Managing the Performance of Applications – What KillerApps 2013 Revealed
October 15, 2013
Béatrice Piquer-Durand
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According to a new study of global CIOs and IT decision makers, bandwidth requirements and network spending are both increasing. Simultaneously, application problems are also on the rise. Taken together, these results suggest that throwing more bandwidth and more funds at network management isn't working.

These results suggest that traditional WAN optimization techniques are no longer working. Companies today need more. They need guaranteed application performance.

The Current State of Application Management

According to KillerApps 2013, a global study commissioned by Ipanema Technologies and Easynet of 650 CIOs and IT decision makers, bandwidth requirements are on the rise. Nearly half (44%) of respondents said their bandwidth requirements are growing at 10-20%+ per annum. 32% said their requirements were growing at 20-30% per annum. Compared to results from 2012, both these figures are higher – indicating that not only are bandwidth requirements growing, but that they are growing faster than the year before.

Networking budgets are also on the rise globally, with 52% of respondents reporting a growth of networking budget in the last year. Again this figure is far higher than 2012 where roughly only a third of organizations increased networking budgets. Companies are spending more on their networks.
Despite increased budgets, application performance issues are also on the rise. In KillerApps 2012, it was noted that the majority of organizations suffer application performance problems. This trend has only continued in 2013, with 79% of respondents citing issues in the last 12 months. The study suggests that these application performance problems are becoming more frequent. In fact the majority (54%) of organizations surveyed found that application performance problems, such as slowness or non-responsiveness, are happening more often. This is a 10% rise on 2012.

These performance problems are hitting business-critical applications the hardest. 34% of respondents noted that their business critical apps (like ERP) most frequently suffer performance problems. A close second were video applications and UC, with 28% of the respondents citing frequent issues. Collaboration software, vertical applications, and Cloud SaaS applications were also suffering.

How Traditional Application Management Techniques are Falling Short

What is clear from KillerApps 2013 is that the traditional approaches to network management are no longer enough. Throwing more bandwidth at the problem, which is a common solution, is clearly not working. The other most common option, WAN optimization, provides acceleration, which can increase bandwidth resources - but it's not enough, as acceleration doesn't enable control.

Today's businesses need to guarantee the performance and success of the entire application portfolio, regardless of if it's ERP, unified communications, cloud applications, virtual desktops, social media, video, telepresence, big data, mobility and/or BYOD. WAN optimization tools are limited to simply increasing the efficiency of the data network and are unable to handle the increasingly sophisticated demands of hybrid networks, video traffic flows and cloud applications.

What KillerApps 2013 reveals is that the rise of continuously more sophisticated applications means many organizations are heading toward "application anarchy", where IT departments lose control of how systems use the network, and the performance of individual applications. Today, 66% of respondents rely upon server response time to know there's an issue. 42% rely upon user complaints. By the time organisations realise there are issues, business is already impacted.

The New Type of Application Management: APG Solutions

In the wake of the failure of traditional application management tools, companies today need more than more bandwidth or WAN optimization. They need Application Performance Guarantee (APG) solutions.

APG solutions allow companies to dynamically control and guarantee application performance over the network according to their business criticality. It is a global integrated system that offers full visibility into what's happening over the network, who is using applications and for what performance. It helps enterprise to guarantee application SLA and the end-users experience. It is the first step to addressing the productivity issues caused by application performance problems.

Simultaneously, an APG solution enables resellers to offer IT Directors the metrics and the KPIs needed to align IT with user experience and business objectives. IT directors can use dynamic control to align network spend while drawing on the insight provided to allocate network resources where they matter.

Some APG solutions available on the market today use metrics, such as Application Quality Score or AQS (a one-to-ten metric), to manage application performance over the network. By combining a variety of sub-metrics (such as round trip time, server response time, transaction activity and TCP retransmits) and unique "one-way" network metrics (such as transit delay, loss and jitter), the "one to ten" AQS score is a top level view that reflects the application performance that users experience for each application running over the WAN.

Taken together, these elements of APG provide a solution to the problems revealed in KillerApps 2013. For network managers, the time has come to think differently. The time has come to go beyond WAN optimization to guarantee application performance.

ABOUT Béatrice Piquer Durand

Béatrice Piquer Durand is VP of Marketing for Ipanema Technologies. Durand is a seasoned marketing leader in the IT industry focused on the development of marketing strategies for start-ups. Before joining Ipanema Technologies in 2001, she worked as marketing director for several companies including Thomson Multimedia (Technicolor), Catalliances (Prodware) and Interface Data. Durand has extensive business and management experience in the IT and Telecom sectors. In addition to a Masters in Marketing and Sales Management from Ecole Supérieure de Vente de Paris, Durand holds an Executive MBA from HEC Paris.

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