Business critical applications are increasingly being moved to the cloud as traditional barriers are overcome. But what does this mean? How can we simplify our understanding of this shift and the technology that plays a major role in accomplishing this task?

Since we’re talking cloud and travel, consider the following scenario.

Airline attendants are the middlware of your flight

Passengers, representing application data, travel back and forth between destinations – in this case, the cloud-hosted apps and the users.

One of the big barriers in the past has been flight security. The solution? Tighter controls, more TSA personnel, scanners, etc. How about traffic congestion? We’ve built bigger airports to minimize the delays in getting passengers to their destinations in record time. These and other improvements were put in place to enhance the performance and value of the air transportation system.

However, one of the things that is most commonly overlooked by companies migrating to the cloud is the flight attendant – otherwise known as middleware in this scenario. Nastel AutoPilot M6 application performance monitoring solution monitors the application and transaction performance in-flight. And as we see from this article in NetworkWorld, organizations can employ two or three, although they can also get away using one very good management tool to monitor application performance.

Middleware is computer software that interconnects applications. The software consists of a set of services that allows multiple processes running on one or more machines to interact. Essentially, it connects two or more applications that need to exchange data. In order to ensure these applications remain connected and are performing as designed, middleware monitoring solutions are deployed. These solutions can deliver accurate real-time end-to-end visibility for transactions across cloud, legacy applications and IT infrastructure without any need to change the application.

If you can, imagine the chaos of a flight without flight attendants. Passengers will fight over seats, help themselves to refreshments or line up outside of the restrooms.

Complex, composite applications depend on message queuing systems to interconnect with other applications within the data center and across corporate boundaries, much like airlines depend on flight attendants to maintain order on a flight. Middleware monitoring solutions improves the performance of applications, keeping data in order and working properly, and flagging issues as they develop rather than after they’ve brought the system down.