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The Application's Interpath

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 Cutting Through Opinions
Diagnosing Facts
Providing Resolution



EVERYONE'S FIRST QUESTION: Is it Network - Application - Server - Desktop - WAN?  Trace entire Interpath - Diagram Application Flow - then create Test Plan.

Troubleshooting successfully & consistently - requires understanding completely Network & Application Flow from end-to-end.

Interpath Components:

  • Application - Requirements - DLL/EXE locations - Local v. Remote protocols
  • Database (s) - Version - Configuration . Server's Environment - UNIX <-> Windows Issues - Configuration & Utilization - Directory Services
  • Desktop Environment - DNS - Build - DFS - Scripts
  • Infrastructure - Routers . Switchport Statistics - CRC - Drops - Buffer Overruns - Errors . Optimizers . Load Balancers . Firewalls . Proxies
  • End-User Training - Use application same way?
  • More.

Application Flow = path from User -> Through Everything else -> back to User = The Interpath.

One person or team seldom knows entire Interpath for a given Application. Network & Application Performance Analyst (NAPA) must interview relevant Subject Matter Experts (SME) - Network Teams - OS Teams, etc..

Interpath includes all component -- yet:

  • Database Administrator doesn't think about Network. 
  • Network Engineer knows little about Application & Database Servers.
  • Server Team is unaware of Switch configurations,
  • And so on.
  • Complete diagram is very rare.
  • NAPA must create that diagram.

Create detailed diagram to map Interpath. This becomes Application Flow Diagram. Application Flow Diagram includes:

  • TCP/UDP Ports involved
  • IP addresses of components
  • Directional indicators showing interaction flow of specific application transactions

Use Application Flow Diagram to identify SPAN / mirror / tap locations.  Place Sniffer / Ethereal / WireShark -- where traffic flow includes Workstation - First Tier Servers - Database Servers.

Capture Filters are critical. Filter as little as possible. You can't go back to see later what you didn't capture before. Gather Trace Files from workstation-side & server-side simultaneously. Filter for individual pre-determined Transactions.

Filter completed trace creatively - not during capture process.  Rely on Application Flow Diagram.

Always remember the Interpath - careful planned appropriate analysis - will provide resolution - consistently.

 For full article and more information on this topic, Click Here.

Related Topics:

Back to main topic: Application Architecture
Performance Tuning Is A Process -- Not A Tool
Excessive TCP Connections
Why Network Assessments Must Include Application Behavior
Interpath Application Flow Diagrams-01
Baselining--Stress Testing--Performance Testing--Oh My--Part ONE
Baselining--Stress Testing--Performance Testing--Oh My--Part TWO
The Saturation Point
Application Profiling Concepts - Part One

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