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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Table of Contents

End-to-End Response Time Monitoring Overview 3

Business Executive Perspective 3 IT Executive Perspective 3 Responding to the Business Bottom Line 3

Breaking Down and Building Up End-to-End Response Time Monitoring 3

End-to-End Response Time Monitoring Considerations 3

Nimsoft Preview4

Nimsoft Enterprise Console--Highly customizable end-to-end response time dashboards 4 Combined Alert, Performance, and SLA Compliance Visibility 4

Nimsoft Overview 6

Fully Integrated Alarm, Performance, and Service Level Monitoring 6 Broad-Ranging Technology Support 7

Nimsoft ETE Response Time Monitoring Solution Overview9

Custom Response Time Monitoring for Business-Unique Applications and Web-Services 9 Packaged Response Time Monitoring Solutions for Standard Application Infrastructure Components 9 End-to-End Response Time Data Collection--Nimsoft Robots and Probes 9 Response Time Probes--Strategic Deployment for Optimal Customer Experience Visibility 9 Nimsoft QoS and SLA Response Time Reporting 10

Nimsoft ETE Response Time Monitoring Solutions 13

Application Response Time Monitoring 13 Web-based Services Response Time Monitoring 14 Email Response Time Monitoring 15 Directory Services Response Monitoring 16 Database Response Time Monitoring 16 Network Response Time Monitoring 16

About Nimsoft 17

Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

End-to-End Response Time Monitoring Overview

What is end-to-end response time monitoring and why is it important?

Business Executive Perspective From a business executive point of view, end-to-end response time monitoring represents complete visibility of end-user and customer experience with business applications and services Comprehensive and easily consumed `customer experience' reports can drive business decision in favor of a better top and bottom line IT Executive Perspective From an IT executive point of view, end-to-end response time monitoring represents complete visibility of the underlying infrastructure that supports business applications IT is challenged to monitor the performance of technologies that support business applications while also monitoring against end-user service quality expectations For IT executives, comprehensive and easily consumed application response time data can enable proactive and pre-emptive resolution for degrading response time conditions in order to protect service level commitments Responding to the Business Bottom Line Increased visibility of application response times can drive predictable and measurable business productivity It can provide insights necessary to ensure that every customer experience with revenue-generating business services is positive and repeated Without real-time visibility of end-to-end IT infrastructure resources and application response times from an end-user's perspective, business applications and web-based services are at risk Internal and external end-users can only be as productive as the performance of the applications and services they interface with Poor application response can also dishearten first-time and repeat customers. Both conditions, if allowed to persist, can impact the business bottom line; placing the business at risk

Breaking Down and Building Up End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

End-to-End Response Time Monitoring Considerations In distributed, web-based, client/server and legacy application environments, numerous servers and services are being called upon to fulfill their part of the total end-user application experience. For example, DNS servers are frequently servicing requests from various application subsystems Database servers are continuously servicing data requests and application and web servers, the brains and application presentation layer, are regularly processing data and application interface load requests If each server-to-server and `end-user'-to-server request is processed with delays, the total application response time will be significantly delayed. Therefore, in addition to monitoring application response time as a whole, it is equally important to monitor the responsiveness of each application enabling technology Listed below are a number of application components to consider for response time monitoring · · Monitor the DNS server (and other directory service applications) to ensure lookups are processed in a consistent and timely fashion Numerous application components will depend on the DNS server for domain directions Monitor the database server to ensure database queries are processed in a consistent and timely fashion The application and web server will likely call the database server numerous times to satisfy the end-users interests If the database is processing requests slowly the total end-user application experience will be delayed Monitor the web server to ensure it is processing requests for web pages in a timely fashion End-user applications, especially web-based end-user applications will repeatedly call upon the web server to present page content If the

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

web server is serving a broad community it may be taxed to the point of servicing requests with delays which can degrade an end-users applications experience · Monitor the application server to ensure it is processing end-user transactions in a consistent and timely fashion The application server will typically bear the brunt of logical processing If the workload being placed upon it exceeds its processing capacity, delays will likely occur Monitoring application servers for end-user responsiveness may reveal whether the application server, with its current capacity, is fit to serve the existing and/or growing user community. Monitor network throughput response times (and capacity) to ensure network devices such as routers and switches are transmitting data between end-points in a consistent and timely fashion The network is the critical linkage that holds the application infrastructure together If network devices and links should fail, or become overwhelmed with capacity, the end-user application experience will most assuredly suffer Monitor email response times. Today we depend upon instant communications to drive an efficient and profitable business Therefore, it is critical to monitor the timeliness of email communications In addition to email application for traditional person-to-person and BB communications, it has also become an integral component of today's web-based applications and services. Email is designed into distributed applications to automate and confirm online purchases, opt-in information subscriptions, support-desk trouble-ticket submissions, and much more When email struggles to perform in an application configuration it can have a disruptive effect on the end-user.

