Looking Back at 2017 APM Predictions - Did They Come True? Part 1
January 09, 2018

Jonah Kowall
Kentik

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I enjoy the end of the year. Getting some downtime from the constant phone calls and meetings allows me to reflect and plan for a new year ... Planning for a new year often includes predicting what’s going to happen. However, we don't often enough look back at the prior year’s predictions to see if they actually came to fruition. That is the purpose of this analysis. I have picked out a few key areas in APMdigest's 2017 Application Performance Management Predictions, and analyzed which predictions actually came true.

Many of the 2017 predictions were not particularly predictive, but instead "observations" of what is happening and how it will accelerate or shift. Without better ground rules for what a prediction is, it's hard to say what the list is and is not. I have picked out a few key areas which encompass several of these predictions. I'm not calling out the individual predictions, which often do not align with Application Performance Management (APM) trends, but instead, serve a specific vendor (gotta love Marketing).

Review the 2017 APM Predictions on APMdigest

The first four key areas below are the predictions that didn’t come true. In addition to the the ones I have called out here, there were many predictions which have been failing for years that vendors wish would come true. Unfortunately for them, that didn't happen in 2017. Hopefully, they don't post the same prediction for 2018. :)

The following few 2017 predictions had several predictions which fell into a category:

The convergence of infrastructure metrics and APM metrics

Although many tools combine APM and infrastructure metrics, most enterprises still use separate tools due to organizational silos

Although many tools combine APM and infrastructure metrics, most enterprises still use separate tools due to organizational silos. The enterprises which run significant infrastructure continue to deploy monitoring tools for each team — meaning teams running data centers still buy tools for DCIM, network, servers, storage, and other infrastructure technologies. Those implementing cloud infrastructure often use cloud provider tools or other infrastructure monitoring tools which do a better job in those environments, and better handle time series. APM tools, have for a while had lightweight capabilities for infrastructure monitoring, and often may replace more capable infrastructure monitoring technologies, especially when migrating to managed data centers or public cloud.

Adoption of platforms to tie monitoring data together

While there are many products which attempt to tie together data coming from multiple monitoring tools, the integration posts challenges for most. Although some of these products are gaining adoption, it's not impactful to the market today. We haven't seen a shift in this market in 2017, and I doubt it will change in 2018.

AI replacing manual analysis

My perspective on AI is documented. AI is still not prominent in solutions today, even though people have been predicting it for years. The advances in making RCA faster have been helpful to users, but the manual analysis of data continues to be standard today, and likely will be for the foreseeable future. We didn't see a shift in 2017, but as I talk about below, predictive analysis and machine learning are becoming more prominent.

Data-centric to event-centric


BUT WILL BECOME TRUE AT SOME POINT

This one was ahead of its time and is a trend which has been occurring for several years. Instead of event-based systems replacing data based systems, I believe there will be an augmented platform to handle both request-response systems and data-based systems. There are many business reasons to have both capabilities within software architectures, and monitoring will naturally have to evolve to handle both types of software systems. Today most of the "event-based" monitoring systems are done with log analysis tools, as tracking events over time is often a challenge for most monitoring tools. There are some which have been able to show change over time, but not managing of event-based architectures. This will be a continuing trend driven by event-based programming and push models for notifications commonly found in technologies built on top of technology such as Node.js or other event-based frameworks.

Read Looking Back at 2017 APM Predictions - Did They Come True? Part 2, outlining the 2017 APM Predictions that came true.

Jonah Kowall is CTO of Kentik
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