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Single vs Multi-vendor Sourcing For Application Performance Management (APM) Tools

January 29, 2013 | Heroix Staff

Organizations across the globe are utilizing a technology which enables a faster response time of their applications, ensures optimal performance of their virtualized or physical systems as well as keeps their networks running at peak efficiency. This technology, know as an Application Performance Management (APM) Solution is not new for information technology (IT) professionals. Early on, IT pros were utilizing the technology to address applications built in Java and .Net, deployed on a relatively few large-scale application servers.  In 2013 these solutions cover a broad range of platforms, hosting the same ability and some specializing in areas above others. What we want to evaluate today is the importance of using multiple vendors for an APM solution or a single, consolidated vendor.

VMware states that “The first generation of APM solutions actually knew very little about the applications themselves.” They were agent-based solutions, meaning they have hardware to physically install, which collected metrics on the applications that were selected. “When resource utilization spiked, it was then inferred that something abnormal was occurring and that an investigation was warranted. The problem with this approach is that it knew nothing about the actual transactions that users were running in the applications of interest, and therefore provided no data meaningful to users and owners of applications.”

Today, APM solutions are highly integrated within the applications and therefore, know what to report on and how to help an IT manager be proactive in their struggle to maintain peak efficiency. The solution needs to monitor all the aspects of the user experience and host changes on the fly. How then, does one select the best available APM solution for their environment and infrastructure? Below are the highlighted pros and cons of single vs. multi-vendor sourcing for the APM solution:

Single Vendor

Pros: Everything is housed under one hood. There are no multi-vendor conflicts, establishing separate contact points or having to go through bureaucratic lines in order to deal with support. The single vendor will be able to administer the best APM solution from one central location.

Cons: Simply put, the single vendor may not be able to complete some of the more specialized tasks that multi-vendors combined may do. While a single vendor has the ability to meet the needs and criteria of an IT department’s monitoring needs, they may not do something as well as one organization which specializes in ONE specific aspect of monitoring. Example: web servers.

Multi-Vendor:

Pros: Each application and aspect of the infrastructure will have a specifically define set of goals, independently monitored by a vendor in order to maintain optimal efficiency.

Cons: Establishing the goals takes up valuable resources. Researching each individual vendor takes up valuable resources, taking away time from the daily tasks already assigned to the professionals inside the IT department.

When it all boils down, the most important aspect of selecting an APM solution comes to where the applications exist. Business in moving at a steadily increasing rate, this means a solution must be able to respond in real-time. Some solutions may fit the break-fix mentality, which will not stay current with the style of business today. To learn more on the single vs. multi-vendor sourcing for APM solutions and tools debate, check out www.heroix.com or send us an email on info@heroix.com