Data Centers

Keeping the data center in check with Application Performance Monitoring (APM)

As data centers and networks become more complex, IT must make buying decisions about enterprise software that helps keep track of it all. What is APM?

In the land of IT, guesswork is bad. If you are guessing at what is going on with your IT application portfolio, those applications may punish you by randomly breaking down. A new

You are the person picked to get a grip on what is going on in there. What do you do? How do you get a handle on a data center like this? Now imagine you are part of a globally dispersed organization and every building has a computer room like this. Now you must multiply the number of applications and throw in an extra dollop of network complexity. Good luck.

APM (Application Performance Monitoring) is good for discovery, monitoring, SLAs, operations, etc., etc., etc.

An APM (Application Performance Monitoring) product can figure out what is going on. It copies all the network traffic, analyses it to figure out what applications are in there, what the conversations look like, and how it performs on an average day. All sorts of monitoring devices are used to make these measurements, from agents installed on customer systems to appliances plugged into network switches.

An APM continuously monitors performance. The best way to measure application performance is to measure the end-user perception for B2C apps and to measure SLA targets for B2B apps.

Once the APM application knows what an average day looks like, it can spot unusual behaviour and raise the alarm. APM products are often bundled with dashboards for operations staff to view. If you have ever seen a control panel containing rows and rows of real-time graphs, it's not necessarily a banker's stock-market dealings – it could be an APM application shining a light on enterprise application performance.

As you can imagine from an application that must keep track of all applications in all locations of an enterprise, an APM product can be a huge and complex beast that only experts can drive.

APM is a new TLA, but it's not "the" TLA

APM has been around for a few years and it's picking up steam, but APM is Best of Interop competitions in various categories.

About Nick Hardiman

Nick Hardiman builds and maintains the infrastructure required to run Internet services. Nick deals with the lower layers of the Internet - the machines, networks, operating systems, and applications. Nick's job stops there, and he hands over to the ...

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