In APMdigest's exclusive interview, Will Cappelli, Gartner Research VP in Enterprise Management, talks about his latest report: Will IT Operations Analytics Platforms Replace APM Suites?
APM: In your December report - Will IT Operations Analytics Platforms Replace APM Suites? - you say the importance of analytics to APM will grow over the next five years. How do you see that importance expanding?
WC: In one sense, non-analytic APM tools will continue to generate more and more data. As more and more applications are monitored, as the applications being monitored become more and more complex and interconnected, the quantity of data that is being generated by the tools grows. In order to understand what is going on in the application, deeper and deeper analysis capabilities are required.
The other sense is that there are a number of tasks that are carried out by the non-analytic tools, that will increasingly be taken up by some of the analytic tools. So, for example, there is a lot of root cause analysis, which is now not really done with analytics tools, it is done by looking at the topology map. As the application topologies become a lot more complex, you are not going to be able to just look at a map on the screen and find the root cause. You are going to have to apply some sort of automated algorithm that will identify what could be the cause. So these analytics tools will take over some of the function that has been traditionally performed by the non-analytics tools.
There is a third sense, as well. In general, predictive issues are becoming more important. Until now most of the burden of the application performance monitoring tools has been in the area of retroactive determination of the root cause of the problem. We are seeing, with the people we talk to, more and more focus on getting out ahead of problems before they occur. And in order to do that kind of predictive action, you need some kind of analytics tools.
APM: Do you see this driving any evolution in Gartner's 5-dimension APM model?
WC: The model was never meant to be a dogmatic statement of what constitutes APM. It describes the conceptual model that buyers and vendors have when they come to the APM market. So it is really not “prescriptive” as much as it is “descriptive”.
It can evolve, and ought to evolve. At Gartner, we have had the sense that it was going this way. If you look at APM portfolios in the next couple of years, the end-user experience will continue to grow in importance. Analytics will continue to grow in importance. And those three central areas – the architecture discovery, transaction profiling, and deep dive component monitoring – are not going to be as important as the end-user experience in monitoring and the analytics applied to the application performance.
APM: Are you seeing a lot more interest in APM-related analytics in the last year, not just from analysts and vendors but also from the users?
WC: Oh yes definitely. A lot of users call me up and ask about analytics in various forms. I think that some of the market evidence – if you look at the unquestionable success of a vendor like Splunk in the last year particularly, and other vendors that make up the overall analytics area, like Netuitive or Prelert – a lot of their activity has been in the application performance space.
To date the majority of use cases that we have seen for analytics have been in the application performance space. In fact, one of the interesting trajectories is that application performance monitoring initiates the interest in analytics. Analytics within IT seems to be a outgrowth of APM, and then extends to other areas of the stack, whether it's the virtual fabric or the network.
And now I'm beginning to see it move, although in the very early days, into the configuration and change space. I'm beginning to get some calls from end-users looking at the CMDBs or asset management databases or trouble ticketing systems, and asking if they can use analytics in these areas as well. That is a new development that takes us beyond performance and availability.
This interest in analytics is also tied into the general interest across IT and across business as well as in Big Data. And certainly once again Splunk is an important character in the story, at least for now. The Splunk IPO was built around the narrative of Splunk as the Big Data company. One of the interesting side effects of that was a big hype wave in 2012 that has shown a very favorable light on IT operations performance and availability as a great proof case for Big Data analytics.
The question is: can the Big Data analytics move beyond IT operations? That is the open question that I think a lot of users have. Right now, I would say that IT operations is the epicenter of the actual application of Big Data analytics technology. Where you see genuine Big Data technology actually deployed today in real life enterprises is around the IT operations.
APM: Your report seems to imply that in 2013 many organizations plan to spend less on the monitoring side of APM and more on the analytics.
WC: I'm not saying they're going to strictly spend less. I am saying the growth of APM, in terms of spending, will not be at the rates we've seen since around 2000 or so.
APM: Are the companies actually taking the budget that was designated for APM and now spending it on analytics?
WC: I think that is a good analysis. It does seem to me, based upon the people that I've talked to, when they look at what they're going to spend in 2013, they don't say “We're not going to spend on the APM stuff anymore.” But it is the same people that would've bought or expanded their APM investment that are talking enthusiastically about buying analytics technology or analytics services. That is why I was saying earlier that the analytics investment going on right now has a strong application performance and general performance and availability flavor to it, although now they are beginning to expand into other ITIL process areas.
