Guest author Paola Rossaro is Chief Technology Officer for Nouvola, which makes cloud-performance testing tools.
When I co-founded Nouvola two years ago to develop technology to help businesses test how well their apps performed in the cloud, my team and I relied on real-world traffic scenarios to explain the importance of this sort of testing.
Testing is critical
You wouldn’t build a bridge and open it to traffic without first testing how much weight it could hold, we explained. The image of a bridge crumbling under too much pressure is useful in conveying the dangers of launching apps, untested, in the cloud.
But as a computer engineer, I understand how analogies to structural engineering can be overly simplistic. An app isn’t a bridge, and one of the real challenges of testing the performance of an app is locating the source of a performance problem.
Applications are spidery things with thousands of possible optimization points. The end user may see the app crash, be unable to complete a purchase, or get frustrated playing an online game, while behind the scenes everyone is scrambling to figure out what went wrong. Developers may recognize a problem with speed or other performance issues, but still be unable to locate the bottleneck.
I’m thrilled that Nouvola is now partnering with New Relic to help address this issue. We want to help developers be able to not only identify performance problems ahead of time but also identify the source of the problem so they can move quickly to fix it.
Finding the problem is the key
I can’t speak for the bridge builders of the world, but I do know that when it comes to software, it can take as long—or longer—to identify the cause of a problem than it takes to fix it. The process is getting harder all the time as apps seek to do more and the code gets ever more complex. So complex, in fact, that developers sometimes spend days looking for the root cause of a particular problem.
In addressing this challenge, Nouvola is a natural partner to New Relic. Both businesses are committed to helping improve performance and to making available relevant data so developers can identify bottlenecks.
DiveData and New Relic
By integrating Nouvola DiveData with New Relic monitoring, we’ve developed a way to deliver the data that helps developers cut to the chase. DiveData is a new predictive performance analytics product from Nouvola designed to help developers pinpoint and isolate performance issues in the software stack.
Together, New Relic and Nouvola deliver actionable data about app bottlenecks at the click of a button. New Relic offers insights into the various components that affect your application’s performance. Nouvola gives you preventive information on when you may have performance issues. As with a bridge, it’s better to know if an app will have a problem before the issues crop up in the real world.
Nouvola DiveData combines New Relic metrics and proprietary Nouvola machine learning technology to generate the data designed to enable customers to identify and fix relevant software bottlenecks. Based on machine learning and data classification, the algorithm takes New Relic metrics from the test execution and calculates the correlation with Nouvola results coming from the test. It groups New Relic categories and methods in logical sectors, and uses statistical distributions to provide an easy-to-read, color-coded picture of the bottlenecks, as shown below. (Sectors with good performance show up in green. Sectors with issues show up in yellow or red.)
Saving time with DiveData
Say you’ve tested your app with 1,000 concurrent virtual users. The users executed several scenarios, and your tests represent different workflows and different geographies.
You notice that as the numbers grow your performance decreases. Now what?
Nouvola DiveData is designed to let you dive deep into the software stack internals and find the root cause in minutes, not days. What will you do with all the extra free time?
An invitation to try DiveData
We are extending an early and exclusive invitation to beta test our new technology. As as a special incentive to New Relic blog readers, we are offering the first ten users who run at least two tests and provide feedback a $25 Amazon gift card. To secure your place among the first users of Nouvola DiveData, click here, fill out the form and we’ll get in touch with the details to get you started.
And for more information on how New Relic and Nouvola work together, go to newrelic.com/nouvola