It's common for modern businesses to rely on 2,000+ custom-developed applications and it requires substantial cost, time and effort to ensure 24/7 optimal performance of those applications. IT Ops teams depend on advanced application performance monitoring (APM) to scale up key business capabilities and boost innovation. But the APM tools that provide the deepest insights for critical applications are extremely expensive and are cumbersome to deploy. Your applications and use cases will help you select from a few discrete categories of application monitoring tools.
Advanced APM tools were originally created for developers to get insights into Java virtual machines (JVMs). They evolved to have the goal of helping developers and IT operations managers work together by locating, analyzing and resolving issues in code before it affects end users. Again, while these tools provide great application insights, they are very expensive and require significant development expertise to deploy. Industry analysts broadly agree that these tools are deployed for only 5-10% of a given enterprise's applications.
Other application monitoring approaches have recently emerged. Given the trend toward cloud adoption, some monitoring tools are focused only on cloud-native apps. These are less expensive and typically easier to deploy but are limited to use cases where apps are cloud-native. Another approach is lightweight application monitoring that is inexpensive, works in hybrid environments, and also connects the application to the underlying infrastructure — closing a significant gap that exists with the legacy APM tools.
Gaps in Legacy APM Tools
Even the best legacy APM tools are limited in their view of IT service topology. They can see pretty much everything within the application and have visibility into the operating systems, but are mostly blind to other IT service components — such as storage, networking, etc. This has been the biggest flaw of APM tools, even as they became a staple of every modern IT environment. IT leaders were told the application is what matters, so spend your time and money on the application, not all of that complicated infrastructure. The issue with this is every one of the applications is supported by underlying infrastructure (cloud and on prem). If a disk is spinning funny in a storage array or if a network port is flapping, APM tools have zero visibility into those things. So they can troubleshoot application issues to the extent they remain above the threshold of things APM tools can see, which is 20-30% of a given IT service chain.
You Can Have It All by Diversifying Your Application Monitoring
The most critical applications require advanced APM, and it's worth the time and money. But even in these cases, an effort must be made to integrate that monitoring with the monitoring of the underlying infrastructure. Otherwise, the endeavor to ensure application performance is futile. For cloud-native applications, you don't need heavy APM tools. There are simpler, less expensive tools that provide plenty of insight for cloud-native apps. For all other applications, there is new hope — tools offered by the same vendors who offer deep cloud and infrastructure monitoring. These tools provide an inexpensive, lightweight approach that also ties the applications to the underlying infrastructure, providing a full topology of the end-to-end IT service.
During our recent webinar, Right Tool, Right App, 451 Research Senior Analyst Nancy Gohring shared her insights on the rapidly evolving world of application monitoring and analytics and how to use the right blend of application monitoring tools for your environment to ensure optimized performance for all of your applications. Watch the full webinar to learn more.