The IT news is full of stories about the consumerization of IT. Most of them revolve around BYOD and how IT is morphing to support the proliferation of smart phones and tablets in the workforce. At the same time most of the stories about application performance management (APM) are negative, and how APM is dying. HUH? I agree that morphing IT into a service organization is huge, and that providing support for whatever devices are going to make our own corporate users more productive is important. At the same time, it’s external users that are keeping the lights on. Users of e-commerce sites, claims processing sites, content portals, and even support sites are the very people that are paying the bills. So the same service mentality applies here as well.
Keep in mind that the most important assessor of application performance is the end user. So it’s essential to monitor application performance from the end user’s perspective. Users are not concerned with the individual performance levels of the contributing application components. All they care about is how fast their transactions are being processed end to end.
Traditional application performance monitoring had required gathering data from only a single location. That’s because the application was fully contained in the data center. That’s no longer the case. Distribution of today’s composite applications is broad and diverse. A single application may involve dedicated as well as shared physical and virtual resources that are scattered across several geographically separated enterprise . It may also include services such as payment processing and accelerated content delivery that are contributed by outside providers. Additionally, applications are increasing in complexity as virtualization and cloud computing become more broadly adopted. Consequently, it’s necessary to gather performance data from a wide variety of disparate sources (some internal and some external), consolidate it, and deliver it to a single, centralized console. Only in that way can you get holistic, enterprise-wide visibility into your applications, with the breadth and depth of information you need.
To monitor overall performance from the user’s perspective, you have to combine the data from all sources to determine end-to-end transaction processing times. But you also need to be able to drill down into the overall performance data to examine the performance of the individual application components. This enables you to zero in on root causes should performance problems arise. To that end, you need an APM solution that also provides data that supports root-cause analysis. For example, the data should include geographic information to enable you to determine if a problem is specific to certain geographic areas, and to drill down to specific lines of code that are the most likely root cause. The data should be delivered in real time. This immediacy of information provides an early warning system that enables he IT staff to detect and address issues before the service desk becomes aware of them, and in many cases, even before users become aware of them. Gathering the breadth and depth of data required means deploying probes in all relevant data sources.
Doing this on your own may not be practical. APM as a Service (APMaaS) provides a solution. Today BMC is announcing BMC Application Performance as a Service. BMC’s APMaaS solution includes real-end user monitoring, application deep dive analysis down to the line of code, and integration with Akamai’s EdgeConnect Service to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, all feeding a single APM analyzer and console hosted in the BMC cloud. We have already deployed the necessary performance monitoring instrumentation in place through our relationships with many application and service provider partners. That dramatically shrinks your deployment effort, resulting in a much faster time to value and significant reduction in capital costs and administration.
This is a product that any IT organizations responsible for running business critical applications for end-users should be evaluating. While element monitoring is essential to make sure infrastructure is running, it alone is not enough. End user experience management is a critical component of any IT operation supporting not only internal, but external users as well. BMC Application Performance Management as a Service provides a way to implement best in class APM at a lower cost and with very quick time to value.
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