Aternity Glossary

Active Time

The active time of an application is the time when it is running, in the foreground, and the user is actively interacting with it (NOT waiting for it while it is busy trying to respond). It is calculated as the usage time minus the wait time. A web application is in the foreground when both the browser window and the application's tab are in the foreground.

This is an absolute (not relative) measurement, as it does not refer to trends or baselines, so it is useful for both acute (recent) problems and chronic (longer term) issues, and can equally apply across different applications and locations. Efficient systems have a low percentage of wait time.

This measurement is not connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications.

Activity

An activity is an end user interaction or event in a managed application (like a mouse click, or pressing Enter), together with its response (like a change on the screen). Aternity measures the activity response time, which is the time between the activity's start event and its response (end event). For example, it can monitor the launch of an application, or the time to respond to a menu choice.

You define a custom activity in the Aternity Activity Designer as a start and end event.

Activity, Predefined

Aternity comes with default predefined activities out of the box, for popular business applications. For example, there are many predefined activities for the applications in Microsoft Office, like Outlook's open mail or send mail. There are predefined activities for Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, all in English), Microsoft Skype for Business and Citrix WorxMail for mobile devices.

Activity Response (Time)

An activity response is the time taken for an application to complete an activity in seconds. The time also has a severity status based on its expected (baselined) time. For example, if the time required to launch an application is much slower than recent baselined measurements, it might be classed as Major.

Activity response is the time an application takes to perform the activity

The response times of activities are split into client time ( dark blue), and the combination or union of the server time ( light blue) and the network time ( blue).

Use the actual response times (not scores) to check the performance of chronic (long term) problems. You cannot rely on measurements based on the recent baselines, as those responses would be chronically slow for some time, thereby skewing baselines to make those times look normal.

Administrator in Aternity

An Administrator of Aternity would typically include all the capabilities of a power user, but also include adding and managing users and their privileges in the system.

Apdex-Inspired Formula

Our Apdex-inspired formula creates a score of activities by condensing many activity statuses into a single number between zero and 100. It is based on the Apdex measuring standard, but is enhanced to include the additional Critical status.

The formula adds together the number of activities which have the status Normal , half the number of Minor activities, zero Major activities and minus one times the number of Critical activities. It then divides this by the total number of all activities and multiplies by 100.

This final score is also given a standard Apdex status name and color.

Apdex-inspired fomula

App (Mobile, Monitored)

A monitored mobile app is a regular iOS or Android app which has Aternity's monitoring functionality inside, enabling it to report performance statistics like launch times, errors, crashes, network traffic, and also custom activities performance, and some surrounding data on the underlying mobile device and user.

To add monitoring to a mobile app, you must embed Aternity's monitoring into the app itself, before it is encrypted. This automatically starts reporting a wealth of performance and usage data by default. Use the Aternity Wrapper to add monitoring without accessing the app's source code, or use the Aternity Mobile SDK if you have access to the source code, and also want to tweak monitoring with API calls.

Application (Discovered)

Aternity automatically discovers and monitors all Windows applications (desktop, web and virtual) with zero configuration, when they run on a monitored device. It automatically monitors their wait times, UXI, and health events. In web (cloud) applications, it automatically monitors web errors and page load times. In virtual applications it also monitors remote display latency.

Monitored mobile apps also report wait times, health events and UXI, but these first require adding monitoring functionality to the app.

Application (Managed)

A managed application has enhanced monitoring over a regular discovered application, because it adds default activities which track its launch times, resource consumption (PRC), and you can further add your own custom activities. Regular discovered applications only monitor the default performance measures, like application health, UXI, wait times and so on. You can add any application to be managed: Windows desktop applications, web applications, or mobile apps (iOS and Android), running locally or in virtual environments.

For desktop applications, Aternity monitors its Windows process (as viewed in the Task Manager). For web applications, it monitors a base URL. For mobile applications, it monitors the package or bundle ID.

Application (Web)

Web (or cloud) applications have a user interface accessed via a web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox and Microsoft Internet Explorer), like an online mail application. Aternity automatically monitors the performance of all web applications (as well as desktop and mobile applications).

Add a web application as a managed application so it appears as a distinct application in the dashboards, to monitor its performance separately from other web applications, by adding it to the system's white list. You can create activities for specific page loads in a managed web application, or create your own custom activities.

Asset

In Aternity, an asset is known as a device.

Aternity

SteelCentral Aternity™ monitors the performance of applications and devices from the end user perspective, so you can measure and improve the productivity of your workforce. It monitors your digital experience on the device by installing a lightweight Aternity Agent, which runs in the background on all monitored devices in your organization. Our presence on the end user's device (not remotely on a server) offers unique insights into the performance delays of applications and devices as the users themselves experience them.

Aternity builds this end user picture of efficiency across your entire organization by measuring the performance of all applications, like their activity response times, or wait times, and combines the performance of devices, like their boot times or resource usage, and displays them using simple, powerful, and intuitive dashboards. Displaying this real-time information enables IT teams to proactively troubleshoot issues, by exposing delays and problems from the end users' viewpoint.

Aternity Agent

The Aternity Agent monitors end user experience by measuring device and application performance. It is a small background utility which runs on each monitored device, and reports its data to the Aternity Aggregation Server.

