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7 Reasons why you should use APM

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If you are a professional application developer or systems administrator, you probably already have your “IT toolbelt” of applications, scripts and utilities you use to keep your applications running. You are probably also strapped for time and resources since the challenge of doing more with less seems to grow
exponentially every year (whose working on that 48 hour day for us anyway?). So, why would you consider a relatively new tool to help manage your applications?  

Well, if your applications are virtualized or running in the cloud, if you need to be able to respond better for performance issues, you might want to read a few more reasons on why you should give vFabric Application Performance Manager (APM) a try:

  1. You are running apps in the cloud. The fact is, the cloud is a new paradigm that is still evolving rapidly, and unless your tools were built for this new level of abstraction, chances are they can’t morph fast enough to keep up. AppInsight, one of the three products that makes the APM suite, is built specifically to manage virtualized and cloud based apps exclusively. Instead of relying on infrastructure metrics alone (is my web server available and does my app server have enough memory?), it focuses on how the applications themselves are performing across the infrastructure. It answers where is application processing getting stuck? This can be in code, the transaction layer, or across the web infrastructure. APM tracks it all and the user interface makes it really easy to triangulate where problems are brewing fast.
  2. You are developing or maintaining Java or Spring-based applications. If you look at the percentage of large-scale applications running it today, Java is the most mature application development language running on the internet. For java aficionados, the Spring development framework makes java simpler – saving thousands of lines of code, making java apps more Screen shot 2012-07-10 at 9.21.16 PM manageable and testable, and generally speeding up development time.  APM is optimized for (but not limited to, of course) java development and includes Spring Insight, a byte code instrumentation tool that gives developers visibility into the runtime performance and behavior of their java applications. You can drill down from an colored icon of the application showing its general health the detail of transaction calls, method calls, garbage collection and deadlock in just a few clicks.
  3. You want to empower your application teams. The biggest organizational shift in cloud computing today is to create a self-service infrastructure where your application teams are empowered to manage the development, deployment and management of their own apps, freeing IT to focus on optimizing, securing and building out the underlying infrastructure. By investing in management tools for application teams, such as vFabric Application Director for self-service deployment and APM for collaborative application management, you can eliminate many bottlenecks in the process of getting your apps to market and improve uptime and performance by putting the application experts more in the drivers seat for managing the service levels of their own applications.
  4. You want to optimize applications on vSphere.  Your investment in VMware virtualized infrastructure is critical to your IT organization. It speeds up provisioning time, it makes your infrastructure more resilient to change, and it allows you to scale up or scale down very quickly. With APM, standard remediation responses can be made available directly to application teams with the appropriate hooks into vCenter and vCenter Orchestrator. This enables app teams to directly manage their applications including extending workflows, initiating rollbacks and expanding capacity without the intervention of virtualization administrators. This separation not only helps empower the app teams as in point #3, but also means that more applications can be loaded onto the virtualization infrastructure as the virtualization admins will be able to support more apps with less direct involvement.
  5. You are using the vFabric Suite.  If you are using any of the components from the vFabric cloud application platform suite including tc Server, Web Server, SQLFire, GemFire, EM4J, Enterprise Ready Server, RabbitMQ, vPostgres, or Data Director as the building blocks to architect your cloud-based applications, then you should recognize that APM is the only tool optimized for this cloud stack. With APM and the vFabric Suite both built and maintained by VMware, you can be confident that your investments in these products will be well supported and maintained.
  6. Its easy to setup, maintain and use. Designed to be a slide-in component of the overall VMware stack, APM is installed as virtual appliance, eliminating much of the setup. Also, because it is designed for cloud-based applications, it works with the virtualization software to trace application transaction paths, helping it to dynamically detect your application architecture to create a real-time picture of all the software components and transaction paths, even in times of scale-out. Simply identify one node of your application and APM will discover the rest.  Further, designed to manage applications specifically, the entire UI is oriented towards applications and using key performance indicators (KPIs) such as transaction times, throughput and latency to create an overall health score that provides early warning for building performance problems. When problems do arise, powerful visualizations with detailed graphical and tabular views of transaction, infrastructure and code performance as well as error and log detail help users to quickly identify and correct the root cause.
  7. You believe VMware is the leader in virtualization. With 13+ years in the business supporting many of the largest virtualization and cloud deployments in the world today, VMware has secured its place as a pioneer and visionary in this market. In short, we’ve partnered with some of the most ambitious customers to solve real problems and have a track record of being on the forefront of the virtualization market. We have worked on how they build, run and manage these applications—and have innovated accordingly (and yes, acquired several bright younger companies along the way to accelerate our progress). We’ve seen how traditional approaches have failed our customers and partners, and have built an entire business unit around taking this time old practice of systems management to the next level in the cloud. Our plans and solutions are far reaching, and we’re just getting started.
Screen shot 2012-07-03 at 3.42.00 PM

About the Author: Stacey Schneider has over 15 years of working with technology, with a focus on working with sales and marketing automation as well as internationalization. Schneider has held roles in services, engineering, products and was the former head of marketing and community for Hyperic before it was acquired by SpringSource and VMware. She is now working as a product marketing manager across the vFabric products at VMware, including supporting Hyperic. Prior to Hyperic, Schneider held various positions at CRM software pioneer Siebel Systems, including Group Director of Technology Product Marketing, a role for which her contributions awarded her a patent. Schneider received her BS in Economics with a focus in International Business from the Pennsylvania State University.

5 thoughts on “7 Reasons why you should use APM

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