Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Challenges with APM 1.0 products

I met several customers in the past few weeks who are evaluating Application Performance Management (APM) solution. They are facing a lot of challenges with their existing investments in old generation of APM solution. In this blog, I will outline some of the shortcomings with APM 1.0 tools that make them unfit for today’s applications.

What is APM 1.0

Customers have been managing application performance since early days of mainframe evolution. However, Application Performance Management as a discipline has gained popularity in the past decade.

 

Let me first introduce what I mean by APM 1.0. The enterprise applications and technologies such as Java have evolved in past two decades. The APM 1.0 tools were invented more than a decade back and they provided great benefits to resolve application issues that were prevalent with the early versions of Java and .NET technologies. However Java/.NET application servers have become mature and do not have those challenges any more. Also enterprise application architecture and technologies have changed drastically and the APM 1.0 tools have not kept up. The following figure shows the evolution of enterprise Java in the past 15 years and when APM 1.0 and APM 2.0 tools have started emerging.

 

image001.png

Following are few challenges with the APM 1.0 tools that you will run into when trying to manage your enterprise applications.

 

Challenge 1: Not enough focus on end-user or visibility for business critical transactions

 

The application owner and the application support team primarily cares about the user experience and service level delivered by their applications. APM 1.0 tools were primarily built to monitor applications from an application infrastructure perspective.

 

These tools lack the capabilities to monitor applications from real user perspective and help you isolate application issues whether it is caused by the network, load balancers, ADNs such as Akamai, or the application, database, etc. Some of these solutions were quick to add some basic end-user monitoring capabilities such as synthetic monitoring. However an application support personnel has to switch between multiple consoles and depend on manual correlation between end-user monitoring and application deep dive monitoring tools.

These tools do not allow you to track a real user request to the line of the code. That means you are blind-sighted when users are impacted and struggle to find what is causing the application failure.

 

Challenge 2: Built for Development and not suitable for production monitoring

APM 1.0 deep-dive monitoring tools were primarily built to diagnose issues during the application development lifecycle. These tools morphed into production deep-dive monitoring tools when the need arose for APM in production environments.  So, These tools were not optimized for production monitoring and hence require a lot of effort to tune for production.

 

First off, the complexities of agent installation and configuration hinder deployment in production environment.  Second, these tools usually require configuration changes every time new application code is rolled out.

 

Most damagingly, they have high overhead on application performance and do not scale beyond 100-150 application servers. This means that most customers use these in a test environment or enable deep-dive monitoring retroactively after an application failure -  assuming the problem will recur.

 

Finally, these tools do not provide operation friendly UIs and because they were originally built for developers.

 

Challenge 3: High Cost of Ownership

 

As I alluded earlier, the old generation APM tools are very complex to configure because these require application knowledge, manual instrumentation and complex agent deployment. Hence expensive consultants are required to deploy and configure and maintain these tools. These tools also have multiple consoles - adding to total cost of ownership. Some customers told me that they spend a lot of time managing these APM tools rather than being able to manage their applications.

 

Conclusion: A Poor fit for today’s applications

These tools were built more than a decade back, and have not evolved much although the application architecture, technologies and methodologies have gone though drastic changes.

 

Many of the customers whom I met were of the opinion that they spend more time managing the APM solution then managing their applications. If you use any of the APM 1.0 tools, and try to manage a modern application, you are likely in the same boat. Here are some customer expectations for a modern  APM solution:

  • It reduces your MTTR by quickly pinpointing business-critical issues with always-on, user-centric, deep application visibility
  • Non-Invasive solution that requires no changes to application code, does not require manual instrumentation and auto-discovers your transactions, frame works, etc
  • It provides Quick Time to Value and Ease of use with a single, integrated APM console
  • Purpose-built for cloud applications

 

APM 1.0 tools certainly cannot satisfy these needs.  In the next blog, I will discuss how an APM 2.0 solution like BMC Application Management addresses the challenges with APM 1.0 products and help you manage applications better thus improving customer satisfaction and resulting in better bottomline.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Debu Panda

Debu Panda is a Director of Product Management at Oracle Corporation. He is lead author of the EJB 3 in Action (Manning Publications) and Middleware Management (Packt). He has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry and has published numerous articles on enterprise Java technologies and has presented at many conferences. Debu maintains an active blog on enterprise Java at http://debupanda.blogspot.com.

Latest Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...