Infrastructure teams focus on keeping existing applications performant and available, meeting agreed upon Service Level Agreement (SLA), while helping the business innovate. Application owners focus their efforts on developing new capabilities, driving innovation and tend to be agile.
While there is a subtle difference between the focus of IT operations and application owners, 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 infrastructure teams can become application aware. As an IT operations team you can better collaborate with the application owners if you are application aware. The 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 – Application owners have an excellent understanding of the business objectives, policies, and constraints. IT operations teams should closely collaborate with application owners to understand what success looks like when applications are performing and available. Metrics such as response time, # of transactions, # of customers, conversion rate, etc. can help IT operations teams make the right resourcing decisions to assure application performance.
- Take a top-down, application driven approach to resource applications – Let business objectives, policies and constraints help you make the infrastructure resourcing decisions to assure performance. When there is a performance risk at the infrastructure layer, translate this into what it means to the business, i.e., we are switching to a different cloud instance because the customer conversation rate is dropping and we need more compute to support the increased application demand.
- Eliminate the blame game – When you are addressing application performance issues, eliminate the finger pointing and siloed IT operations. Application owners want a holistic view and insight into the infrastructure and the dependencies where their applications are running. Your IT operations team should be able to easily understand the dependencies at the infrastructure layer and easily translate that to how it affects the business objectives, policies, and constraints.
The above 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 infrastructure owners, the supply chain view provides visibility and insights into the infrastructure resources and the relationships to applications in real-time providing clarity and enabling infrastructure owners to be application aware.