Install the Aternity Agent locally on a Windows desktop or laptop which has a local Windows installation. On virtual desktops (VDIs), install the Agent inside the desktop image which is dynamically created for every session. Monitor virtual applications (even if you do not monitor the device which runs the virtual session) by installing the Agent on the virtual server only. Mobile devices (iOS and Android) report data from a monitored app which has the Aternity Mobile SDK embedded inside.

The Aternity Agent runs several services and processes on your Windows device:

  • A180AG.exe is the core process of the Aternity Agent. It performs most of the Agent's data collection, operations, and configuration.

  • A180CM.exe manages communication between the Agent and Aternity.

  • A180RS.exe runs under the user's name and collects user experience data.

  • A180WD.exe is the Agent watchdog, a Windows service which checks the Agent is functioning and communicating properly with Aternity. If it detects a problem, it restarts the Agent.

  • A180AA.exe is a Windows service which is the back end of the Aternity Recorder. It only records if an end user manually starts the Recorder (when creating a custom activity).

Aternity Dashboard Gateway Server

The Dashboard Gateway acts as the interface between the Dashboard Server server and the Aternity Management Server, performing background tasks like preprocessing the data for display in the dashboards, and maintaining logs, audits and cleanup. It must be on the same computer as the Dashboard Server. While it has no user interface of its own, it is crucial to the proper functioning of Aternity.

Aternity Dashboard Layouts

The Aternity dashboard layouts contain the names, calculations and layouts of the system's dashboards for this Aternity version. Customers of Aternity on-premise run this setup from the Aternity Management Server to plant them in the Dashboard Server via the Dashboard Gateway.

Add the dashboard layouts ONLY from the Management Server.

Aternity Dashboard Server

The Dashboard Server displays Aternity's intuitive dashboards using Tableau as its engine. It presents the raw data (from the Data Warehouse Server) and the older aggregated data (from the Database Server). Larger on-premise deployments require one or more additional Aternity Dashboard Server Workers to display dashboards more efficiently.

Aternity Dashboard Worker Server

The Aternity Dashboard Server Worker accepts much of the intensive processing required to create dashboards, enabling larger Aternity on-premise deployments to display dashboards more efficiently.

Aternity Database Server

The Aternity Database Server is an Oracle database which houses the Aternity system settings and the performance data from the past 1-2 years, aggregated by the Data Warehouse Server.

Aternity Data Server

The Data Server component is an internal module of the Aternity Management Server, integrating contextual data into the measurements which came from the Aggregation Servers, like device details, user names, error messages, and so on, and then it passes on to the Aternity Analytics Server.

Aternity Data Warehouse Server

The Data Warehouse Server stores the raw data gathered from the Aggregation Servers, and aggregates (summarizes) it for the Database Server. It constantly aggregates and re-summarizes data in the main database in the background, replacing older, more detailed data with summary data as it ages. Therefore older data typically has limited drill-down capabilities.

Aternity Extension for Chrome

The Aternity Extension for Chrome enables Aternity to monitor web applications which run in the Google Chrome browser. The browser extension is available from the official Chrome web store, called the Aternity Information Systems Extension. Administrators can deploy the extension as a standard Group Policy Object (GPO).

Using Aternity Extension for Chrome to monitor web applications in Chrome

Aternity Management Server

The Aternity Management Server acts as the system's central server, which manages and integrates all the system components. Users access this server via a browser to configure the system and view the dashboards.

Aternity Wrapper (for mobile apps)

The Aternity Wrapper is a command line tool which quickly and automatically adds monitoring features to your mobile app, without requiring access to the app's source code. A monitored mobile app is a regular iOS or Android app which has Aternity's monitoring functionality inside, enabling it to report performance statistics like launch times, errors, crashes, network traffic, and also custom activities performance, and some surrounding data on the underlying mobile device and user. With the Aternity Wrapper, you can sign the app at the same time as applying Aternity's monitoring functionality, all in a single command.

Aternity Recorder

Use the Aternity Recorder to create a custom activity by recording a user performing a business transaction in an application, and then exporting that recording to the Aternity Activity Designer to create an activity from that transaction. The recording contains the list of events which occurred when performing the activity, like mouse clicks, keypresses, windows opening and so on, and also includes any bookmarks you added, and a screencast of the activity to help with the activity creation.

Note

The Recorder is a dormant component of the Agent, which is only enabled if the user explicitly and deliberately starts and stops a recording.

Baselines

A baseline is a threshold which judges whether an activity's response time is performing as expected, or if it is too slow. Aternity automatically defines two baselines around the expected response time: a minor baseline which constitutes a minor departure from the expected performance, and a major baseline which constitutes a major departure from the expected response time.

The baselines determine the status of an activity. An activity has a normal status when it is faster than the minor baseline. It has a minor status if it crosses the minor baseline, and a major status if it crosses the major baseline.

Aternity uses the recent activity response times to automatically determine its typical performance times, and then builds the baselines around this value.

Boot Times

Aternity monitors several parallel boot times for Windows devices, some from the Windows Event Log (ID 100), while others are Aternity's proprietary calculations. Event ID 100 lists the main path boot duration, the post boot duration and their sum: the total boot time. However, the Event Log does not log all boots. For example, boots from virtual consoles are not logged, nor are boots where the Event Log considers them as too fast (under 30 seconds or under 1 minute on some devices).

