Application monitoring provider Instana today has rolled out new capabilities in its solution that enable users to customize their automated APM experience based on the information they need.
The idea behind the new capabilities is to allow any user – not just performance experts on the IT ops team – to tailor their view of the application to just what is relevant to them, according to Pete Abrams, co-founder and COO at Instana. “APM has been a tool that only had three or four users,” he explained, but as DevOps, microservices and containers have changed how organizations create and deliver applications, more users outside of IT operations have a need to gather and act on application information.
Just as microservices have allowed development teams to break down huge monolithic apps to improve the functionality of specific features, Instana is breaking down the application on the operations side to provide specific endpoint visibility to give users greater detail into just the information they need. “It can be convoluted as to how a service is performing in terms of the broader application,” Abrams said.
Abrams described three layers of application delivery, that in the “old world,” were siloed off from one another. The first is operations – monitoring the operations and components. On the next level are the services and APIs within the application, a role that needs to be monitored and managed by the DevOps team. At the top level are business users and the app teams. “This is a real shift” toward digital transformation, Abrams said. “It has forced us to rethink how to deliver information to these new users.”
Enter Application Perspectives, the new capabilities in Instana’s solution. “Each of these roles look at ‘What is an app?’ differently,” Abrams said. “So we’re changing up how people see and slice data.”
Users can define their perspective easily via a graphical interface in Instana, to describe what the app looks like to them, and the platform automatically provides a curated dashboard and performance analytics in a personalized experience.
These, he said, are the new realities in the modern application delivery organization. The scale of applications has grown – “just the amount of stuff in an application,” he said – and the rate of change, along with the effect of change on dependencies and interconnectivity, make this kind of monitoring essential. “We filter out the noise to show only what you need, in the way you want to see it,” he said. According to the company announcement today, users can set custom filters, pre-tag their services or use pre-set dashboards to optimize application performance and quality.