Turbonomic Blog

Top Challenges to Application Performance: Complexity & Team Silos

Posted by Meghan Shipp on Jan 17, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Assuring application performance to enable a seamless customer experience is at the forefront of organizations’ application transformation initiatives. To deliver on customer expectations, organizations are using containers and other cloud native technologies to reap benefits like agility and faster time-to-market – but with that comes complexity and high rates of change on a scale that teams are struggling to manage.

Turbonomic recently conducted a survey, delving into the state of performance in modern applications. Download the full report here. In it we found that there are two main barriers to an organization’s ability to assure application performance. Firstly, application complexity is higher than ever. Secondly, teams face collaboration challenges due to silos in technology and skill sets.

Turbonomic_2019-State-of-Performance-in-Modern-Applications_complexity-leading-challenge

This data points to a single mantra that can help solve these problems – that software should manage IT resources so that people can focus on other innovative initiatives that can’t be solved with software. With this mindset, let’s break down these top two challenges and the solutions required to solve them.

#1: Complexity of Today’s Applications

Between 2018 to 2023, IDC predicts that 500 million new logical apps will be created – this is equal to the number built over the last 40 years. Organizations are growing and innovating at an incredible and overwhelming rate, so it’s no surprise that Turbonomic’s survey respondents indicated application complexity was their #1 challenge to assuring application performance.

Turbonomic_2019-State-of-Performance-in-Modern-Applications_causes-of-performance-degradation

Survey respondents also indicated that the top two culprits of performance degradation were bugs in the application code, and resource contention in compute, network, and/or storage. The latter is what Turbonomic was designed to solve – using Turbonomic’s application resource management allows orgs to assure the performance of mission-critical applications by relieving resource congestion at every layer of the stack. The former is solved by our integration APM tools, which allow Turbonomic to make even smarter resource decisions up and down the stack.

The result of utilizing these technologies is that the complexity of your environment is managed by software continuously and in real-time, and you (the customer) can focus your attention back on transformative projects that deliver high value for the business. Using basic monitoring tools that simply tell you to check out an alert will no longer suffice – customers require a solution that considers the full application stack and its interdependencies, takes a preventative approach to application performance, and one that provides automatable decisions that can and should be taken in real-time.

#2: Collaboration Challenges Due to Silos in Technology and Skillsets

The second biggest challenge to application performance that survey respondents cited was difficulty in collaboration due to silos. We know that multiple teams are involved in managing application performance – so when organizations can successfully assure continuous performance (on top of managing their other day to day responsibilities), it benefits everyone.

Let’s look at two different personas as an example. Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) are tasked with assuring performance and availability 24/7 – so if software is continuously managing resources and decreasing the number of alerts they deal with, SREs can focus on expanding platforms across the organization instead of just trying to keep the lights on. Similarly, with developers, they can turn their attention back to coding instead of spending time optimizing their resources if they allow software to manage the task of assuring application performance. Whether it’s DevOps teams, SREs, Ops teams, Developers, or CIOs, they all have the desire to assure application performance – and are united when software can manage this task so they can focus on other high value objectives.

Given this perspective, Turbonomic recently announced Lemur, a new free observability and context tool for developers. Lemur presents application metrics, service mesh views, and tracing views all in the context of the application stack. We believe that developers want to understand how different application components perform and relate to each other – currently, they don’t have visibility to the underlying infrastructure. When a performance issue arises, this poses the question – is it the code or the node? Lemur helps answer this question.

Lemur 4 Facebook-1

Application Performance is a Full-Stack Challenge

Application performance is a full-stack challenge. Too many teams are using reactive monitoring tools that rely on thresholds to alert them when something has already broken. These approaches inhibit organizations from increasing speed-to-market and create application performance risk. In order to solve IT’s most pressing challenges, new approaches are needed – including a solution with analytics that are full-stack and application-aware so that the actions produced are automatable. When organizations are empowered by application resource management, they can unlock the elasticity and agility that containers and cloud native technology provides.

Watch: Continuous Application Performance on Kubernetes

Topics: Containers

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