IT

3rd Party APM: Unite Your Legacy APM Data on Your Journey to Observability!

Today you likely have one or more legacy APM (Application Performance Monitoring) solutions. You are moving from a monolithic architecture to microservices, and you are accelerating your journey to Cloud, and you need to deliver at speed with scale and quality to your customers. Sadly, visibility into these results are limited to each of these solutions and their interfaces. Wouldn’t it be great if you could liberate your data to unlock insights and broaden visibility, uniting your legacy APM data on your journey to Observability? [HINT: we thought so]

Splunk brings you the Content Pack for 3rd Party APM to get your key data in from these legacy APM solutions, so you can interact / search / alert on all of these key End User Experience and Application and Infrastructure Performance results, enabling you gain quick and easy access to these critical results to deliver across your organization and stakeholders.

This content pack provides: 12 Services and 30+ KPI’s; 1 Entity Type and 6 Vital Metrics; 1 Service Analyzer and 15 Dashboards; and 3 Glass Tables to provide persona based views for IT Operations, Executive, Business, DevOps and DevSecOps professionals. The 3rd Party APM Content Pack is quickly configured with our provided Technology Add-on’s to deliver you and your key stakeholders results out of the box, and in minutes.

Before I tell you how much it costs….how is it today, you gain immediate and interactive insights to results on Application Performance and End User Experience for the top KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators): Apdex Score, Response Time, Requests Per Minute, Availability, Error Rate, and Health; rolled up across your legacy APM tools (AppDynamics, Dynatrace, and New Relic) with an out of the box turnkey solution today? 

It’s FREE with both IT Essentials Work and ITSI...but you probably remember that from my blogs on our Content Packs for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft 365.


Figure 1-1. 3rd Party APM: Online Retail Demo Glass Table
 

3rd Party APM Glass Tables

Glass tables enable you to visualize and monitor the interrelationships and dependencies across your IT and business services. You can use glass tables to create dynamic contextual views of your IT topology or business processes and monitor them in real time. You can add metrics like KPIs, ad hoc searches, and service health scores that update in real time against a background that you design. Glass tables show real-time data generated by KPIs and services.

The Content Pack for 3rd Party APM includes several preconfigured glass tables you can use to gain insights across the Top 5 Industry KPI’s. Each glass table is specifically designed to deliver value to one or more of the following 3 personas:

  1. IT Operations: As a member (or Head) of the IT Operations team, I need to have visibility into the Performance and Availability of our applications and infrastructure to quickly repair or report issues to be remediated, so that I can ensure services are delivered to all customers without interruption.
  2. CIO / CTO: As the CIO and CTO(s) or member of these offices, I need to ensure full visibility and awareness of our key systems and applications, ensuring our business leaders are able to operate our business without interruption or incident. 
  3. Business Leader: As a Business Leader or member of the business team, I need to know End User Experience and Application and Infrastructure Performance, so we can operate our business effectively and serve our customers with speed and efficiency.
     

Within the 3rd Party APM Content Pack, we have provided 3 Glass Tables:

  1. 3rd Party APM Overview
  2. 3rd Party APM All-In-One
  3. 3rd Party APM Online Retail Demo
     

Glass Table: 3rd Party APM Overview

The 3rd Party APM Overview glass table, delivers rolled-up insights across your APM vendors for a summarized view across 6 major KPI’s, providing you with access to all of these results in a single view. 

Overall summaries for Overall Health along with both End User Experience Health and Application Performance Health are included. In addition, each of the 6 KPI’s: Apdex Score, Requests Per Minute, Response Time, Availability, Error Rate, and Health are also included. 

This provides a visual overview of everything going on, across all vendors, and with a single click on any of these results you get more details.


Figure 1-2. 3rd Party APM: Overview Glass Table
 

 

Glass Table: 3rd Party APM All-In-One

All-In-One glass table is a bit like what it sounds like...I hope. In short, You will see an Overall Health, along with each of the 6 total KPI’s (6 for Application Performance, and a subset 3 in End User Experience), results summarized by each of the three (or, as many as you have configured) legacy 3rd Party APM vendors, and a Total for each of the KPI’s.

With this view, you are able to see the status of each of the KPI’s for the Overall, and Application Performance, and End User Experience areas in a simple and summarized view.

