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The myth of “mission-critical”: Irrational thinking in modern IT management

I was reading an article today that discusses managing “mission-critical” applications. I really dislike that term. It’s trite, it’s dated – even nonsensical. It suggests that applications fall into two groups – mission-critical, and…optional? marginal? unnecessary? one step away from being voted off the island?

Here’s the fallacy with that view – people that run IT organizations are smart, and they invest in stuff that matters to the business. They don’t run apps that don’t provide value because they excel at cost-efficiency. So the notion that relatively few apps are actually worth managing is illogical. Even email, the poster child for apps at the bottom of the food chain, is essential to the operation of a 21st century organization – it’s how they stay organized.

Which is why it is surprising to note that, according to industry analysts, the majority of enterprises manage fewer than 25% of their apps. I acknowledge that not all apps are created equal – some have relatively greater value than others. But surely no one would argue that the next most important 10% to 20% of apps don’t merit being managed.

So – why invest in something because it’s important to your business, but stop short of the incremental investment needed to ensure it works well? It seems irrational. Would a trucking company not monitor the oil level in their trucks, or a grocer the temperature of their freezers? At some point intervention will be required, and when not addressed on a timely basis, small problems can become big, costly ones, and business operations can be seriously disrupted.

Sure, these are not perfect metaphors, but I think my point is obvious, and obviously valid. Generally, when assets are important to the successful operation of the business, organizations invest to ensure that they keep operating effectively.

Unless they are software applications. So while people that run IT are smart, in this respect their behavior seems irrational. Attitudes towards management have always seemed a bit wonky to me. Rather than seen as additive to app value, application management has been viewed as unwanted overhead, even deleterious. Put another way, stuff that would make apps go well has often been viewed as detracting from simply making them go.

But is the lack of APM investment irrational? On balance, service delivery is pretty darned good most of the time for most apps, or at least “good enough.” Naturally, problems occur in modern, complex IT environments. So organizations invest in management technology to minimize risk and impact for the most important apps, and handle everything else as well as humanly possible. That is the status quo that seems to work reasonably well, except when it doesn’t, sometimes with serious business impact. And, in those cases, you wrestle the problem to the ground, ask “What are the chances of THAT happening again!”, and return to the status quo until it happens again.

I believe nearly all IT professionals would say that problems are inevitable, including serious business-impacting ones. So I am back to thinking that this doesn’t make good sense. Why would you not make the incremental investment in APM (for more than 25% of your apps) to reduce the incidence and impact of these inevitable events?

I can think of a few potential reasons. It may be difficult to quantify the business risk as input to a cost-justification. It may be difficult to prioritize what applications to invest in, which impedes setting technical criteria for a solution. There may be a diverse set of stakeholders with competing priorities.  Any of these challenges makes it difficult to pick a strategy and move forward with it.

But in my view, none of these is a good enough reason to settle for the current status quo. There’s a bigger picture here. Those inevitable problems are affecting your business every day. Investments in apps aren’t moving in the right direction with regard to your company’s strategic customer experience focus and commitment to digital transformation. Apps are important – managing them cannot be viewed as optional.

Dynatrace has redefined monitoring to establish a new status quo way better than “good enough” for way more than 25% of your apps, regardless of their technology, and for all your stakeholders.  And that makes very good sense.

The post The myth of “mission-critical”: Irrational thinking in modern IT management appeared first on Dynatrace blog – monitoring redefined.

Categories: Companies

Using Nexus 3 as Your Repository – Part 1: Maven Artifacts

Sonatype Blog - 13 hours 19 min ago
This article is the first in a three part series by one of our community advocates, Rafael Eyng. You can follow his work at CodeHeaven.io

To read more, visit our blog at www.sonatype.org/nexus.
Categories: Companies

Modern Test Management: People First

Software Testing Magazine - 13 hours 33 min ago
Since the publication of Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister in 1987, the importance of people in the success of software development projects could not be underestimated. This is also true in the software testing domain. In this article, Anna Royzman discusses some of the essential skills of modern software testers that managers should nurture and develop. Author: Anna Royzman, Test Masters Academy, http://testmastersacademy.org/ Software testing as a profession undergoes a lot of changes in 2017. The job becomes more technical and there is a greater need for good communication skills, higher requirements for cultural fit and overall subject matter expertise. If your job as a manager involves supervising software testers, you need to make sure that they fit well into the changing landscape of software delivery environments. You will have to create opportunities for your software testing talents to grow and excel. When I coach software test managers and leads on how to nurture software testers in their teams, I focus on three talent development vectors: strategy, communication and subject matter expertise. Strategy skills involve following areas: Know and leverage testing techniques and methodologies Build effective test coverage Adjust testing strategy to changing priorities Learn how to evaluate and use software testing resources like people skills, tools, etc. Communication skills would include: Ability to explain what testers do and where they can add most value Communicating status of their work in such a way that stakeholders can evaluate project risks Be an effective quality advocate Make connections with [...]
Categories: Communities

Introducing PHP-FPM monitoring (beta)

We’re happy to announce the beta release of Dynatrace PHP-FPM monitoring! Dynatrace PHP-FPM monitoring provides information about connections, slow requests, and processes. Now you’ll know immediately if your PHP-FPM is underperforming. And when problems occur, it’s easy to see which hosts are affected.

