Optimizing Application Performance Through Real-Time Change Awareness

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Optimizing Application Performance Through Real-Time Change Awareness with Evolven An ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES® (EMA™) White Paper Written by Dennis Drogseth January 2019 Prepared for Evolven

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN Table of Contents Executive Introduction....................................................................................................................................................................1 IT Amidst a Whirlwind of Change ..................................................................................................................................................1 Digital Transformation is also a Factor....................................................................................................................................2 Why Application Performance Management is Also in Need of Transformation...........................................................................2 Agile/DevOps—Added Opportunity, Added Stress.................................................................................................................3 The View from the Digital War Room......................................................................................................................................4 Reasons for Getting off the “APM Hamster Wheel”................................................................................................................5 Introducing Evolven........................................................................................................................................................................5 EMA Perspective.............................................................................................................................................................................6

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN EXECUTIVE INTRODUCTION

One of the most critical areas facing IT organizations today is dealing with the real impacts of change in all its dimensions. Among the trends coloring the need for real-time change awareness are cloud migrations, the move to microservices and containers, and agile and DevOps pressures to accelerate release management, as well as changes in the role and importance of IT through trends such as digital transformation and the growing use of consumerbased, mobile transactions.

Too often the impacts of changes and application performance are not understood together, even while issues are proactively flagged by a growing number of application performance management (APM) solutions.

Optimizing IT application service performance in the face of these and other trends requires ongoing and current insight into how change is impacting service delivery. However, too often the impacts of changes and application performance are not understood together, even while issues are proactively flagged by a growing number of application performance management (APM) solutions. Typically, events and topologies may show where the problem lies, but still lack insight into changes that provide the context necessary for isolating the root cause. This report will present current EMA research targeting IT change and digital transformation, common issues in real-time change awareness, and the reasons change and application performance need to come together in digital war rooms. It will then introduce Evolven’s unique offering for bringing real-time change awareness and APM together in an industry context.

IT AMIDST A WHIRLWIND OF CHANGE

Delivering application services across the IT infrastructure isn’t what it used to be. One of the reasons is the changing landscape of cloud migrations. Even beyond the changing world of application design toward microservices and containers, the varied infrastructures between public, private, and legacy environments require a constant awareness of changing conditions. This is an accelerating situation that is creating many new challenges in terms of technology and process, and sometimes even organization. A few data points from EMA research1 should help clarify: • IT organizations in North America and Europe are placing an average of 20% of their workloads in the public cloud, with 15% placing more than 50%. • At the same time, IT organizations are spending more than 30% of their budget in direct support of cloud services (both internal and external), with a compound average annual growth rate of 10%, and in some cases more than 25%. • Increased flexibility and agility is the dominant drive for the move to cloud, along with cost savings and pressures from senior management, as well as business pressures outside IT. • But the move to cloud carries challenges with it that can significantly impact application performance. ◦◦ Uncertainties regarding security and compliance given changing environments ◦◦ Pressures from DevOps teams to accelerate the pace of change by leveraging cloud resources ◦◦ Struggles to understand true root cause in this complex world of shifting interdependencies ◦◦ Most prominently, the inability to relate change to performance overall 1

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EMA Research: “AIOps and IT Analytics at the Crossroads,” October 2018 and “Optimizing IT for Financial Performance,” September 2016.

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN Digital Transformation is also a Factor

IT organizations are increasingly finding themselves caught between what would appear to be opposite forces: increasing pressures to do more with less and demonstrate operational efficiencies on the one hand, while also being expected to generate application and business services at “transformational” rates. These pressures leave little to no room for ineffectiveness, despite the acceleration of change from cloud, agile, mobile, and other fronts. However, digital transformation is not a chimera waiting on the horizon. It is real today. EMA research2 shows that for 63 percent of IT organizations, digital transformation has been underway and a top priority for more than a year, while an additional 31 percent is already well underway.

Fragmented approaches to management threaten digital transformation, particularly fragmented approaches to delivering critical IT and business services.

Fragmented approaches to management threaten digital transformation, particularly fragmented approaches to delivering critical IT and business services. This includes issues of “warring siloes” and “incomplete data for effective decision making,” as indicated by EMA consulting and research. In fact, digital transformation cannot be effectively realized without IT transformation, depending in large part on unifying insights across silos and bringing performance issues together with a real-time awareness of change.

WHY APPLICATION PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IS ALSO IN NEED OF TRANSFORMATION While application performance management (APM) has evolved rapidly in many respects, with growth in discovering top-down application dependencies and in some cases increasing investments in machine learning, it remains more of a monitoring tool than an analytics discipline with limited views in terms of change, especially change across the full seven-layer stack. As such, it is becoming increasingly dependent on analytic platforms that are more truly cross-domain, with richer investments in capturing the impacts of change across the infrastructure. One of the factors exacerbating these challenges is the complexity of the current application management environment. Figure 1 highlights the wide range of applications that have become critical in the delivery and assurance of application and business services.

