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Simplify Performance Monitoring & Troubleshooting Across the IT Stack

Level 14

It’s quite common to see end-users complaining about SharePoint® being slow. It could be slow to load content, search pages, upload/download file, or any operation. Usually, it’s the website front-end where the user is facing the issue and complains about. But the root cause of the problem doesn’t always necessarily lie on the web front-end. Whether it’s SharePoint or another web application for that matter, a deep-rooted infrastructure performance issue in the web application layer, or the database, or the underlying physical/virtual server environment could be the actual source of the problem. Let’s not forget about storage. A performance issue in the storage layer—whether it is server disk volume or external NAS/SAN array—could directly impact all the way up to the web application and impact end-user experience, as well as business continuity.

One of the main challenges IT pros have today is absence of centralized visibility into all these layers. While it is possible (time-consuming though) for IT admins to check each component of the IT stack one by one, the smart way would be to have comprehensive visibility across the various layers in one view.

SolarWinds AppStack™ dashboard can really help solve these problems. AppStack consolidates performance insight and monitoring data from four SolarWinds IT management products (SAM, WPM, VMan and SRM) and presents the data in one view, which is in the form of an application dependency map—allowing you to see how various infrastructure entities are connected to one another, all the way from website transactions to applications, databases, physical and virtual servers and storage systems. From a single dashboard, you can centrally monitor the health and performance of all these components speeding up problem detection and troubleshooting.

Check out the infographic below: visually it explains how the AppStack dashboard works and how you can simplify performance monitoring and troubleshooting of your IT infrastructure. In the example, we have taken the example of a slow SharePoint transaction alert received on the website front-end, and show how AppStack helps you analyze the application layer (horizontally across the stack), and underlying physical and virtualized environments (vertically down the stack) until you arrive at the root cause.

Download the full infographic at the end of the blog.

AppStack 1.PNG

AppStack 2.PNG

AppStack 3.PNG

AppStack 4.PNG

Note: AppStack is NOT a separate product. It’s available as a built-in dashboard as part of each of these products—SAM, WPM, VMan, and SRM. You can benefit from AppStack even when you are using these products individually. But when integrated, the collective insight across all IT layers will simplify IT troubleshooting significantly.

13 Comments
Level 12

Excellent write up and use case for how to use the AppStack.  Thanks Vinod. 

Jason Henson

Loop1 Systems

www.Loop1Systems.com

Thank you for the info graphic.

MVP
MVP

The appstack at first glance appears to be good.  I haven't had the time to figure out how to properly utilize it on a multi-tenant server cluster to tie into which instance of a multi-instance process goes to which actual application with the rest of the application spread across other servers both windows and unix.

I have multiple java-exe processes on a server that make up multiple applications (say 8 instances of java.exe running on the same server times 7 servers).  They tie into things like MSMQ's and then on to other servers.  Being able to define a service to apply an "appstack" view of that service to now becomes more interesting since several different appstack views could touch the same servers for different applications with differences in service names but could share the same MSMQ or not.  Now throw in F5's and multiple web servers both internal and external facing.

In other words, there are multiple stacks that make up multiple apps on the same server or servers...so you need to be able to look at a single "stackette".

Atlas is not up to the task for a view and appstack while it has some good generalities doesn't have a way to tie all this together as far as I have been able to discover for a specific "stackette".

There again, you also need to have bought all the moving parts in the diagram to start to get that level of "view".

I liked this write up, but trying to convince our server team is another challenge.  They believe SCOM is the only package out there that can provide this information.

I would like to get this graphic in a nice glossy fold out if possible.

MVP
MVP

I think AppStack is a great product but I don't have SAM, WPM, VMan, and SRM as I'm not responsible for apps etc. So I'll never get to try it out.

Level 11

I agree.  Our system administrators look at SolarWinds products as a network tool.  We continually try to show them the benefits.  Maybe one day they will realize how they would benefit from the products.

Get a SolarWinds partner in to demonstrate it. You'll be amazed how much difference an external company showing the tools makes to making the bean counters open their wallets

MVP
MVP

We are just now moving to a new environment with a new enough version of Orion to start using AppStack. I can't wait. It looks very useful.

Another great product graphic that should be blown up to poster size and put on the back of every restroom stall door so people can do some serious thinking about how they should be processing troubleshooting needs, instead of the way they actually troubleshoot.

Thank you so much!

Level 10

Great article and thanks for the infographic.

MVP
MVP

In a past life, before I became a consultant, I had a boss who basically would not ever take me up on any kind of recommendation I made unless we had called in a consultant.  Super frustrating at the time but I know he was just trying to do some CYA for both of us.  He was willing to pay to have someone to blame in case things went sideways.

Level 15

good article.

Level 20

Added WPM recently to add that top layer.