Creating a view to the cloud

New techniques and tools are making visibility across multiple cloud initiatives clearer.

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One millisecond might not seem like a lot of time. But when you're a software-as-a-service provider with thousands of databases running 2 billion SQL queries and pushing out 10 terabytes of SQL data each day, every millisecond adds up. Performance and visibility are crucial -- especially when your systems are tied to those of other vendors that also operate in the cloud.

That's the case at Concur Technologies, which each year processes more than $50 billion in travel and expense reports in the cloud. About four years ago, the Redmond, Wash.-based company started experiencing database call hiccups between its middle tier and the database tier.

"It's a problem that comes in once every million calls, and it could come from any one of 30 servers in one tier to 30 in another tier," explains John Tharp, lead software configuration engineer at Concur. "Getting visibility into that required three different layers of people -- network DBAs, network engineers, application engineers -- working together" is a time-consuming process. Luckily, the company found a performance management tool with a monitoring focus that now helps the IT team identify these issues quickly, and that's critical to keeping Concur competitive.

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