End-User Monitoring Closing Visibility Gaps Left by Other IT Tools
Submitted by: Bojan Simic, Principal Analyst at TRAC Research
A recent article from TRAC Research discusses that the quality of end-user experience for delivery of IT services is not a single metric, but a set of measurements that help end-user organizations understand how business users are interacting with applications, how these applications are truly performing from the perspective of business users and what the impact of application performance on business goals is. Technologies for monitoring the quality of end-user experience are becoming more important to end-users, but there is still some confusion in the market about where these solutions fit, in regards to other IT management solutions.
In terms of delivery of end-user monitoring solutions, this market can be divided into three categories:
End-user monitoring capabilities that are being delivered as a feature of application performance management (APM), business service management (BSM) or business transaction management (BTM) solutions
Stand alone products that are providing capabilities for end-user monitoring only
Stand alone products that are fully integrated with solutions for monitoring enterprise infrastructure (e.g. BSM, virtualization management, BTM, network monitoring, etc.)
Pure play end-user monitoring vendors are often thrown in the same technology “bucket” with APM vendors and they are sometimes being perceived as incomplete APM solutions, as they lack capabilities for monitoring enterprise infrastructure. There are many reasons for this, but these vendors should take their fair share of blame for this confusion, as a few years ago the majority of them were happy to market their products under the APM umbrella. The reason for that was very simple: a lot of vendors were riding the APM bandwagon and end-user monitoring vendors were happy to piggyback on marketing dollars that were already being spent and position themselves as “APM vendors with a twist”.
What is important to point out is that the ability to understand how applications are performing from the perspective of end-users is becoming increasingly important for organizations. Additionally, organizations are looking to see across IT solos and get a better understanding of what the health of their business services is, as opposed to how each part of the infrastructure is performing. End-user monitoring solutions play a key role in enabling organizations to address both of these trends.
Also, end-user monitoring solutions are sometimes being perceived as effective in alerting an IT team that there is a problem with application performance, but not very effective in helping organizations with troubleshooting and resolving these problems. The fact is, the majority of these products are not designed to provide and in-depth visibility of the infrastructure parts (servers, networking hardware, etc.), but to close critical visibility gaps created by the traditional infrastructure monitoring tools. For that reason, the role of end-user monitoring technologies on managing delivery IT services is significantly different than that of APM, BSM and other infrastructure monitoring tools.
Even though there are some strong synergies between end-user monitoring solutions on one side and APM and other infrastructure monitoring technologies on the other side, end-user monitoring is not a subset of other monitoring technologies, but a distinctive mix of capabilities. More importantly, it is a class of technology that is well positioned to address some of the key pain points and concerns that organizations are facing.