Therefore, Aternity's proprietary boot measurements are more robust, as they log the boot times regardless of speed or virtual consoles. They include the machine boot time and the user logon time.

Boot time definitions

Breadcrumbs

(Mobile only) Breadcrumbs are the events leading up to a crash in your monitored mobile app. Aternity Mobile SDK captures these events and reports them after you restart the app after the crash. You can view the breadcrumbs for each crash in the Crash Details dashboard.

Monitored apps collect several breadcrumbs by default, including the launch time of the app, the timestamp when the app was last in the foreground, the timestamp when the app was last moved to the background, and the names of the last 20 screens shown in the app since its launch. As a mobile app developer, you can also create your own customized breadcrumbs by inserting leaveBreadcrumb() in the source code, with your custom text message to later help troubleshoot the cause of the crash.

Business Activity or Business Transaction

A business activity (or transaction) is an action performed in your business application which you want to monitor. Use the business transaction as the basis for creating an activity. For example, a business transaction of opening a customer record in your application can produce two Open activities, one in version 2 and another in version 3. You create the activity by specifying exactly how to do this in your application, like clicking on a menu item, or pressing a key on the keyboard. Once defined, you can upload the activity to Aternity to monitor its performance across your organization.

Business Location

A business location refers to a site (an office building, campus, or even a part of a building) in your organization which contains monitored devices. For VDIs only, the default location is that of the desktop server. Each location has a city, state, country, and (optionally) region, and has specific geographic coordinates to display it on a map.

The dashboards often display the performance of applications and devices per location, or all locations in a city, for example, to determine if a problem is common to other devices in that location, and if so, it can offer clues to the cause of the issue. Usually the system automatically determines the location of a device. If it does not identify a location correctly, a Power User of Aternity can manually map locations in the system with the Active Directory's Site field.

Client Time

Client time is the time used by the device itself as part of an activity to process data before sending its first message request to the server and after the last message response arrives back from the server. For example, if an activity requires rendering graphic elements, or running JavaScript on the client side, this would be part of the client time. The Aternity Agent calculates the client time as the total activity response time minus the infra time.

Client time is the time on the device side to process data as part of the activity response

Contextual Attribute

Contextual attributes are descriptive properties of an event which are not measurable, like a username, window title or application name.

Crash (Mobile App)

The Aternity Mobile SDK reports a crash if the app issues an unhandled exception, or if it receives an abort signal from the operating system (Android or iOS).

For every mobile app crash, Aternity collects the exception's code and type, and the app's stack trace, a summary of the crash information, and offers you to download the dump file if needed. It also collects any breadcrumbs leading up to the crash.

Crash (Windows Application)

Aternity registers an application crash with Windows Event Log ID 1000 (a process or DLL ends unexpectedly), event ID 1001 (.NET process ends unexpectedly), event ID 1002 (a user stops a Not Responding process), or event ID 1026 (.NET runtime error).

Crash Rate

The crash rate of an application is the average number of crashes which occurred in that application during an hour of active usage. It is calculated as the total number of crashes divided by the total usage time in hours.

Critical (Activity Status)

Critical is when the status of an activity is reported to Aternity as unavailable. It is colored red .

Custom Activity

A custom activity is an activity created specifically for your business application to measure the activity response time, usually created in the Aternity Activity Designer. For example, to monitor an important action in your business application (like viewing a customer's history), you must define this activity very precisely using the Designer, including when it starts (like a mouse click on an icon) and when it ends (like the display of content in a window). Then you can export the custom activity as a signature file to upload it to Aternity.

Dashboard

A dashboard in Aternity displays performance data intuitively according to different criteria (break-downs). Each dashboard typically contains multiple sections, known as widgets, where each section contains one or more graphs.

Data Center Locations

Data Center Locations in Aternity lists the locations of any virtual application servers (like Citrix XenApp) and VDI hypervisors (like in VMWare vSphere) which run the application. If the application is deployed both locally and virtually, one of the locations displays as Local.

Degraded Boot Component

The list of degraded boot components is a collection of processes launched during boot (drivers, applications, optimizations) which took longer to load and were more than five seconds. Aternity collects this information from the Windows Event Log (event IDs 100-199) in Diagnostics-Performance > Boot Performance Monitoring section. Windows records the slowdowns while it boots, shuts down, hibernates or returns from sleep, in the Windows Event Log.

For example, Event ID 100 shows if a Windows built-in application or service caused a slowdown; event 101 reveals if an application caused the slowdown; event ID 102 details any drivers causing a delay; event 106 means that background optimization took longer than usual, and so on.

Department

The Department of a user is their place in the organization, as per their entry in the Active Directory. The Department of a monitored device is the department of the user who last logged in to the device. The Aternity Agent accesses this information only from the device itself, by accessing the network login information from Windows, and from there to the associated user object, and then to its associated data in the Microsoft Active Directory.

Device (Monitored)

A monitored device is a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet which reports monitoring data to Aternity. Aternity monitors the performance of Windows devices (laptops, desktops, tablets), mobile devices (iOS, Android) and virtual sessions (VDI and virtual applications). It gathers data about the performance of applications and devices using its Aternity Agent which runs in the background.

