We are proud to announce the general availability of CA Application Performance Management (APM) 10.5, the most influential release in recent years. We continue to reap benefits of the startup culture that pervades our organization, with 5 product releases since July, 2015. As we continue to drive towards our E.P.I.C. vision, this release introduces a revolutionary new analytics technology, along with several other innovations to help our customers deliver stellar experiences in an increasingly complex application economy.
Experience is Everything
Now, more than ever before, experience is everything. While the experience you provide for your customers has long been a priority, modern application architectures enable you to provide even better applications, and your customers now expect perfection. Customers who have a great experience with your applications are likely to return as loyal customers. Gone are the days that you could provide just a great product. These days, customers expect that product to come with a stellar experience, and in many cases the experience is the product. If you do not provide it, they will leave to go to someone who will.
CA APM has transformed application performance management from a descriptive model to a prescriptive one to help teams more efficiently do their jobs, providing:
- Attribute-driven Perspectives: Levels the playing field by providing organization, team, and role specific, simplified views of complex application environments.
- Differential Analysis: Applies predictive intelligence to reduce noise and prioritize issues quickly and efficiently.
- Timeline: Helps you to understand the barrage of changes that are affecting your application environments.
But what are development and operations ultimately tasked with? We believe that the ultimate goal of every single person in the IT organization is to provide a flawless experience to their end-user. And in order to do so, you must answer two critical questions:
- What is the experience?
- Why is it poor?
If an APM solution does not ultimately enable you to answer these two questions, then that solution has failed. CA APM 10.5 introduces Experience View and Assisted Triage providing users with the experience intelligence they need to directly answer these questions. This technology builds analytics on top of the foundational components introduced in APM 10.
CA APM’s new Experience View provides a business-focused view of the experiences that you are delivering to your customers across your entire application environment. This allows you to easily view the health of these experiences and the problems that have the most impact on those experiences. With Experience View you get visibility out-of-the-box, with zero need for configuration. The Experience View is powered by CA APM attributes, so the flexibility to change these views based on organization, team, or role remains.
Each experience represented in an Experience View provides a breakdown of how the transactions that make up the experience are performing, from transactions that are slow or failing to transactions that are meeting users’ expectations. An overall health score provides a quick understanding of the experience users are having and underlying issues are listed as problems on the right hand side of the screen for analysis. Brewing issues, known as anomalies, are shown in a watch list below the problems to allow operations to keep an eye on issues that have not impacted user experience yet, but may do so in the future.
All of this is provided in an intuitive, flexible view that is out-of-the-box and directly answers the question: "What is the experience?".
Assisted Triage & Analysis Notebook
Understanding the user experience is, of course, only half the equation. If the answer to the question: "What is the experience?" is anything less than "Perfect.", then the IT organization must quickly answer the question: "Why is it poor?". However, answering this question has long been a difficult proposition. Multiple steps were required:
- Find an application expert
- Find an APM expert
- Gather everyone together in a war-room or on a conference line
- Hunt through the mounds of available data, searching for issues that may be culprits to the poor experience
- Collect these pieces of evidence, typically in a power point presentation, word document, or some other arbitrary medium
- Utilize the evidence to take action, or present the evidence to the team responsible for correcting the problem.
This is a natural process for many operations teams. However, it is time consuming and resource intensive, and the effects can cripple an organization’s ability to deliver. There is a better way, CA APM's Assisted Triage.
CA APM takes advantage of years of experience by our product and field teams helping customers solve tricky performance issues, implementing this experience in the form of Assisted Triage analytics. This capability allows us to radically simplify the triage and diagnosis process, eliminating the need for experts and war-rooms.
Now, when you are alerted to a less than perfect experience, a simple mouse click reveals advanced Assisted Triage analytics that pieces together the puzzle and collects all the information you need into a problem-isolated Analysis Notebook that then presents the data in a correlated visualization, providing:
- A correlated view of all application infrastructure components involved in the experience degradation.
