Application owners focus their efforts on developing new capabilities, driving innovation and tend to be agile. IT operations teams focus on keeping existing applications performant and available, meeting agreed upon Service Level Agreement (SLA), while still helping the business innovate.
While there is a subtle difference between the focus of an application owner and IT operations, the end goal is the same; deliver the best customer experience, innovate faster, and improve operating leverage.
In this blog, I want to cover some of the ways that application owners can become infrastructure aware. As an application owner you can better collaborate with your IT operations teams if you are infrastructure aware. The four steps outlined below will help you deal with the complexities as your company deploys highly distributed applications built using microservices on containers spanning multivendor and multicloud environments.
- Break down the silos and speak a common language – As application owners, you have an excellent understanding of the business objectives. Bring your IT operations teams on this journey and define what success looks like when applications are performing and available. You want to share the metrics that your applications are being measured on, i.e., response time, # of transactions, # of customers, conversion rate, etc. Once you do this, if there are application performance issues, you can always point to the metric and tell the IT operations team that this specific Service Level Objective (SLO) is not being met. Plus, if the IT operations team is taking a top-down application driven approach, they can use these metrics to make infrastructure resourcing decisions, i.e., choose the best resource options to help drive business objectives.
- Openly share details on business policies and business constraints – By providing these details, the IT operations teams can manage against this and make sure application performance is being met while adhering to business policies and cost constraints. For example, due to regulatory requirements, your application-customer data can only be stored in a specific region, IT operations teams will manage against this and assure that policy is met. The same with costs, set the budgets up front and share, your IT operations teams will manage against this and optimize application resources at the best possible costs and within budget.
- Eliminate the blame game – When you are addressing application performance issues, eliminate the finger pointing and speak objectively on why there is an application performance issue. If you implemented step 1 and 2 above, you could tell the IT operations team that a certain business objective, policy or constraint is not being met. This way, you are not finger pointing and sticking to the facts. Based on this, the IT operations team can take the right resource actions to assure performance and adhere to policies.
- Ask for visibility and insights into the infrastructure – This is the most important step. Your applications are running on shared resources either on-premises or in the cloud. Modern applications are highly distributed spanning multivendor and multicloud environments. Ask your IT operations team to provide you a view of the vertical (infrastructure) dependencies for your applications. This will make you infrastructure aware and help you understand any performance risks at the infrastructure layer.
The above four steps are straight forward and look easy to implement. But do not forget modern applications are dynamic and demand fluctuates constantly. Plus, the application and infrastructure dependencies are complex. The traditional approach of using siloed tool sets and manually managing business objectives and constraints will not work due to the dynamic and distributed nature of the application and infrastructure dependencies.
The Solution: Turbonomic Application Resource Management (ARM)
Turbonomic Application Resource Management (ARM) has full stack visibility providing a common understanding across different layers of the infrastructure stack. It eliminates the need for multiple tool sets and siloed management at different layers of the stack. ARM builds the infrastructure supply chain representing application-infrastructure stack: Business applications, application servers, containers, container pods, virtual machines, database servers, cloud, on-premises, fabric interconnects, I/O modules, storage arrays. For the application owners, the supply chain view provides visibility and insights into the infrastructure resources and the relationships in real-time providing clarity and enabling application owners to be infrastructure aware.