To view PHP-FPM monitoring insights

  1. Click Technologies in the navigation menu.
  2. Click the PHP tile.
  3. To view cluster metrics, expand the Details section of the PHP-FPM process group.
  4. Click the Process group details button. 
    PHP-FPM cluster
  5. On the Process group details page, select the Technology-specific metrics tab.
  6. Select a relevant time interval from the Time frame selector in the top menu bar.
  7. Select a metric type from the metric drop list beneath the timeline to compare the values of all nodes in a sortable table view.
  8. To access node-specific metrics, select a node from the Process list at the bottom of the page.
    PHP FPM cluster
  9. Click the PHP-FPM tab. PHP-FPM tab process monitoringHere you’ll find the number of Accepted connections (connections accepted by the pool), and the Slow requests count. Please note that the Accepted connections measure is sometimes misunderstood to represent the number of requests. This metric measures exactly what its name suggests—the number of accepted connections.
Additional PHP-FPM node monitoring metrics

More PHP-FPM monitoring metrics are available on individual Process pages. Select the Further details tab to view these metrics.

Additional PHP-FPM metrics

Here you’ll find additional PHP-FPM charts for RequestsInput buffering, and Processes.

Additional PHP-FPM metrics

When the number of total active processes reaches the Total processes limit, new scripts are prevented from running until the problematic processes have completed. The maximum number of Waiting connections defines the maximum number of connections that will be queued. Once this limit is reached, subsequent connections are refused or ignored.

PHP-FPM metrics Metric Description Accepted connections The number of connections  accepted by the pool  Slow requests The number of requests that have exceeded the request_slowlog_timeout value Waiting connections The number of requests in the queue of pending connections Max number of waiting connections The size of the pending connections socket queue Active processes The number of active processes Total processes The number of idle + active processes Prerequisites
  • Linux OS or Windows
  • PHP  version  5.5.9+
  • PHP-FPM Status Page must be enabled on all nodes you want to monitor.
Enable PHP-FPM monitoring globally

With PHP-FPM monitoring enabled globally, Dynatrace automatically collects PHP-FPM metrics whenever a new host running PHP-FPM is detected in your environment.

To monitor more than one pool, type the URIs of the individual PHP-FPM status pages (separated by spaces) into the Status page URI field. All PHP-FPM instances must have a correct status page URI reference.

  1. Go to Settings > Monitoring > Monitored technologies.
  2. Set the PHP-FPM switch to On.
  3. Click the ^ button to expand the details of the PHP-FPM integration.
  4. Define a status page URI(s).
  5. Click Save.
Enable PHP-FPM monitoring for individual hosts

Dynatrace provides the option of enabling PHP-FPM monitoring for specific hosts rather than globally.

  1. If global PHP-FPM monitoring is currently enabled, disable it by going to Settings > Monitoring > Monitored technologies and setting the PHP-FPM switch to Off.
  2. Select Hosts in the navigation menu.
  3. Select the host you want to configure.
  4. Click Edit.
  5. Set the PHP-FPM switch to On.
Have feedback?

Your feedback about Dynatrace PHP-FPM monitoring is most welcome! Let us know what you think of the new PHP-FPM plugin by adding a comment below. Or post your questions and feedback to Dynatrace Answers.

The post Introducing PHP-FPM monitoring (beta) appeared first on Dynatrace blog – monitoring redefined.

Categories: Companies

Automatically fetch & leverage process-group attributes via Dynatrace API

The Dynatrace API can now be used to seamlessly integrate the process-group attributes that are discovered by Dynatrace OneAgent—for example, technology overview and topology details—into your existing reporting and operations processes. Process-group properties returned by the API can be leveraged in numerous ways depending on the needs of your DevOps teams.

Leverage technology overview information

The Dynatrace Technology overview presents all of the process-group technology-related information that is detected by Dynatrace OneAgent in your environment. Process group instances are grouped into technology-specific tiles (see image below).

To access the Technology overview, click Technologies in the navigation menu. All of this information can now be fetched automatically and utilized within your existing tools and processes!

Uses cases for technology-overview data

While your organization can utilize technology-overview data in any particular way that supports your existing workflows, one use-case to consider is the automatic retrieval of topology information for configuration management efforts. for example, real-time topological relationships and dependencies between the components in your environment can be retrieved automatically and used to populate an ITIL CMDB database.

Or, your DevOps teams might create scripts that automatically check and fetch the log files of all available process groups.

