A Turbonomic and Instana Use Case

November 16, 2022

A roboto demonstrating using Tubonomics and Instana

The application performance is good, but, what about efficiency? Why the balance of performance and efficiency in your Observability strategy is important?

Costs are an important piece of all company strategies and can define the success of a project or also for an entire company. High performance is important but at what cost?

The most important objective of deploying Observability solutions is to improve the reliability, performance, and availability of the applications, but how can we guarantee we are not overutilizing the infrastructure to deliver good performance?

We can find the root cause of the problems using Observability, but how can we identify exactly which infrastructure component we need to expand to improve the application performance? And how can we automate the infrastructure changes to do it?

This example provides an idea on how to pursue performance with efficiency at the same time, contributing to the teams and companies on how to deliver solutions not covering only performance but also using the IT infrastructure efficiently.

To exemplify it we need an application performance management tool (APM) and an Application Resource Management tool (ARM). I will use two IBM solutions to demonstrate it, IBM Instana as the APM solution and IBM Turbonomic as the ARM solution.

The APM solution will identify the bottlenecks, and performance issues, define the SLO, and so on. And the ARM will identify the infrastructure utilization, comparison of Cloud vendor prices, and so on.

The image below shows the application performance using the APM tool, and, as you can see, the application is running well, and the latency, error rate, and traffic are pretty good.

Application performance using the APM tool

But let’s go deeper to see if the SLO is being satisfied (that is why is really important to set the SLOs)

As you can see the SLOs are also good but is important to emphasize that we had a peak on the graphs and we can identify the problem.

Graph showing see the SLOs are also good

Navigating into Instana Analytics we can identify exactly when it happened:

Instana's analytics platform

And going deeper into the specific transaction we can see where is the problem:

Observability platform showing mistakes in transactions

So, using Instana we identified the performance problem that is exactly a query running on a specific host. Is it a resource problem? Not sure yet.

Now, let’s go to the other part of this demonstration, Turbonomic.

Turbonomic here will help us to identify two things, the efficiency of the IT resources used by the application and the possibility to size up the IT resources to improve the application performance.

First of all, it is good to show how Turbonomic abstracts the Instana data, in other words, how Turbonomic is associating the Instana entities.

As you can see on the image, Application Perspective is associated as Business Application, Endpoints are associated as Business Transactions, Service is associated as service, and processes are associated as application component:

Turbonomic abstracts the Instana data graph

Let’s see the same application now on Turbonomic. As you can see on the image below, at the left we have the topology created by Turbonomic, since the datacenters and infrastructure components through the Business Application, showing in yellow, green, and red the status of the components in terms of efficiency and performance. On the right we can see for example some pending actions:

Topology created by Turbonomic

Clicking on the pending actions we will see the complete list of possible improvements on the infrastructure (29 actions), where those actions will help to save 129Gb of vmem and 20 vCPUs just for this application (imagine the entire company), accepting the actions it can be automatically changed and we will have an application with the same performance but utilizing less IT resources.

Clicking on the pending actions we will see the complete list of possible improvements on the infrastructure

Related to the performance improvements, Turbonomic also recommended some actions as we can see in the image below. Turbonomic also gets the SLO from Instana to compare and check when the SLO is violated. With the 4 actions associated with the performance issues we will be able to increase the performance in 140% for one transaction, 16% on the other, and 5% on the last transaction:

Turbonomic also gets the SLO from Instana to compare and check when the SLO is violated.

Hope this article can help you to define Observability strategies, not only concerning performance but also on efficiency, allowing you to deliver high-performance and efficient solutions.

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Instana, an IBM company, provides an Enterprise Observability Platform with automated application monitoring capabilities to businesses operating complex, modern, cloud-native applications no matter where they reside – on-premises or in public and private clouds, including mobile devices or IBM Z.

Control hybrid modern applications with Instana’s AI-powered discovery of deep contextual dependencies inside hybrid applications. Instana also gives visibility into development pipelines to help enable closed-loop DevOps automation.

This provides actionable feedback needed for clients as they to optimize application performance, enable innovation and mitigate risk, helping Dev+Ops add value and efficiency to software delivery pipelines while meeting their service and business level objectives.

For further information, please visit instana.com.