Applications Performance Management: A Total Hottie?
Managing applications performance has always been a headache for WANs management. In a study conducted in 2005, applications performance management (APM--a combination of monitoring, consulting, and management capabilities used to track application performance) came in as the third top WAN challenge, after managing costs and provisioning network capacity for enterprises with more than 1,000 sites.
Now, with vendors and service providers stepping up to the plate, a new study from the Yankee Group focused on the European market predicts the APM market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent in upcoming years, to jump from $312.19 to $457.12 million in 2010 in Western Europe alone. APM is predicted to grow in Asia and the United States at a similar rate, however, the metrics as of yet have not been secured.
Interest and investment in APM is becoming more important on a global scale. "Only some service providers have got the full portfolio, but many are planning to enhance that portfolio," says Caroline Ashley, senior analyst for the Yankee Group and author of the study. She believes these providers will first take on audit services, but farther down the line, "you'll see some more longer-term planning relationships as service providers take on monitoring, reporting, and then consultancy services."
Ashley explains that the APM market is currently small, as service providers have just started rolling these solutions out. The report separates the APM market into three major segments: audit, design, and network. Audit APM provides network and application assessments, design APM focuses on the processes before installation, including stress testing and system configuration, and network APM delivers the monitoring and tracking for enterprise applications. While all providers cited in the report have network solutions, many are working currently to build out their audit and design functionality.
Companies like Verizon Business Services, AT&T, and Global Crossing are all working to provide APM solutions to a larger market, but Ashley says that many companies may still need to be persuaded that they actually need these solutions, as network management is not traditionally outsourced. "One of the challenges will be to actually convince customers that this will be a better place to manage their enterprise, rather than managing it in house." However, she says, as companies become more focused on accountability for application uptime, they will be more easily swayed. "This will allow service providers to link into the entire network, to have more of a business advisory role, and to make more recommendations."
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