I think there is some causal relationship between the acceleration of the growth and spend on analytics, and the deceleration of the growth of APM. I also think there are a couple of other factors that lead to the deceleration of APM growth that are not directly tied to analytics, but that is certainly one of the factors behind it.
But one can over-dramatize the changing fortunes of APM. It's a transformation from being the hot growth spot in the overall enterprise management space to more like some of the other submarkets in the enterprise management space.
APM: Are the organizations actually telling you that they believe analytics, in their minds, is going to replace traditional APM?
WC: Very few people will say that specifically. But what I do hear is rather than buying some deep dive component monitoring technology, they will invest in Splunk, Netuitive or BMC Proactivenet technology.
It is usually not put as someone saying: “We don't like APM anymore – we are going to buy this other stuff.” It is more: “This analytics technology seems to answer a very pressing need. I am going to buy analytics this year and I may not expand my APM or NPM investment.”
But we are not talking about a decline or contraction of the APM market. We are talking about a deceleration in growth.
Incident management processes are not keeping pace with the demands of modern operations teams, failing to meet the needs of SREs as well as platform and ops teams. Results from the State of DevOps Automation and AI Survey, commissioned by Transposit, point to an incident management paradox. Despite nearly 60% of ITOps and DevOps professionals reporting they have a defined incident management process that's fully documented in one place and over 70% saying they have a level of automation that meets their needs, teams are unable to quickly resolve incidents ...
Today, in the world of enterprise technology, the challenges posed by legacy Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) systems have long been a source of concern for IT departments. In many instances, this promising solution has become an organizational burden, hindering progress, depleting resources, and taking a psychological and operational toll on employees ...
Within retail organizations across the world, IT teams will be bracing themselves for a hectic holiday season ... While this is an exciting opportunity for retailers to boost sales, it also intensifies severe risk. Any application performance slipup will cause consumers to turn their back on brands, possibly forever. Online shoppers will be completely unforgiving to any retailer who doesn't deliver a seamless digital experience ...
Black Friday is a time when consumers can cash in on some of the biggest deals retailers offer all year long ... Nearly two-thirds of consumers utilize a retailer's web and mobile app for holiday shopping, raising the stakes for competitors to provide the best online experience to retain customer loyalty. Perforce's 2023 Black Friday survey sheds light on consumers' expectations this time of year and how developers can properly prepare their applications for increased online traffic ...
This holiday shopping season, the stakes for online retailers couldn't be higher ... Even an hour or two of downtime for a digital storefront during this critical period can cost millions in lost revenue and has the potential to damage brand credibility. Savvy retailers are increasingly investing in observability to help ensure a seamless, omnichannel customer experience. Just ahead of the holiday season, New Relic released its State of Observability for Retail report, which offers insight and analysis on the adoption and business value of observability for the global retail/consumer industry ...
As organizations struggle to find and retain the talent they need to manage complex cloud implementations, many are leaning toward hybrid cloud as a solution ... While it's true that using the cloud is not a "one size fits all" proposition, it is clear that both large and small companies prefer a hybrid cloud model ...
In the same way a city is a sum of its districts and neighborhoods, complex IT systems are made of many components that continually interact. Observability requires a comprehensive and connected view of all aspects of the system, including even some that don't directly relate to its technological innards ...
Multicasting in this context refers to the process of directing data streams to two or more destinations. This might look like sending the same telemetry data to both an on-premises storage system and a cloud-based observability platform concurrently. The two principal benefits of this strategy are cost savings and service redundancy ...
In today's rapidly evolving business environment, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) are grappling with the challenge of regaining control over their IT roadmap. The constant evolution and introduction of new technology releases, combined with the pressure to deliver innovation on shrinking budgets, has added layers of complexity for executives who must transform the perception of the role of the IT leader from cost managers and maintainers to strategic enablers of growth and profitability ...
Artificial intelligence (AI) has saturated the conversation around technology as compelling new tools like ChatGPT produce headlines every day. Enterprise leaders have correctly identified the potential of AI — and its many tributary technologies — to generate new efficiencies at scale, particularly in the cloud era. But as we now know, these technologies are rarely plug-and-play, for reasons both technical and human ...