It’s no secret that the cloud has forever changed IT. IT is evolving into more distributed, modular, complex architectures. Moving services to the cloud to take advantage of increased agility at a lower cost means taking some risks as there are greater complexities to manage and applications may or may not be in your control. Cloud has essentially changed the game for what’s needed in an enterprise APM solution for today’s modern businesses.
Last week Enterprise Management Associates released its EMA Radar for Application Performance Management (APM) for Cloud Services and recognized the Top Cloud-Ready APM solutions. EMA cites end-to-end visibility, topology maps, broad and deep coverage across cloud platforms among its criteria for cloud-readiness.
Just what does it mean to be Cloud-Ready? We believe cloud-readiness requires:
1. Cloud-readiness “out-of-the-box”
While many vendors tout cloud-readiness, in most cases this means using multiple products to manually sift through. A true cloud-ready solution should be available “out-of-the-box” so that you can easily apply the same performance management to applications on the cloud.
2. End-to-end Visibility across the Cloud
A cloud-ready APM solution must provide end-to-end visibility across the cloud, whether applications on the cloud are on-premise, off-premise, or hybrid. It must provide complete visibility into all business transactions, providing both IT and the business with all the information needed to ensure successful application delivery.
3. A real-time topology map of IT services and dependencies
You lose critical visibility as services flow into and out of the cloud. To manage application performance in the cloud, you need a real-time topological map of service delivery across all tiers. Since the landscape is always changing, it’s essential that the dependency map is dynamically generated and automatically updated for every single transaction and service instance.
4. The ability to manage SLAs, measure usage for chargeback and accurately plan capacity
By capturing all transactions, 24/7, you can control service levels per business transaction and to tune resource allocation accordingly. Measuring usage 24/7 to record all user transactions also enables accurate chargeback for resources as well as assessment and prioritization of tenants. With a complete picture of resource consumption for each business transaction, IT can plan future capacity requirements accurately.
5. Rapid Problem Resolution
Broad and deep diagnostics for faster problem resolution to pinpoint problem tiers that are affecting performance even in hybrid cloud environments.
6. Reduced Risk of Change
The increased frequency of changes to business applications on the cloud means IT must be more agile and able to quickly move to assure the performance of IT services. Today’s APM for the cloud must be able to indicate the impact of application, infrastructure and configuration changes on business transactions during testing and production.
7. Leverage throughout the Application Lifecycle
In Gartner’s recent report titled “Leverage Your Application Monitoring Through the Application Life Cycle,” (January 23, 2012) Gartner cites a need for more integration between testing and application performance management when managing cloud applications – both in tools and in the teams using them. A cloud APM solution should be able to leverage production data and diagnostics in Dev/QA to resolve problems based on real data, whether that’s in the same solution or through an integration such as the one announced last week by OpTier and SOASTA.
As companies strive to deliver always-on business in today’s world, leveraging the cloud may seem daunting. But with the right tools in place, including cloud-ready APM that gives end-to-end visibility across any cloud architecture, you can quickly and easily harness the promises of the cloud.
Linh C. Ho is VP of Corporate Marketing at OpTier.