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Nimsoft Preview

Nimsoft Enterprise Console--Highly customizable end-to-end response time dashboards

Nimsoft's Service Dashboards are highly customizable, enabling users to develop a myriad of end-user experience and end-toend response time views that suit personal preferences and business perspectives

Combined Alert, Performance, and SLA Compliance Visibility

Nimsoft's End-to-end Service Dashboards provide for any combination of alert, performance, and SLA compliance status indicators in a single view Single or multiple application transactions can be displayed in a variety of status formats to enable clear visibility of end-users' service quality experience End-user transaction status can be displayed as real-time alarm indicators and as long/short-term performance trend graphs Additionally, response time data can be processed against SLA objectives (using Nimsoft Service Level Manager) and its compliance results displayed as dynamic values within the Nimsoft Dashboards

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Figure 1: Nimsoft monitors application response time as a whole or as individual transactions Equally important, Nimsoft monitors response times between application enabling technologies (see the response time values between dependent technologies in the dashboard example below) Selecting the leftmost element, the end-user response icon, produces a second-level dashboard that breaks down the end-user's application experience into sub-transactions and provides response time statistics in real time and over time (see Figure )

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Figure Nimsoft Dashboard displaying complete end-user experience and transaction response data, including SLA/SLO compliance statistics

Nimsoft Overview

Fully Integrated Alarm, Performance, and Service Level Monitoring

Nimsoft offers an IT management platform that provides scalable, resilient, and reliable monitoring capabilities for organizations that wish to proactively manage critical IT resources The solution is quickly installed, deployed, and tailored for business unique end-to-end response time monitoring needs The solution is proven in: · · · Real-time alerting Real-time performance monitoring and reporting SLA-based performance measurement

All as a fully integrated solution

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Proven service level management does not come without proven service level management methodologies and technologies Underpinning Nimsoft's alarm, performance, and SLA monitoring and reporting solutions is: · · · · · · · Deep data collection with broad technology support System resident automation Secure data transport Scalable data consolidation Long and short term data archiving and trend analysis Data presentation in customizable alarm dashboards Comprehensive, web-based data reporting

Figure 3 Nimsoft's core functions converge intrinsically to provide an industry unique SLA-based end-to-end response time monitoring and compliance reporting solution

Broad-Ranging Technology Support

For data collection and automation, Nimsoft offers a comprehensive suite of infrastructure monitoring robots and probes The Nimsoft probes will enable full coverage of heterogeneous IT infrastructures Monitoring probes include support for networks, databases, servers, middleware, email, applications, web-based services, directory services, and much more Nimsoft's open APIs, flexible architecture, and out-of-the-box third-party integrations and gateways, ensures that adapting to other management tools and monitoring processes is easily achieved

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Figure 4 Right out of the box, Nimsoft provides hundreds of performance reports and real-time monitoring for the following end-to-end service components:

Unlike traditional tools, Nimsoft's solutions are implemented in a matter of hours, while providing the reliable and scalable architecture needed for today's mission critical systems management applications Nimsoft is not dependant on unreliable SNMP agents to gather data for managing servers Instead it exploits its own data gathering technologies and utilizes a publish/subscribe based architecture that provides for "guaranteed delivery" of events and performance information If required, Nimsoft does support SNMP data Nimsoft is already empowering hundreds of IT enterprises across industries and around the world to successfully manage against their SLA targets within a matter of hours Nimsoft stands ready 4x7 to help its customers manage complex network systems with an advanced performance and service-level management solution built on a flexible architecture--offering a cost of ownership that brings Service Level Managementwithin reach With US offices in California and European offices in Norway, Sweden, Spain, and the UK, Nimsoft is an independent software vendor. Being fully owned by its founders and employees Nimsoft self-finances its growth with the proceeds from its operations

Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Nimsoft ETE Response Time Monitoring Solution Overview

