Application Performance Monitoring Tools Are Supposed To Simplify The Process—Aren't They?

Last week Gartner released its Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM), and I’m proud to say that Quest is a leader in that report. Since its first release in 2010, the market has matured in its understanding of managing performance from an application-centric view. The report provides valuable insight into:

  • The five dimensions that are critical in managing APM
  • Positioning of vendors within the quadrant
  • Which dimensions are covered
  • List of APM tool vendor strengths and cautions


Although the report is comprehensive, it’s not possible to cover all bases. Gartner’s report might lead casual readers to make assumptions that vendors who provide coverage for all five dimensions are similar. But on closer examination we find that the majority of vendors in the leader’s quadrant used anywhere from 7-11 different products to cover all dimensions.


When APM offerings are made up of disparate products covering single dimensions of APM, they often won’t work until they’re implemented and stitched together in the customer’s environment. This creates a fragile solution resulting in heavy administration by the customer and complaints from the business about costs outweighing benefits.


In the race to keep up with evolving APM market demands, and the continued adoption of virtualization, cloud computing and mobile computing devices, it is easy for vendors to lose sight that the primary goal of an APM tool is to simplify APM and deliver faster time-to-value. Keep these goals high on your list of requirements. Look for APM tools that were originally designed for APM and include an integrated performance model of the application from end user to storage. This will allow you to store and correlate performance information from the underlying architecture, the application user and external services into a model that represents the monitored application. This allows a single holistic view of performance without having to deal with constant change in the underlying infrastructure.


Other key capabilities you should look for include:

  • A common performance management database capable of managing a monitored production environment in real time
  • Dashboards, rules and scripts that rely on the application model rather than the physical host model—so they don’t break each time the infrastructure changes
  • Workflows and dashboards that use the common model of the application architecture and present stakeholder-specific workflows and dashboards to encourage collaboration
  • Scalability to manage applications that cross thousands of components across geographical or organizational boundaries
  • Extensible architecture that supports the addition of custom agents or third-party monitoring tools
  • Modular design allowing you to start with the basics and snap-in additional capabilities as your monitoring needs grow


With every new technology, applications become more complex and so does the process of managing their performance. APM solutions should follow the mantra of simplifying APM, just like Foglight does. Built from the ground up to simplify APM, Foglight provides capabilities in all five dimensions and helps speed APM success in your company. To learn more about Foglight and get a copy of the Gartner report, visit


The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2011 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner’s analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the “Leaders” quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.