Install the Aternity Agent locally on a Windows desktop or laptop which has a local Windows installation. On virtual desktops (VDIs), install the Agent inside the desktop image which is dynamically created for every session. Monitor virtual applications (even if you do not monitor the device which runs the virtual session) by installing the Agent on the virtual server only. Mobile devices (iOS and Android) report data from a monitored app which has the Aternity Mobile SDK embedded inside.

Device ID (for Mobile)

A monitored mobile app reports the device ID as one of the device's attributes to Aternity.

For monitored Android apps, the Device ID is made up of two parts: the first is the hardware device serial number, and the second is the software-based ANDROID_ID.

For monitored iOS apps the Device ID is only unique per vendor ID. If your enterprise uses a single vendor ID to create several apps, then whenever they are on the same device, they report the same Device ID. But an app from a different vendor ID (like Citrix WorxMail) on the same device would report a different Device ID.

Device Type

You can view if performance changes when using the same application from different types of devices.

  • Desktops are monitored Windows devices without a battery fitted.

  • Laptops are Windows devices with a battery and a built-in keyboard (including all Windows hybrid tablet/laptop models)

  • Remote Devices have applications accessed remotely via an RDP protocol, for example, with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection.

  • Smartphones run monitored mobile apps on a small touch screen within a mobile operating system environment.

  • Tablets have larger touch screens, and no built-in keyboard, running iOS or Android. If it runs Windows, it is defined as a tablet if it is a known model of a Windows pure tablet (like Microsoft Surface models).

  • Virtual App Servers offer multiple users access to a single setup of an application, for example, with Citrix XenApp.

  • Virtual Desktops offer the ability to run an application within a VDI environment, which is a virtual instance of the entire desktop operating system (usually Windows).

Disconnected (Device Status)

The status of a device is Disconnected if Aternity has not received monitoring data for more than five minutes from this device, but it has received data within the last 7 days.

This could be caused by powering off the device (may be company policy to switch off every night), or it may not have a license to report to Aternity, or it could point to a problem with the device, like no network connection.

Drill down

You can drill down on most items in the system's dashboards to jump to another dashboard with more details about that item. Hover your mouse over a part of a graph to view its pop-up window containing more information, then select a drill-down link to switch to another dashboard containing more detail.

End Point (or Endpoint)

See device.

Error (for mobile apps)

When a monitored mobile app running on iOS 9.x or earlier reports an error (not warning) to the system log, Aternity collects it, along with the text of the error message and its severity level.

Aternity monitors all errors from your iOS app in the Apple System Log (ASL), while for Android, it checks errors reported using the android.util.Log class and monitored using the logcat tool.

If your iOS app sends debug and error messages using the NSLog function, they appear in the Apple System Log (ASL) as a warning (not error), so by default Aternity does not capture these messages. You can configure the Aternity Mobile SDK to also collect warnings if required.

Error (for pages in web applications)

Web errors are errors experienced by applications which receive an error as a response to their HTTP request, like HTTP 40x errors (like Error 404 Page Not Found), and 50x errors (like unauthorized access messages).

Error Rate (for pages in web applications)

The web page error rate is the percentage of web page errors (HTTP error 40x or 50x) out of all page loads in web applications. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

For monitored mobile apps, the web error rate is the percentage of web errors (HTTP error 40x or 50x) out of all HTTP requests.

External (SLA Threshold)

The External threshold represents the maximum response time (in seconds) of an activity as defined in your official service level agreement (SLA) with your customers. Any response longer than this threshold is colored red in the SLA dashboard, since it breaks the official SLA commitment for this activity. A Power User of Aternity can configure this threshold in the activity's monitor.

SLA internal and external thresholds

Hang Time

Hang time measures the time when an application is listed as Not responding in the Windows Task Manager while it is in the foreground (in use). This measurement is used to calculate the wait time of an application, and the overall UXI.

Health Event (for Applications)

A health event for an application occurs if it crashes, or for web applications, if it encounters a web error (like if the requested page is not found). The system monitors application health events for both monitored applications and any other applications running on monitored devices.

Health Event (Hardware)

A hardware health event for a device is a significant hardware problem on a device which impacts its overall health, like memory paging, or disk related errors and so on.

Health Event (System, for Devices)

A system health event for a device is a significant problem at the level of the operating system which impacts on the device's overall health, like the entire system crashes, or BSODs.

Health Index

The health index is a value (0-5) which measures the time an application hangs, crashes or (for web applications) experiences web errors. If users experience frequent or severe crashes in the application, this index is lower.

Definition of health index

This index is an absolute (not relative) measurement, since it does not depend on baselines which may vary between applications or locations, equivalent to the global energy star ratings used for appliances. Therefore the system can accurately display a single objective measurement across several attributes. For example, it can display this index for a single user on a single application, or many users on a single application, or many users on many applications.

HRC (Host Resource Consumption)

The host resource consumption (HRC) is a monitored device's usage of its resources as a whole, including CPU usage, RAM usage, virtual memory usage, number of send and receive messages to the network (network I/O), and the amount of data read and written to the disk (disk I/O).

