HP's APM Software Lets Businesses Track Apps In The Cloud

Some Hewlett-Packard partners are finding that HP's Application Performance Management (APM) software is becoming a valuable tool for helping customers monitor their IT resources in the cloud.

HP APM, Version 9.2, released in June as part of the company's IT Performance Suite of enterprise performance software, focuses on mobile and cloud applications, which are becoming increasing popular with businesses.

HP APM uses diagnostics and analytics to improve visibility into the performance of applications and track performance outside and inside data center firewalls.

"APM allows our clients to get detectible metrics into how these apps are performing in the cloud," Jimmy Augustine, group product marketing manager for HP software, said in an interview with CRN. "For apps running on HP Converged Cloud or Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, we offer clients the ability to see response time of applications, and we can monitor transactions as they go from the front office to the back office."

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For example, banks using APM can monitor response time of applications used by consumers of financial services via laptops or mobile devices, Augustine said.

The software allows users to monitor how customers are logging into bank services, such as purchasing stocks online. The software can then detect and send notifications on performance or lack of performance to IT managers so they can make adjustments.

J9 Technologies, of Seattle, Wash., is using HP's APM software to help customers in financial services, healthcare and other industries to monitor their cloud workloads. The software is in demand by customers, Clay Roach, J9 Technologies' president and CEO, said in an interview with CRN.

J9 Technologies also provides customers with cloud application management, application life-cycle management, diagnostics, software testing and application life-cycle management services.

"We have customers who are struggling with how to monitor and manage applications running in the cloud, outside their data center and firewall," Roach said. "For example, we are working with an insurance company with tight integration with Salesforce, and they want to monitor that integration," Roach said. "We can use HP APM to handle that need."

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Vodafone Ireland, the largest mobile phone company in Ireland, used HP APM software to monitor applications across its cloud, virtual, traditional and mobile environments.

Shane Gaffney, head of IT operations for Vodafone Ireland, said the company previously had to balance multiple processes and tools and devote large amounts of time to managing the infrastructure instead of focusing on new business services.

Gaffney said HP's APM software lets the company monitor its applications in the cloud to maintain their quality. "As both a receiver and a supplier of cloud services, our operating model relies heavily on the rich, responsive, proactive and indeed predictive insights and intelligence that HP's products provide," Gaffney said in an email to CRN.

The move to HP's APM portfolio has resulted in a return on investment and annual savings of more than $700,000 in savings, including the retirement of third-party service-monitoring tools, he said.

IBM, CA Technologies, Compuware, BMC Software and new players such as AppDynamics and New Relic are also offering APM for cloud applications.

IDC says the APM market is growing to $2.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $3.5 billion in 2016.

The growth in APM is significantly higher than other traditional applications due to the rise of the cloud and the use distributed architectures, which are filling a need to monitor applications as they migrate from in-house data centers to the cloud, said Mary Johnston Turner, IDC research vice president for enterprise systems management software, in an interview.

"IT organizations are really responsible for the end-user experience and, as traditional, tightly-coupled computing architecture breaks down, and as the application components are housed in different places, the end result is very distributed architecture," she said. "So, organizations are focusing on the need to get better visibility into the end-user experience and into business transactions."

HP's Augustine said businesses are now placing high value on the information that cloud-based APM provides. "APM offers a level of insight that will become common practice," he said.