Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Transaction tracing vs. Deep-dive Monitoring

I spoke to a few customers last week about Application Performance Management (APM) and many of them are still confused about the different functionalities offered by APM products, such as transaction tracing and deep-dive monitoring. I will use screens shots from BMC Application Diagnostics as illustrations.

 

Most of today’s applications are multi-tiered and involve a multitude of systems such as application servers, databases, messaging systems or external web services.  Consider the following example of a transaction where a user bids for a product offered in an auction site.  This is based on the ActionBazaar application as depicted in my book EJB 3 in Action.

 

image001.jpg

 

(Source: EJB 3 in Action, Manning, April 2007)

 

A transaction may involve multiple application (JVM or CLR) tiers.  However, there are several applications where you have a single application tier (e.g. Java /.NET) accessing a relational database. A transaction trace is a complete log of information that depicts the interaction between application systems involved in the complete transaction.

 

Often a transaction trace provides enough data about an instance of a transaction to diagnose a latent or failed transaction. For example, a user named Bob came to ActionBazaar.com and tried to make a Bid for an old Car, but he got an obscure error (NullPointerException).  A transaction trace captured for that transaction will help application support diagnose this issue.  Hence transaction tracing is a capability to isolate transaction issues by capturing a detailed record for the transaction when a problem occurred.

 

Interestingly some APM products often refer only to cross-tier or multitier tracing capabilities as transaction tracing.  Here is an example of a transaction trace that involves multiple tiers.  We can see that the transaction trace has sufficient information about the transaction to identify the problem by showing the transaction flow (or path) for Place Bid transaction and time spent in each node.

 

image002.png

Note that some people refer the automatic discovery of transaction paths as run-time application discovery.

 

A graphical view of transaction traces helps application operation personnel identify the culprit-tier e.g. JBoss 2 VM in the above example.

 

However, application support personnel will need to further drill down to determine why a specific node is generating an error or is slow.

A transaction trace may optionally include deep-dive monitoring data for that tier to indicate why the specific node/tier is slow. It may include data such as application server metrics, the code execution path, or parameters that may help application support personnel to diagnose the issue and help fix it.

 

The following graph illustrates transaction tracing vs. deep-dive monitoring.

image004.png

The following figure shows an example of deep-dive monitoring data.  The first view suggests that the PlaceBidService running on the JBoss2 server is causing the latency issue. It also shows some top application server metrics and how these compare with baselines.  These metrics help pinpoint issues with the underlying application infrastructure.

 

image006.png

 

As you can see, it also shows how various kinds of technology frameworks contribute to the latency of PlaceBidService.

The transaction trace may also break down the time spent in DB (SQL calls), as shown below, in order to help application support personnel determine whether certain DB calls are slowing down the transaction.

 

image008.png

 

If the application support personnel understand the application code, they can drill down further to look at the method execution tree as shown below.

 

image010.png


Many products such as BMC Application Diagnostics include code level deep-dive data in the transaction trace. However some APM products require different agents to collect deep-dive data vs transaction traces, and you may have to manually correlate the transaction trace with deep-dive information.

 

I hope this provides a good background into how transaction tracing and deep-dive monitoring are related.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Debu Panda

Debu Panda is a Director of Product Management at Oracle Corporation. He is lead author of the EJB 3 in Action (Manning Publications) and Middleware Management (Packt). He has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry and has published numerous articles on enterprise Java technologies and has presented at many conferences. Debu maintains an active blog on enterprise Java at http://debupanda.blogspot.com.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, will go over the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, applicatio...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous a...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, 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 delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...