Integrating APM with DevOps to keep customers happy
Application Performance Management as a part of the DevOps app lifecycle is simple at heart and necessary. Here’s how it works in the real world
The difference between an app delivering a good or bad user experience can make or break a business. Customers can and will switch instantly if your app doesn’t work properly.
This could be the result of back-end system response times, architectural limitations, poor programming and unforeseen platform interactions. Tracking down the cause of poor performance as well as rolling out updates or new applications involves not only technology but also people and processes as part of the solution.
To understand the root cause of the problem, you need the tools to monitor the application as well as effective communication and collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. On top of that, orchestrating everything can be an enormous task, dwarfed only by the job of analyzing the data collected.
That was the problem National Australia Bank faced with its UBank division app. Login transaction times were unacceptably slow. The development team was on it for several weeks – but with 80 plus servers producing logs for analysis, backed by network packet sniffing, triage process was slow and manual. Resource-intensive work based on correlation of performance data showed little progress, not only leaving the app rollout schedule in peril, but also creating the risk for other app development projects.
So the NAB Development team decided to deploy CA Application Performance Management (CA APM). It took less than five days to install CA APM out of the box with no configuration. In two hours, a login transaction-specific dashboard for over 80 servers was built. After an hour of tracing transactions, several problematic components were identified, including two out of 30 Oracle transaction components that needed attention. This eliminated the need to triage and investigate 28 Oracle components and over 10 associated back-end systems.
The development team addressed the problematic components and after two weeks the project was back on track. Login transaction performance had been improved by 82 percent, shaving 2.3 seconds off the transaction process time.
CA APM was also deployed in the production environment, and the operations team was able to use same dashboard to trace real user transactions. Application changes and rollout were simplified as development and operations were now speaking the same language, using CA APM to accelerate app delivery and ensure a spotless user experience.
With 2.3 million users and 30 logins per second, benefits of CA APM across development and operations teams were immediate, real and measurable. But, that’s just the start. Other CA Technologies products provide additional support for a common platform for the develop-test-deploy cycle, accelerating the move to a single team and removing the silos between IT operations and application development.
It’s this unified approach to the development and deployment infrastructure with the automation of gathering and analyzing performance metrics across the entire app lifetime that produces right environment for continuous validation and deployment – and the fluidity and reliability that keeps users happy.