Big Data // Big Data Analytics
News
9/3/2013
06:45 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Under Fire: Why You Need APM More Than Ever

Cloud, big data and distributed computing are hell on systems, but application performance management can cool down complexity.

InformationWeek Green -  September 2013, 2013 InformationWeek Green
Download the entire InformationWeek September 2013 special issue on APM, distributed in an all-digital format (registration required).


Think you have a handle on application performance? So did Amazon, which suffered a 49-minute e-commerce outage last month, and Nasdaq, which halted trading for three hours in late August due to a tech failure that led to wild speculation in USA Today about a shady Iranian hacking collective taking down the U.S. stock market. They're still investigating the root causes, but with these organizations' advanced infrastructures, you can bet it's more complicated than someone switching off a router.

Managing applications has never been simple, and between network and server virtualization, cloud applications and infrastructure, big data and the challenges of root cause analysis and diagnosis, if you're not careful, you too could lose control.

Some IT pros have written off application performance management systems as not up to the challenge of monitoring today's distributed applications, where resources and data could be, literally, anywhere. APM systems that were at the top of their game a couple of years ago struggle to cope, and our InformationWeek 2013 Application Performance Management Survey reveals IT's frustration. The percentage of respondents using APM tools or systems slipped slightly since our 2010 poll, and when we asked nonusers to select among seven reasons for passing, the percentage saying that too much staff time is required to implement correctly jumped a stunning 19 points, from 32% to 51%. Lack of expertise is the No. 2 answer, cited by 40%.

Our take: The volume and variety of data and architectural complexity have increased greatly since 2010, and some APM vendors have not kept up. That shortcoming has forced CIOs to throw people at the problem.

Report Cover
Our report on "The Next Wave In APM," is free with registration

This report includes 31 pages of action-oriented analysis, packed with 21 charts. What you'll find:
  • Three ways to quantify the value of APM initiatives
  • Five top APM data collection methods: agents to polling
Get This And All Our Reports

However, don't write off APM just yet. Big providers including BMC, CA, Hewlett-Packard and IBM have capabilities from acquisitions that many end users haven't tapped. If companies using these APM suites for basics such as threshold, latency and response time monitoring dig a bit deeper, they may just find goodies like graphs that show trends unfolding in real time. It will take some experimentation, and maybe even an engagement with the vendor's consulting team, but you could be pleasantly surprised.

The third-place inhibitor to APM is cost, cited by 33%, down from 41% in 2010. It's true that many implementations require outside help, sometimes after a big investment of in-house time. We saw this on a recent client project, where the customer had no intention of using professional services but was forced to reallocate funds to meet the APM vendor's requirements. Essentially, if we wanted official support, we had to hire the vendor to validate the environment. Such factors surely contribute to just 10% of APM users saying their systems exceed expectations, down from 18% in 2010. What we're seeing is both APM users and vendors struggling to make sense of the large and complex operational data that today's virtualized and cloud-connected systems generate.

To read the rest of the article,
download the September 2013 special issue of InformationWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
anon9302160887
50%
50%
anon9302160887,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/6/2013 | 5:56:51 PM
re: Under Fire: Why You Need APM More Than Ever
Thanks for mentioning CA Technologies in the piece. Just wanted to point out that we're already including advanced analytics in our CA APM 9.5 release that came out in the spring: http://www.serviceassurancedai...

-Jason Meserve
Principal Product Marketing Manager @ CA Technologies
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.