How to Deliver High-Performing, Business-Critical Web Applications

It's important to manage the performance and availability of your critical Web applications in order to deliver consistently superior services aligned with your business goals. Meeting this challenge requires a new approach to application performance management, where IT becomes a strategic service provider and an innovation partner of the business organization. Knowledge Center contributor Prabhjot Singh discusses the six habits you should develop to deliver high-performing, business-critical Web applications.

bug_knowledgecenter_70x70_%282%29.jpg

In the rapidly growing Web application services environment, business transactions are well traveled. They are carried over diverse and interconnected infrastructures, through networks, application servers, firewalls and virtualized systems via heterogeneous operating systems and distributed service-oriented architectures (SOAs). This all creates a Web application environment that is highly-complex, vulnerable to multiple points of failure and difficult to manage in production.

Your challenge is to deliver the critical Web-based services in order to achieve your business and customer goals and, simultaneously, manage the performance and availability of these services 24/7. You need to optimize the user experience, predict and resolve problems before customers feel the pain, and improve service levels.
Meeting this challenge requires a new approach to Application Performance Management (APM), where IT becomes a strategic service provider and an innovation partner of the business organization. It does so by delivering high-quality, business-oriented IT services that are managed from the user's perspective. Navigating this transformation presents many challenges. You may ask yourself the following questions:

1. "With so many interconnected parts in my infrastructure, how do I determine the source of performance problems quickly and end finger pointing between my IT operations teams?"

2. "How can I determine if users are affected by incidents before they call the help desk?"

3. "How can I correlate user transactions to the applications with which they interact?"

4. "When there are multiple problems, what is most important to fix first?"

5. "What can I do to gain insight into the business impact of poorly-performing applications?"

6. "How can I measure service-level agreements (SLAs) accurately to demonstrate the value that IT provides to the business, partners and customers?"

To deliver consistently superior services aligned with business goals, it's critical to manage the performance and availability of your critical Web applications 24/7. This is so you can:

1. Understand the user experience, measure SLAs to spot problems before customers are affected and SLAs are breached, and deliver better customer service

2. Map all business transactions to the end-to-end infrastructure to identify the source of problems quickly and report on the scope, severity and business impact of transaction performance

3. Conduct incident triage and root-cause diagnosis to simplify troubleshooting and reduce mean-time-to-repair

singh_figure1of2.jpg

This transformation is a journey of continuous improvement. While you should tailor your approach to meet your business needs, there are some common habits you can adopt to deliver the high-performing, online application services your business demands, realize more stable revenue streams and provide measurable business results.