APM will continue to grow in importance, especially with the progressive adoption of application delivery service level agreements (SLAs). The task of meeting the organisation’s performance expectations will continue to be a challenge as more services are added to the network. Simply spending money adding bandwidth and more people to manage and support, it is no longer the solution. Instead, effective APM will allow for better utilisation of resources, efficient planning and problem resolution. These are some of the findings of InfoCom’s recent study on Application Performance Management (APM), an extensive research based on widespread talks with a large number of companies, providers and vendors across worldwide markets.
The research highlights several current trends that are pushing for the improvement of APM in enterprises. The most tangible one is the fact that many organisations have taken applications out of branch offices and consolidated them in centralised data centres. However, this shift puts a lot of pressure on an organisation’s infrastructure to deliver applications.
In parallel to this trend towards consolidation, enterprises are also looking to deploy new applications, for example, voice over IP, unified communications or video applications such as telepresence. Quality is a crucial parameter with voice and video communications, which do not only require more bandwidth (for video, for instance), but are extremely sensitive to network performance disruptions. All these IP applications need to be fully integrated into the end-user environment, and additionally, traffic must be prioritised into critical and non-critical traffic.
A third, perceivable trend driving APM is the optimisation of the Wide Area Network (WAN). A large number of employees access applications over a relatively low-speed, high-latency WAN, since they either work in branch offices or are mobile employees. Due to the high cost of deploying new WAN links, especially in some parts of the world, many enterprises have turned to WAN optimisation instead of spending money to add more bandwidth.
At last, a company’s interest in APM is further strengthened due to the current trend of in-creased usage of Software as a Service (SaaS) and other forms of public and private cloud computing, since this increases the amount of application traffic transported within the WAN.
APM providers are targeting primarily multinational companies, given the latency and connectivity constraints of global networks. Consequently, in the early days of APM, this set of services was mostly offered by large international carriers. Currently, though, as a consequence of the trends mentioned above, APM is on a steady rise by medium sized businesses too and smaller network operators increasingly started to include APM in their product port-folio.
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InfoCom (infocom-de.com) is a market research and consultancy company with over 20 years experience providing strategic analyses and planning assistance to stakeholders in the telecommunications, IT and multimedia industries. InfoCom’s independent and fact-based analyses highlight trends and opportunities, supporting decision makers to understand market dynamics in order to improve their competitive advantage.