Much of the initial focus on DevOps has been on accelerating the rate at which applications are built and deployed. But once those applications are deployed, it’s not too long before the focus shifts to the quality of the end-user experience. Aiming to make it easier to determine what the quality of that experience really is, Riverbed Technology has launched a Digital Experience Management initiative based on the SteelCentral management platform.
Erik Hille, director of product marketing for Riverbed, says the latest release of SteelCentral provides tighter integration between SteelCentral Portal and the SteelCentral Aternity end-user monitoring tool and SteelCentral AppInternals, an application performance management (APM) platform. The goal, says Hille, is to make it easier for an organization to holistically manage individual end-user experience by correlating information at the device, network and application levels. As part of that effort, Riverbed also has integrated the workflow between SteelCentral Aternity and AppInternals to create an integrated monitoring system.
Hille says IT operations teams can use a comprehensive approach to managing digital experiences that can be set up in fewer than 10 days. Once in place, IT operations teams can more quickly identify the root cause of any issue by correlating application, device and networking data through a single pane of glass. In addition, Riverbed is employing REST APIs to make it possible to consume alerts generated by collaboration tools such as Slack and HipChat. IT operations teams can not only automatically open incident management tickets, but also collect additional metrics via those APIs.
Riverbed is also providing integration between NetProfiler, a network performance monitoring tool, and NetIM, a network device management tool, to provide more visibility into how network infrastructure impacts network performance.
Hille notes that most IT operations teams are swiveling between different sets of tools to correlate the same information. The problem is that as more organizations strive to become a digital business, any performance issue has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and the amount of revenue being generated. Faced with that increased business pressure, Hille says IT organizations need to re-evaluate legacy approaches to IT operations based on silos. The goal should be to implement a more proactive approach to IT focused on proactively preventing issues from occurring or escalating, versus merely reacting to isolated events as they occur.
One of the few things in DevOps that developers and IT professionals can agree on is that whenever there’s an issue, it’s the fault of the network guy. That’s not always true, but it does take networking professionals a long time to prove their innocence. Until then, there’s a tendency to assume their guilty until proven otherwise. Obviously, that kind of bias isn’t in keeping with the whole spirit of integrated DevOps. A more comprehensive approach to application and networking performance management should go a long way toward reducing the amount of finger-pointing inside any organization.
There will never be a perfect IT environment. The goal is to discover issues before the end-user notices—and, failing that, resolve that issue in as little time as possible. Any argument about what exactly happened to cause the problem can occur at a later date and time.