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The Product Compatibility Matrix (PCM) went live a few months ago. This is a great tool to quickly search for requirements data for your deployment.

 

Recently, it's come to our attention that the tool will come back with no results when using the search criteria dropdowns. JMertin has kindly clarified on how to use the search feature of this tool.

 

After choosing your product at the initial page, ignore the dropdown boxes and only use the checkboxes in the "limit results to" section and the search filter box just above the results section. This will yield the results you're looking for.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment or enhancement request on the community.

We’re proud to announce the service availability of CA App Synthetic Monitor (ASM) 10.0 – the first step to a completely transformed synthetic monitoring solution. In this release, we have made several enhancements to improve user experience including updates to the look and feel of the product.  

The release updates include:  

 

Updated menu navigation  

In this release, we have taken the first step in our phased approach to update the product UI. The menu navigation has moved to the left side of the screen, with menu options re-arranged to better fit standard user flows.  

 

Revamped monitor configuration  

As a part of the UI updated, we have also updated the configuration of monitors to clearly display the type of monitors ASM supports.  

 

Once a monitor type is selected, configuration is now broken down into categories allowing for quick and simple monitor creation. Monitors will be automatically validated by default (if needed, you can override this step and activate a monitor directly).  

 

 

 

Support for JMeter 3.3   

We have now added support for JMeter version 3.3, while continuing to support older versions. Script version is automatically detected and the appropriate JMeter version is used. With this update, CA BlazeMeter scripts are now compatible in CA App Synthetic Monitor.  

We can now also provide partial results for monitor timeouts, proving you with insight into the exact step that failed, along with this there will also be an assertion at the end of your script indicating what went wrong and why.  

*To leverage JMeter 3.3 support, you’ll need to update your On-Premise monitoring stations (OPMS).  

 

More flexible ad-hoc maintenance windows  

Ad-hoc maintenance windows now have more flexibility. You can now select the folder in the list of monitors and set a single occurrence and duration of a planned maintenance window in the future. 

 

Report improvement 

You can now build report previews for custom periods as well. This feature allows you to see report for today’s data or past weeks. You are no longer restricted to pre-set time periods. 

 

 

SAML support (available in Beta mode)   

In Public Beta mode, we are introducing SAML support. If you are interested in a single sign-on through your own identity provider, please contact our support team.  

 

Not using CA App Synthetic Monitor? Start your free trial today.  

If you’re not a current user of CA App Synthetic Monitor, no worries! You can get started with a 30-day free trial today and test these new features for yourself.  

 

 

Introduction
      Imagine if you were the proud owner of an old all-wooden house. While climbing up the steps to the entrance, you are greeted by numerous swarming bees. They hover around and fly uncomfortably close to you. In the past, you had a bad encounter with some bees and lived in mortal fear of them ever since. You freeze up in reaction and don't know what to do.

 

   Fortunately, a nature lover and all-around nice person is taking their afternoon walk nearby and immediately sizes up your situation. "Oh there is nothing to worry about. They are just carpenter bees. See, there is no yellow stripe like bumble bees. And the male bees do not sting. Just annoy you a little. "

 

   Suddenly, you don't feel as threatened. You learn to walk slowly around them and not mind their hovering. You start to move in and made a new friend along the way.

 

Perceptions : Overview
   Perceptions are our conduit to comprehending life situations. These are our impressions based on what our senses show us. From this input, our mind may race to a conclusion that could later be incorrect. This can impact our ability to resolve a situation, solve a problem, or deal with another person

 

So what can we do instead to keep us on track?
1. Have a reflective mind
Our minds are very clever in creating perpetual emotional dramas and it is far too easy to be trapped "in mind." Rather than react, observe, observe some more, reflect then act. A sense of calm and spaciousness typically follows doing this. You might even feel your body starting to relax.

 

2. Ask questions/Investigate if needed before jumping to conclusions, It is very easy when seeing an error message on a screen to get concerned. But looking further may show it to be a one-time occurrence due to unique circumstances.

