SolarWinds Unveils Revamped APM Platform

Content By Devops .com

SolarWinds is unifying its various application performance management (APM) tools within a single suite accessed via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.

Denny LeCompte, senior vice president for products at SolarWinds, said the APM Integrated Experience offering combines the company’s AppOptics, Loggly and Pingdom tools to collect metrics, traces and logs along with real user monitoring capabilities and tools to simulate application traffic.

APM Integrated Experience also provides access to a landing page that identifies what has changed in an IT environment over the previous week and highlights which of those changes might become an issue. As most IT professionals well understand, most IT issues can be traced directly back to a recent change made to an IT environment that was previously running as intended.

Other capabilities include advanced search tools and the ability to inspect lists and maps for hosts, containers and plugins for web servers and databases. In addition, APM Integrated Experience is integrated with both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Microsoft Azure cloud.

LeCompte said the goal is to make it less expensive for the average IT organization to broadly instrument applications using an agent developed by SolarWinds that can automatically be installed.

Ultimately, the goal is to enable organizations to better manage their software supply chains, LeCompte added. Of course, SolarWinds is at the heart of the software supply chain breach that involved its Orion network management software. That software runs on-premises. In comparison, APM Integrated Experience is a SaaS platform that is more secure. In fact, LeCompte said, IT professionals that manage software supply chains are generally sympathetic to the challenge the company currently faces. Most of those organizations have dealt with similar software supply chain issues, albeit on a smaller scale, LeCompte added.

In general, LeCompte said it’s apparent most organizations need access to an APM platform that costs substantially less than rival platforms and still delivers 90% of the capabilities they require. In many cases, IT organizations are paying for extra capabilities that only very high-end enterprises require, LeCompte noted. In fact, one of the primary reasons APM platforms are not as widely employed is most organizations have found rival APM platforms simply too expensive to deploy, said LeCompte.

LeCompte declined to speculate whether there is a meaningful difference between what has been historically known as monitoring and so-called observability platforms that have emerged in recent months. Regardless of approach, however, it’s clear as distributed IT environments become more diverse and complex, the number of organizations that need more visibility into their application environment is steadily increasing, said LeCompte.

Of course, with the rise of microservices-based applications, that level of IT complexity is only going to increase. As applications grow and expand, the number of dependencies between microservices starts to increase. Understanding how an issue with one microservice is impacting a distributed computing environment will undoubtedly require more instrumentation. The challenge, going forward, will be determining how best to achieve that goal at a reasonable cost.

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