A new approach to Application Performance Monitoring for Hybrid IT

By Ulrica de Fort-Menares,  VP of Product Strategy, LiveAction

ulrica

Application delivery cross-cuts many IT components and domains: network infrastructure, physical and virtual infrastructure, storage, data base, mobile devices, etc. With this increased complexity and a large number of IT components, many more things can go wrong.

The problem is exacerbated by hybrid IT. You have applications that are deployed in your traditional data centers. You are migrating workloads to public cloud, and you are adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based applications.

The tools you have been using to monitor applications in your data center cannot see far enough into the cloud to be effective. Application performance monitoring has just become far more complex because you now have to deal with multiple administrative domains and partial visibility at best. The hybrid environment will create additional challenges to identify components that may be contributing to performance degradation.

Different Performance Monitoring Solutions

1) Application Performance Monitoring (APM) for developers

APM for developers is often used to solve code related problem. The solution typically offers an inside-out view of application performance.

2) Operations-oriented Application Performance Monitoring

An operations-oriented Application Performance Monitoring focuses on keeping the applications running in the production environment. Unlike APM for developers, this solution is looking more outside-in from the network. The target audience for this type of APM solution is sysadmin and operational professionals.

3) Application-aware Network Performance Monitoring (AANPM)

The network is the resource that connects the user and the application. It is critical to understand how applications interact with the network in order to solve performance problems quickly. The network plays a critical role when it comes to application performance.

4) Infrastructure Performance Monitoring (IPM)

This solution looks at application performance from the perspective of the infrastructure such as servers and databases.

The table summarizes the type of monitoring solutions applicable to the type of environment:

Private Cloud (you own the infrastructure) Public Cloud (you do not own the infrastructure)
Custom Applications (you own the source code and you’re responsible for the application) 1)-APM for developers

2) -Operations-oriented APM

3)-AANPM

4)-IPM

1)-APM for developers

2)-Operations-oriented APM (for cloud)

3)-AANPM

 

Off-the-shelf Applications (you do not own the source code but you are responsible for the application) 2)-Operations-oriented APM

3)-AANPM

4)-IPM

2) Operations-oriented APM (for cloud)

3) AANPM

SaaS (you do not own the application or the source code) N/A Gap

Despite the diversity, the current solutions are incomplete. With SaaS, you do not own the infrastructure nor do you own the applications, these APM solutions may not be effective. A new approach is needed. The solution uses synthetic transaction to measure application performance. It is implemented on the end-user side because the cloud side deployment is not available. It monitors end-user experiences and application performance. It is designed to address different applications running in and across traditional data centers, cloud environment (private, public, hybrid), and SaaS. The characteristics of the solution includesminimal administration, no reconfiguration of your infrastructure and no disruption to existing services. The solution is designed to identify the component that is causing performance degradation. End users can provide tangible proof to the application owner for problem resolution. The easy deployment model significantly reduces the barrier to adopting APM solutions. I will call this new approach APM for user experience.

APM for user experience is especially adept to organization primarily using off the shelf applications. For those who have not deployed any APM solutions, this is a great way to get exposed to the APM technology with little overhead. This exposure would provide a migration path to a more feature rich APM solution.

If you develop a lot of in-house applications, you should consider development-oriented APM and operations-oriented APM. If you are adopting SaaS-based applications, this new approach will facilitate the transition.

Whether you are using any APM solutions today, this new approach will enhance your monitoring capabilities and should be considered as part of your monitoring strategy.