What Capabilities in APM Solutions Really Matter to You?

By WhatsUp Guru (Jason Williams) – March 12, 2013
OfflinePhoto of WhatsUp Guru (Jason Williams)

Written by Ennio Carboni, President of the Network Management Division of Ipswitch, Inc.

When you evaluate application performance monitoring solutions, comparing capabilities is one key part of the assessment. But it can be misleading. Many application performance monitoring solutions include features that, while interesting, are not critical to you. Sometimes the feature-rich solutions are more costly, complex, and difficult to implement than you want. But sometimes more affordable products include features that aren't high priority to you. The cost isn't itself the determinant of whether products have more features than you need; it's more a question of how closely each solution fits your purpose.

Before you assess specific capabilities in solutions you are evaluating, it's important to clarify and prioritize your goals:

 Goal  Priority 
 Ensuring the availability and performance of critical applications  
 Gain visibility over the entire IT service  that supports an application   
 Reducing user complaints   
 Improving MTTR time  
 Improving reporting (out of the box and customizable)  
 Eliminating alert overload and time spent unnecessarily on low-priority issues   
 Meeting SLA goals  
 Controlling IT costs  

Once you identify your highest priorities, the next step is to map them to specific product capabilities. For example, if improving your MTTR time is a top priority, you should look for monitoring products with strong capabilities for:

  • Monitoring, alerting and reporting on an application's entire IT service by consolidating monitoring and alert filtering so all possible causes are known 
  • Allowing you to define critical application dependencies so you can find the root cause quickly
  • Presenting one unified dashboard so you can see problems quickly and drill down to the root cause
  • Letting you customize automated actions in response to specific conditions so issues can be detected and repairs made without delay
  • Providing out-of-the-box reports so you can easily track metrics such as MTTR rates over time

If you also give a high priority to reducing user complaints, you'd need the first four of the above capabilities plus end user monitoring to alert and report on the effect of web application performance on user experience.

This exercise of documenting your prioritized goals and mapping them to product capabilities puts you in a better position to select a solution that will not disappoint.


About the author

WhatsUp Guru (Jason Williams)

Manager, Community ManagementIpswitch, Inc

Started off as Senior Technical Support Specialist, then onto QA Engineer, from there Senior Sales Engineer, and then Product Manager to finally launching WUGspace as the Community Manager. Proud…


Offline Josh Orens said 22 months ago


  I apologize if this is not the correct forum for this, but I have not been able to find the answer thus far. 

Does APM use WMI only to monitor applications? 

This sounds perfect for us to monitor our CRM application but the servers running the app all have a NAT.  WMI does not play nice when the server is NAT'd. 

Is SNMP a viable option in this case or do you know a way around the NAT to use WMI?

Thank you,


OfflinePhoto of WhatsUp Guru (Jason Williams) WhatsUp Guru (Jason Williams) said 22 months ago

The components you setup within an application profile use a number of methods for connecting to the device.  These include both WMI and SNMP.  I don't know of a good workaround for making WMI to NAT'd devices.

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March 12, 2013

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