HRC focuses on the whole device's resource usage, in contrast to monitoring an application's process resource usage (PRC), which focuses on a single application's resource consumption.

The Aternity Agent reports a device's highest resource consumers (top processes) only if one of the HRC measurements exceeds its predefined threshold. By default, the Agent collects the device's resource usage every two minutes.

Incident

An incident is a call to action, where too many devices in a group have recently started suffering poor performance on the same activity, indicating it is a widespread problem. Since the system automatically creates incidents, you can be proactive to troubleshoot issues even before end users contact you with a problem report.

An incident for an activity indicates several devices in a group are responding slowly

You can edit the properties of an activity to configure the proportion of suffering devices which would trigger an incident flag, and to configure the email address to automatically send alert notifications.

Incoming Traffic

Incoming traffic is the average amount of data downloaded from the network into the device during the performance of an activity (between its start and end).

Incomplete (Activity)

An Incomplete activity was interrupted during its operation and discarded by the Agent, so it was never reported to Aternity. In the Aternity Activity Designer, you set your activity to Incomplete if:

  • A user clicks a mouse in that Windows process before the activity completes.

  • A user types a function key in that Windows process before the activity completes.

  • The application loses focus (moves into the background) before the activity completes.

  • An expected event within the activity timed out (internal timer), or the overall activity response took too long (default overall timeout is 180 seconds).

Infra Time

Infra time is the total time spent outside the client. It starts with the first request to the server and ends when the final response arrives at the client. The infra time is calculated as the total of network time and server time. If there are multiple overlapping calls to one or more servers, the total infra time is the combination (union) of all server and network times.

Definition of infra time

Internal (SLA Threshold)

The Internal threshold is the response time (in seconds) of an activity which would be your early warning, showing you are at risk of exceeding your official service level agreement (SLA) with your customers. Any response longer than this threshold is colored yellow in the SLA dashboard, as it warns you risk breaking the SLA commitment for this activity. A Power User of Aternity can configure this threshold in the activity's monitor.

SLA internal and external thresholds

Laptop

In Aternity, Laptops are Windows devices with a battery and a built-in keyboard (including all Windows hybrid tablet/laptop models)

Latency (for remote displays)

The remote display latency is the average time taken for the round trip of a network data packet to travel between the front line user and a virtual server (both ways). Practically, it is the time between performing an action in a virtual session on the front line user's machine, then sending that action to the virtual desktop server (VDI) or virtual application server, and then viewing that action back on the front line terminal again. This does NOT measure the time for the application to respond. The Agent retrieves the session latency from Windows every 15 seconds and sends an average to Aternity every minute.

For example, if a user types the character 'g' in a text editor which runs on a virtual application server, when the remote session sends this action to the virtual server, the remote display latency is the lag time between typing 'g' to seeing the 'g' on the screen.

Remote display latency is the time in both directions from the front line user to the virtual server

Launch Time

An application's launch time, which Aternity measures automatically for all Windows applications and monitored mobile apps, starts when the process begins, and ends when it is ready to receive user input. In Windows, this is also when it finishes creating a window with a title bar.

License

When a device connects to Aternity to report its performance, it uses an available license. There are four types of device licenses:

  • A Physical Device license is occupied by a single Windows computer (laptop, desktop, surface and so on).

  • A Mobile Device license is occupied when a mobile device runs a monitored mobile app (iOS or Android) and reports a unique device ID.

  • A Virtual Device license is occupied by a single virtual desktop (VDI), where the desktop image contains the Aternity Agent.

  • A Virtual App Session license is occupied by four frontline clients which run a virtual application from an virtual application server, where the server is running the Aternity Agent.

    Important

    A single virtual app session (frontline client) uses only a quarter of a license.

Load Time (of Ajax calls in web applications)

The response time of a web page's Ajax call starts when the browser sends a triggered JavaScript or XML script to the server, and ends when the browser finishes receiving the end of response from the server. The system does not measure any client time which may be associated directly with an Ajax call.

For example, when a web page auto-saves text which you entered, every auto-save is an automatic Ajax call to the server, which ends when it receives a response that the save was successful or failed.

Load Time (of pages in web applications)

The web page load time is defined as the time required for a web page to load and finish rendering in a browser, from sending a URL request to when the page's events finish loading and it has a status of Completed. This measurement does NOT include the time to load additional page elements which occur after the main page has loaded (like Ajax calls which are measured separately, or iframes which are embedded separate web pages, or bookmarks with # in the URL).

Web page load time

Location Mapping

Location mapping determines the location name (site, office or campus) of a monitored device as it is displayed in the dashboards with minimum or even zero configuration from your Active Directory, including finding its city, state, country, and map coordinates. Zero configuration location mapping is available only for devices running Aternity Agent v9.x.

By default, the dashboard's Location name is the Site name from your Microsoft Active Directory. You can manually configure locations in the Location Mapping screen. Download the mapping file to change the location name to be different from the AD's Site name, or manually assign a city, state, country, region, or coordinates for each location.

Machine Boot

Machine boot is part of a device's boot time, starting a fraction of a second after the Windows logo appears, and ends with the Windows login screen. The Agent queries Windows Kernel-PnP (NOT the Event Log) for the BootStart > Start event to mark the start of this time, and ends when the Windows login screen appears (or the login process starts in case of auto-login).

