Making Connections – The Value of Data Correlation
By Sameer Padhye
The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applications to serve customers and improve operations.
So, in many ways, things are really coming together with digital transformation. At the same time, however, things are really starting to come apart.
In saying that, I’m not casting aspersions on digital transformation. In fact, I’m a big believer in it.
Businesses need to introduce applications and adopt new technologies to become more agile, efficient, and responsive. And they’re doing that.
As part of those efforts, they’re employing cloud-based solutions, software-centric and microservices architectures, virtualization and containers. But these new architectures and technologies are creating challenges of their own.
In the past, each application lived on its own dedicated server. So ensuring the desired performance level was relatively simple.
In today’s highly distributed world, however, that’s simply no longer the case. Here’s why.
Some business applications today live in public clouds. And enterprises tend to have no, or very limited, visibility into those clouds. Other businesses take advantage of more distributed hybrid cloud models consisting of on-premise, public, and private clouds.
Applications run on virtual machines, rather than physical, fixed servers. So that adds another level of complexity.
As if that wasn’t enough, containers often exist alongside, or within, VMs. And the use of containers – and number of containers themselves – is quickly proliferating.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 50 percent of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production. That’s up from less than 20 percent today.
The upside of containers is that they offer portability and greater scalability. However, containers move around a lot. And they appear and disappear in the blink of any eye. So that multiplies the number of moving pieces exponentially.
All that makes for a very dynamic – and complex – environment. And that’s good. And bad.
Because this environment is very different than what came before, the application performance tools created a decade or so ago no longer apply. And tools that consider only the application – and not the underlying infrastructure – fall short.
So organizations need new solutions that can address what’s happening with applications and networks today. These tools must collect and correlate information about the application itself and about the underlying infrastructure.
That should include data about application server performance, events, logs, transactions, and more. The compute, network, and storage resources involved in application delivery also need to be figured into the equation.
Only with this full complement – and correlation – of data can organizations understand what’s happening with their applications. That’s important to ensure applications perform as expected to yield the desired business results.
Intelligent data correlation data puts new insight at the fingertips of businesses like yours. And that allows you to do a lot of really amazing, time-saving, and income-impacting things.
For example, you can trim application troubleshooting efforts from weeks, months, or days down to minutes.
That’s really valuable when you consider that a business can lose millions in lost revenue from just a few minutes of app downtime. (That’s not to mention the potential loss of reputation, and losses from diverting IT resources to troubleshoot and fix such problems.)
The recent crash of Amadeus IT Group’s flight booking system shows the widespread impacts that can result from just one business application going down. As Bloomberg reported in September, several major airlines and their passengers were affected by the outage.
When applications go down or don’t perform as required, enterprise IT folks, their technology suppliers, and network service providers often spend a lot of time and energy arguing over the source of the problem. That’s before they even settle on its cause, and identify and implement a solution. Meanwhile, the business functions that rely on the app remain at a standstill.
The good news here is that FixStream has a solution.
Our platform correlates application and infrastructure resources data to identify root problems in real time. And it addresses the distributed nature of applications and related resources.
Here’s one example of how we help do that.
Containers have a short shelf life. So our platform collects data on both active containers and those that existed in the past. That way, when problems arise, businesses like yours have the evidence they need to figure out what happened.
But troubleshooting is just one way the FixStream platform can help your business survive and thrive.
The FixStream platform also employs artificial intelligence to correlate data and uncover patterns. Those patterns can allow your organization to discern what problems are likely to appear downstream from trouble spots.
Such predictive analytics enable companies like yours to address potential problems before they impact applications and business operations. Our data correlation capabilities also can reduce your compliance risk and audit costs.
Plus, we can help you optimize cloud resources and understand application dependencies. That way, you can implement more informed cloud migration strategies.
That’s important because it can help you realize the cost-saving benefits that cloud migration can deliver.
Ninety percent of companies expect savings from their move to the cloud, reports Gartner’s Ron Blair. Yet only 13 percent of them actually reduce their capital expenditures from moving to the cloud. And just 26 percent lower their operational expenditures via cloud migration, Blair said in a December presentation.
One key reason for this disparity is that many organizations carry their complexity into the cloud.
Simplifying that complexity is what FixStream is all about.
Our platform provides intelligence on application performance so businesses can better allocate resources. Our data correlation capabilities reveal what specific resources each application requires. That way businesses like yours can purchase only those cloud resources their cloud-based applications require.
So, to review, the FixStream platform:
• enables you to get more value out of your cloud migration,
• provides visibility into what’s happening with your apps and related resources,
• delivers insights on application performance, resource utilization, and what to expect next, and
• keeps your apps – and your business itself – up and running.
That adds up to a whole lot of value.
Applications are lifeblood of every enterprise. Your financial health depends upon these applications.
And more – and more mission-critical – apps are moving to the cloud everyday. So you need to know how your business apps are performing. And when they’re not performing as needed, you have to be able to move quickly to figure out why and implement a fix.
FixStream’s data correlation capabilities can go a long way toward helping you with that – and a whole lot more. For our customers that translates into dollars and cents, significant time savings, and greater business agility.
To learn more about what FixStream can do for you, click here.
Also, keep an eye out for my next blog. In that piece, I’ll discuss the importance of mapping and visualization.
Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.