Full Stack Application Monitoring Is Like A Walk In The Woods
by August 8, 2012

Filed under: Performance Monitoring

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I hope everyone had a great long weekend. With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, here at TraceView, we’re all excited about our product growth and joining the AppNeta team.

Over the Labor Day Weekend, I spent my free time hiking New Hampshire’s Presidential Traverse. The Presi Traverse is over 20 miles long, covers 7 mountains over 4000 ft, has a total elevation gain of 7800 ft and a total elevation loss of 7400 ft. The entire hike took my group 14.5 hours.  Not to outdo ourselves, due to weather conditions and the full moon, we started the hike at 5 PM, hiked through the night and finished at 7:30 AM!

Along the way, I had some time to think. My thoughts wandered to how this hike compared to full-stack application monitoring (I know, it’s the weekend and I’m thinking about APM solutions). Here’s how:

Each mountain I climbed is similar to the different layers that make up a web application. There is a path between each mountain that I followed from start to finish which is similar to the path a web request takes within the web application. And, if any problems arose, I was carrying a headlamp that I could turn on at any moment (thanks to the full moon, this was not needed for most of the hike). This is similar to an installed APM solution. Both are designed to consume less that 1% of overhead, are there when you need them, and are out of the way when you don’t.

Full Stack Tracing 1

If I examine the entire hike from start to finish, I can produce averages of elevation gain, hiking pace, and total time to complete the hike. The details are explained in the second paragraph above. These averages are similar to partial-stack application tracing. I see the data, but have no way of pointing out problem areas, getting detailed data or reporting on paths between layers.

When I break my trip down into the below stats, I return data that is more consistent with full-stack application monitoring. For each mountain (layer) and trail (path), I have data on time to complete each leg (web request), the name of the mountain (language or operating system), and distance/gain/loss/total time (length of request).

Now, if you finished reading this post, and you’re not as exhausted as I was at the end of my hike, sign-up for a FREE 14-day trial of TraceView. Our SaaS solution installs in minutes and performance data is revealed in seconds!

So here are my “full-stack” details (all photos from Eric Bauer):

  • Appalachia to Mt. Madison
    • Start: 5 PM
    • Finish: 7:15 PM
    • Distance: 4.25 miles
    • Elevation start: 1303 ft
    • Elevation end: 5367 ft
    • Total gain: 4000 ft
    Walk in the Woods 1

    2.4 miles in – 15.2 miles to goMt. Madison to Mt. Adams

      • Mt. Madison to Mt. Adams
        • Start: 7:30 PM
        • Finish: 8:30 PM
        • Distance: 1.3 miles
        • Elevation start: 5367 ft
        • Elevation end: 5799 ft
        • Total gain: 700 ft
        • Total loss: 260 ft
    • Mt. Adams to Mt. Jefferson
      • Start: 9 PM
      • Finish: 10:30 PM
      • Distance: 2.4 miles
      • Elevation start: 5799
      • Elevation end: 5716
      • Total gain: 800
      • Total loss: 860

      Walk in the Woods 2

      Sun goes down – headlamps turn on

    • Mt. Jefferson to Mt. Washington
      • Start: 11 PM
      • Finish: 12:30 AM
      • Distance: 3.2 miles
      • Elevation start: 5716 ft
      • Elevation end: 6288 ft
      • Total gain: 1300 ft
      • Total loss: 750 ft
        • Mt. Washington to Mt. Monroe
          • Start: 1:30 AM
          • Finish: 2:45 AM
          • Distance: 1.8 miles
          • Elevation start: 6288 ft
          • Elevation end: 5372 ft
          • Total gain: 360 ft
          • Total loss: 1270 ft

          Walk in the Woods 3

          6288 ft above sea level – 12:30 AM

        • Mt. Monroe to Mt. Eisenhower
          • Start: 3:15 AM
          • Finish: 4:15 AM
          • Distance: 2.8 miles
          • Elevation start: 5372 ft
          • Elevation loss: 4780 ft
          • Total gain: 300 ft
          • Total loss: 900 ft
            • Mt. Eisenhower to Mt. Pierce
              • Start: 4:30 AM
              • Finish: 5:15 AM
              • Distance: 1.7 miles
              • Elevation start: 4780 ft
              • Elevation end: 4310 ft
              • Total gain: 300 ft
              • Total loss: 780 ft
            • Mt. Pierce to Highland Visitor Center
              • Start: 5:45 AM
              • Finish: 7:30 AM
              • Distance: 3.1 miles
              • Elevation start: 4310 ft
              • Elevation end: 1909 ft
              • Total loss: 2400 ft