Application performance monitoring (APM) has become difficult in recent years as applications have moved from on-premise to the web and mobile devices, and from local storage into both public and private clouds. Now, APM has moved into micro services known as containers. These micro services quite literally contain the application, as would a virtual server (a main aspect of the cloud) would store an application. However, containers are much more lightweight, not needing an individual operating system for each micro service. This makes it easier for developers to move the application, but the container may only exist for a short period of time, leading to monitoring difficulties.
Recently, prominent APM vendors New Relic and AppDynamics announced major updates to better serve users trying to monitor these scattered applications. These updated solutions help monitor the containers and the applications within them, but they also provide business insights into how end-user interaction and backend administration are affecting the application. The ability to get in front of potential application crashes can be crucial for the profitability of a business. Being able to understand the effects of performance on company key performance indicators can benefit the company as a whole.
New Relic’s Digital Intelligence Platform
On November 7, 2016, New Relic announced the release of its new Digital Intelligence Platform, which includes the monitoring of micro services and containers. With the new platform, New Relic intends to better track applications no matter where they exist or how they are delivered. One feature that will assist with this monitoring is what New Relic calls ‘variable tagging.’ This process will tag a micro service as it is created to better track the performance and decide whether or not an issue pertains to the application, the container or the delivery system as a whole, even if the container only exists for a few seconds. The Digital Intelligence Platform will allow users to monitor the infrastructure as well as the application.
AppDynamics’ App IQ Platform
Not to be outdone, AppDynamics released its new App IQ Platform on November 10, 2016, with the intention of giving users greater insights into how the performance of their applications affects business procedures. More directly, the platform will connect the idea of application performance with profitability. For example, if an e-commerce web application crashes and consumers cannot make a purchase for even 15 minutes, how much will it affect a company’s profit? By leveraging that kind of information, AppDynamics hopes to attract end-users from a higher executive level who are looking for deeper intelligence into their business. The platform will also try to predict failures or performance issues so customers’ applications can stay up and running at all times.
Application performance monitoring software has needed to adapt to the broadening landscape of applications quickly and often, just to keep up. While it may be daunting for those vendors, the ones that are able to maintain the pace of application development innovation will have an opportunity to distinguish themselves within the field. New Relic and AppDynamics have both taken steps to get ahead with these most recent releases.