Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Mehdi Daoudi

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Research Findings: App Performance and Monitoring | @DevOpsSummit #APM #Agile #DevOps

594 IT professionals responded to DZone’s 2016 Performance and Monitoring survey

After surveying nearly 600 IT professionals for our latest Performance & Monitoring research guide, we found some very interesting takeaways and data points. Here is a breakdown of the demographics of those who responded:

  • The top three industries in which the survey takers work are Software Vendors (22%), Finance/ Banking (14%), and E-Commerce/Internet (9%)
  • The primary roles included Developer Team Leads (39%) and Development/Engineering roles (36%)
  • 26% work at a company with more than 500 people; 22% work where there are more than 10,000 employees
  • 41% of respondents work at companies whose headquarters are located in Europe; 32% in the USA
  • Respondents have years of experience as IT professionals, with 51% having over 15 years' experience

Here are the key research findings:

Software and Infrastructure Still Have Frequent Performance Problems
When asked about the last time they solved a performance problem in their software, most respondents (26%) answered that they had done so "this week," which was a similar result compared to 2015's survey. The second most popular answer this year was "in the last 3 months" at 23%, followed by "in the last two weeks" at 17%. All in all, 81% of respondents answered "in the last 3 months" or less, showing that software still has frequent performance problems that developers need to address. Application code (43%) remains the area of the technology stack that tends to have the highest frequency of performance issues, while malware remains the one with little to no issues, where 61% of respondents had either very few issues or none at all.

Respondents were also asked to note the last time they had to solve a performance problem in their infrastructure, and the majority (21%) said "in the last three months" followed by "this month" at 17%, and "this week" at 14%. Compared to 2015's survey results, where the most respondents (19%) noted "over a year ago" as the last time they worked on infrastructure performance problems, there is a clear shift to having more frequent performance problems that require immediate attention.

Databases Pose a Challenge; Finding the Root Cause Remains an Issue
There was another shift this year in the technology stack that tends to have the hardest-to-fix performance issues. In 2015, networks (now in 4th in 2016 at 46%) had the most challenging performance issues to fix, whereas this year 51% of the respondents noted that database performance issues were the toughest to fix. The survey takers also listed workload (49%) and application code (47%) as having hard-to-fix performance issues. In contrast, 32% of respondents said that failing/old hardware was the easiest to fix performance challenge, replacing last year's easiest issue to fix: malware.

As applications become more advanced, so do the causes of the issues. Over half (52%) of the survey takers said that finding the root cause of an issue remains the most time-consuming part of fixing a performance-related problem. There does not appear to be any improvement in optimizing this process, as it was also the most time-consuming component in 2015's survey. Another time-consuming aspect includes collecting and interpreting various metrics (36%). On the other end of the spectrum, the least time-consuming component of fixing a performance-related issue remains communication/managing people.

Even though finding the root cause of a problem is the most time consuming component of fixing a performance related issue, the majority (54%) of respondents noted that it takes an average of less than a week for their team to solve a performance related problem. These problems-particularly encountering database related problems such as slow database queries (33%), and too many database queries (27%)-were, on average, encountered on a monthly basis. On the opposite end, 46% of the respondents said they rarely remain in the dark about the root cause of an issue.

Monitoring Tools and Application Logs Are Key
As a whole, respondents said that monitoring tools (32%) discovered the most performance issues. If systems are being monitored and reviewed consistently, then they tend to catch more performance issues than any of the other tools. Those who do not rely on monitoring tools run performance tests to discover performance issues, with 22% of respondents favoring this. Only 8% of the survey takers credited dumb luck for discovering performance issues.

Much like 2015, this year's respondents also favored application logs, as 89% of them said that these were one of the main tools their teams use to find the root cause of a performance problem. The second most commonly used tool for finding the root cause of a performance issue are database logs, with 68% of respondents relying on them. Monitoring, logging, and tests are three of the key components used to help discover problems early enough to fix them before they begin to negatively affect an application's performance.

Simultaneous User Loads Vary for Apps, Few Servers Are Used, and Parallel Execution Is an Afterthought
The answers were pretty evenly split amongst the options when the survey takers were asked what the max simultaneous user load is for the main application their team works on. The majority - only 17% -  said they use 1,001 - 5,000; 13% use 101 - 500; and 12% use 21 - 100. When asked how many servers they use at their organizations, 38% of the respondents said they use fewer than 20 (this included IaaS and on-premises servers).

