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Is next-gen APM the next big data opportunity?

By: Ronda Swaney


Applications were once simple code bundles that grabbed local data and lived on one machine. Now, that description almost seems quaint.


Is next-gen APM the next big dataToday, apps use multisource code that grabs public and private data while accessing a host of web services from public, private, or hybrid-cloud infrastructures. Confounding things further, users access apps on multiple platforms and devices, over unpredictable connections and networks.


In other words, it's complicated. Next-gen APM—application performance management—may be what uncomplicates apps.


A growing need

The complication of apps explains the initial rise of APM tools. As applications became more woven into infrastructure, APMs helped pinpoint problems in the infrastructure.


Often, early APM tools provided simplistic results. They relied on baselines and trends to automate warnings about possible problems. However, this led to too many warnings and alerts. Rather than understanding the context around daily spikes and dips, they simply warned every time an event exceeded a baseline. Dashboards would light up with warnings and watches. However, there are only so many dials and dashboards a person or even a team can monitor.

The inability to monitor all metrics and manually respond to them meant that certain metrics were watched while others were ignored. When application performance is measured in seconds, selective attention to key metrics isn't an option. Seconds are all it takes to lose a customer and sour them forever on the user experience.


APM captures a considerable data cache. With earlier tools, much of this data went unused. Next-gen APM realizes the promise of big data, taking an analytical approach to the data and correlating metrics with events. These new tools will automatically analyze data in real time.


Preemptive problem solving

The enterprises that will profit from this ability are those that move beyond the analysis of big data into automation. Next-gen APM will provide the ability to automate fixes before application problems occur. These tools will predict problems before they happen, rather than report them once they've already impacted users.


Finding and fixing the root cause of a problem in record time is essential. Doing so before the issue reaches the customer is the only way to ensure smooth, constant service.


Analytics can define what is normal at every level the application touches. Knowing "normal" makes the use of thresholds and limits unnecessary. That level of detail can then provide warnings when something abnormal occurs. The use of machine learning and automated intelligence provides insight that allows predictive and preemptive problem solving.


New potential

Big data analytics within APM powers through complexity, revealing the cause of a developing issue. Finding root causes automatically compresses the time needed to recover from the problem.


Next-gen APM promises advanced problem solving using big data. Integrating the problem-solving capabilities of next-gen APM into the application development cycle will become the standard for enterprises that must stay agile to compete.


For a deeper discussion on next-gen APM, read the white paper Five things you should know about Big Data for APM.



About the author

Ronda SwaneyRonda Swaney


Content marketer focusing on IT, technology, and healthcare for CXOs, consultants, and entrepreneurs. Ronda advises clients on how to best communicate their messaging by taking complex material and simplifying it to engage both tech geeks and the uninitiated.

About the author

Connect with Ronda:

 Follow me on Twitter @RondaSwaney

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