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Kubernetes adoption and the importance of application performance management

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Application performance management KubernetesKeeping up with the pace of innovation can be challenging, especially when an organization is responsible for business-critical applications. To maintain a competitive advantage, businesses must implement the most up-to-date technology efficiently and where it can have the greatest impact.

For example, the efficiency, reliability and performance benefits of implementing a Kubernetes-based cloud environment can be transformative to a lot of businesses. As more and more companies migrate their operations to cloud environments built on containers and Kubernetes, the reality is that most of them will use either a hybrid cloud infrastructure, deploying both public and private clouds while keeping much of their data and resources in traditional on-premises data center environments, or a multicloud environment, using multiple cloud services from different service providers. The partnership of IBM and Red Hat will only accelerate the blending of traditional data center servers, many of which run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and a combination of public and private cloud platforms.

How do you manage it all?

Don’t be left behind: Changes in infrastructure management

There are many approaches to managing a hybrid environment, but when an organization is transitioning from a traditional data center infrastructure to the cloud, a change to application performance management (APM) tooling will be necessary and can pose unexpected challenges.

The obvious option, of course, would be to bring in a completely new tool capable of monitoring modern cloud environments to replace current tooling. With a lot of the APM suppliers out there today, that means ripping out and replacing everything you already have set up. That is simply not an option for a lot of companies.

Thankfully, there are options to avoid a complete overhaul. An organization can keep its current tooling for managing traditional infrastructure and add an open source solution such as Prometheus to monitor the new Kubernetes environment.

That works well until a user needs to put the Prometheus-monitored services into production; then they’ll need something with full support. Trying to operate with a patchwork of management tools can be cumbersome. It actually cancels out the benefits of shifting to the cloud in the first place.

Applications are changing, too

In addition to changes in infrastructure management, Kubernetes also enables a new approach to building and monitoring applications. A distributed architecture with multiple microservices, each orchestrated through Kubernetes, can become complex very quickly.

It’s difficult to get a clear view of all the components of an application, and this is critical when you need to quickly get to the source of a problem. You don’t have time to sort through multiple logs, manually correlate Kubernetes layers to the microservices and applications they are supporting, and coordinate between application teams and infrastructure management teams.

This is why it’s extremely important to have an APM solution that visually shows topology and performance to understand how all the moving parts — such as containers going up and down and pods getting deployed — affect the application as a whole. Organizations need a tool that presents all of this information in a single view, accessible to both development and operations teams. Then they can work towards increased efficiency through a DevOps approach.

Make the most of modernization investments

The benefits of modernizing infrastructure and applications mean nothing if you’re not able to efficiently manage your environments. An APM solution that can augment the benefits of modernization without taking away from tooling you already have in place is key to success in this changing landscape.

Most organizations don’t want rip and replace their instrumentation. They do want to bring in data from across the entire hybrid infrastructure to make use of advanced event management and incident notification capabilities.

To truly take advantage of everything that Kubernetes and modernized applications have to offer, an APM solution must:

  • Manage and monitor Kubernetes-orchestrated and cloud-native infrastructure
  • Easily integrate with existing monitoring solution(s)
  • Visualize Kubernetes topology
  • Enable developers and operations teams to work more closely together
  • Automatically manage events to eliminate unnecessary notifications

Until recently, these solutions simply weren’t available, but a new generation of application performance management software is out there.

Learn more about how to effectively and efficiently manage traditional and Kubernetes-based environments.

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