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EMA Research: “AIOps and IT Analytics at the Crossroads,” October 2018.

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN Agile/DevOps—Added Opportunity, Added Stress

Needless to say, once this level of complexity is combined with accelerated release delivery, the game changes even more. Current EMA research3 indicates that on average, IT organizations are developing more than 30 percent of their applications in-house, with 16 percent developing 50 percent or more. This is a growing trend, which only makes sense given the need for IT organizations to become more business-aligned and tuned to specific business outcomes. Needless to say, challenges often arise from accelerating rates of change, since the handshake between development and operations can sometimes become fragile—or worse, conflicted—with warring sets of best practices and incompatible tool sets. Unifying real-time change insights with application performance and active automation is key to paving the DevOps highway with asphalt rather than rocks. WHICH BUSINESS OR IT APPLICATION SERVICES ARE MOST CRITICAL TO EFFECTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY? IT services delivered to client organizations (external to your company)

37%

Hybrid applications spanning public and private cloud

32%

Packaged internal productivity/business applications (CRM, ERP, SAP, Siebel, Financial, HRIS, KM, etc.)

29%

Internal web applications

26%

Native cloud optimized for virtualization

26%

Custom-developed applications

26%

Internal SaaS applications

25%

Internally hosted IaaS applications/services

25%

Advanced web applications ( Web 2.0)

25%

External (e-business, e-commerce) web applications

24%

Applications hosted by an IaaS or PaaS provider

24%

Applications using non-HTTP clients (applets, forms, etc.)

24%

Industry- specific applications (manufacturing, medical, etc.)

23%

SOA component-based applications

22%

API-connected applications

22%

Native cloud microservices and container s

22%

Third-par ty SaaS

20%

Omnichannel for IT stakeholder s

20%

Omnichannel for service consumers

17%

Fat- client applications

17%

Native mobile Other

14% 0%

Figure 1: Today, application management and support is struggling with a wide array of application types with a growing number of interdependencies across changing infrastructures and hybrid cloud environments. These added complexities make it all the more critical that real-time insights into change provide more effective context for anticipating and resolving performance issues.

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EMA Research: “Unifying IT Decision Making for Digital War Rooms,” April 2018.

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN The View from the Digital War Room

EMA research on the digital war room4 shows that the leading team companies required was indeed applications management and applications support, which led IT operations planning and design and application development, with executive IT playing a growing role. With an average of fifteen IT professionals involved, optimizing the digital war room for application delivery is critical both in terms of service quality and IT efficiency overall. However, complaints from the service desk still bring forth more than 35 percent of service performance issues. Moreover, the average time to resolve performance issues is just under six hours, with 20 percent of IT organizations spending more than 11 hours on each. That’s a critical point of breakage when application services are supposed to be transforming the business. Some of the more significant issues that surfaced in achieving more effective MTTR for application performance issues underscore the need for broader context: • Inconsistent or inaccurate data • Data fragmentation due to siloed views of the truth • Reactive versus proactive insights What type of context is most needed? What type of proactive data is key? Parallel research5 shows that top-ranked priorities for managing the application infrastructure target critical aspects of change and change currency: • Configuration drift • Issues across the extended enterprise (partners, suppliers, etc.) • Configuration/change management effectiveness • Application optimization requirements • Internal cloud efficiencies A few comments taken from EMA consulting reflect the still very strong need to provide both digital war rooms and IT as a whole with a more informed and proactive way of working. • “We are very reactive. How we approach each problem is based on the technical expertise of specialists involved.” • “Our focus is on closing tickets. We do very little root cause analysis.” • “No meaningful correlation between infrastructure components, service delivery, and business impact is available.”

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Ibid. EMA Research: “AIOps and IT Analytics at the Crossroads,” October 2018.

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN Reasons for Getting off the “APM Hamster Wheel”

While application complexity and an accelerating rate of change are challenging, they also present opportunities for value. However, many IT organizations have fallen into a kind of hamster wheel where problems are rapidly revolving, and no one has time to step back and see what’s really going on. What’s at stake in getting beyond the APM hamster wheel? A great deal in terms of both business performance and IT efficiency. Some of the priorities EMA has seen across the board beyond better application performance include: • Improved IT operational efficiency • Improved employee productivity • Better business competitiveness through increased revenue • Better business process optimization • Improved business competitiveness through brand loyalty • Improved agile/DevOps efficiencies • Coping with/optimizing cloud

INTRODUCING EVOLVEN

Evolven can get IT organizations off the APM “hamster wheel” thanks to a powerful mixture of machine learning and advanced analytics, a broad range of integrations, and most of all a unique capability to capture actual changes made in the IT environment. Evolven can track change in various dimensions—from configuration to data anomalies, from capacity issues to unexpected shifts in workload sequence or volume, to actual changes in code. Monitoring and tracking changes as they occur is critical. EMA consulting data shows that more than 60 percent of application performance issues come from changes made to the application infrastructure.

