Monday, 23 January 2012

APM Market Disruptors - AppDynamics and New Relic

Over the past five years I've worked with many large enterprises to help them deploy, manage and optimise their application performance toolsets (and their applications for that matter). I've encountered and used a large collection of APM products like OpTier, CA Wily, HP Diagnostics and dynaTrace - I'm always on the lookout for new application monitoring tools that enter the market. Two tools that caught my eye recently are AppDynamics and New Relic. Both companies are based out of San Francisco and have years of APM DNA in their leadership team and technology. What makes them particularly eye-catching is the way they are both attacking the cost/complexity deficiencies of the more legacy APM toolsets. New Relic and AppDynamics solve these deficiencies in slightly different and innovative ways and the purpose of this blog is to provide an overview of each solution and summarize my own thoughts on the approaches each has taken to simplify and disrupt the APM market.

Monday, 2 January 2012

My 2012 New Year's Resolution - More APM Blogging

Happy New Year!

My New Year's resolution is to update this blog more, particularly with posts on Application Performance Monitoring products. This market is growing fast and becoming increasingly more complicated in terms of product offerings by the various vendors in this space. Gartner has tried to simplify things with their Magic Quadrant but theirs is a very feature centric view of the world and also places many vendors in the "Leaders" category which, to me at least, confuses things even more.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing an APM product and these should go beyond feature comparisons and marketing material to also include how you operate as a business:
  • Do you outsource your IT and application support or do you have in-house IT teams?
  • Do you outsource application development?
  • What skill sets do your in-house/outsourced IT teams have?
  • Who will  support your APM product long term?
  • How frequent are your application release cycles?
  • How easy is it to install software agents in your data center?
  • How easy is it to install a network sniffing device in your data center?
  • Who will be the audience for the data provided by the APM product and who will take action on that data?
  • How will it integrate with your existing processes?
These are just a few examples of the more business/operational factors which need to be considered when evaluating APM products in the market today. You may look at a particular vendors offering which meets your requirements in terms of features but may not be a good fit for your organisation in terms of how you operate.

My goal in the next series of posts is to provide a broader view of the APM product space, taking a look at some of the players in this market and analysing their capabilities in terms of use cases and real life usage scenarios.

Stay tuned!