To query process-group information with the Dynatrace API, simply call an HTTP GET request on the following Dynatrace endpoint:

https://<YOUR_ENV>.live.dynatrace.com/api/v1/entity/infrastructure/process-groups/?Api-Token=<YOUR_API_TOKEN>

For Dynatrace Managed installations, process-group information can be retrieved using a slightly modified REST endpoint:

https://<YOUR_OWN_DOMAIN>/e/<YOUR_ENV>/api/v1/entity/infrastructure/process-groups/?Api-Token=<YOUR_API_TOKEN>

The resulting JSON payloads list all of the monitored process groups in your environment, as shown below:

Get started with the new API endpoint

To get started writing your own scripts and leveraging the new Dynatrace API process-group endpoint, please have a look at the Dynatrace API documentation.

The post Automatically fetch & leverage process-group attributes via Dynatrace API appeared first on Dynatrace blog – monitoring redefined.

Categories: Companies

How We Test Software: Chapter Four Part II—Developer Tools

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Have you wondered how the teams working on Telerik products test software? In the final chapter of our detailed guide, we give you deeper insight into the processes of our Web Division. 2016-12-13T20:41:09Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

How We Test Software: Chapter Four—Telerik Developer Tools

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Have you wondered how the teams working on Telerik products test software? In the next chapter of our detailed guide, we give you deeper insight into the processes of our Dev Tools division. 2016-11-29T13:00:00Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

How We Test Software: Chapter Three Part III—Telerik Websites Division

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Have you wondered how the teams working on Telerik products test software? In the next chapter of our detailed guide, we give you deeper insight into the processes of our web division. 2016-11-21T19:48:49Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Anton Angelov
Categories: Companies

Test Studio R3 Release Webinar Recording and Q&A

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Just a few weeks ago the 3rd major for 2016 release of Telerik Test Studio ushered in loads of new features like Angular 2 support, API Testing Fiddler integration, support for NativeScript and iOS10, and more. These were all demoed at our usual post-release webinar last week. Here's a recap of the Q&A session. 2016-10-21T18:24:16Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

Introducing Fiddler for OS X Beta 1

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Over the years, we have received numerous requests from our user community to provide a Fiddler build for OS X. So we have ported the latest version of Fiddler to the Mono Framework which in turn supports OS X—and you can grab the beta bits today. 2016-10-17T13:49:40Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Tsviatko Yovtchev
Categories: Companies

How We Test Software: Chapter Three Part II—Telerik Websites Division

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Have you wondered how the teams working on Telerik products test software? We continue with the next chapter in our detailed guide, giving you deeper insight into our very own processes. This chapter focuses on Telerik Web Division. 2016-10-12T12:30:00Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Anton Angelov
Categories: Companies

Test Studio Goes Big with Angular, Mobile and API Testing

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
The third major Test Studio update of the year just came out today and it adds loads of new bits to our API testing and Mobile testing solutions. 2016-09-28T15:16:16Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

How We Test Software: Chapter Three—Telerik Websites Division

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Have you wondered how the teams working on Telerik products test software? In the next chapter of our detailed guide, we give you deeper insight into the processes of our web division. 2016-09-09T14:53:23Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Anton Angelov
Categories: Companies

How We Test Software: Chapter Two—Telerik Platform Part Two

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Have you wondered how the teams working on Telerik products test software? We continue with the next chapter in our detailed guide, giving you deeper insight into our very own processes. 2016-08-24T12:30:00Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Angel Tsvetkov
Categories: Companies

Test Studio R2 Release Webinar Wrap Up and Q&A

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Last week we hosted a release webinar on the latest Test Studio features, including a new API tester. Here's a recap of some of the interesting questions we got during the live webcast. 2016-07-22T14:34:27Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

Be an API Testing Hero with the New Test Studio

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
The new Test Studio release is here! We are now offering GIT integration, MS Edge Support, provisioning for Android device along with the Test Studio for APIs Beta. 2016-06-30T13:12:42Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

Webinar Follow-up: New Testing Battlefields

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Four testing experts recently explored testing beyond the "traditional" desktop and web, including the new battlefields of Mobile and IoT. Read on for a recap or to watch a webinar replay. 2016-06-21T12:20:00Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Jim Holmes
Categories: Companies

Are You Ready for the New Testing Battlefields?

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
A software-defined way of living and the digital transformation of traditional businesses are not the future. They are already here. This brings challenges to testers and developers alike. Join this one-hour roundtable discussion with industry experts to hear what’s new in testing today. 2016-06-13T15:20:23Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Antonia Bozhkova
Categories: Companies

Telerik and Testdroid Webinar Bonus Q&A

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
In this blog, Ville-Veikko Helppi tackles some of the unanswered questions from the webinar. 2016-06-06T14:55:06Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Ville-Veikko Helppi
Categories: Companies

A Powerful Case Study on Telerik Analytics: Test Studio

Telerik TestStudio - 16 hours 36 min ago
Telerik Analytics provides powerful tools to help you make data-driven decisions to improve and grow your product. Learn how we used analytics to improve our own software, Test Studio. 2016-06-03T15:46:07Z 2017-02-21T12:50:41Z Gaurav Verma
Categories: Companies

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