Executive Summary

Monitoring network performance is an essential practice in today’s IT operations environments, as a

means of assuring the network’s critical role in supporting the served organization is being adequately

fulfilled not just in terms of availability, but also in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. As IP

networks themselves become increasingly stable and reliable, operational focus has turned to devel-

oping a better, more discrete understanding of how the services and applications crossing the network

are performing, and the level of quality which IT end users, customers, and partners are experiencing in

accessing and utilizing them. This Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) Radar™ Report reviews

18 (eighteen) providers of Application-Aware Network Performance Management (ANPM) solutions

and compares their ability to deliver basic and advanced application awareness across a range network

and application technologies.

Introduction and Methodology

In the development of this Radar Report, EMA engaged eighteen top providers of ANPM solutions

in a detailed analysis of the scope and capabilities of their offerings. The solution providers represent a

rich cross-section of the IT management tools landscape, ranging from small to very large, from pure

software to appliance-only, and from point products to extensive multi-component/multi-function

suites. ANPM solution providers covered in the report are: Apparent Networks, ASG, CA Technologies,

Compuware, Dorado Software, ExtraHop Networks, Visual Network Systems, InfoVista, Lancope,

ManageEngine, NetScout Systems, Network Instruments, OPNET Technologies, Plixer International,

Quest Software, SevOne, SolarWinds, and WildPackets.

An extensive questionnaire was developed and presented to solution providers for their input, covering

details regarding architecture, integration, functionality, deployment, administration, cost, and vendor

strength. EMA supplemented responses with dialog, product demonstrations, and reviews to ensure

that each solution was represented fully, honestly, and fairly. EMA also interviewed over twenty

end-user customers of the solutions being reviewed in some cases more than one per solution

provider in order to validate vendor claims. The degree to which customers were readily provided

and available for dialog was one of the many indicators used for validating ANPM solutions.

Finally, and importantly, EMA leveraged ongoing industry dialogs and extensive existing knowledge of

the ANPM solution space to evaluate, consider, and validate each vendors strengths and limitations in

a manner that is focused on providing balanced, consistent insights across all vendors and solutions.

EMA has produced a report specially targeted at presenting and explaining Radar Reports in general:

How to Use the EMA Radar Report, EMA, April 2010. The goal is to use a combined approach for

quantitatively and qualitatively evaluating providers of solutions in a particular IT management

functional area and presenting their relative differences in a clear, graphical format. Also included is

a detailed discussion of individual criteria and how each participating solution provider rated versus

those criteria.


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Figure 1: The EMA Radar is optimized to show how vendor solutions cluster in terms of two primary axes: Vendor Strength (architecture,

integration, functionality) and Cost Efficiency (ease of administration, deployment, support & services, costs advantage)

Quoting from How to Use the EMA Radar Report, No analysis of this type can tell you which vendor

is best for you. The data collected for an EMA Radar Report can certainly be used to make that deter-

mination, but it must be applied to the specifics of your current environment, level of maturity, and

goals and priorities. Since the authors of any given Radar Report do not have your unique specifics,

the Radar Report can only be a starting place and a guideline. It can inform you of the market and

short-cut your process to developing a short list.


Architecture &

Deployment &



Vendor Strength

Cost Advantage


Architecture &


Vendor Strength

Cost Advantage

Deployment &


Strong Product – Higher Price

Specialized Product – Low Cost

Figure 2: Radars for each vendor solution are included in the full report and show a five-

axis contrast between the average profile and the vendor in question.


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Application Awareness in Network Performance


Network management is considered by many to be a well-developed, mature discipline, with roots

extending back to the first computing networks. Network performance management is a relatively

newer phenomenon, though it too has been around for a considerable period of time. The latest comer

to the game is application awareness built into and on top of network performance management. As

IT operations teams make the transition from tactical firefighting to strategic, proactive assurance, one

of the most important unifying and enabling angles has been widespread awareness of the need to

understand IT user experience. And what IT users experience is not the network they experience the

applications and services that the network delivers. Consequently, building awareness of applications

and services and how they are traversing the network has arguably become one of the most important

focal points for expanding network operations practices today.

Starting with the advent of RMON over 20 years ago, early network management technologists recog-

nized that application and service information is available from the network perspective, if you know

where and how to look for it. And while RMON itself is no longer a primary nor broadly used

foundation, the idea of putting the health and operation of the network in context with the payloads

being delivered has become an indispensable aspect of responsible management practices.

Todays application-aware network performance management (ANPM) solutions are many and varied,

some of them are delivered by independent software vendors, some of the technology is contributed

by network equipment vendors, and some of the solutions are part of large software vendors’ offerings

of multipart integrated management suites. The techniques being used to deliver application awareness

are similarly varied, though essentially clustered around four key mechanisms:

1. Packet inspection This technique is perhaps the most comprehensive, and delivers appli-

cation visibility by looking into packet headers as well as deeper packet contents in order to

recognize and monitor application and service use by user, allow detailed application trans-

action analysis, support detailed and definitive troubleshooting, and enable reconstructive/

forensic study. Packet inspection can deliver visibility up and down the stack, across network

and application layers and can be used to calculate response times and latencies the heart of

end-user experience measurement.

