Public Cloud APM Is Useless. Focus On Private Cloud APM

APM in the public cloud services is of very little value, since you can't get to the root cause of problem. As distributed application workloads move to cloud environments, the fundamental architecture of applications is poised to change dramatically. One of the barriers to cloud adoption is that legacy applications do not yet function in a virtualized, cloud environment. As new applications are developed that operate divorced from physical hardware, the data collection techniques must shift to

Michael Biddick

August 30, 2010

3 Min Read
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APM in the public cloud services is of very little value, since you can't get to the root cause of problem. As distributed application workloads move to cloud environments, the fundamental architecture of applications is poised to change dramatically. One of the barriers to cloud adoption is that legacy applications do not yet function in a virtualized, cloud environment. As new applications are developed that operate divorced from physical hardware, the data collection techniques must shift to enable an equal level of visibility that managers have in traditional applications.

In a cloud service, detecting problems can only be done with synthetic transaction software simulating a user accessing those services in the public, because you can't place any hardware or software in the public cloud infrastructure environment to monitor performance. Application performance issues may be related to a slew of components such as servers, networking and storage bottlenecks, as well as the Internet between you and the public cloud. It's not work spending much money there.

So, we really are talking about APM in a private cloud environment. More specifically, we are dealing with private data centers that have virtualized server environments and automated service provisioning--that may also require the provisioning of application data collection, as well.

Many products that capture transactions like dynaTrace, Precise TPM and others can be deployed in a private cloud as an additional virtual machine, or co-provisioned along with the application. Since these applications are at the heart of the data center, they have the availability to detect and report root cause problems and properly alert the operations team when they have problems.

Increasing revenue, improving user satisfaction and maintaining performance drive any type of management tool and APM is no different. With budget limitations and fears of complex APM solutions, many organizations are looking for ways to show quick wins and extend the reasons that organizations move to the cloud in the first place.Trialware and freeware APM tools appeal to organizations moving to the cloud and who want to manage application performance speed. APM product vendors will need to address these drivers if they wish to capture the cloud market, as complex and costly APM deployments will not get much attention or market share. This also means that as users, enterprises may need to accept more standardization and reduce their customization requirements to use these tools, but for most organizations, the cost containment will override the features.

AppDynamics Lite, available for free, recently announced they had 5,000 downloads of their product in just a few months. Solarwinds' Orion APM product also is available as a  free trial available for download, where users can kick the tires and test out the product before plunking down less than $10K for production licenses. This is a far cry from APM solutions costing over $100K just to get started.

While this paradigm shift will not happen overnight, APM vendors need to offer a variety of options to cloud users that deal with both the business drivers toward the cloud and the technology changes that they cloud introduced to the enterprise.

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