Gartner's 5 Dimensions of APM
December 02, 2011
Pete Goldin
Share this

Gartner's recently published Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring defines “five distinct dimensions of, or perspectives on, end-to-end application performance” which are essential to APM, listed below.

Gartner points out that although each of these five technologies are distinct, and often deployed by different stakeholders, there is “a high-level, circular workflow that weaves the five dimensions together.”

1. End-user experience monitoring

End-user experience monitoring is the first step, which captures data on how end-to-end performance impacts the user, and identifies the problem.

2. Runtime application architecture discovery, modeling and display

The second step, the software and hardware components involved in application execution, and their communication paths, are studied to establish the potential scope of the problem.

3. User-defined transaction profiling

The third step involves examining user-defined transactions, as they move across the paths defined in step two, to identify the source of the problem.

4. Component deep-dive monitoring in application context

The fourth step is conducting deep-dive monitoring of the resources consumed by, and events occurring within, the components discovered in step two.

5. Analytics

The final step is the use of analytics – including technologies such as behavior learning engines – to crunch the data generated in the first four steps, discover meaningful and actionable patterns, pinpoint the root cause of the problem, and ultimately anticipate future issues that may impact the end user.

Applying the 5 dimensions to your APM purchase

“These five functionalities represent more or less the conceptual model that enterprise buyers have in their heads – what constitutes the application performance monitoring space, ” explains Will Cappelli, Gartner Research VP in Enterprise Management and co-author of the Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring.

“If you go back and look at the various head-to-head competitions and marketing arguments that took place even as recently as two years ago, you see vendors pushing one of the five functional areas as: what you need in order to do APM,” Cappelli recalls. “I think it's only because of the persistent demand on the part of enterprise buyers, that they needed all five capabilities, that drove the vendors to populate their portfolios in a way that would adequately reflect those five functionalities.”

The question is: should one vendor be supplying all five capabilities?

“You will see enterprises typically selecting one vendor as their strategic supplier for APM,” Cappelli continues, “but if that vendor does not have all the pieces of the puzzle, the enterprise will supplement with capabilities from some other vendor. This can make a lot of sense.”

“When you look at some of the big suites, and even the vendors that offer all five functionalities, in most cases those vendors have assembled those functionalities out of technologies they have picked up when they acquired many diverse vendors. Even when you go out to buy a suite from one of the larger vendors that offers everything across the board, at the end of the day you are left with very distinct products even if they all share a common name.”

For this reason, Cappelli says there is usually very little technology advantage associated with selecting a single APM vendor over going with multiple vendors providing best-of-breed products for each of the five dimensions. However, he notes that there can be a significant advantage to minimizing the number of vendors you have to deal with.

“Because APM suites, whether assembled by yourself or by a vendor, are complex entities, it is important to have the vendor support that can span across the suite,” Cappelli says. “So in general it makes sense to go with a vendor that can support you at least across the majority of the functionalities that you want.”

“But you do need to be aware that the advantage derived from going down that path – choosing a single vendor rather than multiple vendors – has more to do with that vendor's ability to support you in solving a complex problem rather than any kind of inherent technological advantage derived from some kind of pre-existing integration.”

Related Links:

Another Look At Gartner's 5 Dimensions of APM

Click here to read Part One of the APMdigest interview with Will Cappelli, Gartner Research VP in Enterprise Management.

Click here to read Part Two of the APMdigest interview with Will Cappelli, Gartner Research VP in Enterprise Management.

Share this

The Latest

February 16, 2018

The enterprise WAN is unable to keep up with digital transformation demands, according to Foundation for Digital Transformation, a new research report, authored by Ensemble IQ and supported by InfoVista. This challenge was universal across all three vertical industries surveyed — retail, manufacturing, and banking/financial services ...

February 15, 2018

Achieving optimum Java Virtual Machine (JVM) performance is key to ensuring proper memory management and fast application processing. According to a Cornell University study, a 1-millisecond improvement in the performance of a trading application can be worth $100 million a year to a major brokerage firm. Because of this potential for loss, IT teams owning banking, financial, trading and other Java-based applications place a high value on having a proper JVM monitoring strategy in place ...

February 13, 2018

APM had to evolve to keep pace with development velocity and maintain the service quality for the modern applications born out of digital transformation. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are critical to the next step in APM evolution, helping to address speed, scalability and intelligence demands ...

February 12, 2018

A worldwide survey by Gartner, Inc. showed that 91 percent of organizations have not yet reached a "transformational" level of maturity in data and analytics, despite this area being a number one investment priority for CIOs in recent years ...

February 09, 2018

Mobile app performance is still a significant issue. In a new report from PacketZoom, The Effect of Mobile Network Performance on Mobile App Users, 66% of consumers said reliable mobile app performance is "very important" — second only to mobile app security ...

February 07, 2018

IT departments that shift from reactionary fire fighters to becoming proactive business partners find their ticket counts reduced from 20 to 50 percent or more. The strategies outlined in Part 1 of this blog may all sound like a great way to turn IT into a strategic, proactive business-enabler, but how can companies turn strategy into reality? The following are three best practices ...

February 06, 2018

"We can't fix it if they don't call." I can't count how many times I've said those words in my IT career. We need users to call in their issues, while conversely we need our ticket volumes to decrease. How can IT lower the amount of call center tickets, quickly resolve those incidents that can't be avoided, and reduce their own costs in the process? Here are three key strategies ...

February 05, 2018

Today's network engineers have their work cut out for them. Bigger, more complex networks have created an environment where network engineers are forced to adapt and develop more effective ways to manage and troubleshoot their networks. This begins with better visibility, which has presented an issue traditionally as engineers struggle to create an accurate picture due to challenges with static maps ...

February 02, 2018

My last blog covered technology-oriented best practices that application management and IT help desks can use to optimize the performance of their applications and the IT teams that oversee them. Now I'll explore what IT professionals can do to optimize their team's time and resources — the people and processes — in pursuit of that same goal ...