 

3. Turn off a sense. In the movie Shallow Hal (no relation to the character or the actor Jack Black), the protagonist eyes/judgments cause them to perceive incorrectly a person's worth. Something just listening to a person or touching an object may produce a different response and thought pattern.

 

4. Patience and Persistence. All of the above includes a process of persistent investigation and reflection. And just as important, being patient with yourself and not be so outcome-driven. Understanding the true nature of a situation is a lifetime voyage of discovery

 

Your Turn
We all had our misconceptions of various things and sometimes learned the hard way how to do things better. Feel free to share what worked for you in these situations. We are all learners in this life and can pick up a useful tip or two from one another.

Thank you for attending our community webcast today.  If you missed today's presentation please listen to the recording and 'like' if you felt useful. 

 

 

* For customers interested to join the Beta for ASM, they will have to signup @ validate.ca.com.

Once done, they can simply contact Ales Lopata --> lopal05  requesting access to the ASM Beta environment.

 

Our presenters and event coordinators for today's event, please follow them:

LeoAnez

AshleyGeorge

Chaitan_Shet

Introduction

So, for several months I've done a series of blogs on how to create and maintain a vibrant community. And during the same time, our APM Community has become a little more active. But I see one area that each of us may consider changing to enrich ourselves and this community.

 

Step 1: Start Following More People

What I noticed that most people in this Community are following few people or have few followers. That means that all of us are missing potentially out on:

-Useful new documents

-Helpful new ideas

-Invaluable new questions/discussions or responses

-Tremendous new videos and webinars

-Making a key connection.

 

Step 0: Determine Which People to Follow

But you see that I uncharacteristically jumped the gun above.

How can you follow someone if you don’t know which someone to follow? Good point.

So here are some possible “following candidate” strategies

-Search for topics/environments that are important to you. And see which community members are contributing articles in that area.

-Look for peers at similar product levels. If a new customer, then search for other new customers

-Seek geographical colleagues

-You are only limited by your imagination! Wild and crazy guys? Large site administrators? Cat fanciers liking APM Scheduled Reports? Seek out your own birds of a feather!  

 

Step 3: Gaining Followers/Increasing Following

The reason for doing this should be not to say proudly to someone, “I have two thousand followers/following five hundred members in the APM Community.”  Instead, the focus should be linking to other kindred spirits to see how they are living their lives and dealing with technical/personal challenges that may be like your own! And be among the first to find out about their contributions as well them finding out about yours.

 

Your Turn

I've said what I wanted to say. Now it is your turn.

Please drop a line to Hallett.german@ca.com or respond below on following/followers, "following candidate strategies", and if you want to see more of these types of blogs.

We’re all familiar with these axioms:

 

  • Familiarity breeds complacency
  • Ignorance is bliss
  • What you don’t know won’t hurt you

 

While this axiom is not as familiar as the ones above, it’s just as important for us techies:

  • Alarm fatigue (also known as alert fatigue) results from exposure to frequent alarms (alerts) and leads to desensitization, which causes longer response times and/or missing important alarms.

 

Alarm fatigue also occurs in many other industries, including construction and mining (where backup alarms sound so frequently that they become senseless background noise) and healthcare (where monitors tracking vital signs sound alarms so frequently and for such minor reasons that they lose the urgency and attention-grabbing power they ought to have).

 

It’s as if Waldo was the only real alarm in a huge crowd of fake alarms.  

 

To use another analogy, it’s like the little boy who cried wolf: False alarms rob real alarms of their value.

 

In performance management, alarm/alert fatigue and desensitization present real dangers to people whose job is keeping apps running 24x7, meeting SLAs, and reaching financial targets. If monitoring teams get lazy or comfortable and start to ignore alarms, they could miss an important alert.

 

In one of my previous blogs, “APM Monitoring Governance: The Jurassic Park Conundrum,” I discuss the disadvantages of monitoring too much “stuff” in an application. Application performance can be affected by the monitoring tool itself, so we need to place limits on the number of monitors, using key performance indicators as a guide in selecting monitors. Monitoring governance and alarm/alert fatigue are different fields, but they’re more closely related than some may think. Too many metrics with no governance can also lead to an overabundance of alerts, many of which are ignored. Too many alerts can cause performance degradation in the application as well as the monitoring tool.

