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Time is money when you are monitoring financial applicationsI don’t know of anyone that looks forward to balancing their checking account.  If you actually do it and don’t just rely on hope that the money won’t run out before you finish spending, you might find a discrepancy.  Was it your fault or an error by the bank?  Of course, it’s the bank’s error.  Well, truth be told…that’s not usually the case.  Put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine what it would be to keep track of billions of dollars and all the transactions that accompany that amount of money.

One of our financial customers is in such a position.  They needed to monitor their financial advisory services, products and solutions, private banking investment banking and asset management solutions, worldwide.  For them, it is crucial to monitor their infrastructure in real-time as part of staying competitive.  The massive amount of operational and transactional data that traversed their applications was a nightmare to monitor because they did not have an effective enterprise-wide automated program for monitoring.  In fact, they had too many systems for monitoring!  And they all gave different viewpoints on what was going on (or going down).  Besides the obvious, the CIO set forth a mandate to rationalize their monitoring tools and get down to one for middleware.  The cost was just too high.

As with many IT groups, the users tripped over problems before the IT group was aware of them.  Besides the image problems IT was having as a result of this, and the lack of a good PR firm for IT there were more problems.  IT Operations had to “borrow” folks from application development to try to reduce the backlog at the helpdesk.  This had an impact of the release schedule.

When a serious issue occurred, IT Operations would have an “all hands on deck” meeting to try to figure out the root-cause of the issue. And when the music stopped in this party, you definitely did not want to be the one standing – it would end up being be your problem.  Of course, no one claimed responsibility on their own.

The underlying issue here is that this tried and true process is reactive and produced lots of user pain.  The approach the bank adopted as the core of their rationalization initiative was to use advanced application analytics to detect problems before users were even aware.

After analyzing their requirements, it was determined to achieve their goals and move from a reactive approach to a proactive one, they needed to be able to:

  • Monitor and analyze in real-time
  • Monitor rate of change
  • Generate metrics on the fly, creating alerts on KPIs and not individual events
  • Constantly calculate what is “business normal, now”
  • Reduce false alarms
  • Reduce or eliminate eyes-on-screen-monitoring
  • Scale to handle millions of events per second

To learn more about a middleware-centric application performance monitoring solution that ensures the availability and performance of your financial data processing via auto discovery, real-time monitoring and analytics via complex event processing, take a look at this case study.

For more information, please visit the Nastel website at www.nastel.com.

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More Stories By Charles Rich

Charles Rich is Vice President of Product Management at Nastel Technologies, a provider of middleware-centric application performance monitoring for mission-critical applications from the datacenter to the cloud. He is a software product management professional who brings over 27 years of technical hands-on experience working with large-scale customers to meet their application and systems management requirements.