Two good independent surveys of Application Performance Management practices

Two recent thoughtful overviews, by Bernd Harzog and the staff at SearchNetworking, respectively, do a particularly good job of capturing the current best thinking on application performance management (APM). Whatever your role in devops, software programming, or information technology (IT) management, you’ll want to study at least one of these pieces to understand what APM can do for you.

The first, “SDDC Application Performance Management“, already appeared briefly in last week’s “IT Ops” write-up, “‘Performance’ means something new in a rationalized cloud architecture“. Then, I focused on the role of virtualization in lowering computing reserves. Harzog, one of the best analysts of cloud architectures, published “SDDC APM” for “The Virtualization Practice” site. A common impetus to virtualization is the cost-saving increase in utilization achieves. Many IT organizations, though, rely on the reserves under-utilization provides; they aren’t equipped to manage application performance in a computationally-efficient environment.

Harzog ranges far beyond simple utilization in his article. He outlines the key attributes pertinent to modern APM, and how they relate to business requirements and the evolving cloud ecosystem. Central to “SDDC APM” are two tables which compare commercial APM products, one each for developer- and operations-oriented tools. He then concludes with decision-making advice. This is what I call “adult language”: mature, eminently-practical clarity that is the next best thing to having an experienced consultant sit beside you as you work through your own APM challenges and opportunities. While Harzog’s descriptions are dense with keywords he assumes readers already understand, he’s accurate and on-target throughout.

Application performance monitoring best practices” is a bit more easily-digested and better-suited to those newest to APM. Structured as a “guide” or sequence of annotations on references to ten specific topics which bear on APM, “… best practices” is a great place to begin study of APM in spring 2013. While the writing is occasionally uneven, the many authors involved hit a number of interesting high points, including VoIP monitoring, scripted causal analysis, and management of application delivery controllers (ADC).

One of the great challenges in technical work is that most expertise is in the employ of vendors. This makes it hard, of course, to locate information that’s simultaneously deep and unbiased enough to be useful. Make a point of scanning “… best practices” and “SDDC APM” to learn what independent voices say about APM.