To gather insights for DZone's Performance and and Monitoring Research Guide, scheduled for release in June, 2016, we spoke to 10 executives, from nine companies, who have created performance and monitoring solutions for their clients.
Here's who we talked to:
Dustin Whittle, Developer Evangelist, AppDynamics | Michael Sage, Chief DevOps Evangelist,Blazemeter | Rob Malnati, V.P. Marketing and Pete Mastin, Product Evangelist, Cedexis | Charlie Baker, V.P. Product Management, Dyn | Andreas Grabner, Technology Strategist, Dynatrace | Dave Josephson, Developer Evangelist, and Michelle Urban, Director of Marketing, Librato | Bob Brodie, CTO, SUMOHeavy | Christian Beedgen, CTO and Co-Founder, Sumo Logic | Nick Kephart, Senior Director Product Marketing, ThousandEyes
We asked these executives, "Where do you think the biggest opportunities are for improvement in performance and monitoring?"
Here's what they told us:
- Shift the focus to the left. A lot of great new companies (i.e. Netflix) that people will blindly take sample code from without taking the time to determine if it’s the best solution to the problem you want to solve. Don’t jump too quickly and don’t blindly follow others.
- Real user monitoring (RUM) is the standard for the future. Every end user is on a different path. RUM is the metric that matters. Standards are becoming important. Safari has been slow to provide performance data and need to respond more quickly or people will stop using the browser due to its poor performance. We’re a member of the Streaming Video Alliance and are working to identify best practices around buffering and QA metrics.
- Which tools are free (i.e. Google Analytics). People are not aware of what’s out there. New Relic has a free layer. Use the free tools to find just enough savings to pay for the tool. We use for server monitoring. JIRA for problem resolution tracking. Look at free versions of things that have useful solutions at a reasonable price.
- Move to the cloud can eliminate infrastructure issues. How do I take advantage of what’s available with elasticity without creating a burden on the IT staff? Larger enterprises still have hardware. We help them determine how they can maximize their advantage in the world. They need to change to become more vendor agnostic. Think about balancing traffic, A/B testing, and optimizing performance. We help maximize the business of moving to the cloud.
- Performance and action ability. Stop wasting time, look at the right stuff and automate monitoring. Theme test what matters and get alerts on what you can do something about. Shift to focusing on meaningful data. Incent is a company that monitors when something goes wrong you collect more data at that point.
- Context – ability to troubleshoot and connect information from different sources. Understand how digital performance affects business performance. Here’s how downtime affects business performance. We want to understand what the user was doing when they experienced the problem. Know which bug affects the greatest number of people.
- A lot of IT shops have a lot of systems with little visibility and are surprised when things go sideways. They don’t understand monitoring is not a category of IT in an intrinsic part of the process. Most people don’t monitor for feedback. One of the hard core differences between companies is the attitude of the people you show a graph to. In the past, people would just gloss over. Today, the more cognizant focus on the Y axis and scale by gleaning knowledge from the data. Glean something from the data rather than just monitoring it. Focus on the data not on the tools. Monitoring tools are hard to learn and use but doing so is just the beginning, you must learn to interpret the data the tools provide and always be working to improve the numbers.
- Probably not a single provider as it’s a very wide swath to cover. Companies have tried acquiring other solutions to fill the gaps but by the time they get the new product bolted on, they’ve been passed by. Is it possible for a company in the space to consolidate, lead and build out functions given the diversity of domains and users – application and development team versus network engineers? The core user tends to be operations and network engineering, yet a lot of users are closer to the app side and their expectations are very different. Disparate domains between operations and development are leading to changes in the customer base using certain products as connectors like Splunk for events based data at regular intervals and connecting all of the pieces together. Service Now is doing something similar. Perhaps someone becomes the central glue or repository from different performance management solutions. Customers are building their own proprietary data warehouses, collecting data, and trying to tie it all together. Datadog is aligned around IaaS but seems to be emerging as a solution that some people are putting data into.
- Three observations: 1) We are only beginning to understand the amount of data we are generating. The amount of responsibility we are giving to IT is growing exponentially. Monitoring systems need to grow ahead of the data and provide tools that scale. 2) Need to find things that represent what we are monitoring in more human ways bringing relevant data to the forefront. 3) Machines that can observe, and report on, what other machines are doing. What information can we find from the audit trail?
Where do you see the greatest opportunities for improvement in performance and monitoring?