Benchmarking for WAN-vicious apps, Part 2

* Testing for applications performance

Last time we described WAN-vicious applications and today, we’ll discuss some of the techniques that IT organizations can use to better manage the performance of such applications.

While we often come across IT organizations that have a service-level agreement for the application availability, we seldom come across one that has an SLA for the application performance. That does not necessarily mean that IT organizations do not have a target for the performance of new applications. It may just mean that they are hesitant to put the commitment in writing due to a number of factors that are beyond their control.

To understand this, we recently asked 321 IT professionals if their IT organization set performance requirements on the performance of new applications. This is an important question because companies that have well-understood performance objectives for their business-critical applications can use these objectives to make decisions about application design and the network. They can also use these objectives to drive more effective monitoring of network and application performance. Conversely, if companies do not have these objectives, application and network design decisions become highly arbitrary and monitoring is done based on subjective criteria. We were somewhat pleased to see that roughly half of the survey respondents indicated that they have targets for the performance of new applications.

We also asked if their organization either tested or piloted applications prior to deploying them. We were pleased to see that roughly 80% of respondents indicated that their organization either tests or pilots an application before putting it into production. However, we were struck by the fact that almost half of the companies that either test or trial an application before putting it into production does not have a target for the performance of that application. It would seem that the testing would be more productive if these targets existed.

We would like to hear from you on these topics. Do you test or pilot an application before putting it into production? If so, is that helpful? Also, do you have targets for the performance of an application that are used in the trial or pilot? If not, is that an issue?

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