Application Performance Management (APM) was first introduced in the mid-’90s to address complex Java applications built to J2EE application servers. Then in the early part of the 2000s, APM evolved to address the newly invented n-tier application and the resulting distributed application architecture. Now, the application architecture is shifting again to an even more distributed and approach-oriented basis around microservices running in containers.
Let us explore how today’s applications need to be monitored based on business needs and challenges driven by increased complexity, including:
Finally, and most importantly, how APM must evolve to become more comprehensive, simpler to implement, and more affordable to address this explosion of new applications in production.
Digital Transformation means that the key business processes of the company get implemented in software. This creates the following imperatives for the teams building and managing these applications in production:
In summary, the teams building and supporting all these new applications at every enterprise must now be as agile in building the new applications, and in enhancing them over time to keep them competitive as software vendors have become.
Today the question is not whether to do cloud, but which clouds and how many different ones will be deployed. Enterprises who want direct control of their underlying infrastructure have an on-premises, private or hybrid cloud using a vendor like VMware vSphere. Alternatively, organisations who do not wish to set up or maintain their own cloud servers choose public clouds like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Most organisations have a blended, multi-cloud architecture where public clouds are integrated with the existing on-premises, private or hybrid cloud. Multi-cloud architecture is needed for two main reasons:
This means for cloud operations teams, the cloud is a source of increased complexity, not a source of simplification. In these complex environments, it is crucial that the APM tools do not become a source of complexity and management overhead themselves.
The modern application, technical stack, and its dynamic behaviour, combined with the development process create the following new and unprecedented challenges for teams building and supporting these new applications in production:
The SolarWinds APM Suite — Pingdom, AppOptics, and Loggly combine user experience monitoring with custom metrics, code analysis, distributed tracing, log analytics, and log management to provide unmatched visibility into modern applications. A key feature of the suite is that all the major types of data are collected, including logs, traces, metrics, and both synthetic and real end-user experience data. The suite is also unique in how its feature functionality works across all three major architectural patterns for application development—monoliths, n-tier SOA, and microservice-based applications.
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