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APMdigest – 5 Reasons You Should Consider Application-Aware Network Performance Management

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April 2, 2013

by Suvish Viswanathan

In today’s complex business environment, the first question thoughtful IT leaders ask when considering any new IT investment or change is, “How will it impact the business?”

That the business depends on well-managed IT is well understood. What is less well understood is how an IT organization can manage an infrastructure that is growing ever more complex.

It’s not just the network infrastructure that IT teams need to consider; it’s not even the increasingly complex application infrastructure that stands between the physical network infrastructure and the users. The challenge today involves the effective management of both these infrastructures as well the interplay between them — and it’s the interplay between them that poses the greatest challenge.

Application-aware network performance management (AA-NPM) tools can help you overcome that challenge.

What is AA-NPM?

These days, before an application appears in front of an end user, it may pass through numerous infrastructure components, as shown in the diagram below:

Traditional or stand-alone application performance management (APM) tools provide visibility only into the middle component group, the application infrastructure. They typically support auto-discovery of all the applications in the networks, transaction analysis, application usage analysis, end-user experience analysis, and more. They also provide the basic functions to monitor the health and performance of all configured application infrastructure assets.

But APM tools do not provide insight into the network infrastructure itself. Typically, network infrastructure managers rely on separate network performance management (NPM) tools for fault management, device monitoring, capacity planning, interface traffic analysis, configuration management and those sorts of tasks.

The problem with a management approach that relies on two separate tools is that neither of these tools is designed to facilitate the management of the interplay between these environments — and to optimize the user experience of an application in this environment the interplay between these infrastructures must be understood and well-managed.

That’s where an AA-NPM solution is critical. An AA-NPM solution integrates these vital entities and provides complete visibility into these business-critical infrastructures and their dependencies.

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