The Logical Causes of Application Degradation

By Jim Metzler, Kubernan, for Packet Design
Published March 2007, Posted April 2007




As recently as a few years ago, application delivery was not even a discussion point within most IT organizations. Today application delivery is a top of mind issue for virtually all IT organizations. That point was demonstrated in a recent market research project in which Kubernan surveyed 200 IT professionals on a variety of topics, including application delivery. Sixty percent of the survey respondents indicated that application delivery was increasing in importance in their organization, and only one percent of the survey respondents indicated that it was losing importance.

As part of that market research project, a consulting architect who works for a large IT organization was interviewed. That architect stated that within the last couple of months managing application performance has become his CIO’s number one priority. That CIO told the architect, “Managing application performance is the thing that I am getting the most flack on. We have to begin to work outside of the silos and get away from the application and networking organizations pointing fingers at each other.”

The comments of that architect reflect the fact that most IT organizations do a good job of device management. Put another way, most IT organizations do a good job of managing within well-defined technology silos. However, few IT organizations do a good job of managing technologies that are more complex, from either a technological or an organizational perspective, than are individual devices. As will be discussed in this white paper, it is quite common to have an application degrade even though each device in the network is performing well. Throughout this white paper, the factors that cause an application to degrade even though each device in the network is performing well will be referred to as logical factors. Given that most IT organizations focus primarily on device management, they are ill-equipped to either reduce the occurrence of application degradation caused by logical factors or to identify the cause of the degradation.

This white paper describes some of the primary characteristics of the current approach to application management. The white paper also briefly describes a key technology, route analytics, that IT organizations can use to better manage some of the logical factors that impact application performance.


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