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What Is Payload?

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What Is Payload?

In programming, the most common usage of the term is in the context of message protocols to differentiate the protocol overhead from the actual data.

· Performance Zone ·
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SignalFx is the only real-time cloud monitoring platform for infrastructure, microservices, and applications. The platform collects metrics and traces across every component in your cloud environment, replacing traditional point tools with a single integrated solution that works across the stack.

The term "payload" is used to distinguish between the so-called interesting information in a chunk of data and the overhead to support it. It is borrowed from transportation, where it refers to the part of the load that "pays." For example, a tanker truck may carry 20 tons of oil, but the fully loaded vehicle weighs much more than that — there's the vehicle itself, the driver, fuel, the tank, etc. It costs money to move all these, but the customer only cares about (and pays for) the oil, hence, payload.

In programming, the most common usage of the term is in the context of message protocols to differentiate the protocol overhead from the actual data. Take, for example, a JSON web service response that might look like this (formatted for readability):

{
    "status":"OK",
    "data":
        {
            "message":"Hello, world!"
        }
}

In this example, the string "Hello, world!" is the payload, the part that the recipient is interested in; the rest, while vital information, is protocol overhead.

Another notable use of the term is in malware. Malicious software usually has two objectives: spreading itself and performing some kind of modification on the target system (delete files, compromise system security, call home, etc.). The spreading part is the overhead, while the code that does the actual evil-doing is the payload.

SignalFx is built on a massively scalable streaming architecture that applies advanced predictive analytics for real-time problem detection. With its NoSample™ distributed tracing capabilities, SignalFx reliably monitors all transactions across microservices, accurately identifying all anomalies. And through data-science-powered directed troubleshooting SignalFx guides the operator to find the root cause of issues in seconds.

Topics:
payload ,devops ,programming ,software development

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