The Windows Event Log does not list every single boot (for example boots from virtual console sessions or boots which complete very quickly), hence the need to track boot times in a more robust way.

Boot time definitions

Main Path Boot Duration

The main path boot duration is the time elapsed from the appearance of the animated Windows logo until the appearance of the desktop. The Agent queries Windows Event Log in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section, ID 100 for the MainPathBootTime parameter.

Boot time definitions

Major (Status of Activity)

When an activity has a status of Major (colored orange ), it indicates that this activity response time requires attention, as it was significantly slower (a major departure or deviation) from the expected baseline performance (major activity threshold) of this activity.

Major (Activity Baseline Threshold)

The Major baseline threshold is a response time which is significantly slower than expected for this activity. If the response is slower than this time, its status becomes major (), which is a call to action, because it is a major departure from the expected performance time. The system automatically defines this threshold in a monitor, based on experienced standard behavior for that activity.

Response times slower than the major threshold have a status of major

Measurement Time

An activity's measurement time is the time stamp when the Aternity Agent on the device noted the occurrence of the activity. The time stamp is translated to the time zone of the Aggregation Server. This is different from the server analysis time.

Minor (Activity Baseline Threshold)

The Minor baseline threshold is a response time which is slower than expected for this activity. If the response is slower than this time, its status becomes minor (), because it is a minor departure from the expected performance time. If the activity is faster than this time, its status becomes normal (). The system automatically defines this threshold in a monitor, based on experienced standard behavior for that activity.

Response times slower than the minor threshold have a status of minor

Monitor

A monitor is a container in Aternity for one or more activities. It contains several items, including: the definition of an activity, stored as a signature file, the groups of devices where this monitor is active, the expected performance times (thresholds) of the activity, and the rules when to raise an incident related to this activity. There are two types of thresholds: the major and minor thresholds which determine the status of the activity, and the internal and external thresholds, which determine whether it complies with your SLA.

A monitor contains several items defining an activity and its statuses

A Power User of Aternity typically configures a monitor.

Monitored Device

See Device.

Network Time

Network time is the total time (union) taken for all messages to cross the network in either direction, between the client and the target server, while performing an activity. This does NOT include the time used for processing the request on the server (server time).

The network time is calculated as the infra time minus the server time.

Network time is the time for all messages to cross the network and back as part of an activity response

Normal (Status of Activity)

Normal refers to the status of an activity when its performance is good, since its activity response time is within the defined baseline performance of this activity. It is usually colored green .

Normalized Percentage

A normalized percentage always ensures that the score never exceeds +/-100%.

Not Reporting (Device Status)

(For monitored mobile apps only) The status of a device is Not Reporting if Aternity has not received monitoring data from this mobile device for at least 10 minutes. This could happen if the device is shut down, or the device has no network data connection, or the mobile app is running in the background or is not running at all.

Off-Site

A desktop or laptop's location is Off Site when it is not connected to your Microsoft Active Directory. On a mobile device, you can explicitly report Off-Site in the monitoring API, when you embed monitoring in your app.

On-Site

A desktop or laptop's location is On Site when it is connected to your Microsoft Active Directory.

Outgoing Traffic

Outgoing traffic is the average amount of data uploaded from the device to the network during the performance of an activity (between its start and end).

Performance Index

The performance index is a value (0-5) which measures the application responsiveness. If users must wait frequently or for long periods for the application to respond, the index is lower. It is made up of its usage time and wait time.

Definition of performance index

This index is an absolute (not relative) measurement, since it does not depend on baselines which may vary between applications or locations, equivalent to the global energy star ratings used for appliances. Therefore the system can accurately display a single objective measurement across several attributes. For example, it can display this index for a single user on a single application, or many users on a single application, or many users on many applications.

Pilot Group

A pilot group is a custom set of users or devices which undergo a change, like migrating to Windows 10, or updating the type of hard disk to SSD. You must assign a user or device to only one pilot group at a time, to ensure that you do not perform multiple changes at the same time.

Post Boot Duration

The post boot duration is the time elapsed from the appearance of the desktop until the CPU reaches 80% idle for 10 consecutive seconds. The Agent queries Windows Event ID 100, located in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section of the log for the measurement stored as BootPostBootTime.

Boot time definitions

Power User

A Power User of Aternity can view dashboards, but also configure the system, by adding applications to be monitored, creating a test group, or mapping locations in the system.

PRC (Process Resource Consumption)

An application's process resource consumption (PRC) is the percentage of CPU and memory used by a managed application. Aternity constantly monitors the resource usage of managed applications, regardless of whether a user performed an activity.

PRC focuses on a single application's resource usage, in contrast to monitoring a device's resource usage (HRC), which focuses on the device as a whole, measuring the combined resource consumption of all applications running on the device, reporting its top processes when they become too high.

Region

You can optionally define a region in Aternity to group together several locations under a single label, like the geographical region of EMEA, North America or even Southern Europe, South-Western US any other grouping you choose.

A Power User of Aternity can define regions when defining the shape of your organization.

