Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal, FinTech Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Network Performance Monitoring | @CloudExpo #DataCenter #SDN #DevOps

Converged applications and network monitoring tools greatly enhance cross-team communication and collaboration.

Four Ways to Boost IT Performance with Application-Aware Network Performance Monitoring
By Amrutha Aprameya, Evangelist, ManageEngine

In an era of unified IT, you can no longer afford to take a silo-based approach to monitoring and troubleshooting IT problems. It's time for network engineers, server admins and application engineers to expand beyond their particular domains and department-specific tools. It's time to embrace a new, integrated approach to network and application monitoring that lets you view your entire IT infrastructure from a single console and resolve issues before they affect end users. It's time for applications-aware network performance monitoring (AANPM).

AANPM tools are network- and application-level data collectors, monitoring network devices as well as monitoring business-critical applications to establish cross-platform visibility. With AANPM tools, engineers can make better decisions while monitoring the applications and networks that, in turn, help maintain high performance of critical business applications. AANPM, though, must be used judiciously. Otherwise, you can easily drown in meaningless data and miss key factors.

So what's the best way to use AANPM to drive down your mean time to repair (MTTR), the metric most organizations use to measure the performance of IT service providers? By measuring the following four IT performance metrics:

  • Bandwidth utilization rate
  • End-user page response time
  • Network latency or round trip time (RTT)
  • Volume of transactions processed

Bandwidth utilization rate
This metric measures the total amount of traffic for a given period of time. Typically, bandwidth utilization is measured by analyzing packet flows, and it can be tracked for an entire organization, business unit or data center. In the most basic sense, this metric expresses link utilization as a percentage of network traffic. It's measured by using SNMP polling and flow packets (NetFlow, JFlow, SFlow, etc.).

The problems related to bandwidth utilization rates often occur when the personal, user-related activities consume excessive bandwidth, leaving very little bandwidth for business-critical applications. This can significantly lower the performance of business-critical applications and may even lead to network outages.

Benefits: AANPM tools provide engineers with capabilities such as real-time network visibility, bandwidth monitoring and traffic shaping. By using AANPM tools that collect data on both the network and the application, organizations can gain real-time visibility into where and when the network is busy. The real-time visibility helps network engineers monitor the network and prioritize which applications need additional bandwidth. These tools also help in shaping the network traffic at the network interface level with complete granularity. Therefore, by using AANPM tools, network engineers can enhance the bandwidth utilization rates for business-critical applications.

Data based on bandwidth and application usage patterns also helps managers plan and control their IT budgets.

End-user page response time
This metric identifies the time taken for the client system to process information related to the original page request. This is done by placing probes near the client system. These probes monitor turnaround time and validate if the page request has been processed in a timely manner.

Benefits: AANPM tools help you to evaluate the likely experience of users from multiple locations by identifying potential bottlenecks in resources. This way, the end-user experience of business-critical network services such as DNS, LDAP, DHCP and Mail servers can be monitored easily. Using the tools' data, engineers can reconstruct events, analyze flow forensics for identifying the traffic on key links, and replay VoIP calls. These statistics can be particularly useful for analyzing and solving historic problems related to application performance.

Using the end-user page response time statistics collected by these AANPM tools, system engineers can also monitor and track the SLAs of service providers. These same patterns of response times can further help system engineers plan and counter any overall application outages that may occur in the future.

Network latency or round trip time (RTT)
Network latency refers to the time elapsed between transferring a packet of data from the host system to the destination system, or vice-versa. Typically, it's measured using the metric round trip time (RTT), which refers to the amount of time taken for a packet to reach from source to destination and back again. ICMP ping and Cisco's IPSLA would come in handy for RTT calculations.

Ideally, the RTT should be as close to zero as possible. Excessive network latency creates bottlenecks, therefore reducing the bandwidth needed for critical applications. This network latency metric can majorly impact end-user experiences. The impact of network latency on bandwidth can be classified as intermittent (lasting a few seconds) or constant, depending on the source of the delays.

Benefits: AANPM provides performance data from both network and application perspectives that includes application response time analysis and SNMP, ICMP or CLI polling data. Network engineers can assess this data to identify and resolve problem areas, which will drastically reduce the RTT.

AANPM tools help network engineers establish a baseline for network flows under three categories: stable, degrading or unacceptable flow rate. These details can also support capacity planning, as they help network engineers determine where the bottlenecks occur and which applications require more bandwidth.

Volume of transactions processed
This metric refers to the total amount of Web transactions processed during a specific period of time. If the volume of transactions is too high, they can sit in the queue for too long. This causes client systems to reprocess the transaction requests, which may result in application outages.

Benefits: AANPM helps system engineers gain an application-centric view of events happening across the network by outlining the inter-dependencies between an application and the network. It also enables engineers to identify Web transaction data by providing insights into average end-user response times, throughput, and APDEX (application performance index) scores so that the most critical paths can be prioritized over less critical ones. System engineers can then monitor and optimize the end-user experience by assessing applications in terms of how they are deployed and how they perform. This technique can directly improve network uptime and the availability of critical business applications.

In Closing
Converged applications and network monitoring tools greatly enhance cross-team communication and collaboration. AANPM tools provide a single performance management interface that offers a holistic view of both network and application performance. Using this interface, network engineers gain deeper knowledge they need to tune their organizations' networks, servers and applications. Ultimately, that knowledge can help IT departments effectively plan and monitor network traffic, server loads, and transaction volumes as well as dramatically reduce MTTR.


Amrutha Aprameya is an IT management/marketing evangelist at ManageEngine by profession and a passionate blogger by choice. She writes extensively about technology, management consulting trends, and social causes.

More Stories By ManageEngine IT Matters

ManageEngine believes IT management can be simple and affordable. Our authors share insights and how-to tips for SMBs and large enterprises. Over 120,000 companies around the world – including three of every five Fortune 500 companies – trust our products to manage their networks, data centers, business applications, and IT services, and security. We take a straightforward, customer-centric approach to IT management software. Our customers' needs drive our product philosophy. And we've built a strong, in-house R&D team to support our product team and turn customer requests into product realities. We look forward to hearing from you.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.