The Confusing Flavors of APM
June 28, 2013

Jim Swepson

Share this

Attending Interop in Vegas last month, I was surprised to note the number of vendors exhibiting their wares under the banner of APM – Application Performance Management. With all the different offerings, it was rather confusing.

It got me thinking about a trip I’d taken the night before to an ice-cream parlour. I love ice-cream, and at the parlour there were plenty of flavors on offer. With APM, as with ice-cream, meeting customer demand is key — one flavor doesn’t suit everyone.

I’ve been aware of APM for a good number of years but it’s only recently that companies are taking performance of applications (as opposed to availability) seriously. It can be a bit confusing for anyone venturing into this area, but with more cloud and virtual solutions being taken up, the importance of application performance over networks becomes paramount as networks, of all sorts, form a critical part of the delivery.

So what are the flavors of APM? According to Bojan Simic, an analyst with TRAC Research, "APM consists of multiple underlying technologies and nine sub-markets that cover buyers’ requirements” and he goes on to say that ”the APM market is not well defined and end-user organizations often find it challenging to understand what APM technologies are relevant for their specific needs."

No wonder it’s confusing to the customer who has a need - it sounds like the market itself is offering many solutions around APM, but, somehow you have to work out for yourself, which one will best meet your needs. There doesn’t seem to be no-one flavor that suits all…

APM is a term that has been invented relatively recently. Clearly, the name should say it all - “Application Performance Management”, but there are two general approaches: Those tools that deal with Application Performance e.g. "response time" and "throughput", and those that deal with "infrastructural issues" which lead to poor application performance e.g. running out of network bandwidth.

The latter have pre-existed the name APM and in a sense are not truly APM tools at all, but they are now often bundled into this terminology as infrastructure performance issues inevitably lead to Application Performance Issues.

But there are other important aspects of APM, e.g. Enterprise Management Associates recently completed their EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management 2013. In the report, EMA VP of Research, Jim Frey, talks about how there is now "a focus on recognizing and eliminating performance degradations".

From my perspective this fits in nicely with my view of APM, it may have a different title, but fundamentally it’s about keeping your application performing well, but with greater understanding of the issues.

In the end though, it’s going to be up to you, the client, to decide what flavor of APM suits your environment (server focused, client focused, network focused, investigative etc.), and if Interop 2013 is anything to go by, there is a plethora of options to choose from.

If you can’t get out of the office, then check out blog sites such as APMdigest and analyst information such as Ovum Group’s Solution Guide: Application Performance Management — as with TRAC and EMA, there is a good overview of not only the differing vendor offerings, but also what now constitutes APM.

So like ice cream there may be many flavors, just make sure you know which flavors suits your business needs and when you’ve chosen your flavor you can choose from the brands that deliver it.

Jim Swepson is Pre-sales Technologist at Itrinegy.

Related Links:

TRAC Research APM Spectrum

EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management 2013

Ovum Solution Guide for APM

Share this

The Latest

March 27, 2023

To achieve maximum availability, IT leaders must employ domain-agnostic solutions that identify and escalate issues across all telemetry points. These technologies, which we refer to as Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations, create convergence — in other words, they provide IT and DevOps teams with the full picture of event management and downtime ...

March 23, 2023

APMdigest and leading IT research firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) are partnering to bring you the EMA-APMdigest Podcast, a new podcast focused on the latest technologies impacting IT Operations. In Episode 2 - Part 1 Pete Goldin, Editor and Publisher of APMdigest, discusses Network Observability with Shamus McGillicuddy, Vice President of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at EMA ...

March 22, 2023

CIOs have stepped into the role of digital leader and strategic advisor, according to the 2023 Global CIO Survey from Logicalis ...

March 21, 2023

Synthetic monitoring is crucial to deploy code with confidence as catching bugs with E2E tests on staging is becoming increasingly difficult. It isn't trivial to provide realistic staging systems, especially because today's apps are intertwined with many third-party APIs ...

March 20, 2023

Recent EMA field research found that ServiceOps is either an active effort or a formal initiative in 78% of the organizations represented by a global panel of 400+ IT leaders. It is relatively early but gaining momentum across industries and organizations of all sizes globally ...

March 16, 2023

Managing availability and performance within SAP environments has long been a challenge for IT teams. But as IT environments grow more complex and dynamic, and the speed of innovation in almost every industry continues to accelerate, this situation is becoming a whole lot worse ...

March 15, 2023

Harnessing the power of network-derived intelligence and insights is critical in detecting today's increasingly sophisticated security threats across hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure, according to a new research study from IDC ...

March 14, 2023

Recent research suggests that many organizations are paying for more software than they need. If organizations are looking to reduce IT spend, leaders should take a closer look at the tools being offered to employees, as not all software is essential ...

March 13, 2023

Organizations are challenged by tool sprawl and data source overload, according to the Grafana Labs Observability Survey 2023, with 52% of respondents reporting that their companies use 6 or more observability tools, including 11% that use 16 or more.

March 09, 2023

An array of tools purport to maintain availability — the trick is sorting through the noise to find the right one. Let us discuss why availability is so important and then unpack the ROI of deploying Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) during an economic downturn ...