- A list of the key pieces of performance evidence including the affected components, first and last occurrence of issues, and triggered alerts
- A breakdown of performance metrics both before and after the issues started occurring
This information highlights the root cause, removing the many steps that have previously been associated with root cause analysis. Now - simply click on the problematic experience and immediately answer the question: "Why is the experience poor?"
CA APM 10.5 provides experience intelligence with Experience Views and Assisted Triage to speed triage and remove the need for experts and war-rooms. All of this is out-of-the-box with zero configuration required. This revolutionary technology is the quickest, easiest way to create loyalty-building application experiences.
Smart Monitoring Enhancements
In addition, CA APM 10.5 has introduced a series of enhancements to our agents that has increased visibility and made deployment, configuration, and management of complex deployments easier than ever before.
Part of a simplified, future-proofed agent, automatic backend detection utilizes patent-pending technology to better understand what calls go to backends and automatically starts to monitor them. Along with enhanced entry-point detection, and several smart instrumentation improvements over the past several releases, this allows users to get full end-to-end visibility with zero need for advanced configuration.
CA APM Command Center Enhancements Including Extension & Configuration Hot-Deploy
Several enhancements to CA APM Command Center (ACC) have made CA APM easier than ever:
- CA APM extensions can now be deployed to java agents directly from ACC. Extensions can be hot-deployed, and many do not require a restart
- Supported, common extensions will be included with the ACC server out-of-the-box
- Changes to properties within the agent properties file can be made directly from ACC and many do not require a restart
- APM Command Center can now be deployed along with the Enterprise Manager
- The APM Command Center extension is enabled on new agents
New with APM 10.5, a marketplace (http://marketplace.ca.com/apm) provides a list of monitoring extensions for customers wishing to customize visibility for modern and legacy environments such as Docker, Apache Fuse, JBoss Fuse, Nginx, RabbitMQ and more.
CA APM 10.5 introduces APM SQL, an all-access pass into the performance data stored in APM's datastore. The new SQL interface provides direct access to allow you to leverage the power of other tools within your portfolio. For example, APM SQL can be used to create visualizations in tools such as Tableau and Grafana. Or, you can utilize APM SQL to export data to anywhere you like, such as the world's most popular reporting tool - Microsoft Excel. Included with APM SQL are a series of cookbooks that provide direction and examples for common tasks.
CA APM agents and management server (Enterprise Manager) are now available directly from the Amazon Marketplace. Consumptive (hourly) pricing allows organizations to scale up or down on demand. Billed directly through the AWS Marketplace, APM on AWS is an excellent option for customers with unpredictable application performance needs, or short duration projects.
CA is continuing to leverage its broad portfolio of DevOps management solutions by extending CA APM's influence with enhanced integrations with its key products. Most notably:
- CA App Experience Analytics gains deep link integration for web transactions. Get an outside-in view of a user's session, and the individual web transactions that make up that session. For long-running, or problematic transactions, click on the APM link to immediately see the deep-dive, inside-out view of the individual transaction trace across backend systems.
- The CA API Management integration allows the gateway to appear in transaction traces and within CA APM Team Center Perspectives. An enhanced CA APM integration means that users will gain fuller visibility to the CA API Management gateway.
- CA recently acquired BlazeMeter, a SaaS-based, synthetic load testing suite capable of simulating thousands of simultaneous users. CA has hit the ground running with this acquisition by enabling integration with CA APM. CA APM is a built-in integration within the CA BlazeMeter interface. Test cases within CA BlazeMeter create business segments and transactions within CA APM metric data and decorate Team Center Perspectives with attributes like geospatial location and more. In addition, JMeter scrips created within CA BlazeMeter can be used in CA App Synthetic Monitor.
CA APM 10.5 has many more features that you can find in the official release notes.
To learn more, view the customer webcast, hosted by Josh Napier of Product Marketing and David Martin of Product management.
We are truly excited about this release of APM. The entire CA APM team hopes you enjoy it, and looks forward to your feedback!