 

In my visits to customers using CA APM, I often notice that when many alerts are triggered, notifications are sent and promptly ignored, and no action is taken other than acknowledging the alarm. What are the reasons for that behavior?  We could speculate that:

  • The alerts were set up with good intentions but their frequency drove those who monitor them into desensitization via alert fatigue
  • Thresholds were set incorrectly, causing false positives
  • The metric causing the alert is minor and doesn’t affect performance
  • The monitored metrics are mandated by corporate policy
  • The application team wants to see everything possible and the ops team has not worked with them to define and take actions relevant to a particular alert

 

If these or other reasons result in ignored alerts, we must ask, “Why monitor that metric at all?” The danger of desensitization through alert fatigue is real when people responsible for monitoring are swamped with frequent alerts that mean little or nothing to them. The constant action of clicking to close or acknowledge an alert will eventually result in frustration—perhaps even disabling an alert. This could spell disaster if a real alert is missed and a crash results.

 

CA APM provides early warnings on events that can cause crashes or application inconsistencies that can affect user experience. Alerts, to be meaningful, should spur operations or support personnel into action. They may take action themselves based on runbook entries, or pass off actions to developers, DBAs or the network team. The point is that alerts, to be useful, should result in some form of action. Without that basic premise, monitoring loses significance and value. Planning ahead, collaborating with application teams, and working with monitoring experts, such as those in CA Services, can lead to fewer and more meaningful alerts and corrective actions that prevent catastrophic failures.

 

Now that’s an axiom we can all learn to love.

Introduction: 

    This is the ninth and final post on characteristics of an active APM Community. I hope that you have found this series helpful .I will resume doing "regular" blogs instead. 

   

How are We Doing?

          A community needs to have a good feedback mechanism to ensure continued success.This is why in every one of my posts I always post questions for feedback and further interaction. This is why you always have a chance to respond to anything posted in this community.  If there is silence, one cannot determine areas that are and are not working. And after knowing this, make any needed changes. Feedback ensures your needs are heard and something will  be considered to meet them. So please start and keep sharing what you want to see more of or less of in the community.

 

Next steps

        This community is a dynamic environment which is always changing to better meet your needs. As I say each week, it is an invaluable resource. 

          So what would I like to see more of? (Please add your list below!.)

1) Self-organizing - A group of Community members can get together and decide for that week what is the personal or group involvement. Maybe they start a discussion on a rotating topic such as Best Practices for APM Dashboards, my Favorite Supportability Metric. Or someone decides to respond to as many community posts that they can for that week. Or just decide to do any of the above on your own.The choices for action are up to all of us. You/we need to figure out the best way to do this.

2) Involvement  - Whether it is something simple as marking as correct/helpful/like or initiating or responding to a post. The sharing of knowledge, building of relationships, and feeling of engagement is a wonderful and tremendous thing to have here. This is one case where more of something is good!!!

3) More Non-CA Engagement Each APM/ASM/AXA Administrator, Partner, and User has real world experience and knowledge that would be so helpful to their peers. This involvement should become the rule and not the exception.

4) More Frequent Logins equals more Participation Opportunities. If you log in every few weeks or once a month, you are missing out on receiving timely updates on the APM product, time-proven advice, and best practices. There would also be additional opportunities to participate and contribute more.

5) More Interactions  More meetings like Office Hours where everyone can raise and discuss issues. Or do like Manish Parikh's Blog  suggested and just covered one topic in a meeting. 

 

Your Turn

 I've shared my thoughts over these months. I really would like to hear from you where we should go from here. You can post below . Or mail me at hallett.german@ca.com.  Thank you for your efforts in this Community! It is greatly appreciated by myself and all others that frequent here.

 

 

      

There are a lot of exciting things happening for CA APM – from the availability of an all new SaaS version of APM to exciting features to be released in the upcoming weeks and months.

