Optimizing app performance in a cloud computing environment

To optimize application performance in cloud computing environments, special tools are needed to track transactions beyond the physical server.

Application performance problems don't simply go away when organizations dissolve their consolidated data center and deploy into a cloud computing environment. "The same performance problems that are in the data center will follow applications to the cloud," said Greg Howard, senior director of marketing for AppDynamics, when interviewed at the 2013 Red Hat Summit in Boston.

Just looking at server and machine and infrastructure metrics isn't going to work in the cloud.

Greg Howard,
senior director of marketing, AppDynamics

After all, poorly performing SQL queries will continue to perform poorly, regardless of whether they are running in the cloud or running on a local server. And at the same time, moving to the cloud presents a variety of new performance concerns. "New problems arise, such as virtual machines that spin up and spin down. It's a very volatile environment, and any monitoring solution used in the cloud needs to adapt to that," Howard said.

So what is so unique about monitoring app performance in the cloud? The problem is the fact that a transaction that happens in a virtualized environment will span across multiple physical servers, making the monitoring of individual pieces of hardware meaningless.

"Just looking at server and machine and infrastructure metrics isn't going to work in the cloud." Instead, Howard insists that to effectively optimize applications running in the cloud, it is important to have a monitoring tool that is architected to keep an eye on the business transactions as they are happening. A tight focus on the business transaction is the key to improving performance in the cloud.

You can find out more about AppDynamics by going to its website and downloading a free trial copy of its performance monitoring software.

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