Augmenting APM with InfluxDB for Faster Issue Resolution

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The situation

An enterprise IT company hosted a large industry event that drew attendees from all around the globe, including key technology leaders. Organizers knew that their IT offerings needed to be top notch to ensure attendees were happy when it came to event experience. The event application allowed attendees to browse and register for sessions at the event. So, organizers needed to be able to identify issues in real-time and fix them quickly.

With so much on the line, they need to ensure that senior leaders had a top-level view of how the system performed, but also needed site reliability engineers (SREs) to be able to access granular data. Slicing and dicing their data to serve two different audiences was a challenge, so they brought in IT Squared and Riverbed to build an application performance monitoring (APM) solution.

The players

IT Squared is a full-service information technology service provider that specializes in application modernization and APM. The company leverages technical expertise and open source technologies to deliver monitoring and observability solutions that make businesses more effective.

Riverbed helps enterprises optimize their digital experiences. With its range of tools, Riverbed transforms data into actionable insights across the entire digital ecosystem and accelerates performance for a seamless digital experience.

The solution

Riverbed’s AppInternals is a big data APM tool that processes and stores large volumes of data about application performance and provides code-level analytics. While this is great for handling detailed application data, presenting higher-level data views remains a challenge with so much data.

IT Squared built a series of applications to monitor different aspects of the event’s event management application. AppInterals pushed time series data to InfluxDB, which then got visualized with Grafana dashboards. This gave users more control over windowing around specific metrics in real-time, such as current server load, server time, application performance index (APDEX), exception trends, and more for each application.


The results

The solution IT Squared built was able to provide real-time views of different aspects and applications within the event IT stack for senior leadership. These visualizations also helped SREs and other experts to quickly identify application performance issues. By linking the dashboard data views to the source data in AppInternals, the solution enabled SREs to quickly drill down on issues and begin to analyze the root cause.

This solution used InfluxDB and data visualization to make APM data accessible to two very different audiences. It also separated time series data from APM data, so that experts could analyze application performance in the context of time. This accelerated their ability to identify and resolve issues because they already knew where to look in the raw data.

For more details on this solution, check out the full case study.