Interest in the Application Performance Management (APM) category is very high right now. To stay one step ahead of their clients, the Industry Analysts who cover the category and write research to advise their clients have been very busy. In December alone, there were six different analyst reports being researched by the major analyst firms.
Forrester published the results of their research in the 2nd week of December with the report: Market Overview: Application Performance Management, Q4 2011. Forrester clients can access the report at www.forrester.com. In this report, Forrester provides very sound advice on why APM exists and what it should do for clients. Forrester has created their own “Reference Model” for APM and evaluated the vendor landscape against those criteria.
Raison d’etre for APM
Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, JP Garbani, gives readers very pragmatic advice on the raison d’etre for APM. Simply put, APM’s job is to:
1) Alert IT to application performance and availability issues before a full-scale outage occurs
2) Isolate or pinpoint the problem source
3) Provide deep-diagnostics to enable IT to determine the root cause
For several years now, JP Garbani has been on the forefront of proclaiming that modern APM solutions should enable IT organizations to manage apps not by gauging the heath of their servers or servlets, but instead by assessing what the customer or end-user cares about most – whether their Business Transaction completes quickly and doesn’t make them wait. He states that this has become even more critical as applications have gotten more distributed and complex.
For most organizations, the Business Transaction will be something like “Login,” “Checkout,” or “Pay Bill” – which is how the end-user thinks about the transaction they are attempting to execute. Mr. Garbani goes further to point out why managing apps by Business Transaction is so important: Only when the APM solution can map and trace each Business Transaction across the app infrastructure tiers being used can the APM solution be truly effective at step two and three above–isolating the problem source and determining root cause.
JP Garbani also states three conclusions that we wholeheartedly agree with.
1) Application performance is critical for workforce productivity (and customer productivity too)
2) IT favors new projects with short-term ROI and APM delivers exactly that.
3) Without tools & automation like APM, managing business service complexity is unmanageable
AppDynamics receives top scores
AppDynamics was pleased to be covered in this report and to receive the top score in key dimensions of Forrester’s Reference Model:
Our clients care passionately about having the best possible visibility into their application health and being able to quickly troublehoot and resolve problems. This report gives them solid advice on what to expect from your APM solution and how to justify it.
ROI becoming critical for APM
We also appreciate that Forrester calls out ROI as a critical concern in the current economy. When comparing APM solutions, it is important to assess all the R’s and I’s. Here are a few suggestions for how to do this:
R – which APM solution provides your organization the the most visibility into the health of your application?
R – which APM solution will make your IT organization fastest at determining root cause and resolving issues?
R – which APM solution has the fastest-time-to-value. Which one would allow you to be deployed today?
R – which APM solution is so easy to use that more of your Application/IT Operations folks will adopt it?
I – what is the total cost of license and maintenance over 3-5 years?
I – what are the total costs of hardware and system software required to host the APM software?
I – what is the cost of the initial deployment in terms of personnel, consultant and training costs?
I – what are the ongoing costs to maintain the APM systems configuration and instrumentation?
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