The Nimsoft end-to-end response time monitoring solution is specifically targeted at measuring and monitoring performance of applications from the users' perspective It is intended to be used to gain insight into overall latencies incurred by users who are trying to get real work done and who have no concern for the inner workings of the application or its delivery components

Custom Response Time Monitoring for Business-Unique Applications and Web-Services

The Nimsoft solution supports response time monitoring for business-unique, end-to-end application configurations. While end-to-end application environments may consist of common, commercially accessible, software and hardware components, the collective whole represents a unique chain of application interdependencies The Nimsoft solution is uniquely positioned to quickly adapt and monitor practically any simple to complex application environment

Packaged Response Time Monitoring Solutions for Standard Application Infrastructure Components

In addition to supporting customized response time monitoring, the Nimsoft solution provides out-of-the-box response time monitoring packages for a wide variety of application-enabling technologies and services

End-to-End Response Time Data Collection--Nimsoft Robots and Probes

As previously discussed, data collection is performed by Nimsoft robots and specialized probes By deploying robots and probes on remote machines, it becomes possible to collect response time data by simulating application services and end-user transactions from various points of presence throughout the enterprise Examples of packaged application-service response time probes include DNS, LDAP, RDBMS, HTTP, and SMTP/POP In addition to packaged probes, virtually any type of end-user transaction can be recorded and transformed into custom, end-user simulation probes Supported end-user transaction types include web-based, client/server, terminal server and even mainframe. The customized probes can be configured to start and stop timers in line with each and every transaction performed by the end-user The customized Nimsoft response time probes will monitor, alert and report on each end-user transaction and/or the total end-to-end application response time

Response Time Probes--Strategic Deployment for Optimal Customer Experience Visibility

The Nimsoft solution has extremely flexible deployment options to ensure response time monitoring is being performed to and from multiple strategic end points. This deployment flexibility will allow response time visibility to be obtained from practically any desired point of perspective Unlike other market offerings, which only support centralized response time monitoring from a management server, the Nimsoft solution, with its lightweight response time monitoring probes, can be deployed strategically throughout the business infrastructure Listed below are a number of response time probe deployment possibilities: · Businesses with branch offices may consider deploying the response time probes on designated `virtual end-user' workstations to monitor application connectivity and round trip response time between an IT data center and business branch offices. Just as in the case of business branch offices, the same can be achieved for monitoring end-user application response times from within corporate business units The response time probe can be deployed on one or several designated `virtual end-user' workstations amongst a community of users within select business units This method of deployment will provide a representative sample of end-user response time experience

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

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In a distributed application environment, the response time probes can be deployed directly on web servers and or application servers to monitor the response times to and from servers hosting common application sub-services (ie database queries, directory lookups, user login authorization, etc) For MSPs hosting customers' web servers and services, the response time probe can be deployed in strategic regional, national or global locations This deployment option provides visibility of end-users who are exercising web-based services from remote locations For ASPs, the response time probe can be deployed in strategic locations (ie on designated workstations on select customer premises to monitor application response time from a customer's perspective) This deployment option provides the necessary visibility to ensure proactive detection of degrading conditions impacting end-customers For business with e-commerce and other web-based services, the probe can be deployed in strategic locations to monitor web service response time from a consumer's point of view For BB web-based services, the response time probe can be deployed within strategic business end-points to ensure satisfactory application response times between business-to-business applications and transactions

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Nimsoft QoS and SLA Response Time Reporting

Nimsoft provides two reporting mechanisms out-of-the-box Both are HTML-based and are made available to anyone with a browser and proper access to the URL: · Quality of Service Reports (QoS) provide historical reporting of any metric collected by the end-to-end response time probes QoS reports show historical response time performance or availability data over a number of periods The periods are, last 4 hours, last week, last month, prior weeks, prior months, and prior quarters Service Level Reporting (SLA) provides a graphical and text-based representation of response time performance contrasted against service level commitments They are both historical, showing compliance during prior periods, and forward-looking, showing the likelihood of achieving response time compliance during the current measurement period. SLA periods may be defined in day, week, or month increments. The SLA engine can generate alerts when trends suggest that end-to-end response time commitments will not be met given the failures that have already occurred during the current SLA measurement period

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Figure 5 Nimsoft QoS `stacked' graphs showing individual and total transaction response times Daily and weekly are depicted below Monthly and quarterly also available