Over half (57%) of the developers surveyed do not regularly design their programs for parallel execution. When asked which parallel programming frameworks, standards, and APIs they use, 47% said they often used Executor Service (Java), while 33% occasionally use ForkJoin (Java) and 29% occasionally use Web Workers (JavaScript). As for parallel algorithm design techniques used, 63% most often use load balancing. 81% of respondents often use multithreading as their parallel programming model of choice. The respondents noted that they run into concurrency issues (race conditions, thread locks, mutual exclusion) only a few times a year.

Application Performance Is Still Secondary, Though Awareness of It Is Growing
The majority of respondents (56%- though down from 62% in 2015) said that they build their application functionality first, and then they worry about performance. More people this year have performance in mind from the start when building applications, as 41% said that they build performance into the application from the start, which is up from 35% in 2015.

When it comes to monitoring tools used within their organizations, respondents noted that they use many different tools, with 36% using Nagios, 22% LogStash, and 21% using their own custom/homegrown tools. Furthermore, organizations are comfortable with the tools they currently use-60% of respondents said that they are not looking to switch to a new performance monitoring tool within the next 6 months. They also mainly use free and open-source tools, with 56% of respondents preferring this.

Performance Management Is Moving in Aa Positive Direction
Although IT professionals have begun to put more emphasis on the importance of performance monitoring and testing, there are still some challenges that they face. The respondents said that the top challenge in IT infrastructure performance management (58%) is that the staff is spending too much time in firefighting and manual processes. The second biggest challenge, at 49%, is the lack of actionable insights to proactively solve issues. And the third biggest challenge, with 47% of respondents, was the rising cost and complexity of managing heterogeneous IT environments. With the increased and more streamlined use of performance monitoring tools, these challenges will be minimized.

Another component that can be adding to the abovementioned challenges is the separation of development and operations. According to the survey, 61% of respondents said that Dev and Ops have their metrics gathered in separate siloes. Though this is still the majority, this is down slightly from 64% in 2015. The more information is combined and shared amongst teams, the more streamlined performance management will be.

For the full research guide and other insights into performance and monitoring, please visit: https://dzone.com/guides/performance-and-monitoring.

More Stories By John Esposito

John Esposito is Editor-in-Chief at DZone, having recently finished a doctoral program in Classics from the University of North Carolina. In a previous life he was a VBA and Force.com developer, DBA, and network administrator. John enjoys playing piano and looking at diagrams, and raises two cats with his wife, Sarah.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with Tintri's web services architecture and APIs. Impress your DevOps team with smart and autonomous infrastructure.
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are an IT services solution provider and we sell software to support those solutions. Our focus and key areas are around security, enterprise monitoring, and continuous delivery optimization," noted John Balsavage, President of A&I Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of 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. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud platforms. Through its four pillars of focus, Calligo delivers a platform that businesses can trust to deliver the high level of service and protection they expect and is lacking in many cloud offerings.
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 wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, 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 Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of 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. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of 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. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big Data are challenging the existing design patterns of the Data Center. The increase in complexity of managing legacy systems alongside new systems is beyond the ability of most IT departments. This leads to multiple tiers of storage and high economic costs, during a time in which IT is expected to do more with less.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex to learn. This is because Kubernetes is more of a toolset than a ready solution. Hence it’s essential to know when and how to apply the appropriate Kubernetes constructs.
As enterprise cloud becomes the norm, businesses and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance related to data privacy and information protection. The most recent, Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU’s GDPR have board level implications and companies still struggle with demonstrating due diligence. Developers and DevOps leaders, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes.
"I'm here to leverage my secret sauce, which is using outsourced development and the company that I utilize is delaPlex Software and they've basically allowed me to win Fortune 500 companies," noted Justin Witz, CTO of FRA and PlanTools, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of 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. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast trove of private and public data available to enterprises.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of 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. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased efficiency, and maximizing competitive edge.
"We began as LinuxAcademy.com about five years ago as a very small outfit. Since then we've transitioned into more of a DevOps training company - the technologies and the tooling around DevOps," explained Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lavi, a Nutanix DevOps Solution Architect, explored the ways that Nutanix technologies empower teams to react faster than ever before and connect teams in ways that were either too complex or simply impossible with traditional infrastructures.
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of 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. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of engineers can navigate the Carrier Ecosystem for your IT team acting as an extension of your business, producing a hassle-free experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Get certified, manage the full lifecycle of your cloud-based resources, and build your knowledge based using Cloud Academy’s expert-created content, comprehensive Learning Paths, and innovative Hands-on Labs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of 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. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a single platform to drive unprecedented simplicity in the data center. Customers can start with a base infrastructure and scale to multi-site and multi-geo infrastructures with predictable economics and performance.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation 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. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.