Top 5 APM tools for Capacity Planning

By CIOReview | Tuesday, July 19, 2016
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Overview

Be it an increasingly complex infrastructure comprised of physical, virtual, cloud and mainframe systems, urge for an exceptional end-user experience, or delivering business-critical applications; the IT groups in most organizations find themselves taking the center-stage to fulfill an organization’s need! Serving multiple bosses (business owners, external customer or internal employee, and CFOs) means that the IT department has to keep a check on the incurred cost also. The budget which IT teams are assigned with makes this problem to burgeon even further. While the demands for IT services have grown sharply, IT budgets have remained relatively flat.

It has become imperative for the IT personnel to proactively identify, diagnose and resolve performance problems to keep up with the increasing demands and deliver an exceptional end-user experience while being within budget constraints. Also, there is a constant need for assessing current capacity requirements in order to reduce risk and keep a close eye on business-critical application performance. According to the latest research by Sumerian, inadequate capacity planning can leave businesses vulnerable to critical outages, which can cause both financial and reputational damage. The unique combination of Application Performance Management (APM) tools and capacity management ensures that an organization’s capacity needs are right-sized for future growth. It helps to build a competent IT infrastructure by handling the business’s demands and end users’ expectations in a better way. Peter Duffy, CTO at Sumerian, believes that capacity planning needs to be a key consideration for all organizations.

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Businesses need to take the guesswork out of IT planning or face a significant risk of operational downtime, unnecessary IT spend and damaged customer relationships. IT departments must have visibility of the entire IT estate regardless of its location and be able to accurately assess the impact of planned change to assure future service performance and support business expectations,” stated Duffy.

Here's a look at five popular APM tools as mentioned by Gartner in their Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites.

Dynatrace: Expanding APM beyond time-honored tools

A comprehensive suite of products is offered by Dynatrace which provides application monitoring from the infrastructure level all the way up to the end users and their devices. The firm’s strategy is centered at the expansion of traditional APM into “Digital Performance Management” with focal aim of accessing new buying centers. The firm’s APM portfolio comprises of both on-premises and SaaS components with Ruxit (Dynatrace’s APMaaS solution) unifying the whole suite into a single technological platform. Dynatrace Application Monitoring uses patented PurePath technology to capture timing and code-level context for every transaction, across every tier, without gaps or blind spots. Services, tiers, interdependencies and inter-tier timings are automatically generated in real-time for any environment that is distributed, cloud, mainframe, and hybrid.

AppDynamics: Offering end-to-end sales-to-implementation

One of the rapidly growing APM vendors, AppDynamics’ “Application Intelligence Platform” offers a consistent user experience as well as quick time to value for both on-premises and SaaS-based options. The firm offers a single, pre-built dashboard to make it easy to compare loads in the cloud and CPU performance. Availability of both current and ‘in the past’ data allows customers to carry out capacity planning within their organization. In their quest to deliver the best end user experience, AppDynamics allows customers to look at applications and business transactions in applications and find out what load time is. The enterprise follows a sales approach to offer Business Value Assessment (BVA) for an organization with contracts greater than $1 million making their APM tool suite holistic.

New Relic: Offering Easy to Configure APM

New Relic creates a data-driven environment which allows enterprises to monitor applications when it comes to planning for application scaling in the cloud. Users are allowed to look down into all the levels, not just the application but the infrastructure and its layers from containers to VMs or bare metal. With purely SaaS-based APM functionality and an integrated offerings suite, the tool helps the enterprise’s team to reduce resolution times so they can focus on writing new code, not troubleshooting it. Other features of this tool include end-to-end transaction tracing, Code-level visibility, Key transactions, and X-ray sessions.

CA Technologies: Making the trouble-shooting job easier

CA Technologies' Application Performance Management tool lets organizations gather data according to the actions that are carried out in any device or any cloud platform in a designated format. This mitigates the risk of monitoring expertise running in silos. The tool’s functionality has been redesigned to support key role-based persona which makes it easy to find people who know how to troubleshoot when issues in application arise. An easy to understand metrics, scalability, deep integration between mainframe and distributed capabilities makes the job of troubleshooting even easier. The firm’s APM tool enables organizations to boost their productivity by making it effortless to find and troubleshoot performance issues.

BMC Software: Aligning IT resources with service demand

BMC Software’s APM offering, TrueSight Operations Management offers an in-depth application server monitoring along with packet capture based end-user experience monitoring. A view of resource, service and business levels is provided to the user by the firm’s APM solution across a wide variety of platforms which includes vCloud and OpenStack. Using TrueSight Capacity Optimization, resource shortages can be predicted by the users ahead of time, which is a key in the pre-production app development phase. BMC has integrated powerful statistical pattern discovery and root cause analysis with the core APM capabilities of its solution. It aligns IT resources with service demands and business priorities, resulting in on-time service delivery and optimized costs.

Conclusion

By leveraging the performance management capabilities of APM along with the predictive ability of capacity management, IT organizations are enabled to handle the demands of the business and end-user expectations in a better way. Organizations are allowed to run “what-if” scenarios which help them to understand about its application’s performance under different conditions. Thus, risks to the business are greatly mitigated as IT can predict and create capacity planning models based on real data.