Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: Compuware

By Michael Kopp (Profile)
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Monday, January 28th 2013
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In 2013, Compuware predicts that businesses using the cloud will increasingly adopt a new generation of application performance management (APM). This new approach differs from basic cloud resource monitoring (which cloud vendors provide) in two key ways – first, it offers round-the-clock monitoring of all cloud-based transactions; and second, it offers greater automation to address the dynamic nature of cloud-based applications. Central to this approach is that the performance (speed and availability) of the application is the primary concern and focus point.

Today’s application end users have extremely high demands for exceptional speed and reliability. We call this the “Google Effect” – that is, end users expect all the websites and applications they interact with to be as fast and reliable as Google. Poor application performance can negatively impact key business metrics like conversions, bookings and revenue.

Businesses using the cloud must be diligent in making sure their cloud service provider supports a high level of application performance. Some businesses have tried application monitoring tools, but the problem with these tools is they rely on sampled performance information, rather than continuous monitoring. This means that if a performance issue occurs outside the sampling interval, the performance problem won’t be found until much later and after one or more end users experience frustration with their application performance.

The fact is, outages and slow-downs for cloud service providers are happening all the time, and because of this, sampling leaves major visibility gaps in the application performance continuum. Effective application management in the cloud demands uninterrupted end-to-end transaction response time visibility – from the user’s device, to the cloud, to the complex application components inside data centers. A new generation of APM is designed addresses this by monitoring all transactions 24x7, which helps businesses be much more proactive and comprehensive in identifying and resolving problems before they affect end users.

In addition, as application deployment cycles in the cloud get quicker and quicker, developers can’t afford to repeat manual tasks frequently. And, as cloud processes like failover and scaling are increasingly automated, APM needs to be equally automated. That is, APM systems must keep pace with constant changes in the end-to-end transaction paths of cloud-based applications. Next year, increased automation of APM systems will help developers maximize productivity while ensuring a high level of end-user satisfaction for cloud-based applications. These systems will also help identify evolving interdependencies in order to rapidly and accurately isolate the source of problems.

In summary, businesses often perceive speed of application deployment and flexibility to grow as primary advantages of the cloud. In 2013, a new breed of APM will protect these benefits while minimizing risks, by providing up-to-the-minute performance information for all applications combined with increased automation and ease-of-use.