This was inspired by a prior comment in the Community. Your networking, database, and application groups are key for a successful APM deployment or resolving APM usage issues. This is especially true for APM CE (CEM). However, sometimes these valuable resources are not nor ever will be available. This is the result of a variety of reasons. This article talks further about this situation and how to work around it.
An APM administrator can fall in this situation because of various outcomes. These include but are not limited to the following:
1. Politics or Company Culture
In some businesses, numerous silos exist and one group can only contact another in rare circumstances following rigid procedures. The lead time for doing this is typically very long.
These groups have their own priorities and projects. So they may not have the bandwidth to assist. When they do have a spare cycle, it may be too late and implementation may too far along. If they do not like how things are being done, this can delay a project even further to retrofit their requirements.
Whether it is reluctance or possible loss of face. This may have been due to having gone various times in the past believing there was a problem and the appropriate team showed this was not the case. (Also known as the cry wolf scenario.)
Other groups have the access to login, need to perform a pre-implementation review before giving the approval to go ahead, or some other reason. However, it takes times to get them engaged.
1. Learn to become self-sufficient as much as you can. Find existing documents on your intranet that may help you such as network diagrams, application design documents, database implementations. It never hurts to ask for copies if you are unable to find them.
2. Work on breaking the silos and building relationships. Show how the business depends on successful and optimized application and application infrastructure monitoring. Accept that this will take time and there may be be setbacks along the way. But taking a long term view will ensure eventual success. Having an executive champion behind you helps facilitate things faster.
3. For APM CE, run a periodic transaction discovery recording to learn about new or changed applications/transactions. Some customers use transaction definition catch-all rules to do the same thing.
4. Ask for increased access rights especially during installations/upgrades.
5. For outages and lesser monitoring gaps, do an after-action review and invite these same groups. Build trust and buy-in through their involvement. Publishing the results shows how ALL parties can better improve their resposniveness and effectiveness by just reviewing the facts in a non-judgmental manner.
1. Start using powerful tools such as Wireshark to do your preliminary analysis before contacting a networking team.
1. Get their buy-in on the monitoring strategy and APM deployment roadmap. Once they see the value, they may make themselves more available.
1. Start using database tools to perform queries reviewing table health. You may have to request from the DBA to have read access . The results is you can better and faster assess APM database operations and health.
Questions For Discussion
1. Has one of those scenarios happened to you? If so, please feel free to share your experience
2. How did you resolve the situation?
3. What did you do to ensure that the same thing wou;d not happen in the future?