 

Make sure you stay up to date on the latest and greatest by joining our upcoming demos and webinars:

 

10/4: Live Demo: What’s New in CA APM

CA APM Is now available as a SaaS solution! See what’s new, like simplified onboarding and configuration, new transaction traces view and cross-tier correlation across user experience, application and infrastructure by joining us for a live demo. Register today to save your spot!

 

10/12: Webcast: Forrester Total Economic Impact Study of CA APM

Join us for this special webcast, where guest speaker Dean Davison, principal consultant, Forrester will discuss findings from the recent Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) of CA Application Performance Management (APM)* that can assist businesses evaluating this solution – including the potential to realize: $5.4 Million NPV, 316% ROI and payback in 3 months.

Joining Dean, Pete Waterhouse, Advisor - CA Technologies will outline the essential elements of a modern APM solution needed to deliver these outcomes. Register today.

 

* A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of by CA Technologies. 

 

10/19: Webcast: CA Application Performance Management Roadmap Session

Wondering what’s next for CA APM? Get a clear view of what’s to come, including details on upcoming functionality, features and architectural enhancements by joining this roadmap session.

Register now.

 

11/1: Live Demo: How to Stay Ahead of Slow Load Times and Website Crashes with Synthetic Monitoring

No one likes a slow website. Learn how always-on synthetic monitoring can help you to pinpoint bottlenecks – and eliminate them – before your user experience suffers in live product demo.

Register today.

 

If binge watching is more your thing, you can also view past webcasts and demos on-demand at times that work best for you.

Introduction
Every few weeks, I write about one more element of successful online communities.

 

Altruism
"All those happy in the world are so because of their desire for the happiness of others." Shantideva

 

One Definition: the daily practice of being selfless and acting on the behalf for other individuals.

 

Some time back I wrote how a Technical Support job lends itself well to a path of service.
https://communities.ca.com/community/ca-apm/blog/2016/02/21/on-service-and-apm-support

 

A lot of that applies here. So please re-review.

 

The APM Community

Every day as I log in to this precious APM Community, I look forward to finding  opportunities to help. All of my APM Colleagues are the same way. Even though they may be on the road like Hiko_Davis,  Guenter_Grossberger and JMertin or working other cases like  Lynn_Williams. SergioMorales, and musma03

 

without hesitation they respond to unanswered Community  questions. With a strong sense of urgency, altrusitic people dive into a Community question or discussion to help it move forward.

 

Communities like this bring out the best in people. It is a delight to watch how community members go out of their way to assist one other and help them take greater advantage of the APM Solution.  Because it is known by all the impact of missing or partial metrics, cluster stability, etc, there is a strong desire to make things right in the world and bring a brief smile and moment of peace to someone else.

 

Homework assignment
So if you can make the time, please review the APM Community posts that are recent and do what you can to offer assistance. Sometimes, even a so-called wrong answer can lead to the correct one. Just knowing someone is out there, listening, and wanting to help is a good start. Especially at 3 A.M.on a Wednesday

 

Your Turn
I am now two months in of creating these blogs. Please let me know if you are finding them interesting and helpful. You can respond below or send a note tp hallett.german@ca.com Looking forward to hearing from you soon

Introduction

I am trying to write as many blogs as I can this week to reduce my "to-do blog topic inventory." Today, I cover learning a new solution architecture. 

It is a followup to my 2014 blog -- It's the Architecture, Silly! 

 

First step: Get an Overview

 

Review both a high-level and detailed solution architecture diagram and see what major components are involved. If you can, determine the high-level workflow of a "transaction/event".

 

Understand the basic and advanced functions of each solution component. Which functions/components are enabled by default?

 

Review official docs/training/user communities for a "real world" understanding of the solution architecture.

 

Understand capacity limits and what configuration settings/hardware are recommended for an optimized environment.

 

Second Step: Prepare to Dive Deeper

 

Determine the function/workflow combination of the solution.

For example, if you learn that only one component directly monitors network traffic, then you now know not to look there for end-user reporting export problems.

 

Create Knowledge Documents/Troubleshooting Guides based on these insights.

