CMG in the Clouds

April fool’s day this year brought with it the Rocky Mountain Computer Measurement Group (CMG) conference. This is the best view of any CMG show I have been at:

David Halbig from First Data Corp. (also the guy who organizes the show) kicked off with a surprisingly refreshing presentation for a CMG region. He talked about the cloud in an extremely practical way – as well as laying out the management of performance in the cloud. David laid out some very compelling examples of issues that can potentially emerge when moving to the cloud. David broke up the monitoring approach into:

  • Continuous Monitoring
  • Specialized – intermittent use monitoring (the fire hydrant)
  • Middleware monitoring (application deep dive)
  • Business Transaction Monitoring – for a cross tier understanding of what is going on

David talked about how many vendors say that they are “BTM capable” – but really do not have the “real thing” – his “sure fire” list of requirements included:

  • Horizontal view of aggregate and single transactions across all tiers of interest
  • Resource consumption information from each monitored tier – basically saying that a network tap based solution cannot cut it
  • Auto-discovery of transaction path (said that some products needed to be “trained” on transaction paths)
  • Capture path to non-monitored tiers
  • Continuous operation at volume
  • Low transaction path overhead

I also presented, focusing on how Cloud (public/private), Agile, SOA and Virtualization create an ever-changing environment where the only things that stay the same are the user’s expectation of sub second response times and the transactions that run the business.

Although – as usual – the vast majority of the audience was not anticipating a migration to the cloud in the near future, the sessions were very informative because they dealt with managing performance in a constantly changing environment. Something that everyonehas to deal with.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s CMG (Boston) meeting.