|By AppDynamics Blog||
|June 19, 2014 12:00 PM EDT||
Most technology folks have heard Marc Andreessen’s provocative statement, “Software is eating the world.” Whether you agree fully or not, you’re realizing that your business critical software applications increasingly drive both the top-line revenue growth and the bottom-line operational efficiency of your company – and often form the pillar of your business identity.
Legacy monitoring systems you have in place, capturing and alerting on scores of infrastructure level metrics, have helped protect your technology investment to some degree. I’ve worked for two leaders in that space, HP and BMC, so can personally attest to the real benefits of server, network and database monitoring that clients achieve. However, as consumer demand for superior services and faster innovation accelerate, we see that the applications and associated business transactions are what end-users ultimately care about. You can no longer afford slow response time, let alone application outage situations, as customers will delay or abandon purchases – or worse yet switch to a competitor when you have unacceptable application performance. And unfortunately these “Yellow Light” or slow performance situations are the most challenging to detect and fix!
So you’ve come to the conclusion that you need a full-fledged application performance management (APM) solution. The question some companies wrestle with at this point is: “Should we invest in an 3rd party APM solution or build it ourselves?”
Four key considerations should be:
Upfront Costs – such as Initial Project Build & Software License cost.
Ongoing, Annual Solution Costs – such as Server / Storage footprint, administrative maintenance & support, & agile development / release activities.
Solution Capabilities Driving Benefits – chiefly, the ability to drive down the number of performance defects in production, as well as the MTTR when issues do occur.
Opportunity Costs – personnel resources working on in-house APM, versus are there mature 3rd party APM solutions available for purchase.
1. Upfront Costs
It’s difficult to estimate exactly how long it would take a company to develop a basic application monitoring tool in-house – but we’ll give it a logical shot. Of course, on the plus side, the company would avoid spending money on a “commercial off-the-shelf” (COTS) 3rd party software application. Based on experience for design, development, testing, and release, a good estimate for an in-house Initial Project Build is a team of 2-3 Engineers about 6 months to have a basic, log parsing and alerting tool ready. A more robust tool for a medium to large sized deployment may be 2-3x this size and investment. A gaming company we work with, when assessing an in-house build situation, estimated an APM product development lifecycle in the 12 to 18 month range. Why? APM functionality that involves tracing the user experience of distributed transactions, where every call needs to be traced across each service layer, is non-trivial technical work. Also, you’ll need to factor in one-time hardware and prerequisite software purchasing costs. So a ballpark cost from $400K to well into seven figures is reasonable.
What would be the upfront software licensing cost of a 3rd party APM solution? Probably in a similar range, perhaps higher in certain cases. Also, many APM companies offer lower annual SaaS subscription costs as an alternative to full upfront licensing payments – which add up to the same licensing fees over 3-5 years. However, you should take into consideration that some solutions such as AppDynamics, which can be downloaded and installed via self-service within hours, provide immediate Time-to-Value versus waiting for a full software development lifecycle to occur for a custom built solution.
Advantage: Cost = In-house (slight? depends on robustness of APM solution built), Time-to-Value = 3rd Party APM
2. Ongoing, Annual Solution Costs
First, let’s determine the hardware & storage footprint required for the solution. Typical in-house developed solutions architect for over-capacity as a rough estimate because of unknowns, and to avoid encountering limitations & performance issues. A good estimate per environment (Dev, Test, Prod) may be 2 Large Servers and 16 TB of Storage for a starter in-house APM solution. This cost might run in the $100K to $135K range per year.
For 3rd party APM solutions, the specs are well-known, validated, and published. A leading APM solution like AppDynamics has been built and tuned via R&D by specialists over several years. The footprint for a similar medium-sized deployment would be 1 Medium Server and 6 TB of Storage, for a rough cost of about $40-50K per year – or less than half of the in-house cost.
From an FTE support perspective for the in-house solution, you have to understand the administrative, support, & enhancement / new development labor required. A good admin & support estimate would run about 1-2 FTEs, and new development might run 2 engineering FTEs to keep up with enhancement requests and coverage for new applications & technologies. Remember, users will not expect the APM solution to stay static! You might start with basic metric stores and time series data, but this will quickly run out of steam. Next, you’ll want to build a baseline engine for the metric store based on load patterns and percentiles of metrics, as examples. Demand for dashboarding and security access control requirements come into play, and require much design and testing work especially as the solution scales. So this annual labor cost would run in the $375K plus range.
On top of that, in today’s Agile DevOps world, there are additional maintenance / revision labor costs each time a business application is released to production. Appliances and/or monitoring agents need updating, and both application and business transaction topology maps likely need to be revised manually. As the frequency of application release grows, often to a bi-weekly application release schedule, these are not insignificant tasks. We estimate in a medium sized deployment, this could require about 2,000 labor hours per year to keep up, or about $100K.