 

Third Step: Getting to a Deployment-Ready Architecture

 

Learn what a steady state for a solution looks like including a healthy monitoring component log. Review known issues and fixed bugs for a particular release

 

Fourth Step: Optimize/Maintain Your Architecture

As I stated before, Solution Architectures should be reviewed two-four times a year. Optimization of hardware/software is key, especially in a fast changing environment.  Review documentation, blogs, etc. on optimization/maintenance including capacity planning for your next architectural upgrade.

 

Your Turn:
Was this a good topic to cover? Are you using an approach like the above or something else? Please share your experiences! 

A new and enhanced CA App Synthetic Monitor is upon us and we need your help!

 

We are currently in the process of revamping the CA ASM UI to have an updated, simplified look and feel along with other product enhancements and would love your feedback. If you would like to participate, all that is required is a short 30min-1hour call where we will walk you through the new UI so feedback and comments can be provided.

 

To join the program, please reach out to Chaitan_Shet (Chaitan.Shet@ca.com), Product Manager. 

 

Help us make the next version of CA App Synthetic Monitor the best yet!

 

Introduction

Like many people, I save a bulging "blog topic inventory list." My list has grown so much, that I am challenging myself to write as many blogs as I can this week. 

 

So for those that came late to the story, please feel free to read:

https://communities.ca.com/community/ca-apm/blog/2016/12/18/2016-why-i-stopped-writing-apm-blogs-and-then-started-again-part-1  -- Part 1

https://communities.ca.com/community/ca-apm/blog/2017/06/21/2017-why-i-stopped-writing-apm-blogs-and-then-started-again-part-2 -- Part 2


How did it turn out? 

In the previous blogs, I talked about the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project that I led to spur Sustaining Engineering active participation in creating knowledge documents. So what the result?

 

* Sustaining Engineer, Product Management, SWAT, Development, and Professional Services have all provided content that were used in creating knowledge documents. This has become the rule rather than the exception.

 

* The Non-Support Knowledge Documents from the above groups continue to be heavily accessed each month by APM customers.

 

* Sustaining Engineering has provided information to create four new knowledge documents on average this month including on 

   - common issues they are seeing

  - fixes added to APM hot fixes

   - possible workarounds

   - best practices for installs/upgrade, configuration settings, and optimal cluster performance

   - previously undocumented features

   

   Thirty-three new knowledge documents have been created in over eight months with a combined total of 655 hits that same timeframe. These documents also had an average of 24 hits per month. My thanks for Alfred Wong, Ramesh Palla, Haroon Ahmed, and their wonderful staff for their invaluable contributions and support of this project.

 

Next Steps

Sustaining has started to update existing knowledge documents. A lot more could be done in that area. Other APM groups are welcomed to get more involved this effort as well. My team is working with Diana Parks and her education staff to provide inputs to create helpful videos in various subject areas. The effort to provide timely and quality knowledge document never ends. Support looks forward to continue making the knowledge base grow to provide the right information when you need it.

Introduction

Each week I plan to publish another article on suggestions for making this APM Community much richer. So far, the following blogs have been published:

 

Help Your Online Neighbor

My Big DC Adventure and the APM Community

How to Build a Vibrant APM Virtual Community: Active Participation! 

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Content, More Content, and Then Some!

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Tell Us a Little About Yourself 

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Wanted -- Engagers!  

How to Build a Vibrant Community: If You Link 'Em They Will Come 

How To Build a Vibrant Community: Tell a Friend/Colleague. 

 

Sociological Dinner
Sometime back, I attended a group dinner with sociologist E. Digby Baltzell. You can find more on him at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Digby_Baltzell. There are two things that I remember of that night. One was his constant struggle to get a cigarette out of a well-worn pack while talking. The other was someone was talking what people had today as community. Baltzell dismissed this by saying something like, "You don't have Community today, you have instead Communion." I don't remember the vigorous dissent or much after that.

 

And thinking on that day brought me back to my mission here  Encouraging people daily to make this community grow in ways that are meaningful to them.

 

Overall Models
Here are some different simplified models on how this community can grow. This is just a guiding idea on what to shoot for. The end-result doesn't have to be just one.
- A social community can just be a community. In this case, people share ideas/questions about a common set of products, infrastructures, and applications to monitor. And that can be sufficient for many.

