Troubleshooting Application Performance Problems Using Instana Application Perspectives

August 24, 2018

One of the greatest benefits of the new Application Perspectives user experience is the ability to quickly identify and troubleshoot problematic services and requests.

Instana’s new Application Perspectives capabilities provide a level of personalization that, up until now, has never been available in an APM tool. The ability to customize the definition of an application at any time, with any services, using any tag or label, provides the ultimate flexibility to monitor your applications in the way that makes the most sense to you. In this post we’ll explore an example troubleshooting workflow to see how easy it is to find the root cause of poor performance.

Stan’s Got Your Back – Automatic Root Cause Analysis

A core tenet of Instana has always been to automatically detect performance issues and provide automatic root cause analysis. We accomplish this using a combination of 3 key capabilities:

  1. Automatic anomaly detection based on machine learning
  2. Expert knowledge that detects problematic patterns
  3. Dependency and event correlation to differentiate cause from effect

This results in the creation of an incident within Instana and an alert sent into your operations center.

instana-incident-automatic-root-cause

Notice in the incident shown above that Instana differentiates between the “triggering event” (the reason the alert was fired) and the other events that are directly correlated and provide information on the root cause. In this case, the shop service ran out of memory due to our restrictive configuration.

This functionality is excellent for quickly identifying and resolving incidents, but what if for some reason a problem occurs that is not automatically identified? Can you easily find issues using the Instana UI?

Looking for Trouble – Finding Performance Problems on Your Own

The answer is – yes, it’s easy to use Instana’s new Application Perspectives capabilities to find performance problems on your own. Every new Application Perspectives screen provides charts and tables that bring the worst performers to the top. Let’s look at an example…

poor-application-performance-troubleshooting-workflow-loop

The animation above shows the following sequence:

  1. Choose your application perspective to analyze
  2. Select a poor performing service from the “Top Services” table
    top-service-latency-list
  3. Select a poor performing endpoint from the “Top Endpoints” table
    top-endpoints-latency-list
  4. Select “Analyze” to see all the poor performing traces in that endpoint
    transaction-trace-analytics-list
  5. Analyze the slow traces to see why they are slow
    slow-transaction-trace-details

In this case, you can see that our payment transactions are waiting on an external payment provider (Note: we artificially induced slowness into the external service call to PayPal for this example).

slow-external-service-call-details

Personalized APM for Every Situation

It’s easy to use Instana’s Application Perspectives to troubleshoot performance issues. The combination of a personalized APM experience, curated dashboards, and automatic root cause analysis mean that you’ll be able to quickly identify and resolve issues in any situation. Request your free trial of Instana today.

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Automatic Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solutions for microservices, Instana has developed the automatic monitoring and AI-based analysis DevOps needs to manage the performance of modern applications. Instana is the only APM solution that automatically discovers, maps and visualizes microservice applications without continuous additional engineering. Customers using Instana achieve operational excellence and deliver better software faster. Visit https://www.instana.com to learn more.