Choosing an APM Solution
New Ovum Decision Matrix Provides Guidance on APM
March 11, 2014

Michael Azoff

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The market for Application Performance Management (APM) solutions continues to expand on the strength of innovation within the APM industry, resulting in new-generation tools, and also as a result of major shifts in IT usage around mobile and cloud, leading to demand for new APM capabilities.

To help IT decision-makers choose the right solution for their needs, the Ovum Decision Matrix on APM takes 10 of the leading APM solutions and evaluates and compares them side-by-side.

APM is Essential for Businesses, Providing Transparency into IT Applications and Infrastructure

APM is an essential activity for enterprises at multiple levels:

- During development, APM assists developers and QA staff with pre-release performance testing

- During live production, APM assists IT operations ensure mission-critical applications are running within the boundaries of SLAs (service-level agreements)

- APM supports the delivery of IT services to the business; advanced technology can preempt issues before end users are affected

- APM supports troubleshooting and defect-fixing when problems do occur

APM solutions monitor the IT environment, manage the gathering of metric data, and provide reports and dashboards for administrators, managers, and other stakeholders.

Cloud and Mobile Application Support is Essential for APM Solutions

APM remains a market with many different types of solutions, from hardware-based appliances to pure-software solutions. Typically, vendors approach the market with particular strengths and build out their coverage portfolio on top of these – for example, building solutions around complex event processing engines, or Big Data real-time analytics capabilities.

The market has seen a definite shift towards solutions supporting the latest mobile and cloud computing trends. As enterprises make better use of cloud services, and enterprise end users and consumers increasingly use smart mobile devices, the need to manage performance on these environments correspondingly grows. Another noticeable trend is the availability of APM-as-a-Service solutions.

Log Management Makes a Major Impact in APM

An emerging category within APM is log management, which has been growing at a strong pace with a number of new vendors joining the market; Splunk, in particular, has made quite a splash. These solutions mine the fields embedded in machine-generated data, including log files and headers in messages, and content that is generated by a host of applications from social network services such as Twitter, enterprise applications, and IT tools, including other APM solutions.

Log management tools process vast amounts of machine data in real time, exploiting Big Data technologies, so they represent a fusion of new technologies applied to existing categories of data. As the capabilities of log management tools are realized by users, developers write improved logs, creating a virtuous circle.

The incumbent APM vendors with Big Data capabilities are also addressing log management and are responding to this emerging solution category by better targeting their existing features.

To help enterprise IT users choose their APM tools, Ovum has recently published the Ovum Decision Matrix on APM 2014–15, which evaluates and compares 10 of the leading solutions in the market side-by-side.

Michael Azoff is a Principal Analyst at Ovum.

Related Links:

For Ovum Subscribers: Ovum Decision Matrix on APM 2014–15

Available from CA Technologies: Ovum Decision Matrix on APM 2014–15

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