DevOps pop quiz: What would you call the following scenario?

a.) DevOps feat
b.) DevOps fail
c.) Too early to tell whether it’s a feat or a fail

A company called Gamechanger Industries has an awesome idea for an application that will generate new, recurring revenue from its customer base and help the company meets its business goals. Gamechanger sets goals for the customer experience and optimizes the application to meet those goals. The efforts pay off, and after developing and launching a beta, the app is a hit, with customers downloading it in droves.

If you answered c, give yourself a pat on the back because you’re right—what may initially sound like a success can quickly turn into a disaster, especially considering something like this could easily happen afterward:

devops ebook cover (1)Despite Gamechanger taking proactive measures to scale the infrastructure, the centralized database doesn’t scale at peak times, causing a bad experience for all those hundreds of thousands of users. Those users have little tolerance for the slowness, get frustrated, and don’t stick around.

To avoid ending up in situations like these, be sure to read our latest ebook, “DevOps Without Measurement Is a Fail,” which introduces what we believe are the five critical drivers of DevOps success, along with how and what to measure to achieve that success. In this post we’ll continue to take a look at how app performance can impact DevOps success and what type of metrics you should be tracking to make sure your DevOps efforts are paying off.

Watch out for performance bottlenecks

Datastores, including relational databases and newer NoSQL caches, can be critical components of an application architecture but are also very often performance bottlenecks. Visibility into the performance of these different datastores is helpful, but the real goal is understanding how database performance impacts app performance, and ultimately the end-user experience. Performance monitoring in this aspect is obviously important, but can also be difficult because many database issues don’t appear until there are a lot of users creating significant load on the overall application, and then it’s often too late.

Catching performance problems before they manifest (and only at scale) requires tracking and monitoring a number of database and application performance KPIs. Hopefully, your team is already focused on some or all of these KPIs:

  • Uptime (availability)
  • App response time
  • Database response time
  • % of transaction time spent in database
  • Resource utilization
  • Database query times

Want to understand how your DevOps efforts are impacting the customer experience, and ultimately your business success? Be sure to download our ebook about measuring DevOps for additional KPIs to monitor!

Asami Novak is director of content strategy and development at New Relic. Prior to joining the New Relic team, she wrote marketing and ad copy for a variety of B2B and B2C companies. Her editorial writing has appeared in WIRED and Dwell, among other publications. View posts by .

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