- Members can strive for communion, That is a joining together of minds. This could be through such events as chats or ongoing meetings. And once achieved, perhaps some joint project projects take off.

- Members causally spending time together in the spirit of friendship. This could be informal discussions on a technical/non-technical topic.

 

There are also some simplified participation models to strive for.
Participation Models

 

- Simplified/Delayed two-way discussions. Someone posts a question and a person responds. But sustained two-way communications in a Community question/discussion can be difficult. And conversations are not real-time

- Real-time/Two-Way Discussions. This can happen when Instant Messaging is supported and through discussions from Office Hours and the like.

- Collaboration Discussions -- Multiple people working together on a deliverable or a joint problem. (Such as a document on naming standards for a particular function) And if this became common rather than the exception, how much richer would this Community be!

Note that using the Jive Tools  may alert you when a topic is being discussed. (https://communities.ca.com/tools-eapis.jspa)


Your Turn

Thank you for your support and participation in this community. We are very lucky here to have so many talented people making this a better place each day!!!


- I want to hear back from you on what we can do this make this Community more appealing to you personally so that you would log in frequently. Please reply to this post or email me directly at hallett.german@ca.com

Introduction
Each week I plan to publish another article on suggestions for making this APM Community much richer. So far, the following blogs have been published:

 

Help Your Online Neighbor

My Big DC Adventure and the APM Community

How to Build a Vibrant APM Virtual Community: Active Participation! 

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Content, More Content, and Then Some!

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Tell Us a Little About Yourself 

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Wanted -- Engagers!  

How to Build a Vibrant Community: If You Link 'Em They Will Come 

 

Introduction -- The Opportunity

   This is a variation of last week's discussion on linking. Suppose you may have a great web resource with incredibly useful information. But unless someone knows

  • that it exists
  • how to find it.
  • what to do when you are there.
  • how they can participate at various levels

 

Then the visitor count to the web resource may stagnate and possibly decline. 

 

It is my fervent wish that this Community grows with increased information sharing and administrator/user interaction and engagement. If you have suggestions on how to make this happen, please share them here or email me directly at mailto:hallett.german@ca.com

 

Starting this week, please do what you can to pass the word about this Community to colleagues and others. This is a good thing that we have here and all AXA/APM/ASM current and prospective admins & users are more than welcome to visit and participate. 

 

Thank you for your support and looking forward to reading your future contributions!

Hal German

Introduction
Each week I plan to publish another article on suggestions for making this APM Community much richer. So far, the following blogs have been published:

 

Help Your Online Neighbor

My Big DC Adventure and the APM Community

How to Build a Vibrant APM Virtual Community: Active Participation! 

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Content, More Content, and Then Some!

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Tell Us a Little About Yourself 

How to Build a Vibrant Community: Wanted -- Engagers!  

 

Linking Overview

 

Definition of APM  Information Linking: Providing a connection via a URL address to an information resource containing APM technical details.

 

It happens every day when someone seeks an answer to an APM technical question. What do they do? They query search engines, this Community, ask their acquaintances etc. And sometimes they come back with little success.

 

As a next step, they open a support case or pose a question on the Community. Then it may be the situation that, a response is given along with one or more community, document, and knowledge links.

 

We should make it easier to find this key APM information the first time. One way is creating content in this Community and other sites adding important links. Thus making it more likely to find in a search engine.

 

Here are just a few suggestions:


- Adding new links to this Community using the Bookmark feature . (Looks like a globe.) This is being underutilized.
- Creating the best of the APM Community links on your internal sites.
- Create Discussion Items in this Community called "My 10 Favorite Links on APM Performance (or a topic of interest.)"
- Create a Discussion Item with your APM "Money" (High Value) Links
- Create a Discussion Item on my favorite Knowledge Docs in underdocumented, emerging, or release-specific areas

- Use Your Imagination!!!

 

Your Turn
What else do you do for APM linking/knowledge internally/externally?
Please share your experiences so we all can learn and grow from them. Thank you in advance.