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Figure 6 The Nimsoft SLA-based response time monitoring solution will make the difference between unanticipated and costly response time breaches, or controlled and continuous full SLA compliance The graphic example below illustrates Nimsoft's capabilities for: · · · · · Real-time response time data polling (depicted as individual plots in the graph below) Real-time and historical trend reporting (archived sample data and depicted as connected plots) SLA current status--compliance or breach (Nimsoft calculates and reports SLA current status) SLA forecasted status--analyze breach rate (Nimsoft forecasts and reports SLA breach date/time) Alerting against SLA objectives (Nimsoft provides SLA breach and breach warning alerts)

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Figure 7 Nimsoft enables end-user experience and application response time monitoring to be measured against SLAs and SLOs (Service Level Objectives) Nimsoft' web-based service level reports display current SLA compliance and forecasted breach Drill through the service level report to show individual transaction response metrics against defined constraints. Select the `History' tab to view SLA compliance history for past periods with visibility of developing trends

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Nimsoft ETE Response Time Monitoring Solutions

Nimsoft offers a comprehensive end-to-end response time monitoring solution to match practically any end-user monitoring requirement The solution includes packaged and customized offerings Outlined below are response time solutions for business applications, web services, email, directory services, databases and networks

Application Response Time Monitoring

Nimsoft's response time monitoring solution provides simple and sophisticated application response time monitoring The solution includes connectivity response time monitoring for application servers and application service ports The solution also includes monitoring for more complex, multi-phased business applications--it will record, playback and monitor the response times for each phase of a multi-phase, multi-transaction application Application Service Port Connection The Nimsoft response time solution will poll any application service port to check its availability (active/inactive) and its response time (the time it takes to respond to the poll request). Any application service port can be defined within the Nimsoft solution Examples of the many out-of-the-box service ports where response time monitoring can be applied include: FTP, SMTP, POP, HTTP, and more

Figure 8. Nimsoft end-to-end response time (rt) measurements may be taken large-grain or fine-grain; overall monitoring from start to finish, or monitoring and measurement of each phase of the overall interaction with the end-user. Phases might include: login, data query, data load, and logoff

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Multi-Phase Application Response Nimsoft can record, playback and monitor the response time for applications that involve multiple phases or transactions For example, an application consisting of four distinct phases may be as follows: 1) application launch, ) application login, 3) application database query, 4) application logout In this example, each application phase is a unique customer facing experience, which may likely encompass a unique underlying technology infrastructure To affect optimal end-to-end application performance, each phase should be monitored as such For each application phase, as well as the total end-user application experience, response time data is analyzed in real-time and displayed in graphical alarm consoles Additionally, response time data is archived for performance trend reporting and SLA-based response time monitoring and reporting

Web-based Services Response Time Monitoring

Nimsoft's response time monitoring solution provides comprehensive response time monitoring for web-based applications and business services The solution includes response time monitoring for web-server network connectivity, web page load time (and correct page content), and multi-phased web-based applications

Figure 9 An example of a Nimsoft Dashboard displaying URL response times from various geographic locations In this scenario the response time data for the collective locations is analyzed against a national response time SLA

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Web Server Connection The Nimsoft solution will test the amount of time it takes to connect to a designated web server on a network The solution will issue scheduled pings (ICMP ECHO) against defined web server IP addresses or web server domain names, ie wwwnimsoftcom The result of this network connectivity test will reveal web server availability and web server round trip connectivity response time Web Service Port Connection The Nimsoft solution will test the availability and connectivity response time for critical web services, ie HTTP, FTP, and others The solution will issue scheduled pings (ICMP ECHO) against defined web server service ports; alerting and reporting on availability and round trip response time results Web Page Load The Nimsoft solution will monitor a collection of URL's (web pages), and measure the time it takes to load a page It will also monitor for the correct contents of any given page The solution supports proxies and user authentication Multi-Phase Web Application Response For simple to complex web application and services running from within a Windows environment, the Nimsoft solution can record, playback and monitor the response time for each of its distinct phases (just as described above in `Application Response Time Monitoring ­ Multi-phase application response') This complete and partitioned approach towards web application response time monitoring allows for determining the total end-to-end application response time as well as isolating particular phases of the web application that may have less than desirable response times

