12 Sep 2014
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Dimension Data: Taking a holistic approach...

Taking a holistic view with application performance management can improve the end-user experience, says Dimension Data's Brent Angus.

High-performing business applications are becoming so critical that a company’s success or failure can depend on them.

In this digital age of rich internet applications and mobile access anytime, from anywhere, customers have become intolerant of lacklustre websites and unresponsive apps.

An international airline best known for its premium service realised the impact in 2011 when the launch of its new website fell mercy to poor performance on day one, aggravating customers and leaving them with no other option but to head to its competitors.

The backlash only proved that consumers set high expectations for application performance and expect fast answers and action when they’re let down.

Consider the brand and reputation damage that can come with prolonged outages of essential services such as ATMs or online banking sites.

As the internet becomes a primary channel for many companies to generate revenue, businesses are now realising the connection between superior application performance and the bottom line.

However, with the siloed nature of many IT organisations that are structured around managing specific, discrete domains - networks, servers, applications, storage and so on - it can be difficult to gain a cohesive, unified view of the IT environment.

With little coordination or collaboration among the different groups, the task of understanding why an application is loading slowly or why a web page is unresponsive becomes nearly impossible.

Building on network monitoring...

Application performance management uses a holistic approach, beginning with the end-user transaction and working all the way through the different layers of applications, the network, the database and back again.

This approach points out where the problems lie and hence where to spend money in order to make a difference – from an IT perspective, you’ve got accountability and ownership, and from a business perspective, problems are solved quickly.

This application-centric approach to managing performance is not an alternative to traditional network monitoring; instead it builds upon it.

Monitoring IT components is as important as it ever was. Indeed, the impact that servers, databases and networks have on the performance of business applications is significant and must be taken into account.

However, the focus is now shifting to allow IT to dig deeper by monitoring every critical part of the application delivery chain and troubleshoot issues that arise before they become problems.

Providing true end-to-end performance management and achieving a high-performing end-user experience is made possible by gaining full visibility into both the network and the applications.

This visibility enables companies to adopt new technology, expand into new product areas and markets, and push further into the digital economy – knowing that the end-user experience will remain a superior one.

Brent Angus is general manager, Network Integration Solutions Development Group for Dimension Data, which helps businesses harness the power of technology to accelerate their business ambitions.

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