Another Look At Gartner's 5 Dimensions of APM
Helping IT Operate at the New Speed of Business
December 03, 2011
Raj Sabhlok and Suvish Viswanathan
Share this

APMdigest followers will already have read the article on Gartner's 5 Dimensions of APM. While that article examines the advantages of  single- or multi-vendor sourcing for the Application Performance Management (APM) tools that address these different dimensions, we'd like to look at this matter from a different angle: What are the important issues and goals to consider when evaluating a suite of APM solutions -- from one or more vendors -- to ensure that your APM solution will help IT operate at the new speed of business? 

Consider Gartner's 5 dimensions of APM again:

1. End-user experience monitoring

The ability to capture end-to-end application performance data is critical, but few of today's apps are straight-line affairs. A web-based storefront, for instance, may present a user with ads or catalog information from sources that are outside of the storefront owner's own infrastructure. A traditional experience monitoring tool might look at how quickly the website interacts with the back-end sales applications. However, the speed of that transaction is only one part -- and a relatively late part -- of the user's experience.

If a problem outside of the vendor's infrastructure is delaying the delivery of third-party catalog content -- and causing the entire web page to load slowly -- the user may never get to the point of clicking the "Place my Order" button. 

Today's businesses need APM tools that can monitor all aspects of the user experience. You may have no control over the third-party servers pushing content to your site, but you need to know how those servers affect the end user experience.

It also helps if your APM tools can enable you to make changes on the fly if the network links or external servers are compromising the overall experience you want to provide your users.

2. Run-time application architecture discovery, modeling, and display

The environment in which today's applications execute are more and more complex. With distributed networks, virtualized machines, web services and service-oriented architectures (and more), discovering, modeling, and displaying all the components that contribute to application performance is a challenge. You need tools that can provide real-time insight into all aspects of your application delivery infrastructure.

For efficiency's sake, IT organizations should be able to visualize this complete infrastructure on the same console that provides insight into the end-user experience. In a world of real-time business, IT teams need to be able to interact with all aspects of an APM solution quickly, efficiently, and effectively.  

3. User-defined transaction profiling

User-defined transaction profiling is not just about tracing events as they occur among components or as they move across the paths discovered in the second dimension. What's important here is to understand whether events are occurring when, where, and as efficiently​ as you want them to occur. 

Real-time IT organizations need APM tools for tracing events along an application path in the context of defined KPIs. To achieve that, these tools need to interact very efficiently with the APM tools you use for end user experience monitoring and run-time application architecture discovery, modeling, and display. This ensures efficient information reuse, but more importantly a frictionless interaction between these tools is that you need to minimize latency in the system. In a real-time, performance-oriented world, latency is to be avoided.

4. Component deep-dive monitoring in application context

The critical consideration related to deep dive monitoring is how well the tools you use work together. Six best-of-breed component monitoring tools presenting information on six different consoles would be absurd. Relying on a single manager of managers (MOM), though, to create the appearance of an integrated monitoring solution may simply mask the inefficiencies inherent in trying rely on six different monitoring tools.

If you decide not to use a single tool to provide deep-dive monitoring of your entire business infrastructure, be sure that your SI integrates the different tools you have selected with low-latency, real-time responsiveness in mind. Moreover, be sure that all the information captured by the tools can be used in real time by the other components within the APM suite.​

5. Analytics

If your data is modeled correctly -- and the important word here is "if" -- you can use sophisticated analytical tools to discover all kinds of opportunities to improve application performance or the user's experience of your application. The important consideration is the data model itself. All the tools we have just discussed must be able to contribute data easily to a performance management database (PMDB). If they cannot, you then have to invest in further complexity to deploy additional tools to transform data from one solution so that it becomes useful to other tools -- and that is highly inefficient.   

Ultimately, it is important to consider the world in which your applications exist. Business is increasingly moving to a real-time model. It requires real-time responsiveness. Batch-oriented APM tools that are designed to support a break-fix mentality and aimed at infrastructure running exclusively on a corporate network over which IT has complete control -- these won't help you in the world we live in.

Your APM tools must provide real-time, transaction-orientation support. They must contribute to a real-time responsiveness, driven by the needs of business and focused on the quality of the user experience of the applications -- both inside and beyond the firewall.

About Raj Sabhlok and Suvish Viswanathan

Raj Sabhlok is the President of ManageEngine. Suvish Viswanathan is an APM Research Analyst at ManageEngine. ​ ManageEngine is a division of Zoho Corp. and makers of a globally renowned suite of cost-effective network, systems, security, and applications management software solutions.

Related Links:

www.manageengine.com

Gartner's 5 Dimensions of APM

Share this

The Latest

May 28, 2020

On Wednesday, May 6th, iOS users all over the world experienced an app crash when they tried to open popular apps such as TikTok, GroupMe, Spotify, and Pinterest. How did simultaneous crashes occur across so many independent apps? What's the common thread that would cause widespread app crashes? Turns out, it was a change in behavior in the Facebook API ...

May 27, 2020

Keeping networks operational is critical for businesses to run smoothly. The Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost of an unplanned network outage is $8,850 per minute, a staggering number. In addition to cost, a network failure has a negative effect on application efficiency and user experience ...

May 26, 2020

Nearly 3,700 people told GitLab about their DevOps journeys. Respondents shared that their roles are changing dramatically, no matter where they sit in the organization. The lines surrounding the traditional definitions of dev, sec, ops and test have blurred, and as we enter the second half of 2020, it is perhaps more important than ever for companies to understand how these roles are evolving ...

May 21, 2020

As cloud computing continues to grow, tech pros say they are increasingly prioritizing areas like hybrid infrastructure management, application performance management (APM), and security management to optimize delivery for the organizations they serve, according to SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2020: The Universal Language of IT ...

May 20, 2020

Businesses see digital experience as a growing priority and a key to their success, with execution requiring a more integrated approach across development, IT and business users, according to Digital Experiences: Where the Industry Stands ...

May 19, 2020

Fully 90% of those who use observability tooling say those tools are important to their team's software development success, including 39% who say observability tools are very important ...

May 18, 2020

As our production application systems continuously increase in complexity, the challenges of understanding, debugging, and improving them keep growing by orders of magnitude. The practice of Observability addresses both the social and the technological challenges of wrangling complexity and working toward achieving production excellence. New research shows how observable systems and practices are changing the APM landscape ...

May 14, 2020
Digital technologies have enveloped our lives like never before. Be it on the personal or professional front, we have become dependent on the accurate functioning of digital devices and the software running them. The performance of the software is critical in running the components and levers of the new digital ecosystem. And to ensure our digital ecosystem delivers the required outcomes, a robust performance testing strategy should be instituted ...
May 13, 2020

The enforced change to working from home (WFH) has had a massive impact on businesses, not just in the way they manage their employees and IT systems. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, enterprise IT teams are looking to answer key questions such as: Which applications have become more critical for working from home? ...

May 12, 2020

In ancient times — February 2020 — EMA research found that more than 50% of IT leaders surveyed were considering new ITSM platforms in the near future. The future arrived with a bang as IT organizations turbo-pivoted to deliver and support unprecedented levels and types of services to a global workplace suddenly working from home ...