A New Kind of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) for AppOps & IT Operations
Why do AppOps and IT Operations teams need application performance monitoring (APM) solutions that are response time-centric and provide end-to-end monitoring across IT infrastructure and application platforms?
It used to be enough for teams supporting applications in production (AppOps) and other IT Operations teams to focus on infrastructure and critical devices, using resource utilization as the key performance metric. But while most companies require infrastructure monitoring capabilities to underpin information and communications technology (ICT) execution and delivery, where they derive their true business value has shifted.
From a business value perspective, companies are now interested in seeing, in real time, how services and business processes are being delivered
This means today’s AppOps and IT Operations teams require more collaboration and faster access to a wider range of infrastructure and application performance data than ever before. They have shifted away from measuring how resources are consumed, and place a greater emphasis on application response times, business process delivery and what the end user or customer is experiencing.
How can AppOps and IT Operations teams achieve this type of visibility when IT environments have become so complex?
A fresh, lightweight approach to application performance monitoring, such as INETCO Insight, has been developed to help AppOps and IT operations teams handle:
- The growing complexity of service oriented architecture (SOA) applications brought on by the move towards multi-channel, adoption of private or public Cloud environments, and an increasing number of third party services.
The diversity within the application “ecology” which in many cases is a mixture of custom-built applications, legacy apps, IaaS/PaaS/SaaS, and emerging mobile, social and location-based applications.
The speed of change and development brought on by increasing customer demands, a need to connect all the diverse components described above, and a shift towards Agile Software Development methodologies.
The need to leverage IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) to harness unprecedented volumes of Big transaction Data, providing faster access to relevant information and rich operational intelligence.
Today’s APM solutions can now be categorized as either development or operational tools:
- APM development tools are used to monitor line of code quality and optimize custom developed applications in production. They are for application support teams and developers that want to “instrument” or “decorate” their code in order to follow their executed code all the way across an application and rapidly resolve issues with the application itself. Quite often, these are specific to a particular environment such as Java or .Net. In terms of cost and complexity, most IT organizations cannot afford to deploy these products for every application. These tools are intended to focus on just a few of the most important applications in the overall application portfolio.
- APM operational tools represent the next-generation of application performance monitoring solutions designed to help AppOps and IT Operations teams supporting every application in production - both custom developed and purchased applications. They provide end-to-end visibility into every transaction flow, monitor hop-by-hop transaction response times and measure service quality from the eyes of the end user or customer. They provide collaborative information to the various IT operations teams about how every application performs within the production environment, and build on a response time approach to tell you if the problem (slow response time, slow throughput or errors) is in the application or in the infrastructure. These tools take performance monitoring visibility enterprise-wide, and consider the performance impacts of third party service environments, Clouds, virtualization, network infrastructure, and operational contexts such as concurrency of accesses, load and effects of breaks.
Transaction-centric application performance monitoring and business transaction management (BTM) solutions such as INETCO Insight are considered next-gen APM operational tools for service quality delivery
Transaction-centric APM and BTM tools help AppOps and IT Operations teams breach cross-organizational boundaries by providing true end-to-end visibility into transaction flow, correlation of hop-by-hop response times and end user experience (EUE) metrics that reflect closely on enterprise service level delivery. This can be achieved without having to deploy a number of point solutions addressing individual IT domains, or correlating performance data collected from different sources.
APM operational tools are designed to monitor today’s production environments, providing AppOps and IT Operations with the ability to monitor transaction response times, business process delivery and what the end customer is experiencing:
- Automatically correlate and display the hop-by-hop response times along a transaction path to quickly isolate application or supporting infrastructure bottlenecks and restore IT service levels in a timely manner
- Obtain a real-time comparison of the technical transaction completion times versus actual business process delivery times, without the use of agents, extra traffic load or code changes
- Access data within the application payload message that relates directly to end user experience, usability and behaviour metrics
- Monitor response times of third party services, virtual servers and Cloud-based application environments
- Improve operational efficiency through improved coordination and collaboration across all IT operations team
"Our research shows that a transaction-centric approach to application performance management reduces mean-time-to-repair for incidents in multi-tier applications by over 70%. However, the management overhead of agent-based transaction monitoring solutions can be a challenge in many application environments - only 39% of organizations adopt a transaction-centric approach to APM. INETCO Insight's ability to provide rich transaction analytics without agents, code changes, or network appliances eases these deployment challenges for organizations."
Bojan Simic, President & Principal Analyst