Reliability Value

The reliability value (or stability index) is a Windows score (from 1 to 10) of a PC's overall stability (search in WIndows for the Windows Reliability Monitor). As the number and severity of errors increases, it lowers the reliability value. Aternity displays the average for the previous day, or, if unavailable, it shows the most recent daily average. Many virtual desktops (VDIs) disable this measurement in their WIndows settings, and therefore would not report it to Aternity.

Reporting (Device Status)

The status of a device is Reporting if it is actively receiving monitoring data from that device.

Role

A role is a set of abilities and actions (known as privileges) which a user can perform in Aternity. You can assign several roles to a user or group of users, to allow them to perform those actions.

Round Trip Time (RTT)

Round trip time (RTT) is the time between sending a message to the server and the return of its echo acknowledgment back to the client. Each request from the client generates an acknowledgment from the server that it received the request. RTT measures the time of a single request and its acknowledgment. It does NOT include the response of the request, which would require the server to process the request. RTT forms part of the response time of an activity.

A single message and its acknowledgment, before any server processing

The Aternity Agent retrieves the RTT of each server connection from the logs of the Windows TCP/IP driver.

Score (Activity Score)

The activity score is a value between zero and 100 (with a status and color) which condenses many activity statuses into a single value, and is calculated with an Apdex-inspired formula.

Aggregating many end user activities into a single score and status

Use the Score to measure short term (acute) sudden changes in performance, as they rely on recent baseline measurements. The score clearly reflects a recent change because it would be significantly different from the established baseline response times.

Server Analysis Time

An activity's server analysis time is the time stamp when the Aternity servers received the report of the activity and analyzed it. This is different from the activity's measurement time.

Server Time

Server time is the time required by the server to process data on the server side. It starts when the client requests the target server's help to respond to an activity, when the last message of that request arrives at the target server side. It ends when the server sends out the first message of its response.

The server time for a single request-response pair is from the last send to its first response minus the round trip time. If the activity calls a server more than once, or several servers, the reported time is the combination (union) of all the individual times together. If the target server calls other back-end servers, Aternity's server time is the total (union) of all network times and server times of all back end servers in that chain, ending when the activity's target server sends its response to the client.

Definition of server time in a client-server application

Signature File

A signature is an XML file created in the Aternity Activity Designer, which contains the exact details of the start event and the end event of an activity. A Power User of Aternity can create custom activities. You can upload this XML file into Aternity to monitor an application with this activity.

Signature file containing details of a custom activity

SLA Thresholds

An SLA threshold is the activity response time specified in your service level agreement (SLA). The application provider commits as part of their service that it performs smoothly for everyone by assuring that all its activities respond within certain performance times. There are two types of SLA thresholds: internal and external.

SLA internal and external thresholds

Status (of an activity)

The status of an activity is based on one response time compared to the recent expected (baselined) response time. The statuses are measured in severity: Normal , Minor , Major or Critical . For example, if the response to a mouse click is much slower than it should be, the system assigns it a status of Major or Critical. Baselines are defined automatically by the system as thresholds, derived from the typical response times for that activity (major threshold and minor threshold).

Activity response measured time with a status

Status (of a Device)

The status of a device, or its Agent state, describes whether Aternity is actively receiving data from the device. A status can be reporting, disconnected, stopped, or not reporting.

Status (of a score)

The status of a score is an Apdex name and color associated with the value of the score: Good (green ), Fair (yellow ), Poor (orange ), or Unacceptable (red ). This can apply to an activity score, as well as other scores in the system.

Apdex-inspired score

Status (SLA of an activity)

The SLA status of an activity determines if the response time complies with the SLA requirement (colored green ), or if it crossed the internal SLA threshold showing you risk breaking the SLA (colored yellow ), or if it crosses the external SLA threshold showing you have broken your SLA (colored red ).

Stopped (Device Status)

The status of a device is Stopped if its Agent behaves unusually (like high CPU or memory usage), and therefore it automatically shuts down. Contact Customer Services.

(For mobile devices) The Aternity Mobile SDK does not collect performance data, but can still receive commands from the Aggregation Server.

Tagged Event (for mobile apps)

You can tag an event to monitor custom activities in your mobile app by inserting a call to the tagging API.

A custom activity for mobile apps starts and ends when the app reports specific events which match the events of an activity's signature file. If Aternity already reports these events by default, you do not need to add manual API calls. However, for some custom activities, you must manually tag and report those events using API calls.

Timeframe

The Timeframe menu in the top row of the dashboard determines the start time of the data displayed on the screen. The start times can include:

Field Description
Today

Displays data from midnight today according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Yesterday

Displays data from midnight yesterday according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Last 6 Hours

Displays data from six hours ago.

Last 24 Hours

Displays data from the same time yesterday, rounded forward to the nearest o'clock.

Last 48 Hours

Displays data from the same time two days ago, rounded forward to the nearest o'clock.

Last 60 / 120 Minutes

Displays data from 60 or 120 minutes ago.

Last 7 Days

Displays data from midnight seven days ago according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Last 14 Days

Displays data from midnight 14 days ago according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Last 30 Days

Displays data from midnight 30 days ago according to the time zone of the Aternity Management Server.

Custom

Select your own start time from the calendar drop-down menu.

Total Boot Time

(Windows) The total boot time on Windows device starts from the time the Windows logo appears until the desktop appears and all components are loaded. The Agent queries Windows Event Log (ID 100) for the BootTime parameter, calculated as the sum of main path boot and post boot times, located in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section of the log.

