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Gartner Says IT Operations Analytics to Supplement APM


Gartner Says IT Operations Analytics to Supplement APM


blog gartner logoRecently Gartner Research VP, Will Cappelli, published a report exploring the issue of Will IT Operations Analytics Platforms Replace APM Suites?

In the report, following the previous year's tremendous growth for APM investments, he explores how APM has delivered and what the coming year has in store. He notes that now "many enterprises are planning to spend less of their overall IT operations technology budget on APM technologies in 2013 than they did in 2012."

The report raises questions about the future of the APM market, and whether enterprises should reconsider their commitment to application-centric IT operations management. 

To this he says "The answer is a qualified no.' IT operations teams should use IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) platforms to supplement and not replace investments in end-user experience monitoring, application topology discovery and modeling, user-defined transaction profiling, and deep-dive component monitoring."

What will IT Operations Analytics have to offer APM?

The Promise and Growth of Application Performance Management (APM)

In today's IT environments, while hard downtime comes up for investigation, intermittent slowdowns and failures go unreported and undiagnosed. An inherent undersampling of problem occurs with intermittent issues. APM technologies attempt to apply a passive analysis of all environment activity in real time to isolate intermittent failures and slowdowns. Striving to proactively manage the performance, health and capacity of IT infrastructure, APM technologies help organizations monitor everything from an end-to-end business perspective, that otherwise can be blind to the point of contact between IT and the business. 

Market growth has shown the greater awareness and acceptance of APM. As Gartner research shows, that "Between midyear 2011 and midyear 2012, we estimate that on-premises APM technology spend grew by about 10%." 

Yet APM spend is looking to slow as Gartner's research projects that "by midyear.2013, the market will have experienced an annual growth rate of something close to 5%." 

Interest Grows in Cross-domain ITOA Platforms

APM technology vendors hail their ability to analyze billions of transactions and capture billions metrics per day. Yet Gartner adds that "while application-performance-data-specific analytics capabilities have always been considered essential to a comprehensive APM solution, the last 18 months have seen an intensification of interest in cross-domain ITOA platforms." 

Will ITOA replace APM?

While many enterprises believe that ITOA platforms can actually be deployed as a substitute for traditional APM suites, Cappelli suggests otherwise. 

He explains that "Most ITOA platforms support one or two of five technologies that execute automated inferences from pre-performance, event, and fault data sources: complex operations event processing, statistical pattern discovery, topological analysis, unstructured text indexing, search, inference, and high-dimensional cube analysis. As such, these platforms are applicable to many IT domains: networks, storage, virtual fabric, applications, etc…. However, the power of any of these technologies is significantly enhanced if, before any inferring actually takes place, the data from which it starts is organized and structured in a way that reflects a knowledge of a given domain's physical and logical topology." 

Gartner Recommends ITOA to Supplement APM

This means maintaining an enterprise's APM investment but complementing and enhancing that outlay with the power of IT Operations Analytics. Cappelli recommends that "IT operations teams should use ITOA platforms to supplement and not replace investments in end-user experience monitoring, application topology discovery and modeling, user-defined transaction profiling, and deep-dive component monitoring." 

A Unique Approach to IT operations Analytics

Today IT operations faces new levels of challenges that can no longer be handled with existing approaches alone. This means applying some more serious brain power to help deal with the complexity and dynamics of today's IT environments. Evolven's IT Operations Analytics solution delivers the intelligence that IT operations organizations crave, allowing them to turn piles of IT operations' data into actionable information. Like Cappelli describes, this solution can supplement an APM application, by providing near real-time insight into configuration changes, not matter how subtle. 

Evolven provides a versatile technology for monitoring and analyzing applications and infrastructure configuration across the entire environment, identifying the changes, differences, inconsistencies and misconfigurations that can threaten environment stability (or already having caused an issue). Giving a consolidated view of the entire environment stack, Evolven allows various IT teams (devops, operations, infrastructure etc.) to monitor and control configuration and associated changes over the various layers and siloes of the environment stack. 

Evolven's IT Operations Analytics applies breakthrough automated analytics to enable companies to dramatically increase the performance and availability of their IT environments, reduce the risk of production outages, lower operating costs, and cut environment incident investigation time and effort. This can help deliver on the promise of APM technologies.

Your Turn
How will IT Operations Analytics complement your APM operation?

About the Author
Martin Perlin