Fighting Application and APM Complexity

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At AppDynamics I’m pretty excited to be involved with such a great bunch of people that are rewriting the rulebooks of how customers manage application performance. A pretty bold statement to make you might be thinking? Perhaps. But having spent my life traveling the world to conquer application performance and availability, I’m pretty happy to stick my cape out on this one. It’s not that I’ve seen it all; for me it’s been about understanding what works and what doesn’t work with customers trying to scale and solve the APM discipline in their organization.

Applications became distributed with the adoption of SOA. They became virtualized with utility computing, and now they’re heading for more distribution with Cloud. Throw in Big Data and Agile development and customer’s applications will grow and change more than ever. Life for Dev and Ops teams to manage these business services and apps has never been more complex.

To deal with complexity you have to manage with simplicity, without being simplistic. Monitoring solutions should not add complexity to the application environments they monitor and manage.  Nor should they make an agile team less agile. You will never scale or solve a problem like APM if the technology and processes associated are complex. Complexity in yesterday’s APM solutions is tamed by subject matter experts or professional services organizations. Manually configuring installs, thresholds, baselines, instrumentation, overhead, data collection and dashboards is just not workable in an Agile world where Applications constantly change. Doing things manually multiplies APM and application complexity rather than solve it.

The Older Generation of APM

Its ironic that as I write this blog Wily Coyote recently released a 504 page book entitled “APM Best Practices” to help their customers deal with APM complexity. Unfortunately Wily Coyote couldn’t quite manage to beat the 688 page master class that the Boys in Blue recommend you read before deploying their APM software. I find this direction mind boggling. If you need to read 500+ pages of documentation to deploy APM software, then the APM and application world is truly doomed my friends! A book doesn’t solve APM complexity. That, my friends, is down to the vendors themselves who continue to convince themselves that it’s not their software that’s the problem, probably because they’ve got an army of consultants waiting to help out or write books.

AppDynamics fully recognize the challenges and shortcomings of first generation APM solutions because like me they lived and breathed it for their entire life. It’s refreshing to see a group of people so laser-focused on delivering Next Gen APM that is simple to deploy and use so that customers can truly scale and exploit the benefits of APM across their organization.

I hereby declare war on APM complexity,

App Man.