Evolven can get IT organizations off the APM “hamster wheel” thanks to a powerful mixture of machine learning and advanced analytics, a broad range of integrations, and most of all a unique capability to capture actual changes made in the IT environment.

To gain a cross-silo view and insights, Evolven assimilates, normalizes, and correlates the actual changes with symptoms, such as those associated with events, time-series data, and log files, across a wide range of application performance management tools, event management capabilities, and other third-party solutions. Moreover, Evolven also provides insights into contexts, which can be derived from release and deployment automation, service desk, configuration management databases (CMDBs), and application discovery and dependency mapping (ADDM) tools. In other words, Evolven brings together APM tools to answer “what’s wrong with my application?” “what’s changed?” and “why?” In addition to its broad capabilities for assimilating data from other sources, Evolven achieves its own unique insights into what’s changed through agents that scan across the application infrastructure for details of configuration, content, application master data, capacity settings, and other criteria. The breadth of its data collection is impressive, with support for a wide range of middleware, application servers, messaging, database, OS, and networking requirements. In the infrastructure area, this includes virtualized environments, traditional network infrastructure, and storage infrastructure, with in-depth capabilities for public cloud in AWS and Azure, as well as cloud platforms like Pivotal. It also supports Java, .NET, SharePoint, Documentum, and any custom application.

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN

Figure 2: Evolven can import topology and alert data from Dynatrace and enrich it with dynamic change awareness and enhanced insights directed at root cause and risk.

EMA PERSPECTIVE

Bridging the divide between application performance management and real-time change awareness is an area of tremendous potential for value and growth in the industry. EMA consulting and research documents some of the values. Among them are: • Improved operational efficiencies across all of IT • Reduced mean time to repair • Very improved diagnostics • Improved delivery on service-level agreements and application service commitments • Accelerated time in provisioning new applications in support of DevOps and release management What Evolven brings to the market is distinctive in both its relevance and its proven value across demanding enterprise environments, with customers including JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Western Union, Visa, and Dell. In general, Evolven estimates that its customers can reduce mean time to repair by 50 percent and extend mean time between failures by 35 percent as it reduces the volume of problem occurrences.

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What Evolven brings to the market is distinctive in both its relevance and its proven value across demanding enterprise environments.

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OPTIMIZING APPLICATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH REAL-TIME CHANGE AWARENESS WITH EVOLVEN In an EMA interview with a large financial services organization, the benefits of Evolven’s support of APM were evident: “With Evolven, we have an analytically rich capability that also complements our need for currency in understanding actual changes, for example in configuration, and how they may impact application performance. This capability is agent-based and provides far more granular insights than we might achieve otherwise.” It should be pointed out that this customer also found particular resonance in Evolven’s support for a growing need for DevOps-driven automation. EMA views Evolven as an industry innovator in capturing real-time change in a wide variety of dimensions, and in its use of machine learning and what it calls “blended analytics” to leverage many third-party sources across individual customer environments. This combination is not only powerful in itself, but is a perfect complement to APM tools centered in performance issues, or what Evolven calls “symptoms.” Its value also extends toward an even larger picture—Evolven’s insights can result in better process integration across all of IT, including operations and IT service management (ITSM) teams, as well as development teams and security/compliance professionals. It is EMA’s opinion that for large or complex enterprises where changes occur frequently and where application performance is critical, Evolven deserves top-of-the-list attention.

About Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Founded in 1996, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help EMA’s clients achieve their goals. Learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise line of business users, IT professionals, and IT vendors at www.enterprisemanagement.com or blog.enterprisemanagement.com. You can also follow EMA on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. This report in whole or in part may not be duplicated, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or retransmitted without prior written permission of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All opinions and estimates herein constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. “EMA” and “Enterprise Management Associates” are trademarks of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. in the United States and other countries. ©2019 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. EMA™, ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES®, and the mobius symbol are registered trademarks or common-law trademarks of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Corporate Headquarters: 1995 North 57th Court, Suite 120 Boulder, CO 80301 Phone: +1 303.543.9500 Fax: +1 303.543.7687 www.enterprisemanagement.com 3801.012319

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