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Gartner's 5 Dimensions of APM Cheat Sheet by

Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring
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Gartner's recently published Magic Quadrant for Applic­ation Perfor­mance Monitoring defines “five distinct dimensions of, or perspe­ctives on, end-to-end applic­ation perfor­mance” which are essential to APM, listed below.

Gartner points out that although each of these five techno­logies are distinct, and often deployed by different stakeh­olders, there is “a high-l­evel, circular workflow that weaves the five dimensions together.”


Five Dimensions of APM

1. End-user experience monito­ring
End-user experience monitoring is the first step, which captures data on how end-to-end perfor­mance impacts the user, and identifies the problem.

2. Runtime applic­ation archit­ecture discovery, modeling and display
The second step, the software and hardware components involved in applic­ation execution, and their commun­ication paths, are studied to establish the potential scope of the problem.

3. User-d­efined transa­ction profil­ing
The third step involves examining user-d­efined transa­ctions, as they move across the paths defined in step two, to identify the source of the problem.

4. Component deep-dive monitoring in applic­ation context
The fourth step is conducting deep-dive monitoring of the resources consumed by, and events occurring within, the components discovered in step two.

5. Analyt­ics
The final step is the use of analytics – including techno­logies such as behavior learning engines – to crunch the data generated in the first four steps, discover meaningful and actionable patterns, pinpoint the root cause of the problem, and ultimately anticipate future issues that may impact the end user.


Applying the 5 dimensions to your APM purchase

“These five functi­ona­lities represent more or less the conceptual model that enterprise buyers have in their heads – what consti­tutes the applic­ation perfor­mance monitoring space, ” explains Will Cappelli, Gartner Research VP in Enterprise Management and co-author of the Magic Quadrant for Applic­ation Perfor­mance Monito­ring.

“If you go back and look at the various head-t­o-head compet­itions and marketing arguments that took place even as recently as two years ago, you see vendors pushing one of the five functional areas as: what you need in order to do APM,” Cappelli recalls. “I think it's only because of the persistent demand on the part of enterprise buyers, that they needed all five capabi­lities, that drove the vendors to populate their portfolios in a way that would adequately reflect those five functi­ona­lit­ies.”

The question is: should one vendor be supplying all five capabi­lities?

“You will see enterp­rises typically selecting one vendor as their strategic supplier for APM,” Cappelli continues, “but if that vendor does not have all the pieces of the puzzle, the enterprise will supplement with capabi­lities from some other vendor. This can make a lot of sense.”

“When you look at some of the big suites, and even the vendors that offer all five functi­ona­lities, in most cases those vendors have assembled those functi­ona­lities out of techno­logies they have picked up when they acquired many diverse vendors. Even when you go out to buy a suite from one of the larger vendors that offers everything across the board, at the end of the day you are left with very distinct products even if they all share a common name.”

For this reason, Cappelli says there is usually very little technology advantage associated with selecting a single APM vendor over going with multiple vendors providing best-o­f-breed products for each of the five dimens­ions. However, he notes that there can be a signif­icant advantage to minimizing the number of vendors you have to deal with.

“Because APM suites, whether assembled by yourself or by a vendor, are complex entities, it is important to have the vendor support that can span across the suite,” Cappelli says. “So in general it makes sense to go with a vendor that can support you at least across the majority of the functi­ona­lities that you want.”

“But you do need to be aware that the advantage derived from going down that path – choosing a single vendor rather than multiple vendors – has more to do with that vendor's ability to support you in solving a complex problem rather than any kind of inherent techno­logical advantage derived from some kind of pre-ex­isting integr­ation.”

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