot of talk amongst vendors and industry experts in the last year about how APM fits in the DevOps philosophy.  There have been many claims that because a vendor is easy to install and use, it automatically makes it a solution catered for a DevOps crowd.  This cannot be further from the truth.  Most vendors provide simple monitoring solutions that alert on performance degradations. read more

When DB Log files don’t help: Data Access Analysis Tips to boost Performance

If transaction times jump from less than one second to more than 60 seconds after a software upgrade, it is evident that there is a problem that needs investigation. This scenario was experienced by a customer with its time-tracking application. Our customer identified this performance regression while executing extensive performance tests prior to its production upgrade. The company’s “traditional” approach of analyzing these types of problems was analyzing application and… read more

Performance Impact of Exceptions: Why Ops, Test and Dev need to care

Does your Ops team care about the number of Exceptions thrown in the application – do they even monitor this number? Does your Test Team report the list of Exceptions thrown during a load test to engineering or are they just sending those that end up in a logfile? Is development interested in the Exceptions that are thrown within frameworks while executing their unit tests? Why should they care? Is… read more

Escape Application Performance "Groundhog Day" with Culture Change

I love movies.  There is just something about them that can teach us a lot about life.  One of my favorites is Groundhog Day. The construct of this movie is that the main character Phil, played by Bill Murray, is trapped having to live the same day over and over again.   This is what it can be like for IT when it comes to managing… read more

Scott Barber’s Thoughts on the Past and Future of APM

I have spent the past 2 years developing what I’ll call a tool and process agnostic Application Performance Management (APM) framework. This framework couples the valuable APM practices of active monitoring, proactive trending and near-real-time response with related value-adding practices throughout the rest of the application development and delivery lifecycle, such as code profiling and production simulations (A.K.A. Performance, Load and Stress Testing).  Over the past year, I’ve been beta-testing… read more

Understanding the Impact of a Legacy Visual Basic Application

Most organizations are dealing with a diverse IT landscape today. And so does one of our customers, a large American bank, which needs to handle a 10+ year old Visual Basic 6 (VB6) application that got integrated into their modern .NET enterprise application. In this blog post I describe how we managed to get insight into their legacy applications and enabled them to manage and optimize performance. One of the… read more

Don't let your Load Balancers ruin your Holiday Business

An eCommerce site that crashes 7 times during the Christmas season, being down for up to five hours each time it crashes is a site that loses a lot of money and suffers reputation damage. It happened to one of our customers, before we started working with them. They shared their story and what they learned at our annual perform conference earlier this month. Among several reasons that led to… read more

Performance In Development Is The Chief Cornerstone

In Roman architecture the stone in which a construction project was started from was called the cornerstone or foundation stone.  It was the most important because this was the stone in which all other stones would be based off of.  Great care was taken in making sure that the angles were correct.  If there was a slight deviation, even one degree, it could cause structural issues for a foundation.  When… read more