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Mobile App Analytics by Wolfgang Beer

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Chapter 4. Topology

For DevOps controlling and monitoring mobile apps along a multitude of backend services and infrastructure, it is of tremendous interest to oversee the service and infrastructure dependencies of all published app versions in real time.

Modern monitoring solutions often just show one aspect of the entire picture, such as single metrics for server-side service performance or mobile app usage and install statistics. What these isolated monitoring technologies miss is a complete picture of mobile apps and how they are embedded within a global backend infrastructure. As today’s infrastructure is widely distributed across many different datacenters worldwide, it is necessary to span this big picture from datacenters and hosts up to processes and service levels.

Note

Within highly dynamic and virtualized infrastructure like the Docker environment, it is even more important to keep track of ongoing changes in the backend services at real time, as slight changes within the configuration could have fatal effects on your app’s crash rate.

In order to provide this big picture, it is necessary to monitor every single part within a complex environment, along with detailed mobile app monitoring, and to fill a common model with this information at real time, as shown in Figure 4-1.

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Figure 4-1. Kids Touch Paint mobile app depending on Node.js backend services (Image courtesy of Dynatrace Ruxit1)

Figure 4-1 shows a simple native app that depends on a Node.js backend service that is running on a Windows host. This perfectly shows the dependency from the datacenter level up to the application layer, where the mobile app is providing its functionality to real users. By detecting and visualizing this topology information for DevOps in real time, the monitoring solution becomes one of the most important tools for overseeing your business operation on a technical level. The real-time topology information, such as the smartscape2 view shown in Figure 4-1, helps you react immediately if problems are detected and some of your apps show a negative impact on your real user’s experience.

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