Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2021. Part 4 covers logs, mobile APM and more.
MORE AUTOMATED MONITORING
Organizations will look to move a much higher number of workloads to the cloud, and will also begin monitoring a much larger portion of their overall application portfolio. The reasons for both changes is are the same/related. The cloud providers are providing more ways to handle hybrid and multi-cloud environments, while simultaneously growing their individual IaaS and PaaS offerings. This will require a more automated approach to monitoring in general, which will open the door for easier to setup and maintain hands-off monitoring of any operating application. New solutions that have automation across the board AND support for observability APIs will be poised to quickly and easily monitor any operating workload.
CTO and Co-Founder, Instana
RE-EVALUATION OF LOG MANAGEMENT
In 2021, enterprises will continue to embrace cloud and serverless infrastructure, and in doing so, will drive the need for more modern tools. With teams moving quickly and continually spinning resources up and down, it will become increasingly important to have a way to look back at those resources when incidents arise. This influx of log data will push enterprises to re-evaluate their log management strategy and the solutions that support it.
As most organizations learn to cope with massive volumes of logs during the Covid-19 pandemic, Log Management solutions will likely see an increased focus on their analytical capabilities in 2021. Organizations will leverage their log files to derive unique insights on customer issues, performance problems, detecting what's changed and making that useful and consumable for the user.
VP of Product, Datadog
INTEGRATION BETWEEN LOG ANALYSIS AND MONITORING
More teams will begin the implementation phase of their AIOps strategies, and a major focus will be seamless integration between their application monitoring and log analysis solutions. The highest level of implementation will center around contextual data sharing and functional UX integration. In that mode, users will be able to jump from an application incident into log analysis, focused on the machine or system logs identified as the problem. Meanwhile, users will be able to jump directly from their log analysis into a deep dive within their APM and Observability platforms. This allows Dev+Ops to use the best possible analysis tool (log or application) no matter where they began their investigation.
CEO and Co-Founder, Instana
Over the past few years, organizations have embraced the more robust concept of "observability" over traditional systems monitoring. Adoption of these technologies has accelerated dramatically as more companies move to modern architecture and containerized applications. But the single biggest thing happening in digital transformation right now involves the volume of code being generated to support the skyrocketing number of digital services and applications and the increasing frequency of code updates. And yet, when you consider every layer of tech from the user to the core systems, code is the layer that is least often monitored. Moving into 2021, more companies will begin to incorporate code monitoring as a critical component within the observability stack. The ability to understand how code impacts the performance of applications and how users experience the frontend of those applications is a gap that will be bridged. Connecting the creators of code to those who consume it will improve application health and provide for better user experiences, ensuring those who incorporate code monitoring into their observability stack have a competitive advantage.
MOVING AWAY FROM MONITORING-AS-CODE
DevOps teams often follow an everything-as-code philosophy, from network & infrastructure creation, application deployment to configuration. Monitoring is increasingly not considered as a separate activity but a part of a CI/CD pipeline. Therefore engineers add health checks, alerting policies and dashboards as part of their pipeline adopting monitoring as code practices. But Monitoring-as-Code has its price. By developing and integrating Monitoring-as-Code, DevOps teams focus less and less on what matters most: delivering business value with new features but also with high availability and performance. Instead of spending effort to add Monitoring-as-Code, DevOps teams have an increasing need for readymade monitoring tools that can do all the above out-of-the-box, that can get integrated and auto-scale together with infrastructures. Teams will move from managing complexity to integrating monitoring tools that will manage the monitoring complexity.
Senior Product Manager, Netdata
PERFORMANCE AND LOAD TESTING AT API LEVEL
Successful eCommerce organizations will continue to identify new opportunities to optimize performance across every facet of engagement with their customers. No longer is it "enough" for your homepage to load quickly, or for a credit card transactions to process smoothly, to keep customers happy. Customers are tapping their foot and considering where else they can take their business with every second-too-long they have to wait for a password reset email, shipping confirmation, live chat response, or product demo video to load. Performance and load testing will also become critical at the API level in order to test not only your own org's capabilities, but those of all the external partners and integrations you and your customers rely on as well.
Software Testing Evangelist and Sr. Manager, Communications, SmartBear
IMPROVED MOBILE APM METRICS
Mobile Application Health Metrics Evolve: To remain engaged with customers, nearly every company is investing in ways to improve their mobile strategy, which means delivering flawless user experiences is crucial to retaining a competitive advantage. Developers work tirelessly to deliver updates that improve application stability, add new features and enhance usability, but without visibility into what users are experiencing, it can be difficult to stay ahead of issues. The challenge is complicated by the vast array of devices and platforms, which can perform differently even if a company's backend systems are healthy. With mobile apps increasingly important for business, we will see skyrocketing demand for tools that provide visibility into how users are experiencing applications across all devices and platforms. Metrics such as version adoption, crash-free sessions, crash-free users, and insight into the impact of crashes and bugs as they relate to user experience will be critical components of reporting and measuring mobile application health.
IT Central Station reviewers have been impressed with the scalability of mobile APM's alerting systems, helping their companies respond remotely on a global scale. A key suggestion for improvement this year was the need to have better drill down capabilities on user interfaces. We expect vendors to adjust their responsive interfaces next year to meet this demand.
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
CONFIGURATION DATA MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
Practices for testing applications have matured to a point where problems from code and security defects are diminishing. However, as adoption of Cloud and modern architectures continues to expand, configuration changes still cause issues due to the complexity of managing an increasing sprawl of configuration data across the DevOps lifecycle. Even mature DevOps practitioners are not immune with major outages at Facebook, Twitter, and Google being blamed on configuration changes.* In 2021 we're going to see the rise of Configuration Data Management platforms with the ability to centralize, manage and secure configuration data to reduce outages and improve resilience.
VP and GM, IT Business Management and DevOps, ServiceNow
SINGLE PAGE APPLICATIONS
Even though the concept of single-page applications has been a popular trend, only recently have eCommerce solutions been catching up to the hype and acknowledging the advantages of headless e-commerce. 2021 will see a massive transition from server-side rendering eCommerce solutions to single-page ones, as brands prioritize performance and speed even more.
CTO, Talos Commerce
REPLATFORMING TO SAAS
We are about to witness the mass extinction of dinosaurs — vendors with on-prem software who have been dragging their feet on replatforming to a SaaS solution. They will try desperately to hang on to existing customers while pivoting investments, people and messaging with the promise of their new SaaS-centric, all-in-one platform.
VP of Marketing, BigPanda
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Go to: 2021 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 5, covering the ITOps team.
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