The Status Quo of IT Monitoring
February 11, 2016

Sahil Khanna

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In December of 2015, Moogsoft exhibited at AppDynamics AppSphere, an Application Performance Management (APM) user conference that was attended by 1,500+ IT Operations leaders from Fortune 500 enterprises around the world.

To make the most of the opportunity, we conducted an IT monitoring survey with attendees to better understand the current state of monitoring across organizations. A variety of questions were asked, from the number of monitoring tools they use, to the time it takes to detect and resolve incidents, to what they hope to see from vendors in the future.

While some responses were predictable, some were actually rather surprising based on general assumptions typically made by those of us confined within the world of APM. The responses left us with two key takeaways:

1. APM is just one of many monitoring tools used by an enterprise.

2. Enterprises still lack a single-pane-of-glass view across their production stack.

APM vendors all like to think of their solutions as "the single-pane-of-glass" or "the #1 tool". The reality is that it's an ecosystem out there and no enterprise bets on one vendor or solution. Applications, Networks and Infrastructure are like speaking three different languages in IT Operations. Sure, these stacks will converge at some point in time, but present day data points suggest we’re a long way away.

Take for example our first question:

On average, respondents reported between 5-10 different monitoring tools in their production environment, with 50% of organizations having 10 or more tools at their disposal. That's over 10 different perspectives of performance across your applications, networks and infrastructure.

In addition to APM, IT organizations have invested in network monitoring, storage monitoring, system monitoring, cloud monitoring, log management, and all other sorts of tools to help maintain the performance and availability of their services. If anything, you could strongly argue that each new tool creates new organizational silos, or teams of expertise. This lack of vendor integration or ecosystem play ends up hurting everyone involved.

With all of these different tools and perspectives, which is the right one at any given moment in time? The relevancy of this question became apparent when we saw the answers from some of the following survey questions:

As it turns out, the most common challenge across enterprises today is their lack of a "single pane of glass". Quite ironic, given how most APM and monitoring vendors pitch themselves as a single pane of glass these days.

You can also see that the second most common challenge is lack of collaboration across team silo’s, or lack of situational awareness you could say.

More tools implicitly create more visibility, but at the same time they create operational complexity because they were never designed to work together. IT Operations Analytics can definitely be a solution to this problem, in that customers can get that complete correlated view across their production stack and tools.

Sahil Khanna is Product Marketing Manager at Moogsoft.

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