Blog Feed Post

Dynatrace on Dynatrace: How we monitor our own web entities

When Klaus Enzenhofer published his recent article about the value of using Dynatrace real user monitoring to troubleshoot JavaScript errors in web applications, he asked me how we here on the Dynatrace web development team handle our own performance challenges and errors related to the web entities at Dynatrace.com. Klaus wondered if the powerful monitoring abilities of Dynatrace could be used to monitor, find, and solve problems within “mere websites” like ours. My response was a resounding “yes!”

So, in the tradition of “eating our own dog food” (and shamelessly plugging Andy Grabner’s “Dynatrace on Dynatrace” article series), let me show you how we use Dynatrace to monitor dynatrace.com and related web entities.

Not your average website

It should be no surprise for you to learn that performance is a top priority for us here at Dynatrace. So is data security. To ensure that we achieve both of these ideals at high levels, most of our websites are what we call “static sites with dynamic extensions” (for details, see my article in Smashing Magazine on this topic). Instead of generating content dynamically for each individual request, our system proactively pushes pre-rendered markup to a read-only content disk. This cuts down backend rendering time to the blink of an eye—the Nginx network only has to deliver HTML pages that are on disk. A properly configured Nginx cache shoots the pages directly from super-fast memory, which reduces access to the hard disk itself. All deployed HTML pages are roughly 50 megabytes in size (including all related assets). Meanwhile, each of our Nginx servers has multiple gigabytes of memory. You don’t need a math degree to see for yourself that our servers are intentionally under-utilized in this respect.

By analyzing the loading action of each URL using the Dynatrace response time contributors’ breakdown (see below), you can see that server time has been reduced to the absolute minimum (less than 0.1 secs).

So, everything that is completely within our control has been optimized to the fullest. Things get a bit more interesting (and fun!) however once we investigate what happens outside in the great unknown, within our user’s web browsers.

Browserland: The great unknown

I think Forrest Gump once said, “Each user’s environment is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.” How right he was. During my entire career as a web developer (spanning nearly 20 years), I’ve always taken one thing for granted: No matter how many browsers you test your site against, there’s always at least one exotic bird out there that you never considered.

The new Dynatrace visually complete and speed index metrics for real user monitoring—an industry first—are a tremendous help in this regard. These metrics provide laser focus into what’s going on within each of your user’s browsers. The visually complete and speed index metrics measure the visual progress of content as it renders on each user’s screen. The results are simple and easy to understand. If you’re interested, you can watch me explain the Speed Index metric at Topconf Tallinn.

Waterfall analysis view includes a timeline that shows aggregated load times of all downloaded resources that are associated with a given user action during a specific time frame. Key loading milestones are indicated with callouts on the timeline (for example, Visually complete [V], Speed index (S), and User interaction possible [C]).

Dynatrace collects Visually complete and Speed index metrics across all screen sizes. Let that sink in for a moment. With aggregated waterfall view, we not only know when pages are visually complete across all sessions, we also know which resources have loaded before and after the above-the-fold content is visually complete!

The unexpected error

Up to this point, everything seems to be hunky dory. Fast pages, an excellent speed index measure, and a satisfying visually complete measure that’s lower than one second. But what if something goes wrong? What if an unexpected error occurs? What if an error is caused by a browser configuration that wasn’t tested thoroughly, or we simply overlooked something?

Dynatrace makes the detection and tracking of JavaScript errors a snap. Filtering features make it easy to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. The first thing I typically do is filter all reported errors by user type. Generally speaking, I’m only interested in performance impact on real users, not bots.

After applying the Real users filter, the list is much more focused. There’s one error in the list that catches my eye immediately. Internet Explorer 11 is throwing errors on our main application. This is odd because Internet Explorer 11 is a well supported browser that implements the classList API very well. How could this error happen? Let’s investigate.

As responsible web developers, our team produces well crafted and highly optimized client-side code. Our client-side JavaScript is minified and obfuscated on deployment (see example below), which reduces the transfer size and parsing time. However, obfuscated code is difficult to read, let alone debug. Debugging minified code is particularly challenging when issues are reported by a third-party or an automated tool.

However, with the Dynatrace source map analysis feature we have an easy means of making our source code available for error reporting. Source maps are a way to map compressed and minified JavaScript and CSS code back to their original sources. We upload a source map that’s generated at build time to see in which file exactly the issue occurs.

By cross-checking this code with the application itself and taking a quick look into Can I use, we see that classList is well supported for IE11, but not on SVG nodes. This call affects an SVG node. While this is something that’s easy to fix, it’s the sort of thing that’s easy to overlook during development.

The bottom line

A lot has happened in the two years since I wrote my last article about how our web team uses Dynatrace to monitor our web entities. While our website has certainly grown in complexity, Dynatrace has evolved exponentially. New, more advanced Dynatrace features provide invaluable insights to our day-to-day workflow that we can now not live without. Without Dynatrace, we would never be able to develop our web entities as effectively and efficiently as we do. See for yourself with our free Dynatrace trial!

The post Dynatrace on Dynatrace: How we monitor our own web entities appeared first on Dynatrace blog – monitoring redefined.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Dynatrace Blog

Building a revolutionary approach to software performance monitoring takes an extraordinary team. With decades of combined experience and an impressive history of disruptive innovation, that’s exactly what we ruxit has.

Get to know ruxit, and get to know the future of data analytics.

Latest Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...