In the AppDynamics APM world, these types of capabilities are already built into the solution. So the maintenance per application release is zero since there is automated application discovery, mapping, and business transaction flows out of the box. The ongoing FTE administrative & maintenance requirements for a medium-sized deployment are 1 FTE, or about $125K/year. And new development is covered in the license costs via the hundreds of R&D professionals contributing to the various releases of the 3rd party software.
Advantage: 3rd Party APM (large, especially adding up multiple years)
3. Solution Capabilities Driving Benefits
Next we look at the ability of an APM solution to provide benefits to your enterprise – which can be grouped into reducing costs, mitigating risks, and increasing or protecting revenue. Two key performance metrics we suggest for measuring impact on cost, risk, and revenue are:
# defects released to production
Mean time to repair (MTTR) per performance issue
At AppDynamics, this is where we’ve invested our R&D dollars since 2008, and our industry-exceeding Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 84 – i.e., more than 8 in 10 customers would recommend us to a friend or colleague – is a testimony to our ability to achieve these benefits.
By leveraging AppDynamics in Pre-Production, our clients often report reduction in performance issues released to Production of 40%. And by watching every line of code executed in Production, and measuring & scoring each transaction, we provide a “3 clicks to resolution” approach that often reduces MTTR per performance issue by 65% or more. This is true of small application environments, as well as large deployments over 20,000 JVMs.
For an in-house solution, you have to assess what it would take to build similar APM capabilities to achieve these levels of defect and MTTR reduction. How many years, developers, and dollars? (And, as one client executive recently told us, “If I could do this, why wouldn’t my company be competing in the APM software space?!”) Or alternatively and more likely, “let’s stitch something low-cost together” in-house. Admittedly this sacrifices capability for cost cost, which translates into fewer features to address the MTTR and # of performance issue challenges you face.
For ballpark purposes, then, let’s credit the in-house solution in helping reduce both # of defects and MTTR up to 20%. If we use an industry average cost per minute of slowness / downtime equating to $500 (inclusive of both labor and revenue protection factors), and there is one Sev1 performance issue per application per quarter – the difference between the in-house solution versus an APM solution would equate to over $1M per year for a medium sized deployment.
Advantage: 3rd Party APM (not close; and these add up year over year, too)
4. Opportunity Costs
These costs deal chiefly with choosing what is most valuable for your developers to spend their time on. Especially in today’s high-technology enterprises, there are excellent engineers capable of building fantastic tools across a wide range of areas – so it is tempting to initiate an in-house APM build project and get something out the door. However, APM is not these engineers’ specialty and their talents are often better utilized on alternative software projects related to the core goods & services your company sells to your end-use customers that drive revenue.
This is an area we won’t attempt to quantify, as it’s more of a qualitative assessment and business decision specific to your organization. But with a fairly mature and continually developing 3rd Party APM market, for most enterprises it’s logical to say….
Advantage: 3rd Party APM
While the initial, upfront set of costs for an in-house vs. 3rd party APM solution purchase may be about the same (license vs build) – which leads some organizations to consider a “Do It Yourself” approach – there are significant ongoing annual costs for the care and feeding of an in-house APM solution compared to the 3rd party APM alternative. These include the infrastructure footprint, as well as labor costs associated with administration, maintenance & enhancements.
The biggest differential in cost is typically related to the chief purpose of an APM solution – how often does it proactively reduce the number of production defects, and how fast does it help you resolve performance issues when they do inevitably occur?
For a medium sized deployment, the total cost / benefit advantages of a 3rd party APM solution easily exceed $1M per year when compared to the in-house build alternative. This benefit accumulates year over year. And it’s worth mentioning here at AppDynamics, we achieve magnitudes of benefit even beyond other 3rd party APM solutions with lesser capabilities. We’ve leveraged the feedback of our over 1,000 customers during the past several years to drive R&D and greater benefit realization.
For AppDynamics, these advantages stem from:
The way our solution is architected to require minimal setup, upkeep and Time-to-Value, while providing ongoing Ease of Use.
Key capabilities – such as transaction tracing across complex, distributed applications, in your data center and the cloud – which lead to significant improvement in KPIs such as # performance defects and MTTR.
Our ability to intelligently scale to support the most complex and largest Pre-Production and Production environments.
Thought-leadership expanding into our “Application Intelligence” platform with a host of new modules and capabilities.
So when assessing an in-house vs 3rd party APM solution, consider a multi-year TCO horizon and not just a short-term initial cost estimate. Our personnel at AppDynamics standby to provide you help in not only getting a deep-dive on the APM market and our solution features, but also to analyze the value of APM choices via a detailed ROI assessment.
