What is Application Mapping?

Applications are made up of a variety of elements—web servers, applications servers, database servers, middleware, network, and storage, to name just a few—that work together and depend on each other to operate. Many applications often combine to form core services that business users, both internal employees and external customers, rely on. Application mapping is the process of discovering and mapping the interdependencies between applications and all the supporting elements to help businesses understand how their applications, services, resources, etc. work together and depend on each other to provide the expected output or functionality.

Application Mapping Examples

  • SNMP-based maps—Simple network management protocol (SNMP) monitors the health of computer and network equipment such as routers. An SNMP-based map uses data from routers to switch management information bases (MIBs)
  • Active probing—Creates a map with data from packets that report IP router and switch forwarding paths to the destination address. The maps are used to find “peering links” between internet service providers (ISPs). The peering links allow ISPs to exchange customer traffic.
  • Route analytics—Creates a map by passively listening to layer 3 protocol exchanges between routers. This data facilitates real-time network monitoring and routing diagnostics.
  • APM-based maps—Incorporates data from application performance management (APM) systems that monitor the behavior and performance of an application, its code, and its supporting runtime environments. This data helps you understand issues that could affect the user experience of the application or service.
  • CMDB-based maps—A configuration management database (CMDB) stores information about IT infrastructure components, including hardware, software, systems, etc. It provides details about how components are configured and the relationships and dependencies among them.

Why Is Application Mapping Important?

Application mapping helps IT teams:

  • Track the interactions and relationships between applications, software, and supporting hardware. Specifically, before migrating an application and/or a data center, you should baseline the environment. This includes finding out how many applications there are, how many systems make up the infrastructure, how systems/applications communicate with each other and the world, how these applications and systems provide services to internal and external clients, and how the systems are supported.
  • Locate where exactly applications are running and plan accordingly for system failures.
  • Understand the health of an entire application instead of analyzing individual infrastructure silos.
  • Pinpoint faulty devices or software components quickly by tracing connections on the application map, rather than having to sift through the entire infrastructure manually.

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