Everything you wanted to know about APM but were too afraid to ask
What's all the fuss about?
Have you ever wondered why Cisco were happy to fork out $3.7 billion for App Dynamics back in 2017? Perhaps you want to better understand why monitoring experts have switched their focus to applications in place of infrastructure. Whatever your background, our complete guide to Application Performance Management (APM) has you covered.
But before we dive in, let's start with a quiz! Which of the following statements do you agree with?
A. IT should focus on supporting business services, not just maintaining infrastructure.
B. Key revenue-generating applications should be monitored with top-of-the-line tools.
C. But, these same tools are too expensive for monitoring every enterprise application.
Bing bing bing! If you agreed with any, but preferably all of these statements, then read on to find out more about APM and how, together with Enterprise Application Monitoring (EAM), you can build a robust, centralized monitoring strategy that caters for all the needs of your IT and business stakeholders.
This guide is by no means a technological showdown between APM and EAM. In fact, EAM takes the service-centric approach to monitoring first used by APM and applies it to the masses – albeit at a different level of detail. For that reason your organization should have both these technology types on its radar. This guide, whilst focusing more heavily on APM, does include snippets of detail for EAM too.
Right, let's get started.
Everything you need to know about APM
EAM: A cost-effective alternative to APM
We're big APM fans, but with enterprise IT typically responsible for hundreds - or even thousands - of applications. APM doesn't scale at the rate you need.
Gartner positions SCOM as a top APM tool
SCOM surged forward as an application performance management (APM) tool this summer. It received a Customers’ Choice 2018 award from Gartner in the APM category. SCOM shared the honour with AppDynamics, Dynatrace, New Relic and Solarwinds.
What is Application Performance Management?
Application Performance Management (APM) tools are hot right now - so much so that it won't be long before APM reaches the same level of notoriety as the cloud, the IoT, and a personal favourite - big data.
The science behind APM - how it works
Monitoring has typically been the remit of small, specialised IT Operations teams but the tools they’ve been given are rarely fit for purpose in today’s demanding environments. Heavyweight, centralised monitoring tools tend to lead with an infrastructure-centric monitoring approach, which is great if you want a huge amount of granular detail about the health and availability of individual infrastructure components but not so great if you want to understand how these components impact application
Three ways APM will win over the business
You have no doubt heard about Application Performance Management (APM) and how internal IT teams are using APM to stay relevant in the face of competition brought about by shadow IT. So, let us take a look at three business benefits which APM will deliver to your organisation:
The challenges of choosing an APM tool
How do you choose an APM tool? You search online and you see there is a lot of choice. But you can only choose one. And it's a big decision. You need to find a tool that can monitor your crown jewel applications. You know that the cost of an APM tool is high. And you know that it's going to be a challenging and lengthy process to implement it.
What is Enterprise Application Monitoring?
Businesses need IT services that work, and that means applications that that don't go down or slow down. And whilst you might know the status of your infrastructure, do you really know where to look when things go wrong?
Sure, Application Performance Management (APM) tools offer a lot of promise, but the nature of its evolution means APM is far better suited for monitoring web apps than any other. And with enterprise IT typically responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of applications - across Windows and Linux, SQL and Oracle, on-prem and the cloud - APM isn't necessarily the answer for the majority of your enterprise applications. This is where Enterprise Application Monitoring (EAM) comes in.
EAM scales application-focused monitoring to the masses, whilst APM tools deliver richer, code-level insights for a select few. The best bit? EAM utilizes your existing monitoring stack so there's no need for any news agents, databases or infrastructure.
Fast, modern HTML5
The user interface that SCOM deserves - blazing fast, easy to learn and accessible from any browser. A truly modern user experience that engages everyone with your monitoring data.
Enterprise Application Designer
Model your applications and save discoveries into SCOM using the Squared Up Enterprise Application (EA) Designer - replacing traditional SCOM distributed applications.
Visual Application Discovery & Analysis
At the heart of our Enterprise Application Monitoring solution is the ground-breaking VADA technology. VADA leverages the SCOM agent to dynamically map your applications across your infrastructure.
Use the EA Designer to configure URL or TCP- based outside-in availability monitoring of your applications, enabling you to surface meaningful application status dashboards and availability reporting to your business.
Out-of-the-box application dashboards allow you to rapidly deliver meaningful, end-to-end application monitoring to stakeholders across your organisation.
Almost every enterprise or cloud product these days has a web-based API, and the WebAPI tile enables you to integrate data from those products directly into your dashboards.
Share unlimited dashboards with an unlimited number of users. Open Access renders dashboards on the server-side and so you can provide your users with access to the latest data at no extra cost.
The SLA gauge visualization uses the built-in SCOM Service Level Tracking feature to report on application and server uptime so you can report on service levels and downtime.
Fire up Visio, open or create any diagram you can imagine, associate with SCOM objects, applications and groups using Visio shape data and then import into SquaredUp as a completely custom dashboard.
One of the core visualisations, the line charts have been carefully designed to deliver clarity, style and functionality for your SCOM data warehouse performance data.
Often used with the 'top N' reporting features, bar charts allow you to quickly focus on key resource usage metrics such as disk space and network utilisation.
Use custom images - from world maps to company logos - to provide meaning and context to your dashboards.