Every company has a certain number of mission critical applications they are monitoring, but what about the ones you aren’t monitoring?
I came across this article the other day called Why is Application Performance Monitoring so Screwed Up and given it’s a space I watch, a title like this got my attention, but what really got me going was author Bernd Harzog’s opening volley:
How many applications does your company have that warrant management on an availability, response time, and integrity of service basis? For how many of those applications do you have a functional Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution in place that actually allows you to measure and guarantee availability, response time and integrity of service?
He goes onto say that in most companies there are probably 50 or 100 applications that meet that criteria, yet most companies are only managing 25-50. That got me thinking that there’s a lot of ground that isn’t being covered here and the question is why.
Harzog goes on to outline why this is and what we can do about it, and as you can imagine there are a myriad of excuses and valid reasons why you might not be covering one app or another, but regardless of why, it’s a situation that leaves you incredibly vulnerable.
Now it’s obviously self-serving for a company that sells monitoring software to tell you should be monitoring all of your important applications, but you really should be monitoring all of your important applications.
Otherwise, you’re leaving yourself and all of those users who depend on those applications without a safety net. In fact, the only way you’ll probably find out an application you aren’t monitoring is lagging or worse, not working, is when your Help Desk gets bombarded with phone calls and emails.
That’s really not the best way warning system to use, the one that comes on after the application has blown up. And it’s not going to endear you with management when they come to you and ask you why you didn’t do something before it happened as you’ve done with application X in the past?
I suppose you can use that as opportunity to ask for additional funding, but it would probably not the best timing, given that you have just failed to foresee a problem.
As Harzog points out, if less than 5 percent of applications are under watch, that’s not good, and even if it speaks to the complexity of first generation monitoring tools as he suggests, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continually, well, monitor the tools market to find ones that have the stuff to meet your monitoring criteria. Otherwise, you’re just out there without a net and that’s really not a very comfortable place to be.