Of course, just like all glass tables should be built, you can click on any of the results to get right into the additional details.


Figure 1-3. 3rd Party APM: All-In-One Glass Table
 

Glass Table: 3rd Party APM Online Retail

In this glass table, which we do ship with the 3rd Party APM Content Pack, we wanted to take a rather commonly known example of ‘Online Retail’ and provide an out-of-the-box solution. With this content pack.

As you can see from the screenshot below, we have divided the glass table into 5 major sections. The first section is in the upper left, which should look familiar as it has similar results, just further summarized for this glass table. In the upper right are four critical online service KPI’s we have defined and made available. Lastly is the bottom 3 sections, showing a left to right flow of a user moving from Browse -> Cart -> Purchase, highlighting several of the key services and their results throughout the ‘Online Retail’ experience.

By having all of this data into the platform, it makes it very simple and fast, to not only create additional glass tables based on you and your customers needs.


Figure 1-4. 3rd Party APM: Online Retail Demo Glass Table
 

Glass Table: Easily Cloned And Customized

One of the objectives of the Splunk App for Content Packs is to make it simple to provide you with a huge amount of value, with limited to no effort quickly, and with results you can customize as you see fit for your organization and stakeholders. 

As an example, it was simple to clone the above ‘3rd Party APM: Online Retail Demo Glass Table’ and create a ‘3rd Party APM: Financial Service Demo Glass Table’, then simply selecting the services specific to that flow we wanted. This would likely take you less than 30 minutes to clone and create your own, based on the templates we ship, and you making your own additions. 


Figure 1-5.  3rd Party APM: Financial Services Demo Glass Table — shown as example, simplicity to clone, and customized to your own needs in minutes
 

For more information about glass tables, see Overview of the glass table editor in ITSI and a video Getting started with Splunk ITSI Glass Tables.

3rd Party APM Services and KPIs

The Content Pack for 3rd Party APM includes 1 Service Analyzer, 12 Services and 30+ KPI’s which we will highlight each of these here. 

  • Service Analyzer
  • Services
  • KPI
     

Service Analyzer:

The Service Analyzer is the home page for Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) and serves as your starting point for monitoring your IT operations. The Service Analyzer enables you to see the health of your IT environment at a glance.

The Service Analyzer provides an overview of ITSI service health scores and KPI search results that are currently trending at the highest severity levels. Use the Service Analyzer to quickly view the status of IT operations and to identify services and KPIs running outside expected norms. Click on any tile in the Service Analyzer to drill down to the deep dives for further analysis and comparison of search results over time.

There are two service analyzer views: the tile view and the tree view. You can drill down to more detailed information from each view to investigate services with poor health scores.

Within this Service Analyzer we are viewing in “Tree View” and can clearly see each of the 12 Services, and also their ‘status’ with regards to how the underlying KPI’s are reporting.

Figure 1-6. 3rd Party APM: Service Analyzer - Tree View
 

Services:

A Service is a logical mapping of IT objects that applies to your business goals. The definition of a service is fairly broad. Create business and technical services that model those within your environment. Some services might have dependencies on other services. Services contain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), which make it possible to monitor service health, perform root cause analysis, receive alerts, and ensure that your IT operations are in compliance with business service-level agreements (SLAs).

Below you will find the ‘Tile View’ of the 3rd Party APM Content Pack view in Service Analyzer. As you can see this provides you with insights across all 12 Services, and to their status for the given time range selected, along with the ability to one-click into more results for any of these Services to see the KPI’s, Entities and more.


Figure 1-7. 3rd Party APM: Service Analyzer - Tile View
 

KPI’s:

A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a recurring saved search that returns the value of an IT performance metric, such as CPU load percentage, memory used percentage, response time, and so on. A KPI is used to monitor the health of a service.

You create a KPI within a specific service. It defines everything needed to generate searches to understand the underlying data, including how to access, aggregate, and qualify with thresholds. You can use the search result values to monitor service health, check the status of IT components, and troubleshoot trends that might indicate an issue with your IT systems.

