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Rolling Review: Holistic Application Performance Management

 

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If you've ever gotten an earful from an irate business user complaining about sluggish performance, or had fingers pointed with IT when network capacity is gobbled by a particular application, you know that good APM is worth its weight in log files. The complexity of today's networks means application performance management is required for all but the smallest enterprises, yet choosing the right system is a complex undertaking.

In the mixed-blessings department, there's no shortage of vendors looking to help enhance your monitoring capabilities. In our research for this Rolling Review Kickoff we easily came up with 30 plus APM vendors offering more than 100 products. Even sophisticated IT managers will have trouble sifting through all these options—given the sheer number of ways to collect application performance data, the Utopian vision of holistic APM could quickly turn into a nightmare of high support costs, gaps in visibility and unwieldy complexity. Even if you solve the collection challenge, you may still struggle to consolidate and correlate diverse data sets.


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And, those who've already dabbled in performance management with products like CA eHealth, HP OpenView Performance Insight or BMC's Performance Manager are left with a dilemma: Start fresh with a dedicated, holistic APM suite, or cobble together a system with existing tools? If you decide to start anew, get ready to justify that decision and crack open the piggy bank—APM implementations start around $80,000 and can scale well over $1 million for large companies with many applications. To sort through the wide variety of data-collection methodologies and vendor approaches in the market, and see whether they're worth the price, we decided to put APM offerings to the test and determine if one is superior for collecting and reporting on application performance issues.

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