CA offers new version of Application Performance Management

In the APM market, we're seeing a battle between best-of-breed, single-function products versus components of larger management frameworks. CA's APM is a part of its management framework and should be attractive to those using that framework.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

The application performance management (APM) market is red hot right now. I routinely speak with more than 20 competitors, each of whom believe that they have the best answer to performance questions asked by IT operations staff.

Representatives of CA reach out to me from time to time to fill me in on what it is doing. This time, the company's representatives explained that the company was releasing a new version of its CA Application Performance Management (APM) product.

Here's what CA has to say about the new version of CA APM

CA Technologies today announced a new release of CA Application Performance Management (APM) to further help organizations proactively manage the user experience of their applications so that every experience can become a loyalty-building interaction. For quicker time to value, CA APM's new and enhanced capabilities provide simplified management of application performance, mobile APM, support for modern languages, and product integrations to help customers use CA APM as a catalyst for DevOps.

To make it easier for users to adopt, manage and upgrade their implementation, CA APM's new APM Command Center serves as a central hub for agent configuration. The unique user-friendly dashboard enables users to access an inventory of thousands of agents across multiple APM clusters in one view so that they can more quickly generate diagnostic reports and diagnose agent configuration problems.

New Smart Instrumentation functionality in CA APM automatically collects transaction traces so that failures can be proactively corrected without having to recreate issues or change an application's instrumentation. It also provides diagnostic information about the transaction error to help users better triage problems.

CA APM can also be used as a catalyst for DevOps to fuel collaboration across the organization by providing a common vocabulary for development and operations teams to analyze performance data across the application lifecycle via its integration with CA MAA. CA APM agents can be deployed through CA Release Automation to enable the collection of application and performance data much earlier in the software development cycle further enhancing an organization's ability to proactively address issues. Also for a unified view of infrastructure and applications that impact business services, infrastructure management data from CA Unified Infrastructure Management (formerly CA Nimsoft Monitor) can be viewed and correlated within the CA APM dashboard.

In addition to providing support for Java and .Net applications, CA APM now includes support for PHP. CA Technologies is also a MongoDB Partner and has certified CA APM on MongoDB Enterprise. The CA APM MongoDB Collector integrates MongoDB metrics into CA APM for intelligent analytics, alerting and visibility in a single dashboard.

Quick analysis

Once again, we see the competition between best-of-breed individual products and products that offer value because their part of a larger construct. CA's APM is part of a larger management framework much like the offerings from competitors such as BMC, HP, IBM and Microsoft. This means that the APM product may be used by itself, but the company hopes that enterprises will buy into the whole CA way of monitoring and managing its IT infrastructure. The announcement cites several other CA products while describing what CA APM does for enterprises.

Smaller competitors do their best to build a product that stands on its own and/or fits into the ecosystem of a larger supplier. One could make the case that these products may offer unique features or functions that CA's doesn't offer. CA would point out that the value they offer comes from the use of a complete management framework rather than on the strengths of an individual product.

Enterprise decision-makers should consider whether they want to buy into the complete CA framework before deciding to select CA APM. If the enterprise already uses CA's management framework, then selecting CA APM is an easy decision to make. If the enterprise uses another management framework or is relying on a suite of individual best-of-breed products, each selected to do one task extremely well, then CA APM may not be the best choice.

Either way, it would be worth taking the time to learn more about what this product does and what other products in the CA portfolio that it collaborates with.

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