In 2009, Gartner analyst Mark Nicolett created the Critical Capabilities report. Over time, this document became paired to individual Magic Quadrant reports, and in 2014, Gartner mandated that Critical Capabilities be paired with each Magic Quadrant. Instead of graphically plotting vendors on a x- and y-axis, this research takes a deeper look at a product and its fit for specific use cases.
So how does this pertain to DevOps?
In its latest “Critical Capabilities of Application Performance Monitoring” research, Gartner notes, “Because of its wide lifecycle purview, the DevOps release team often leverages many of the capabilities found in APM suites.” Since the foundation of DevOps is to foster collaboration among the two, typically disparate teams, modern application performance monitoring (APM) solutions are geared perfectly to help encourage this feedback loop. “When examining the capabilities valued by this buyer, APM tooling is critical when attempting to quickly assess the quality (and effectiveness) of a recent release. Detecting and diagnosing issues must be done quickly, which often requires in-depth data sourced from multiple, integrated tools,” according to Gartner.
“Much of the activity of APM technology is focused on detecting and providing insight into root causes. Identification of the impact on system and application resources is based on existing (or proposed) transaction-level trends,” the report continues. “This capability provides IT operations and DevOps release teams with the ability to tell the (line of business) and application owners the potential impact for any planned changes or continuation of resource consumption trends. Although capacity-planning tools have often filled this role, APM suites increasingly offer predictive analytics capabilities for shorter-term horizons”
Of course, we can’t ignore the key to DevOps success: culture. However, no tool—no matter how good—can foster the right type of culture. John Rakowski, my current colleague and ex-Forrester analyst, wrote a compelling ebook on the intangibles that successful DevOps teams need.
The Critical Capabilities research report provides a comprehensive and technical product analysis ranking APM suites from 15 vendors on critical APM capabilities across five different usage scenarios, including DevOps. The capabilities assessed for each use case included business analysis, service monitoring, anomaly detection, distributed profiling, application debugging and workload planning.
The vendors evaluated were AppDynamics, AppNeta, BMC Software, CA Technologies, Dell, Dynatrace, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, JenniferSoft, ManageEngine, Microsoft, Nastel Technologies, New Relic, Riverbed Technology and Tinygun.
The report is free of charge and can be downloaded here.