Transaction Monitoring: Traditional vs. BTM

Transaction monitoring includes both traditional and new approaches. Before making a purchase, read this article to learn the differences and make the right choice.

Even experienced IT professionals can confuse traditional monitoring tools and the newer generation of business transaction monitoring (BTM) tools. In today’s market, competing lanir-shachammessages sound very similar, making it difficult to differentiate between the old and the new. This article highlights the differences in the traditional and the newer generation of transaction monitoring tools.

Traditional Monitoring

Traditional tools monitor the performance of each component individually and display all of these metrics on a “single pane of glass.” End-to-end performance monitoring means that you can see the performance of every component in one centralized console. So, for example, the resource consumption of the servers, the threads that the application is running, the throughput of the network components, and the calls to the database all displayed in their own section.

When traditional tools monitor transactions, they pick up various segments of transactions throughout the data center without stitching them together into one full transaction flow.

For example, the database monitor picks up all of the SQL statements that it sees and displays them on the central dashboard along with their response times, while the real user monitor picks up all of the requests that are sent out to the data center and displays them on the same dashboard along with their response times. If an application slowdown occurs and all monitors (including the application server monitor which was not mentioned) are showing erratic response times for various transactions, the real user measurements only show that the user is experiencing a problem but does not show where the problem is within the data center. The silo-specific tools, then, do not have the context of the CICS program names, SQL statements, and the Web service calls which are showing erratic performance. The result is that the IT professional is stuck with a glut of confusing, disparate information on the dashboard.

How to Identify Traditional Monitoring Tools

  • They are typically sold as product suites. Vendors develop or acquire separate server monitoring tools, network monitoring tools, application performance management tools and real user measurement tools, and then offer them bundled as an end-to-end package.
  • These tools tend to be pricey and are difficult to implement, not to mention their limited visibility due to the lack of correlation between tiers. On the upside, they can provide more thorough metrics within the application server, which is why the new generation seeks to complement the traditional tools as opposed to replacing them.

The New Generation of BTM Tools

The new BTM tools connect every process within the data center to a click of a user at the desktop.

End-to-end means that the user request and the related activity within the proxy, Web server, app server, database server, MQ and mainframe are all connected as a single transaction instance. The resource consumption at each component can still be seen, but at the granularity of a single transaction segment.

For example, if service levels are starting to degrade, the new generation of tools not only picks up the performance degradation that the user is experiencing, but they also immediately know what is causing the specific degradation down the line.

Learn more about how SharePath—the new generation of monitoring—can help your enterprise thrive in managing today’s complex applications.