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How to Rid Sluggish Application Performance and Unhappy Users

Many state and local agencies are transitioning away from legacy technologies and embracing hybrid, multicloud environments built on cloud-native architectures with containers, Kubernetes and microservices. Many agencies, each with its own management and monitoring requirements, share resources, which can increase the complexity of these dynamic environments.

Although these changes give agencies the tools and agility they need to better serve the public, they also create many more interdependencies among applications, containers IT infrastructure and microservices. Typically, teams must manually configure these connections, but in hybrid, multicloud environments with cloud-native apps, manual configuration has grown beyond human capacity to manage. All of this can make it much more difficult to monitor applications and the infrastructure they run on using traditional tools and methods.

These complexities also can cause real problems for people trying to use government services, and for government employees who need reliable access to mission-critical applications. Some of the most difficult issues to resolve include speed and load time, crashing and freezing, and application responsiveness and reliability.

SOLUTION: Visibility Into Performance Bottlenecks

The most efficient way to solve the problems of complexity, visibility and usability is through comprehensive, automated monitoring of applications, infrastructure and cloud resources.

By using one platform to monitor all resources, both on-premises and in multiple clouds, agencies can be sure that nothing falls through the cracks. For example, IT operations teams should be able to monitor the entire environment to discover any anomalies in applications, containers, microservices or infrastructure. Because time and resources are limited, teams should expect precise, code-level answers prioritized by business impact.

Application performance monitoring (APM) and infrastructure monitoring are equally important.

  • APM detects performance issues before they affect users, ensuring that applications are running at an acceptable level of service.
  • Infrastructure monitoring keeps tabs on cloud and hybrid environments by continuously monitoring hosts, virtual machines, containers and orchestration platforms, networks, devices, and logs.

The most effective APM and infrastructure-monitoring solutions use artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-assisted technology that leverage real-time topology mapping to analyze events and metrics, and to automatically detect anomalies and root cause across applications, infrastructure and users.

“As agencies increasingly embrace digital transformation and invest in hybrid, multicloud environments, they need a new approach to full-stack observability that provides precise answers instead of statistical guesses,” said Mike Hoernemann, a Senior Systems Engineer at Dynatrace. “You need to be able to see what browser they are using, whether they are working on a desktop or mobile device, where they are geographically, and other precise details and context. With that level of information available, you can isolate the problems and fix them quickly, before they impact the user experience.”

Advanced analytics is also important. Depending on the situation, agencies should be able to rely on their monitoring platform for analytics on each host, process and service, in addition to user behavior. With analytics capabilities that focus on intelligence-based answers derived from precise AIdriven telemetry, agencies can minimize outage and recovery time, optimize the performance of key agency services, boost productivity, and increase user and citizen satisfaction.

Hoernemann also suggests that a software intelligence platform should reach to edge devices and provide application programming interfaces to optimize end-to-end performance. Observability all the way to the edge ensures that you know how the entire technology stack can support desired outcomes.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent report, “AI and Continuous Automation Help Keep the Business of State and Local Governments Running Smoothly.” Download the full report here.

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