Thinking of trying a next generation APM solution rather than build it yourself? Try AppDynamics for free today!
The post Thinking About APM? 4 Key Considerations for Buy vs. Build Your Own written by Mike Murphy appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Aug. 1, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 156
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 1, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 482
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Aug. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 181
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usage of their services for licensing and billing purposes? In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Delano ...
Aug. 1, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 215
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 189
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so you can decide for yourself.
Jul. 31, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 790
Palerra, the cloud security automation company, announced enhanced support for Amazon AWS, allowing IT security and DevOps teams to automate activity and configuration monitoring, anomaly detection, and orchestrated remediation, thereby meeting compliance mandates within complex infrastructure deployments. "Monitoring and threat detection for AWS is a non-trivial task. While Amazon's flexible environment facilitates successful DevOps implementations, it adds another layer, which can become a target for potential threats. What's more, securing infrastructure and meeting compliance mandates i...
Jul. 31, 2015 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 317
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating the organization can lead to inconsistent masking and exposure of sensitive data. But some organ...
Jul. 30, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 905
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. The DevOps approach is a way to increase business agility through collaboration, communication, and integration across different teams in the IT organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, will discuss: The acceleration of application delivery for the business with DevOps
Jul. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,132
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is relevant to small scale DevOps, and if there is an expectation of growth as the number of build targets,...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,411
"ProfitBricks was founded in 2010 and we are the painless cloud - and we are also the Infrastructure as a Service 2.0 company," noted Achim Weiss, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ProfitBricks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,140
"Alert Logic is a managed security service provider that basically deploys technologies, but we support those technologies with the people and process behind it," stated Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 371
"We specialize in testing. DevOps is all about continuous delivery and accelerating the delivery pipeline and there is no continuous delivery without testing," noted Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect at Spirent Communications, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 405
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,052
How do you securely enable access to your applications in AWS without exposing any attack surfaces? The answer is usually very complicated because application environments morph over time in response to growing requirements from your employee base, your partners and your customers. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Haseeb Budhani, CEO and Co-founder of Soha, shared five common approaches that DevOps teams follow to secure access to applications deployed in AWS, Azure, etc., and the friction and risks they impose on the business.
Jul. 29, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 538
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Jul. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,096
Delphix, the market leader in Data as a Service (DaaS), has been announced winner of the DevOps Solution Award at the prestigious Computing Vendor Excellence Awards in London. The awards celebrate the achievements of the technology vendors and service providers that are leading the field of enterprise IT. Delphix was recognised as the vendor demonstrating the most effective support of DevOps culture for its ability to improve time to market and collaboration between teams.
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 282
Sysdig has announced two significant milestones in its mission to bring infrastructure and application monitoring to the world of containers and microservices: a $10.7 million Series A funding led by Accel and Bain Capital Ventures (BCV); and the general availability of Sysdig Cloud, the first monitoring, alerting, and troubleshooting platform specializing in container visibility, which is already used by more than 30 enterprise customers. The funding will be used to drive adoption of Sysdig Cloud in the container market.
Jul. 27, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 479
SYS-CON Events announced today that JFrog, maker of Artifactory, the popular Binary Repository Manager, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in California, Israel and France, founded by longtime field-experts, JFrog, creator of Artifactory and Bintray, has provided the market with the first Binary Repository solution and a software distribution social platform.
Jul. 27, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,096
"The new SDKs for Go and Java are yet another addition to our growing support for our DevOps community," said Achim Weiss, Co-founder and CEO of ProfitBricks. "Since the launch of ProfitBricks' DevOps Central, the productivity of the DevOps community remains a top priority for our development team. We've built a strong foundation for our DevOps Central users, and intend on continuing this momentum as the year progresses."
Jul. 26, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 328
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction. The problem is there are a lot of moving parts in these designs; this makes assuring performance compl...
Jul. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,030
Sumo Logic has announced comprehensive analytics capabilities for organizations embracing DevOps practices, microservices architectures and containers to build applications. As application architectures evolve toward microservices, containers continue to gain traction for providing the ideal environment to build, deploy and operate these applications across distributed systems. The volume and complexity of data generated by these environments make monitoring and troubleshooting an enormous challenge for development and operations teams. The Sumo Logic Collector and Application for Docker now a...
Jul. 26, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,325
Shipping daily, injecting faults, and keeping an extremely high availability "without Ops"? Understand why NoOps does not mean no operations. Agile development methodologies require evolved operations to be successful. In his keynote at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how Microsoft teams who have made huge progress with a DevOps transformation effectively utilize operations staff and how challenges were overcome. Regardless of whether you are a startup or a mature enterprise, whether you are using PaaS, Micro Services, or ...
Jul. 25, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,233
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Jul. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,966
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 481