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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 be quantified but it has been suggested that the route to the CEO's chair will come from the IT leaders that successfully make the transition to a DevOps model. If this still seems foreign to you, I recommend reading up on DevOps Blog from IT Revolution, the OpsCode Blog, and check out The Phoenix Project. Despite all the talk around simple monitoring tools, breaking through the walls between Dev and Ops still poses a real challenge. This is because of a misunderstanding around Operations real purp... (more)

Eating Our Own Dog Food: dynaTrace Does Continuous APM

I sat together with Stefan Frandl, Test Automation Lead in dynaTrace’s R&D Lab in Linz, Austria to discuss how dynaTrace does Continuous APM in Development. Obviously dynaTrace takes performance very seriously as we preach to our clients that Continuous Application Performance Management is a critical component across the Application Lifecycle. The earlier in the Lifecycle you manage and get your performance under control the less you have to worry about actual problems later on when you ship your product. In the discussion I had with Stefan he talked about how dynaTrace transitioned from traditional performance management to where we are now – which means: “eat our own dog food” and “live the dynaTrace Continuous APM message”. In this article we learn that it is not simply done by plugging in an APM Solution and all your performance problems are automatically detec... (more)

Evolving an APM Strategy for the 21st Century

I started in the web performance industry - well before Application Performance Management (APM) existed - during a time when external, single page measurement ruled the land. In an ecosystem where no other solutions existed, it was the top of the data chain to support the rapidly evolving world of web applications. This was an effective approach to APM, as most online applications were self-contained and, compared to the modern era, relatively simple in their design. A state-of-the-art web application, circa 2000 Soon, a new solution rose to the top of the ecosystem - the synthetic, multi-step business process, played back either in a browser or a browser simulator. By evolving beyond the single-page measurement, this more complex data collection methodology was able to provide a view into the most critical business processes, delivering repeatable baseline and be... (more)

The Problem with Cloud SLAs

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offered by cloud providers are too often about Specification and not Service. It should come as no surprise that vanity metrics, like Availability, are used instead of business metrics because they are simple to measure and easy to misconstrue. Metrics that truly matter, like "will I be able to delight my customer," are about as far removed as one can imagine. It should come as no surprise, then, that in a recent survey of 740 CIOs and IT Leaders 97% wanted more than a simple Availability guarantee. Imagine a company selling a premium new car whose warranty includes 2M piston revolutions, 10k door latch cycles, and 20k window open and closes. And even then, with 99.5% availability, you might still be unable to start the car two days a year, or during winter there might be two weeks where the doors won't unlock until the sun melts th... (more)

Challenges of Running Apps in “The Cloud”

Cloud Computing presents unique opportunities to companies to reduce costs, outsource non-core functions and scale costs to match demand. However, the Cloud also presents a new level of complexity that makes ensuring application performance in the Cloud a unique challenge, in particular  with the many different usage and deployment scenarios available. Perhaps the most popular present scenario uses the Cloud to perform certain tasks where  additional computational power is unavailable in a local environment, e.g.: running large scale load-tests or processing large amounts of input data into something else. Another scenario which is becoming more attractive these days is to actually run applications in the Cloud. Read more about the challenges of Monitoring, Tracing and Profiling applications that run in the cloud @ (more)

Challenges in Tracing JavaScript Performance by Example

In an earlier article I already discussed several approaches towards end-user experience (or performance) monitoring including their pros and cons. In this article I will present a simple real world sample which shows the limits of performance traceability in AJAX applications. As I don’t like Hello World samples, I thought I’d rather build something a bit more useful. The sample uses the Twitter API to search for keywords. The search itself is triggered by typing into a textbox. While the sample isn’t spectacular from a technical perspective, I will make it more interesting by adding some “technical salt” – rather than sugar. Building the Sample Page So let us start looking at the code. Below you find the skeleton of our page. The code is straightforward. We have a textbox and a table. I am using jQuery for convenience reasons here – especially because of some innerH... (more)

dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.0 Released

With its latest release, dynaTrace updates its Product Suite for Deep Dive, Automated Cross-Browser Web Performance Optimization with two products: dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.0 is the free standalone tool that has been downloaded by 30k+ users so far supporting both Firefox (3.6, 4.0) and Internet Explorer (6, 7 & 8) dynaTrace Development Team Edition is the Premium Upgrade and provides extended automation, end-to-end performance and automated regression analysis for modern Web 2.0 Applications In this first part of the series I focus on the capabilities that support web developers and testers on their local workstation when analyzing performance or problems in Internet Explorer and Firefox. A second part will cover the benefits of the Premium Upgrade for Agile Development Teams when automating performance and regression analysis. dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.0 – Capabiliti... (more)

Premium AJAX Edition 3 Extensions

If you are serious about Web Development then I am sure you are working on Web 2.0 Applications leveraging several JavaScript Frameworks, making XHR calls to the Server to retrieve dynamic content and also include 3rd party content such as Ads or Social Network Plugins. You probably also have Selenium, WebDriver or any other functional tests in place that get executed in your Continuous Integration environment. If any of this is true, you likely want to automate your efforts around web performance optimization as it is too complex and inefficient to verify performance manually on all your pages across all your supported browsers. dynaTrace offers premium extensions to the free dynaTrace AJAX Edition that can accelerate your tasks through enterprise-class automation. Let’s look at the main capabilities this upgrade gives you. Web 2.0 Agnostic “Traditional” Web Pages... (more)

dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.6 Now Supports Firefox 11

The new release of dynaTrace AJAX Edition provides Beta support for the Firefox 11 browser enabling you to test the performance of your websites with the latest available Browsers from Mozilla and Microsoft. AJAX Edition 3.6 supports Firefox 10, 11 and Internet Explorer 8, 9. To help you prepare for the future, we added Internet Explorer 10 (developer preview). If you also manage the performance of legacy browsers and automated browser testing, you should take a look at the dynaTrace AJAX Edition Premium which helps you to guarantee good performance for legacy, current and future browsers. You can also check out the Release Notes for a more detailed description of the enhancements. 3 Steps to get started with dynaTrace AJAX Edition Step 1: Download dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.6 Step 2: Take a look at the Online Video Tutorials Step 3: Analyze your website If you have any... (more)

Compuware Expands New Generation APM Leadership

Compuware on Monday announced a PHP deep transaction management solution. With Deep Transaction Management for PHP, Compuware APM now provides a solution that fully combines user experience management (UEM), web-server visibility, deep-dive into PHP, database access and external calls. For the 39 percent of websites using PHP, the solution cuts through complexity and provides full application visibility from a browser-click to the database and back, for all transactions, in real-time 24x7. Compuware APM provides out-of-the-box advanced support for popular PHP frameworks including Zend and visibility into MySQL databases. It provides the broadest coverage to include other backend systems such as Java, .NET, C/C++, Big Data, MQ, Message Broker and the mainframe. Out-of-the-box dashboards instantly tell users if something is amiss. Advanced automation with one-click t... (more)

Accurately Identify Impact of System Issues on End-User Response Time

Triggered by current expected load projections for our community portal, our Apps Team was tasked to run a stress on our production system to verify whether we can handle 10 times the load we currently experience on our existing infrastructure. In order to have the least impact in the event the site crumbled under the load, we decided to run the first test on a Sunday afternoon. Before we ran the test we gave our Operations Team a heads-up: they could expect significant load during a two-hour window with the potential to affect other applications that also run on the same environment. During the test, with both the Ops and Application Teams watching the live performance data, we all saw end-user response time go through the roof and the underlying infrastructure running out of resources when we hit a certain load level. What was very interesting in this exercise is t... (more)