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Turbonomic Blog

APEX Deep-Dive Part 1 – Application Topology Definition (ATD)

Posted by Eric Wright on Oct 6, 2020 5:03:54 PM
Eric Wright
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Imagine now that you get a call from the application operations team or the help desk and they tell you “customers are calling because the website is really slow”. Now what? Well, it’s actually not a problem if you have Turbonomic!

With Turbonomic 8, we have an amazing set of new capabilities that solve this problem for you in more than one way. Our new application-centric user experience has proven to be very popular with the ability to automatically propagate application and infrastructure risk visibility for all of your applications by showing you all the dependent infrastructure and service resources.

Figure 1 – Turbonomic 8 New Application View
You can see that the Business Applications are prominently featured on the home screen, sorted in descending order of health risk, and also features detailed application data such as response time, transactions, and amount of change in recent periods.

Just click into one of the apps and you are taken right to a scoped view of just that application and its dependent resources plus all the actions that can be taken to bring the application back to health using Turbonomic ARM.

Figure 2 – Turbonomic Application-Centric Actions View


But that is not all that is new as part of Turbonomic 8. We are proud to preview the new Application Performance Extensibility (APEX) features have introduced two fantastic new elements for your Turbonomic platform:


  • Application Technology Definition (ATD) – brand new ability to define your business applications and services using a wide variety of dynamic criteria
  • Data Ingestion Framework (DIF) – open-source declarative framework for creating customizable entities in Turbonomic ARM

Each of these features is driven by customer needs which cannot be solved with the tools out there today. Even when you run an APM platform, you probably only have APM targeting part of your overall environment, and most importantly, even APM can’t solve the problem of the most common cause of real application performance issues which is the inability to give the applications the resources it needs when they need them.

Automatic Full-Stack Topology and Risk Visualization with ATD

Setting up a new custom application is literally as easy as 1-2-3. Let’s have a look at how you can configure completely dynamic application topologies based on tags within your environment.

Step 1 – Define your application

Let’s click to start the New Application Topology wizard, then we will select Business Application, and you can choose a naming prefix for the dynamic business applications. In the example below we use BAPP (or whatever you choose to identify the apps) which will automatically be assigned as new apps are discovered.

Next you choose whether it’s a Virtual Machines or Container Pods which will be the infrastructure hosting these applications.

Figure 3 – Creating a new Application Topology Definition


Step 2 – Select Tags for Automatic Discovery

You will be taken to the next step which is to define which tags are to be used in order to generate our automatic application discovery. In this case we will use the app tag which may be from any source including public cloud, Kubernetes, or virtualization providers.

Figure 4 – Assigning Automatic Tag


Step 3 – Enjoy!

It really is that easy. Turbonomic will automatically discover and define the dependency relationships and create a new business application using the prefix (BAPP in this case) and the dynamic tag name which is also auto-discovered without the need for any agents!

Figure 5 – Newly Discovered Business Application


You can see our newly discovered dynamic application topologies and clicking through to one shows the full-stack relationships from the application down to the infrastructure automatically defined for you. This is already a massively powerful capability, but that’s just one part of it.

You also see that the top-level business application object shows the health risk based on the cumulative risk on all of the underlying infrastructure. Plus, you can click the actions tab and be led right to actionable decisions which can be taken in the UI or automated to prevent health risks for this business application in future.

Figure 6 – Custom Business Application Actions View


This means that you are now immediately aware of where performance risk is in your entire environment and can bring the environment to continuous health with simple policy-driven automation for applications, clusters, data centers, regions or as tightly scoped as a single entity.

Creating Dynamic Application Topologies Using Selection Criteria

In our recent Turbonomic Labs episode, we shared an end-to-end walkthrough on how to quickly create a custom Application Topology Definition using the build-in wizard. Within just a few clicks you can define a group of resources using any filter criteria which also results in a dynamic business application, service, or transaction definition.

Here’s what those three entities can be used:

  • Business Application – a top-level entity comprised of a set of resources which can include anything in the full-stack (e.g. Website, Call Center CRM)
  • Business Transaction – a set of resources that you can create to represent a business application transaction (e.g. Shopping Cart, Message Queue)
  • Service – a resource entity which can include any underlying resources that define some sort of service that is used by business applications (e.g. Database Cluster, DNS Services)

As an example, you may have a MariaDB cluster your team calls Morpheus which you define as a service. Next you have a set of clustered web servers that you call Trinity which you also create as a service. Now you create a business application for your web application named Neo and it can be defined as the front-end web server service (Trinity) and the database cluster (aka Morpheus) service.

Any performance risk inside the Morpheus database service or Trinity web cluster will be propagated up to the Neo application as well as the actions throughout the dependencies shown in the application supply chain which can bring it back to health automatically.

Check out the quick view here which is a 2-minute demo of how easy it is to configure a new business application which we build using manual selection of VMs, containers, and services in a use-case example:

You can also watch the entire episode above for a full exploration of these new capabilities and a variety of use-cases that you can apply it to.

We are excited to share this with you as part of the Turbonomic ARM platform update and make sure to read Part 2 which covers the new Data Ingestion Framework (DIF) and more amazing APEX features and use-cases.


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