Case Study: Media Website
Drilling Down to the Source of Performance Problems
One of the largest and most critically acclaimed newspapers on the east coast of the United States, this Correlsense customer generates a substantial amount of advertising revenue from its high volume of daily visitors.
The real estate section of any major metropolitan online newspaper is a critically important revenue generating tool. For this particular customer, a number of users were experiencing slow performance and voicing complaints. The IT department lacked monitoring capabilities and couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was causing the problem. This is when the company decided to deploy SharePath, an application performance monitoring solution by Correlsense, to help.
The web server was based on Apache while the application was developed in Tomcat. The database components which interacted with it where based on MSSQL.
Solution: SharePath Application Performance Management from Correlsense
Finding a Needle in a Haystack
With SharePath, the customer’s IT team was able to drill down into the application server and discover this is where 99% of the slow response time was located. They then compared the slow instances with the faster ones. This confirmed that slow instances spent most of the response time in Tomcat whereas faster ones had heavier DB usage.
Identifying a Chatty Transaction
Next, the customer looked at the invocations of these transactions and noticed one which generated several thousand database events! This message was relayed immediately to the database administrator.
Understanding Transactional Behavior
The IT operations team still needed a clearer picture of the transaction behavior and SharePath was able to tell this story for them. Digging deep into a particular transaction type, the customer’s IT team noticed that on one particular date the database was accounting for nearly 90% of the response time. After filtering the time frame by the hour, a peak was noticed at 7:10AM in the database tier. The team was able to drill even further, into the SQL, and figure out which call was generating the load. This is where they noticed a spike:
Figure 1: SharePath shows SQLs which are hitting the database and causing a large spike in database usage
After drilling down into the instances, a particular real estate transaction was taking over 25 seconds to process, with most of this time residing in the application server. After detecting this needle in a haystack, the customer’s IT team was able to take the necessary steps to improve the performance of this particular transaction and improve the end user experience on their website.
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