Survey: IT Says Virtualization, Cloud Aid Agility; Some Concerns Remain

A survey has good news and some cautions for application virtualization and private cloud. Virtualization has strong traction with application owners and IT managers, but they remain  concerned over complexity, performance and security. Private cloud adoption is healthy, but constrained by several issues, the AppDynamics’ survey found.

Tags: application virtualization, private cloud, AppDynamics, monitoring, management, dynamic flow mapping, distributed processes,

jyoti_final_1000A survey has good news and some cautions for application virtualization and private cloud. Virtualization has strong traction with application owners and IT managers, but they remain  concerned over complexity, performance and security. Private cloud adoption is healthy, but constrained by several issues, the AppDynamics’ survey found.

Notably, the interest in virtualization and cloud is business agility – not simply cost savings.  “Almost two-thirds (65%) say they want operations for IT and business to become more agile, with cost savings a distant second,” AppDynamics CEO Jyoti Bansal told IDN. 
 
“Many application owners consider virtualization adoption to be very valuable to improve business performance and reduce costs,” Bansal said. “Virtualization is also becoming an important stepping stone for moving to cloud deployments.”  The survey respondents also said they prefer migrating to the cloud by adopting a virtualization project first, rather than moving their applications directly to the cloud, he said.

AppDynamics, an application performance management company, surveyed more than 150 application performance professionals at the end of 2010. The result was a cautious but optimistic picture for application virtualization and private cloud adoption.

A Full Copy of AppDynamics Apps on the Move Survey is available here

Among the Apps on the Move survey results are:

Yes to Virtualization: More than 60% of respondents have virtualized at least one or more mission-critical apps. For 2011, enthusiasm stays relative high, with more than half of respondents (54%) planning at least one virtualization project.

Still Unsure about Cloud: Migrating apps to the cloud is lagging behind a bit, as 37.6% say they have cloud initiatives planned for 2011. Beyond the technology and management issues, cloud initiatives also remain hampered by stakeholders attempting to parse between what Bansal called “business hype and business reality.” Some 28% pointed to “No [internal] support” or “Other people don’t see the value” for not moving to the cloud, he added.

Agile and SOA continues to grow in 2011: Agile and SOA development represent the “new normal,” for enterprise IT, Bansal said. The vast majority of respondents releases new capabilities multiple times per year and operate applications built with SOA architectures. For 2011, 49% of respondents say they expect to ramp up agile development, and 66% expect to leverage additional SOA initiatives for mission-critical apps.

Despite these two optimistic findings, the survey also revealed some areas where IT managers would like to see improvements, including:  

Mission-critical Apps Face Problems: Despite the willingness to virtualize their applications, app managers and owners still worry about increased production outages and performance slowdowns post-virtualization. During last year, more than four out of five (88%) respondents reported at least one “Severity 1 Problem,” and nearly 50% reported five or more such problems. Application outages and performance failures – many of them lasting several hours or more – can plague operations,

Agile, SOA, Cloud, and Virtualization Create New Complexities: These are forcing IT teams to confront a higher rate of change. More than 50% of respondents also said managing these new environments is harder than legacy environments.

To cope with these uncertainties from design time to runtime, respondents are embracing “DevOps” practices, where dev teams also retain some responsibilities for maintaining or re-starting operations, Bansal told IDN.

Seeing Inside, Managing Virtualized,
Private Cloud Applications for Business Outcomes

AppDynamics technologies looks to address the visibility, monitoring and management issues associated with virtualization and private cloud projects.

For a highly-interconnected distributed environment, management needs to go beyond simply asking, “How is my application server or my application performing?” Bansal said. “But those stats don’t always answer the key question, ‘Are my users happy right now?’”

"Virtualization is becoming an important stepping stone for moving to cloud deployments.”

 

Jyoti Bansal
CEO
AppDynamics


AppDynamics measures response times, failure rates, timeouts, reliability, how many errors and other statistics that help define and report on business metrics from a distributed application, Bansal told IDN. “If something goes wrong and with 20 moving parts, we can reduce that analysis time down from overnight or a few hours to 5-10 minutes,” he said.  

AppDynamics uses dynamic flow mapping to look at every request to and from inside the application. “That lets us figure out what the user is trying to do. We learn what kind of business traction it is, and then we follow the execution in a completely distributed environment. AppDynamics also uses byte code injection to keep overhead low, “which has been a key challenge in production-ready management solutions,” he added.

The result is that application owners and IT operations receive a “heat map of business-critical distributed processes and activities,” which in turn can be mapped back to the underlying virtualized and physical resources, Bansal told IDN. 

 

To help move virtualization and cloud adoption from development to mission-critical operations, Bansal said companies need an environment where they can see as many production issues as they can, and equate those to problem solving when necessary.  To help make sure that multi-hop business-critical applications keep running, the company also offers an auto-resolution algorithm that can resolve and identify the multiple tiers and services participating in an end-to-end transaction.




back