Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

Microservices Expo: Article

Part 2 | Five Steps to Improve E-Commerce Performance for Increased Sales

Back-end performance

In my recent article, "Five Steps to Improve E-Commerce Performance for Increased Sales: Introduction" I discussed problems encountered by our client TescaraHats (name changed for commercial reasons), a European market leader in manufacturing customized hats. The company quickly realized that e-commerce performance is critical to the success of an e-commerce platform and that sales will not increase just because you have an application online.

We argued that while improving search engine ranking is important, you should never forget about the performance and usability in an e-commerce application. In this episode of our e-commerce performance series, we will analyze the impact that the back-end performance has on your online sales.

Improve Back-End Performance
The effort put into building a visually appealing and easy to use e-commerce site might be lost if you do not manage the performance problems at the backend.

The e-commerce site at TescaraHats consisted mainly of two tiers: TescaraHats Front (see Figure 1) and TescaraHats DB (see Figure 2). The APM tool used by the Operations team indicated that both tiers had performance problems. The front-end tier (see Figure 1) had most of the operation time spent on the back end; the DB tier (see Figure 2) indicated that most of the time was spent on the network.

Figure 1: A lot of time spent at the backend processing

Figure 2: Most of the back-end time is spent on transferring data with database query results

To understand the cause of the performance problem the Operations team initially analyzed the DB tier and discovered that one of the stored procedures was always slow in delivering results (see Figure 3). By looking at KPIs of all DB operations (see Figure 4) the team confirmed that the high network time component reported at the DB tier was, in fact, contributed by this single stored procedure: [Update_GalDisplayedhats].

Figure 3: One of the stored procedures is always slow in rendering results

Figure 4: Only one stored procedure introduces delays on the network

The Operations team wanted to further understand why this stored procedure was so slow. They drilled down to PurePaths representing slow stored procedure to analyze the transaction flow where this stored procedure is executed. The report in Figure 5 shows that most of the time is spent on acquiring a connection handle, which usually means that the connection pooling is improperly configured or there are transactions that block the connection.

Figure 5: Transaction flow representing slow stored procedure indicates problems with acquiring connection handles

The team opened another report showing database calls (see Figure 6) and drilled down through the slow stored procedure to a report (see Figure 7) showing PurePaths where this stored procedure was called. With that report the Operations team could determine which transactions were affected, i.e., where this slow stored procedure was called from. This information helped the team to resolve the problem faster.

Figure 6: Report showing the most affected database calls at TescaraHats: the stored procedure [Update_GalDisplayedhats] ranks at the top

Figure 7: Report showing PurePaths affected by the slow stored procedure: by seeing where this query is called from we can speed up the problem resolution

What About the Front End?
When it comes to back-end performance problems caused by the database calls there are some problem patterns that you should check for:

  • When the query execution takes too long you notice higher database time (see Figure 5).
  • When the query produces a lot of data that needs to be pushed through the network your APM tool will show large network time contributing to the database operation time.
  • When there are connection problems you will see them on the database report (see Figure 6).
  • Finally, you will see in the transaction flow report (see Figure 8) when there is a single query called multiple times unnecessarily.

Figure 8: For each transaction the same query is called too many times

Once we weeded out all potential causes of problems from the back end, it was time to move closer to the customer and check a number of potential network-related performance problems; continue reading our mini-series on e-commerce performance to learn more.

More Stories By Sebastian Kruk

Sebastian Kruk is a Technical Product Strategist, Center of Excellence, at Compuware APM Business Unit.

Latest Stories
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
Microsoft Azure Container Services can be used for container deployment in a variety of ways including support for Orchestrators like Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Mesos. However, the abstraction for app development that support application self-healing, scaling and so on may not be at the right level. Helm and Draft makes this a lot easier. In this primarily demo-driven session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, a Cloud Solutions Architect/Evangelist at Microsoft, wi...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ANSeeN are the measurement electronics maker for X-ray and Gamma-ray and Neutron measurement equipment such as spectrometers, pulse shape analyzer, and CdTe-FPD. For more information, visit http://anseen.com/.
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...