Last week, in “What’s In? What’s Out? …“, “Sky’s the limit …“, and “Start your cloud journey in the right direction” the “Real User Monitoring” blog focused on definition of good targets for an organization’s application performance management (APM). This is a delicate balance, one that deserves at least one more day of exploration.
Shabbir Baliwala, Compuware Asia Solution Sales Director, speaks for most analysts now when he writes,
Traditional performance management solutions are now insufficient because they either focus on the infrastructure performance and not the application, or only cover parts of the chain, leaving blind spots, with no insight into what the user is actually experiencing.
It’s time for APM to be bigger and more comprehensive. To fulfill meaningful business goals well, APM needs to go beyond, for instance, conventional network performance monitoring (NPM). That’s why Baliwala insists on converged NPM-APM: “Only by integrating Network Performance Monitoring into Application Performance Management can more effective decisions be made regarding IT investments, problem resolution, resource utilisation and allocation.”
“Balance” enters the formula because when an APM project grows too ambitious, it becomes far more prone to overruns in time and money, and even outright failure. APM’s too important to risk those hazards.
On the other hand, there’s another payoff at which Baliwala only hints: sufficiently comprehensive and well-executed APM has great potential to inform other domains of IT (information technology). Michael Azoff provocatively argues against “a logical separation between security and the rest of application development“. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Kaplan wants APM to integrate identity management. What I think both know, but haven’t yet said forcefully within my earshot, is that only APM which integrates identity and security has a hope of, for example, intercepting many modern security exploits. Techniques from business intelligence operating on APM datafeeds will be the only way to detect the faint signal of sophisticated attacks which perturb baseline patterns of application performance. Converged monitoring doesn’t just boost the health of applications’ performance; it has a uniquely capability to feed back to and enhance security.
Recognize the rich and strategic potential APM has, and you improve your chances not only “to gain executive buy-in“, as Larry Dragich advises, but to profit from the APM you undertake.