Industry Analyst Acknowledgement Excerpt from: "SLM Solutions: A Buyers Guide, Second Edition" --Rick Sturm, Lisa Erikson-Harris, Enterprise Management Associates "NimBUS incorporates ease-of-use features required for limited IT staffs, combined with competitive pricing Functionality compares favorably with high-end systems The product includes the ability to manage events and faults, but also to look at the infrastructure from a services standpoint with an orientation towards management of applications and transactions" Strengths: · Comprehensive solution for transaction service measurements from the end-user perspective · Event, performance, and SLM in a single package · Integrates with a wide range of third-party management solutions, both for collecting data and automatic escalation of problems into third-party frameworks/consoles

Email Response Time Monitoring

The Nimsoft solution monitors and verifies email `send' and `receive' functions It monitors outgoing mail delivery, incoming mail receipt and total round trip (email send/receive) response times All email status and response time data is analyzed and displayed in graphical alarm consoles, performance reports and SLA reports Out-of-the-box packaged email response time solutions are available for: · · · · SMTP/POP IMAP

Exchange--Nimsoft monitors Microsoft Exchange email round trip response time by sending and receiving test mails (utilizing the MAPI interface and Microsoft Outlook client) Lotus Notes--The Nimsoft solution will monitor connectivity, fail over and response times of a Lotus Notes server

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

Directory Services Response Monitoring

The Nimsoft solution monitors popular directory services for accessibility and lookup response times: · · · · WINS--The Nimsoft solution monitors WINS directory lookup response times for one or more WINS servers DNS--The Nimsoft solution monitors DNS lookup response times, and also monitors for missing directory entries for one or more DNS servers The DNS server can be queried using normal hostnames, mail servers, or name servers DHCP--The Nimsoft solution monitors the response time of DHCP IP assignments for one or more DHCP servers LDAP--The Nimsoft solution executes LDAP queries and measures response time and number of records found The solution monitors selected LDAP servers by regularly querying them Nimsoft alerts messages are generated when response times are not within acceptable thresholds or the number of records found is not as expected Quality of service data, ie `response time' and `number of records found' can be archived for trend and SLA reporting

Database Response Time Monitoring

The Nimsoft solution monitors database transaction rates, and database query response times for read and write operations Degrading response times may indicate degrading end-user productivity RDBMS Query Response The solution utilizes Nimsoft`s ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) Database Gateway to perform reads and writes into the monitored database system When the ADO Gateway is executed against the target database it will return the transaction response time and also the number of rows the SQL returned Response time data and table data collected by the ADO Gateway is analyzed for alert generation and archived for performance and SLA reports Supported database platforms include Oracle, Sybase, Informix, DB, and MS SQL

Network Response Time Monitoring

The Nimsoft solution includes connectivity and response time monitoring for network devices such as routers, switches, servers, applications, printers, and practically any other network device The solution uses the ping command (ICMP ECHO) to verify network connectivity between designated hosts IP Connection Response Through the process of connectivity monitoring, the Nimsoft solution will record response times to and from network devices, services and applications to aid in pinpointing areas of excessive network latency The solution will record connectivity test results and round trip sample data for availability and performance trend reports Report data can be leveraged for SLA creation, monitoring and reporting

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Nimsoft for End-to-End Response Time Monitoring

A Nimsoft Service Level Management Solution White Paper

About Nimsoft

Nimsoft is the fastest growing provider of next generation performance and availability monitoring solutions for the complete physical and virtualized IT infrastructure. The Nimsoft solutions redefine the standards for ease of use and speed of deployment--providing outstanding return on investment and unparalleled customer satisfaction Over 00+ customers in 36 countries rely on Nimsoft solutions to monitor their IT based business applications and services These customers include mid-market and global organizations, such as Barclays Capital and Amway Corporation, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ladbrokes, MTU Aero Engines, TriNet, TRW Automotive, and hundreds of leading managed service providers such as CDW Berbee, Easynet and Rackspace Managed Hosting For more information, visit wwwnimsoftcom

National Toll Free 77 SLA MGMT (75646) Phone: 6505705401 [email protected] wwwnimsoftcom United Kingdom +44 (0) 845 456 7091 Norway & Northern Europe +47 22 62 71 60 Germany +49 89 208 039100 Australia +61 (0)2 9236 7216

Nimsoft and the Nimsoft logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nimsoft Inc All other company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies © 009 Nimsoft Inc all rights reserved

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