What is application mapping?
The process of discovering and mapping the dependencies between application and all of its supporting middleware and computing resources including network and storage, interdependencies of an organization’s business processes and applications, including software, servers, storage, security, networking infrastructure and data flow. It is important for every business to understand how these applications and devices work together and how they depend on each other to provide the expected output. The interaction of systems such as web servers, application servers and database servers might make up one application. However, the interdependencies of many applications often combine to form core services that both internal and external clients depend upon. It is the interdependence between these systems that are at the heart of application mapping.
Application mapping techniques
- 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.
Why application mapping is important
- 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, and how systems/applications communicate with each other and the world, and understanding how these applications and systems provide services to internal and external clients and how the systems are supported.
- Helps to locate where exactly applications are running and plan accordingly for system failures
- Helps understand the health of entire application instead of analyzing individual infrastructure silos
- Helps to pinpoint faulty devices or software components in seconds by conveniently tracing connections on the app map, rather than sifting through the entire infrastructure