Windows boot time definitions

Unavailable (Activity)

An Unavailable activity displays in Aternity as Critical (red ) when the activity did not complete successfully. Often this happens when the process loses focus (into the background), or there was an unexpected key press or mouse click. This can also occur when an expected event within the activity did not occur in time (internal timeout), and the signature developer chose to inform the system by setting it to Unavailable.

Usage Time

The usage time of an application is the total time it is running, in the foreground, and being used. This includes the wait time, the time a user spends waiting for the application to respond. For web applications, the usage time is when both the browser window and the application's tab are in the foreground.

Definition of usage time

This is an absolute (not relative) measurement, as it does not refer to trends or baselines, so it is useful for both acute (recent) problems and chronic (longer term) issues, and can equally apply across different applications and locations. Efficient systems have a low percentage of wait time.

This measurement is not connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications.

User Logon Boot Time

User logon measures a part of the boot time, starting when you press OK at the Windows login screen and ending when the Windows desktop Start button appears. The Agent queries Windows Shell-Core (NOT the Event Log) for the Explorer_StartMenu_Ready event to mark the end of this time.

The Windows Event Log does not list every single boot (for example boots from virtual console sessions or boots which complete very quickly), hence the need to track boot times in a more robust way.

Boot time definitions

UXI (User Experience Index)

The User Experience Index (UXI) is a value (0-5) which measures the overall performance and health of an application, based on several inputs: the number of crashes per hour of out the total usage time, the percentage of hang time of out the total usage time, the percentage wait time of out the total usage time. For web applications, it also uses the percentage of web page errors out of all page loads, and the average page load time. These ingredients come together to represent the overall experience of a user.

For each element of the UXI, we determine a narrow range of meaningful results, beyond which it is flattened to either zero or the maximum. For example, a regular application should have 0% hang time, so anything above 5% would be unacceptable, therefore the hang time index would be zero, which drastically lowers the overall UXI score for that application.

Definition of UXI

This index is an absolute (not relative) measurement, since it does not depend on baselines which may vary between applications or locations, equivalent to the global energy star ratings used for appliances. Therefore the system can accurately display a single objective measurement across several attributes. For example, it can display this index for a single user on a single application, or many users on a single application, or many users on many applications.

This measurement is not connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications.

Wait Time

An application's wait time is defined as the time users spend waiting for the application to respond when it is actively running and in use (part of the usage time). The total wait time is calculated as the time covered by the following components (which may overlap): the hang time when an application is not responding, or when the mouse pointer has a busy icon. For web applications, the wait time is the web page load time when both the browser window and its tab are in the foreground.

Definition of wait time on a Windows or web application

(Monitored mobile apps only) , the wait time covers the following components which may overlap: the launch time of the app, the time spent waiting for the app to switch from the background to the foreground, the time required for a web page to load within an app, and the time the user spends waiting for the app's main thread to respond.

This measurement is not connected to activities and their response times, which applies only to managed applications.

This is an absolute (not relative) measurement, as it does not refer to trends or baselines, so it is useful for both acute (recent) problems and chronic (longer term) issues, and can equally apply across different applications and locations. Efficient systems have a low percentage of wait time.

White List (for web applications)

Aternity monitors all web applications but only displays the individual web sites which are on the white list of popular business web apps. It also lists individual managed applications and internal (intranet) web sites whose web servers are inside the enterprise network (or VPN). All other sites which are not on the white list appear under the generic title Web browsing to preserve employees' privacy. To list an individual web application in the dashboards, add it as a managed application.

The default white listed business web applications are (in alphabetical order): ADP, Aetna, AirWatch, analytics.google.com (Google Analytics), AppDynamics, AppFirst, AppSense, Ariba, Aternity, athenahealth, Autodesk, Balsamiq, Bazaarvoice, Benefit Resource, bluecross, Box, BRiWeb, Certify, Citrix, Clarizen, Concur, Concur Solutions, console.aws.amazon.com (Amazon AWS Console), Constant Contact, Cornerstone OnDemand, Dealertrack, Demandware, docs.google.com (Google Docs), DocuSign, EchoSign (Adobe Sign), eClinicalWorks, Eloqua, FedEx, Fleetmatics, GitHub, GoDaddy, GoToMeeting, Host Analytics, iMedidata, Informatica, Intralinks, jiveon.com (CIsco Jive), Kronos, LeadGnome, LinkedIn, LivePerson, LogMeIn, MaaS360, Marketo, Microsoft, MindTouch, NetSuite, Office365, Okta, onedrive.live.com (Microsoft OneDrive), OneLogin, OpenAir, Paychex, photoshop.com (Adobe Photoshop Online), Ping Identity, Pinpointe, Proofpoint, Qlik, rainkingonline.com (RainKing), Rally, SalesForce, SAS, ServiceNow, ShareFile, SharePoint, SmartBear, Softrak, Splunk, spotfire.com (TIBCO Spotfire), successfactors.com (SAP SuccessFactors), SugarCRM, Tableau, Trello, UPS, WebEx, Workday, Yammer, Zendesk.

Widget

A widget refers to a single section of a dashboard.