Published: May 6, 2011 - 02:00

Professional Application Performance Monitoring...

... for your high-end Search Infrastructure.

Since the Fabasoft Mindbreeze Enterprise is a highly scalable and distributed system, it requires a sophisticated possibility to measure all components that are involved in answering queries. With Fabasoft app.telemetry we integrated a high-end application performance management tool. Let's look at some top-level uses cases.

Unterstand your user's search requirements

It is very important to understand what users are searching for and how. Discovering search trends helps you to add missing information like synonyms and taxonomies for the right sources so that relevancy and result quality is improved at the right hot-spots.

Understanding your user's search behavior is key for improvements that must be measured to be effective and successful. Nevertheless it's important to respect the privacy of all users and to only analyze anonymized data.

With Fabasoft app.telemetry there is a so called "Top-X" portal. This portal shows search results in an aggregated fashion. The Fabasoft app.telemetry web client shows information on various levels. The information can be drilled down to so called "Log Pools" to analyze a semantic fraction of all available data.

In oder to aggregate search terms, for instance, select "search:user_query_expr" in the combobox. Now you can browse through all queries in a certain time frame and drill  down further on them.

Using dashboards for monitoring the system

Fabasoft app.telemetry provides a graphical representation of all important performance figures of your Mindbreeze infrastructure. This enables you to monitor the correct operation of your Mindbreeze installation anytime you want. Different types of diagrams including bar charts and function graphs give you an idea of what is going on in the system. A very interesting figure, for instance, is the number of average ms per query over time:

Another important measure is the duration of search queries. Users always ask for relevant (in the sense of ansers to their questions) and very fast results. It is very easy to check the search performance by looking at the client service table in your dashboard. This shows the percentage of queries conducted within a second and the portion of searches lasting more than ten seconds.

The app.telemetry Dashboard is fully configurable so that you can add new diagrams of whatever kind very easily. You can use every value of the rich Mindbreeze performance instrumentation in your diagrams including browser, Web Client and Query Service instrumentation points.  Therefore you can adapt your dashboard to perfectly suit your specific monitoring requirements.

Tracking performance issues with ease

One key benefit of Fabasoft app.telemetry is the ability to track search requests over process and server borders in often highly distributed systems in real-time. The "Request Statistics" tab in the "Top-X" section provides a good survey on process durations at any hierarchy level.

Moreover, a graphical representation of a user's query request is often very helpful to understand the blocks that consume time and get a quick overview what's going on. Switch to the "Request Overview" tab to see the temporal build-up of a request executed on various hosts.

This can be especially useful when analyzing search performance end-to-end from the browser to the Query Service. The graphical "Request Overview" illustration of all involved components helps newcomers as well as system administrators to proactively find (performance) issues with ease.

Take care of your user's feedback

Fabasoft app.telemetry provides an integrated functionality for user feedback.  Click on the "Support" Button in the Fabasoft Mindbreeze Web Client to post a feedback message. A set of all valuable monitoring information essential for a detailled analysis of this explicit case is added to the sent message. This gives your operators the possibility to react very efficiently to a concrete user request.

Summing up

Performance monitoring of highly distributed systems like Fabasoft Mindbreeze Enterprise requires professional and out-of-the-box monitoring functionality that not only shows that the processes are fine but allows analysis of all the flows and components involved. The Fabasoft app.telemetry dashboard visualizes the important information in an overview fashion and moreover enables the semantical and temporal analysis of Mindbreeze searches e.g. by providing performance summaries and graphical presentations of what's going on.

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