Today’s users demand access to easy-to-use applications even though the IT landscape has become a complex mishmash of end-user devices, connectivity methods, and siloed IT organizations, some of which contain further siloes for applications, databases and back-end storage.
These multiple tiers of complexity, combined with end users’ increasing dependency on accessible applications, creates significant difficulties for IT professionals across the globe, but especially in government agencies, with all their regulations and policies.
Figuring out how to maintain application performance in these complex environments has become a key objective for federal IT staff. Here are five methods for preserving a high-performance app stack:
1. Simplifying application stack management
A significant part of the effort lies in simplifying management of the application stack (app stack) itself, which includes the application, middleware and the extended infrastructure the application requires for performance. Think about the entire environment.
Rather than looking at networks, storage, servers and clients as distinct silos of individual responsibility, federal IT departments can reduce the complexity of the sometimes conflicting information they use to manage these silos. The simplification lies in the practice of monitoring all applications and the resources they use as a single application ecosystem, recognizing the relationships.
Working through the entire app stack lets federal IT pros understand where performance is degraded and improves troubleshooting.
2. Monitoring servers
Server monitoring is a significant part of managing the app stack. Servers are the engines that provide application services to the end user. And applications need sufficient CPU cycles, memory, storage I/O and network bandwidth to work effectively.
Monitoring current server conditions and analyzing historical usage trends is the key to ensuring problems are resolved rapidly or prevented.
3. Monitoring virtualization
Monitoring the virtualization infrastructure is key and Federal IT pros should monitor how and when VMs move from one host or cluster to another as well as the status of shared hosts, networks and storage resources, especially if they are over-subscribed.
Federal IT pros should prioritize how individual VMs on a host are working together, whether resource contention is occurring on a host or a cluster, and what applications are causing those conflicts. In addition, federal IT pros should keep tabs on network latency.
4. Monitoring user devices
Today’s users are running applications on all types of devices with a range of capabilities and connectivity options, all of which are significant factors in maintaining a healthy app ecosystem.
5. Bring it together with alerting
The last component is alerting, which notifies technicians when there is an issue with a component of the app stack prior to the first end-user noticing the problem.
The ability to set proactive performance baselines for devices and applications to signal when app stack issues arise helps both in day-to-day monitoring and future capacity planning.
In short, it’s critical for federal IT pros to be aware of, monitor and set up notifications across the app stack – from back end storage, through application services and processes to front-end users – and provide high performance from a holistic perspective.
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