Within the Content Pack for 3rd Party APM, we include 30+ KPI’s, so you have deep insights across your legacy 3rd party APM vendors. As you can see in the below screenshot, access to the results is simply one-click away, and able to quickly see the underlying Entity which is causing the issues.


Figure 1-8. 3rd Party APM: Service Analyzer - KPI’s
 

3rd Party APM Entity Types and Vital Metrics

Entity Types and Vital Metrics

The Content Pack for 3rd Party APM includes a custom entity type. You can use associations to visualize and troubleshoot various entities. For example, this Content Pack ships with an ‘Entity Type’ of “APM” to import your 3rd-party APM services as entities. You can group Entities by Entity Type in the Infrastructure Overview, and enable you to visualize key metrics relating to the health of APM entities (Services). 


Figure 1-9. 3rd Party APM: Infrastructure Overview - APM, Entity Type
 

Vital Metrics

Within the 3rd Party APM Content Pack you will receive 6 vital metrics out of the box. These show a critical summary within the Entity Type via a set of Vital Metrics which describe the overall health of entities of that type, including things like: Availability, Response Time, Error Rate, Requests Per Minute, Apdex, and Health. You can view these metrics on the Entity Health page and drill down further into individual entities. 


Figure 1-10. 3rd Party APM: Infrastructure Overview - APM, Vital Metrics
 

Event Data Search Dashboard

The Event Data Search dashboard displays the 100 most recent log events associated with an entity for the last 60 minutes. The dashboard provides a high-level overview of entity performance across your whole environment, regardless of the entity type you associated with the entity.


Figure 1-11. 3rd Party APM: Event Data Search - APM, Vital Metrics
 

You can optionally add, modify, or delete the preconfigured APM entity type. For instructions to create and edit entity types, see Create custom entity types in ITSI

3rd Party APM Dashboards

A dashboard is used to represent tables or charts which are related to some business meaning. It is done through panels. The panels in a dashboard hold the chart or summarized data in a visually appealing manner. We can add multiple panels, and hence multiple reports and charts to the same dashboard.

Within the 3rd Party APM Content Pack, we have provided 15 Dashboards to provide easy access to valuable information in a quick and easy manner for you.


Figure 1-12. 3rd Party APM: Dashboards
 

Below is the 3rd Party APM Application Overview dashboard, providing a summary [Application Availability, Application Error Rate, Application Performance, End User Performance, Application Performance over End User Response Time, Application Apdex, End User Apdex, and Events Search] of key results by Time, Vendor, Application / Service as you desire.

 

Figure 1-13. 3rd Party APM: 3rd Party APM Application Overview dashboard 
 

Next Steps

Details are what I expect, so now you have them….thanks for hanging in there, and I hope you enjoyed all this visuals along the way. If you learn better through watching a video (or simply want more), check out the 3rd Party APM Content Pack Overview Video

Now you know all about the Content Pack for 3rd Party APM, and it is time to install it, and get the value for yourself, now!

For detailed installation steps, see install and configure the Content Pack for 3rd Party APM.

To learn more about other Content Packs like Synthetic Monitoring, check out The Best Things Come in Content Packs: Synthetic Monitoring and Third-Party APM.


This blog post was authored by Todd DeCapua, IT Markets, Field Solutions Engineer at Splunk with special help from: Tom Martin, Marie Duran, Adam Schalock at Splunk.

Todd DeCapua
Posted by

Todd DeCapua

Todd DeCapua is a passionate software executive, technology evangelist and business leader with extensive hands-on expertise.

Some of his roles/titles include: Advisory Engineer at Splunk, Splunk Local User Group Leader in Delaware, Executive Director of Global Technology at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Senior Director of Technology and Product Innovation [Business Unit CIO] at CSC, Chief Technology Evangelist at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Head of PS and Tech Integrations / Partners with Shunra Software, Co-Founder of TechBeacon.com, VP of Innovation and Strategy Board of Director at Vivit Worldwide, Independent Board of Director at Apposite Technologies and TEDx Wilmington host for Technology & Innovation.

He is also an online author and contributor, well known speaker / evangelist, and co-author of the O’Reilly published book titled, “Effective Performance Engineering.”

TAGS

3rd Party APM: Unite Your Legacy APM Data on Your Journey to Observability!

Show All Tags
Show Less Tags

Join the Discussion