How Application Performance Monitoring can Earn You the Good Night's Rest You Deserve

If you have ever had the privilege of taking care of baby overnight, you will know that “sleeping like a baby” really means hoping (or praying, for those so inclined) that the little bundle of joy doesn’t wake up. But truthfully, you know and brace yourself for the fact that you are going to be woken up. Probably more than once. And you are going to have to do something. Change the baby. Feed the baby. Do and song and dance for the baby. Put the baby in the car and drive for hours until it goes to sleep again. Then you hope the baby will stay asleep for at least a few hours so you can sleep enough to be slightly more alive than a zombie.
An IT operations specialist at a mid-sized online retailer was telling me about his nighttime experience before they implemented Application Performance Monitoring (APM). It sounded much like the whole baby watching adventure. He said that multiple times a week, he would be woken up multiple times a night to deal system problems with their applications. He told me that since they have implemented APM (shameless self promotion here, they chose Quest Foglight as their APM solution of choice.) and matured their management practices, he (like the parent of a child who finally sleeps through the night) is well rested! He still gets the random wake-up call once a month or so, but adopting APM has radically reduced the emergencies that disrupted his nights.
For me, a big connection point in my job is hearing how people benefit from the solution, so I love hearing stories like this. Not only is APM and Foglight helping this company, it also is helping this administrator live a better life. Of course, on a more pragmatic note for the companies considering APM, what this means for you is that when staff emergencies are reduced, it enables your IT staff to deal with the more strategic and high value work that is inevitably pushed aside to deal with crises.