Blog post

Mobile APM, hold on!

By Jonah Kowall | March 14, 2013 | 64 Comments

IT OperationsAPMMobile and Endpoint Technologies

Mobile APM is finally coming of age, current tooling allows for crash management, or synthetic transactions delivered via SaaS models. These are critical in determining application availability, but provide limited data when determining performance. Keynote Systems has made heavy investments moving from a traditional synthetic monitoring company to mobile making up over half of their revenue (as of Q4 2012), they are able to simulate mobile devices, and even test using real devices within their POPs. Compuware’s Gomez offering has technology emulating and using mobile browsers, along with many other vendors who have various synthetic testing capabilities.

IT Operations groups are still buying synthetic monitoring tools, but the market has remained flat for most vendors. This is due to the fact that there is a lack of detail mobile application operations teams need. Typically in most organization these mobile apps are offshoot projects which are often times managed by developers or an application support team within the business unit. In many organizations there is little to no formal operations or best practices around the mobile apps which are often developed by 3rd parties. The new breed of products must appeal to this new buyer, and ensure that developers are present to implement embedded mobile APM instrumentation.

True mobile APM technologies are embedded within native mobile applications, and instrument the code to provide not only mobile perspective, but many provide linkages into infrastructure and application delivery. In the past 2 weeks you have seen several announcements in this market moving it from a synthetic based market to really understanding mobile end user experience and usage details.

AppDynamics will be delivering (not available in general release today) a hybrid APM solution including on premise or SaaS delivery including mobile APM. This allows the solution to show a complete end to end picture from the device into the hosting infrastructure.

Crittercism was previously a crash detection tool, tracking crashes and app launches (look for more research covering them shortly). They are now monitoring the network from a mobile perspective and getting much deeper into the performance from a mobile perspective. Crittercism has a head start on this new market, since the SDK they use is embedded within thousands of native mobile applications today.

Finally yesterday we saw New Relic release their mobile APM offering, which similarly to AppDynamics links the mobile performance with infrastructure and application performance. New Relic is delivered via SaaS only, and has the largest APM as a service deployment footprint today, hence making it a natural path for customers who would like to add mobile capabilities.

Price points vary between the offerings, but normally are based on the number of active users (launching applications) in a given month. The price ranges quite a bit between solutions, and more analysis on the models will be performed in upcoming research in the Moible APM research I have planned for the coming months.

This will be a fun year, and a fun ride indeed, so hold on.

If you have questions feel free to reach out via email or @jkowall on twitter. Feel free to comment here




Leave a Comment


  • Tyson says:

    The AppDynamics and New Relic solutions are great if you’re building an iPhone app, but what about the other enterprise mobility projects that IT Operations teams care about, such as browser-based mobile apps or Citrix-delivered mobile apps? There’s more to just native app instrumentation when it comes to mobile monitoring.

  • Jonah Kowall says:

    iPhone and Android actually. Some of the tools also support Windows phone. Browser based apps are handled as part of current APM solutions either packets capture (as your company does) or most using script injection within an agent. Those handle enterprise apps quite well (such as Citrix) but the mobile technologies are still being tacked.

  • PanosJee says:

    There are already new & established players in the market like BugSense. You should definitely check out what we do

    Disclaimer: I am a founder at BugSense

  • Jonah Kowall says:

    You should setup a briefing :

    Have not spoken with a customer of yours, or found the company doing research. The other way for analysts to learn about you is to brief us, so please do so, it doesn’t cost anything. Vendor clients who value the relationship subscribe to our services to receive feedback and insight.

  • Anshul says:

    Seems to me that Enterprise application Operations now has curdled to APM only. is production support dead or the fact that tools are all over the place and its simple to evaluate Tools than a process in its entirety.

    how good is sythetic monitoring for a market like India where the bandwidth would suffer if every application was talking to bots. what about battery life of mobile devices supporting such threading.

    are Go-books dead?

    • Jonah Kowall says:

      Wouldn’t say that’s the case Anshul, but APM is an area of interest to move away from classical component monitoring only (which is still where most users live today). Synthetic monitoring is an element of availability monitoring, there are many deployment options, but yes there is a risk of over monitoring, hence we have specific advise here about the use of synthetics (Use Synthetic Monitoring to Measure Availability and Real-User Monitoring for Performance –

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    There are already new & established players in the market like BugSense. You should definitely check out what we do

    Disclaimer: I am a founder at BugSens

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