|By Jyoti Bansal||
|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.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Jan. 22, 2017 01:00 PM EST Reads: 4,384
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
Jan. 22, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,680
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Jan. 22, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,963
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Jan. 22, 2017 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,703
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 22, 2017 09:30 AM EST Reads: 4,760
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Jan. 22, 2017 09:30 AM EST Reads: 3,011
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
Jan. 22, 2017 08:30 AM EST Reads: 4,990
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 22, 2017 08:30 AM EST Reads: 966
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Jan. 22, 2017 07:15 AM EST Reads: 1,968
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Jan. 22, 2017 03:45 AM EST Reads: 5,066
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Jan. 22, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 2,907
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
Jan. 22, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 7,910
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Jan. 22, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 11,755
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
Jan. 22, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 6,586
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Jan. 22, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 4,194
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
Jan. 22, 2017 01:00 AM EST Reads: 5,203
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 22, 2017 12:15 AM EST Reads: 2,336
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal ...
Jan. 21, 2017 11:45 PM EST Reads: 2,480
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 21, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 3,160
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 21, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 3,852