Report: Telecom Industry Needs Integrated App and Network Performance Management Solutions

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 with No comments

Distributed, cloud-based systems are becoming the new norm for telecom networks, causing enterprises, service providers, and vendors to grapple with big questions around performance monitoring, analysis, and optimization. In a recent report, SDxCentral took on this topic, exploring trends reshaping the application performance management (APM) and network performance management (NPM) market.

Broadly speaking, what’s happening is that changes to network infrastructure and application architecture are causing performance management to merge with network monitoring, analytics, and application intelligence.

More specifically, though, SDxCentral identified five specific trends driving the APM and NPM markets to converge:

  1. Adoption of hybrid data center architecture and cloud-based services and apps.
  2. Increasing use of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions. virtualization (NFV) to automate provisioning.
  3. Network traffic growth fueled by video, Internet of Things (IoT) and other applications.
  4. More consumer users, increasing the need for transaction-oriented end-user experience metrics.
  5. New software development approaches, like DevOps and containers.
The end result, as SDxCentral noted in its report, is that applications and networks are now deeply intertwined, demanding a more holistic approach to performance management. The industry is challenged by the need to instrument networks more comprehensively, end to end, and to manage and make use of the resulting large volumes of monitoring data. SDN and NFV have been successfully used for automation, but it’s still early days for converged APM/NPM products. 

For a closer look at how the convergence of APM and NPM looks in the trenches, SDxCentral conducted a survey, collecting insights from 79 vendor, service provider, enterprise end-user, cloud provider, and other respondents.

Overall, it seems there is a significant level of interest in APM and NPM tools—mostly with an eye toward improved visibility, simplified operations, better customer satisfaction, and increased network performance: more than half of respondents indicated they are actively looking at such solutions, and about a third are actually in the testing and deployment phases. 

Unfortunately, most survey respondents said current APM and NPM tools are not meeting their needs; these solutions are too complex and costly, have gaps in coverage, and lack integration with SDN and NFV. Tellingly, the vast majority of respondents (92%) expressed interest in truly integrated solutions.

More specifically, respondents highlighted the following user requirements for what would be considered an integrated APM/NPM solution:
  • Supports cloud architectures.
  • Collects varied data types at very frequent intervals.
  • Provides end-to-end and component-level application delivery and user experience monitoring.
  • Network monitoring that scales to 40 or 100 Gpbs and is able to handle encrypted traffic at line rate.
  • Highly scalable. 
  • SDN and NFV environment visibility and performance management.
  • End-to-end visibility, tracking, and correlation for complex app, infrastructure, and network interdependencies.
  • Supports a variety of monitoring architectures.
  • Integrates with DevOps environments.
  • Automated configuration and tagging.
  • Extends functionality by being programmable.
Grab your copy of the full report here for a much more in-depth look at the APM and NPM market and how it’s changing.