Real-Time APM for a Smooth Flight into Cloudy Skies

Cloud adoption is accelerating in the corporate sector as businesses exploit the new paradigm shift to enhance productivity and reduce costs while maintaining continuous availability of their IT services and products to end users. Indeed, the cloud offers compelling advantages over traditional in-house IT infrastructure – high returns on investments and unprecedented scalability. However, leveraging cloud services to achieve maximum business value requires thorough understanding of the cloud economy and application performance management (APM) in cloud deployments.

The layer of abstraction between functionality and delivery of cloud services makes it particularly challenging for IT executives to establish effective cloud-APM controls. A recent survey conducted by the research firm International Data Group (IDG) finds 73 percent of businesses are losing productivity as a consequence of poor application performance. And with cloud investments expected to reach $131 billion by the year 2017 as per Gartner’s predictions, analysts at IDG believe performance and availability will remain the top concerns for businesses leveraging cloud infrastructure for the delivery of their IT services.

Cloud migration itself is a challenge for organizations running legacy applications to serve critical IT needs. Businesses that jump on the bandwagon of cloud computing without analyzing the performance of legacy applications before migrating components to the cloud are more likely to suffer application performance issues down the road. On the other hand, developing cloud-specific applications promises better performance and ease of monitoring in the cloud environment, which therefore reduces the possibility of downtime and prolonged service outages.

In either case, diagnosing performance issues in highly dynamic environments is equally challenging as application dependency mapping changes continuously and is updated for every single service instance. Managing application performance and diagnosing server-related root causes in cloud networks therefore require APM controls capable of analyzing service delivery topological maps in real-time, across all network tiers.

The primary motive behind migrating to cloud environments is to transition from a resource-focused on-site IT infrastructure to a service-focused cloud network while following a use-based IT chargeback system. However, this system is only viable if businesses choose appropriate chargeback models, allocate resources that align with their IT needs and prevent over-provisioning of cloud resources. APM solutions that monitor resource utilization per instance served allow IT executives to choose appropriate service tiers while fine-tuning their applications for profitable resource utilization.

The goal of cloud APM controls is to establish accurate levels of visibility into cloud deployments, both from a financial and IT performance perspective. These insights help businesses to reduce the chances of over-provisioning and under-utilization of cloud resources, while providing the ability to diagnose and resolve IT issues as soon as they arise. These factors combine to deliver a profitable cloud alternative to costly and complex legacy IT infrastructure, allowing businesses to focus on producing quality products and services for their customers instead of investing time in making cloud deployments that just work.