In a move that has the potential to significantly expand the number of organizations embracing DevOps, SolarWinds announced it has expanded its IT management cloud service to include an integrated application and infrastructure monitoring offering dubbed AppOptics. Pricing for AppOptics starts at $7.50 per host per month.
In addition, SolarWinds has updated Papertrail log management software to make searches faster and provide new visualization tools and the ability to resolve more complex problems such as application server errors and slow database queries. The company also updated Pingdom, a monitoring tool that can now provide views specific to a user, website or specific performance issues.
Christoph Pfister, executive vice president of products for SolarWinds, says AppOptics should be make it much less expensive for organizations to embrace DevOps. Many organizations get caught up in a chicken-and-egg debate over whether to acquire tools before developing processes or vice versa. AppOptics renders that issue largely moot by making the cost of employing an integrated set of tools for monitoring infrastructure and applications nominal, says Pfister. That level of integration is now required to address digital business initiatives where the focus is more on the outcome than any one IT event, adds Pfister.
Pfister says SolarWinds is the only provider of a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based set of monitoring toils that support multiple programming languages, which he notes creates yet another opportunity for DevOps teams to reduce costs.
AppOptics includes support for auto-instrumentation, distributed tracing and host agent software. That tracing software is based on technology SolarWinds gained when it acquired Librato. Adding instrumentation to any application can be accomplished using a single line of script, says Pfister. The host agent support is achieved using Snap and Telegraf plug-ins to monitor systems.
By making it easier to add instrumentation, Pfister says SolarWinds expects the number of applications actively being monitored will increase substantially. Historically, only a small percentage of applications deployed in an enterprise are actively monitored. Pfister notes that a much higher percentage of new applications being developed are “systems of engagement,” which require much higher levels of instrumentation to gauge acceptance by end users, and not “systems of record.” Gartner says that only 5 percent of organizations today have implemented digital experience monitoring (DEM), a number it forecasts will rise to 30 percent by 2020.
At a $7.50 per host per month price point, AppOptics should go a long way to commoditizing DevOps tools. That should not only spur more adoption, but also could force a wave of consolidation across a crowded category of monitoring tools as profit margins get squeezed. In many instances, it’s also likely that monitoring increasingly will be bundled with other tools and services as vendors aim to compensate for monitoring becoming a commodity by selling it alongside higher margin products and services.
Long term, it’s apparent that cost is increasingly being removed as a factor in the DevOps equation. Not every organization is going to able to master every DevOps tool available. But when it comes to monitoring, going forward there should be no financial excuse for failing to have at the very least some minimal level of DevOps capability.