APM Delivering a Future-Proofed Modern APM Solution
May 15, 2018

Ali Siddiqui
CA Technologies

Several years ago, we recognized that many APM solutions were not built to meet the new demands of modern technologies and challenges introduced by digital transformations. Just like many of our customers, we too embarked on a digital transformation, delivering new patent-pending innovations, analytics, and a full-stack monitoring & analytics SaaS platform that helps DevOps organizations to succeed in understanding and delivering the best customer experience.

To gain this new perspective, CA undertook an extensive ethnographic research project to understand how performance problems are solved by real practitioners. We sought to understand how real people solved real problems – regardless of whether they even owned an APM tool. This gave us a good understanding of the challenges that needed to be solved and allowed us to create new innovations based in analytics that are ground-breaking and industry leading (more to come). Next, we focused on design. Good design is so much more than simply making our products look pretty it’s also about interaction design, making things intuitive, easy to use and allowing the user to be the most efficient, effective and successful. At CA we take design very seriously and have teams whose only role is to focus on design. Unlike others in the APM space, we didn’t have to start over. We are building upon a technology (Wily) that is often credited with creating what is now a multi-billion-dollar modern APM market, we are very proud to offer our customers one of the best and most modern solutions in the market today.

We have never stop innovating; our velocity and investment has only increased and we are proud to be a leader in the APM market!

A New Approach

Meeting the challenges introduced by modern architectures, technologies, platforms and changing business models requires a new approach to monitoring, the old way of monitoring no longer meets the needs. APM tools must go beyond the confines of traditional monitoring of production applications to become an integral part of the software delivery lifecycle — to identify problems earlier and to enable continuous optimization across various development and testing phases.

APM tools must also unify the visibility across business and technical stakeholders through shared business insights – one of our key priorities at CA. Too much of today’s business insight is predicated on the need for business users to manually define context into their applications. Users shouldn’t have to define their conversion funnels and pipelines manually; the system should be able to detect them through simple goal definitions and perform automated analyses to generate business insights. We have the right solutions in place to offer full stack monitoring and the analytic insights that will help to align IT with business outcomes.

CA APM, a Modern Future-Proofed Solution

Over the past 3 years, we have redefined our APM solution to include digital experience, built-in analytics, smart instrumentation, zero-config agents, ease-of-use and yes, we are proven at scale. It’s not the same old Wily but a modern analytics platform built for cloud and microservices architectures. In those 3 years, we have filed over 40+ patents in APM, 23 patents-pending in analytics and almost 13 new patents filed in this past year. We are innovating and changing our architecture to meet the demands of today’s changing market.

Here are some of our own unique capabilities for addressing the needs of the market and modern application architectures:

Digital Experience
Customer experience and interaction with your application across digital channels is critical to your business, but delivering exceptional user experience is harder than it appears. An intuitive design, error-free code and flawless performance are the keys to a great customer journey.

Our solution provides the key insights into the buyer’s journey, usage, code crashes, performance, heat maps, app flows and session replay across web, mobile and wearables. We believe it is important to understand the entire digital experience but also apply the analytics needed to automate the insights required to deliver a five-star experience.

Analytics Foundation Lays the Path to Self-Healing
Most vendors would agree that AI is now at the core of monitoring and is evolving past normalization and correlation to advance causal analysis, pattern detection and machine learning. We’ve invested heavily in this space and believe that our approach uniquely positions us to leap ahead in AIOps and starts to lay the path to self-healing. Some of our unique capabilities include:

Graphical topology model is the foundation to pattern detection, causality and machine learning as it provides the context to the context. Our model is based on an open, extensible, ontology agnostic, and using time as a primary dimension, this dynamic model allows teams to purposefully apply algorithmic methods and machine learning to drive substantive improvements in application performance without sacrificing speed.

Differential analysis uses analytics and machine learning to automatically detect anomalies and impending problems ahead of time.

Assisted triage, an intelligent engine that utilizes the graphical topology model, analytics, ML, and expert heuristics to guide users through the resolution path and help them determine and verify the exact root cause of an issue.

Powerful analytics engine, built using the CA Jarvis Big Data Analytics platform leverages open source technologies such ElasticSearch, Hadoop, Spark and Kafka, etc. It goes well beyond simply linking the UIs which is what many of our competitors do. Our approach, rather, unifies these data sources into a single, correlated big-data pipeline and big-data repository that enables us to perform aggregations and analyses that have previously been unimaginable.

Intelligent, flexible and extensible new and advanced methods for monitoring microservices, containers, cloud and API-centric architecture – including agentless topology and automated flow maps, smart instrumentation, zero configuration agent, API performance tracing, and automated context mapping with app to infrastructure correlation.

A significant part of our ongoing and future engineering investment is going toward building integrations with AppDev, testing and release automation tools. We are also fully leveraging our corporate presence in API management and Continuous Delivery businesses to create a compelling and highly differentiated solution that seamlessly bridges the gap between application development and performance monitoring worlds.

Full Stack Monitoring
CA Digital Experience Insights (DXI) , a SaaS platform offers customers user-experience centric set of integrated services to monitor the entire digital service chain - all the way from a user's mobile devices to business transactions to infrastructure heath and usage. The DXI platform today offers integrated App Experience Analytics, Application Performance Management and Infrastructure Management services with consistent user interface, cross-product workflows, and a common data repository and analytics engine.

Scale You Can Trust

Unlike competitors we offer an enterprise scaling monitoring and analytics solution engineered to meet the performance demands of modern cloud-apps, containers and VMs - this means faster time to value for customers with less cost. CA APM clusters can process well over 1,000,000 metrics across 1,000+ agents and analyze 1M+ graphical components. CA APM is proven in large enterprise environments – for example, a telco company using CA APM has 30-40K agents with 144B metrics/day.

Our CA Digital Experience Insights solution including APM, digital experience, infrastructure and analytics is today one of the most compelling products in the market -- catering to a much larger audience with a highly-differentiated set of capabilities, built for the largest scale our customers need. We continue to receive resounding positive feedback from our customers and analyst community for our strategy and vision. We are building on this leadership with continued speed and innovation.

To learn more, read about how CA compares against Dynatrace and AppDynamics.

I also encourage you to attend our upcoming AIOps Virtual Summit to hear more from our experts, customers and industry thought leaders.

Ali Siddiqui is GM, Agile Operations, at CA Technologies
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