In my recent blog Top 3 APM Considerations for Enterprises Leveraging the Cloud I outlined 3 key challenges for enterprise IT organizations to evaluate when looking for an application performance management solution.
For the public cloud service provider that is anticipating the demand from enterprises to prove performance of application delivery with Service Level Agreements, it's important to consider the following when leveraging a performance management solution:
1. Be Flexible
The instrumentation should offer complete visibility of cloud infrastructure and support problem domain isolation (enterprise, carrier or cloud provider). Since cloud infrastructure is a dynamic environment, it means the instrumentation should be deployable anywhere and support a host of platforms. This also includes deployment to get visibility of intra virtual machine traffic and VM resources usage.
2. See All and Be Ready for Change
Service providers are supporting hundreds if not thousands of customers with their infrastructure. It is imperative that the performance management solution chosen has proven scalability in a service provider class network. This means the architecture has to be able to handle collecting performance metrics from many instrumentation points and correlating the data to present relevant views of the information.
Since it is undesirable to have large amounts of unsolicited data traversing your infrastructure, the architecture has to support minimizing traffic back to the management system, but still provide a complete view of the performance of the infrastructure.
As with any new service or technology, the infrastructure will be changing. The solution needs to be built on a platform that is easily extensible to include future new measurements without costly replacements.
3. Report for All Stakeholders
Enterprises will be demanding Service Level Agreements from their service providers and a view of the performance of the services they subscribe to. The solution needs to be capable of collecting and reporting service level metrics, such as end user response time, traffic usage, and volume for each enterprise accounts. The architecture of the solution needs to be multi-tenant - meaning it can collect, analyze, host and report on performance metrics for each individual enterprise account.
As more and more organizations leverage the cloud to support and extend infrastructure, managing application performance will play an increasingly vital role for success. Whether using a hybrid private cloud, or cloud service from a provider, it's key that organizations have insight into whether or not application services are being delivered according to availability and performance objectives.
As with any new technology, there are pitfalls if expectations are not set properly and the transition not managed carefully. As these services mature, and cloud adoption becomes mainstream, so will the understanding of what it means to truly deliver quality end user experiences in the new environment. Application performance management is the key to ensuring an organization can track, manage and resolve these issues before they impact the end user and the organization.
Belinda Yung-Rubke is Director of Field Marketing for Visual Networks Systems.