Q&A Part One: BMC Talks About APM
July 29, 2014
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In Part One of APMdigest's exclusive interview, Bill Berutti, President, Performance & Availability, BMC Software, talks about the strategic direction of BMC's Performance & Availability product line group and the Application Performance Management (APM) market today.

APM: Does the establishment of a Performance & Availability product line group show a new focus on APM at BMC?

BB: BMC has helped customers manage the performance and availability of their infrastructure for over 20 years. As IT complexity continues to spiral and end user service expectations grow, BMC solutions advance to meet and exceed the service expectations of customers. Recently, BMC has increased its investment in the performance and availability business to focus on and provide IT Operations with all the tools they need to keep business services optimized.

APM: Explain BMC's vision of "New IT" - and where does APM fit in?

BB: BMC has been tracking the shift to digital business. We continue driving mobile, social and cloud innovations that empower IT to seize the opportunities of today's data landscape. This digital transformation involves the consumerization of the IT systems experience and a shift to a mobile workforce. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) mentality lends itself to instant connectivity – an expectation IT cannot hope to meet without the ability to react to service interruption and fix problems quickly. This dynamic user experience is not possible without APM, which gives IT operations insight into how the services they deliver impact and support the business.

APM: How does BMC view the Application Performance Management market today?

BB: The Application Performance Management market is broadening. The original target for the APM market was development engineering – technical experts who designed and built applications. Those experts needed tools that allowed them to deliver a user experience that was relevant to their needs.

As IT becomes more complex, there is a need for additional roles, such as IT Operations, to focus on APM. Today, IT Operations is not only focused on making sure the environment is available, but in many cases it is also responsible for the user experience. This group of experts needs a set of solutions that help them to understand the user experience, provide the ability to correlate the information across the entire environment and understand the holistic service experience.

Also driving new interest in APM are technical trends, such as data analytics, which allow a user to quickly locate and translate critical information stored in log files. This application-aware infrastructure presents a quick, clear understanding of how deeper components impact an application or business service. BMC believes the industry can unlock new value in the APM market by building solutions that deliver deep insight for better decision-making and reduced manual effort for IT Operations.

APM: What is the user's greatest APM challenge currently?

BB: IT Operations is faced with a growing level of complex activity driven by web-based services coupled with a multifaceted backend, which supports not only services but often the viability of the business. Keeping up with user expectations and understanding the true user experience is a huge challenge.

Information gathered from APM tools that deliver data on both real and synthetic user experiences must be correlated with all relevant data available, including unstructured log files. How do you take information from your APM solution set and truly understand what is happening within the environment? Working on application performance management without taking into consideration the big picture will no longer yield the best value to the business.

APM: What is the biggest weakness of APM vendors currently?

BB: Traditionally, APM vendors have delivered a separate solution from general monitoring and analysis tools used by IT Operations. This approach impacts productivity by limiting IT's ability to correlate critical infrastructure information with application performance metrics. This ultimately results in a higher cost of ownership (TCO) and can impact overall productivity.

Additionally, when APM vendors develop solutions, they are built with application support personnel in mind. This results in a solution that assumes a deep level of knowledge of the applications being managed. Unfortunately, this knowledge is not always available to IT Operations and impacts the overall value realized from the APM solution.

APM: In APMdigest's recent interview with Jonah Kowall from Gartner, he mentions that APM portfolios must be simplified. How is BMC addressing this?

BB: We completely agree with Jonah Kowall – that all APM solutions should be simplified. As technology grows in complexity and service levels become more demanding, APM solutions must provide an easy and consistent way to make sense of the mess and give IT operations the tools necessary to deliver – to keep the business up and running.

As an example, BMC is providing new lightweight real user monitors that are designed to be deployed and administered by IT operations teams that have general monitoring responsibility.

Part Two of APMdigest's interview with BMC's Bill Berutti

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