2. Flow records – These are transaction records issued by network infrastructure elements, and

provide information regarding who is using the network, what applications and services are

being used, and how well those applications or services have been delivered. The most typical

industry example of flow records is NetFlow from Cisco, but there are many other essen-

tially similar variants, such as JFlow, NetStream, cflow, IPFIX (an industry standard) and the

statistically sampled sFlow. Flow records provide extensive traffic intelligence, but cannot be

used alone for detailed application analysis, determination of response times, or recognition

of errors.

3. Passive and Synthetic agents Passive agents are software elements installed on either end

client systems or servers which observe and report traffic statistics including response times.

Synthetic agents generate test traffic in a variety of patterns to assess both availability and

performance of specific applications or services and characterize various aspects of a simulated

transaction or user experience. IP SLA (a Cisco device feature) is commonly used as a type of

synthetic agent, which can take a range of test measurements between Cisco infrastructure

devices and end-test targets.


EMA Radar™ for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



4. Log file analysis Valuable application-oriented activity records can be found in syslog and

similar data files which capture activities and events from various viewpoints within the

network-connected infrastructure. Log files are not typically considered a primary source of

ANPM metrics; however, they can provide an importantly complementary set of data points

for monitoring and troubleshooting when used in conjunction with one or more of the other

three types.

ANPM solutions utilize one or more of these data source types by collecting application-aware perfor-

mance data and delivering the following major categories of functionality:

1. Application discovery, recognition, and monitoring this is the primary area that differen-

tiates ANPM from simpler NPM solutions – the ability to discern individual applications and

services from broader measures of traffic volume and utilization.

2. Troubleshooting and analysis most ANPM solutions are purchased and deployed for the

purposes of delivering troubleshooting and deep, often “expert” analysis capabilities to accel-

erate incident response times and restoration of services.

3. Capacity planning – detailed insights into how the network is being used and what (and who)

is driving traffic growth are available from ANPM solutions and are fast becoming essential

information for best practices in network engineering and planning

4. Collaborative reports and dashboards the ANPM field of vision is where the business

meets technology and represents a means for understanding how well the applications and

services upon which the organization depends are performing. But none of that value can

be fully realized without effective methods for sharing insights and intelligence, both across

domain silos within IT as well as with served constituencies such as end users, customers, and


In order to be included in this EMA Radar Report, ANPM solution providers needed to offer all four

of the major functionality categories listed above and must have direct support within their own (inter-

nally-developed) products for at least one of the three primary ANPM data source types packets,

flow records, or agents.


In all EMA Radar Reports, EMA evaluates solutions based on five key areas: Deployment and

Administration, Cost Advantage, Architecture and Integration, Functionality and Vendor Strength. The last

category, perhaps the only one that’s not self-explanatory, is focused on the market and industry

presence, vision, and financial stability of the vendor. In each of the evaluation areas, EMA created

a “superset” of capabilities spanning the known solutions in the marketplace, added questions about

new and emerging areas (e.g., virtualization and cloud), and balanced the result with standard compar-

ators used across all EMA Radar Report projects. The evaluation model used for this ANPM Radar

Report is presented as Figure 3. Following are details on the evaluation areas and the specific scope

and rating priorities used within each.


EMA Radar™ for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Deploying and administering an ANPM solution is the point of embarkation for the ANPM journey.

In this category, we assessed several important areas:

• Ease of Deployment This includes a number of measures meant to indicate how easy or difficult

it is to put a particular ANPM solution into the production environment and begin to draw value

from it for operational monitoring purposes. As such, this section addressed three areas:

Implementation Cost Specific questions assessed time to receive initial reports, time to achieve

complete functionality, and the percentage of the solution cost which is typically required for

professional deployment services. Also included in this part of the assessment were questions

regarding product deployments models – software vs. hardware vs. virtual appliances (or other)

for ANPM central servers as well as for distributed ANPM instrumentation/collectors, plus

how complete, or “out of the box” the solution is as delivered by the ANPM supplier. Highest

ratings were given for rapid deployment and low or zero need for professional services, as well

as for those offering flexibility and multiple options in product deployment models.


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

for assessing ANPM solutions, is described below.

Deployment & Administration

Market Credibility

Figure 3. Assessment model for Application-Aware Network Performance Management

Cost Efficiency

The first set of measures conducted within the EMA Radar Report framework and one of the two

major axes of the Radar distribution diagram is Cost Efficiency, which consists of two major sections

Deployment & Administration and Cost Advantage. Each of these, and how they have been applied




Ease of Deployment

Support & Services

Ease of Administration

Licensing Model


Maintenance Costs


Integration & Interoperability


Ease of Use


Vision and Strategy

Financial Strength


Deployment & Admin


Deployment Cost Efficiency

Cost Advantage

Architecture & Integration

Product Strength


Vendor Strength

Vendor Strength



Staff Training In this section, the breadth of training options as well as the length of time

expected for administrators to reach basic and advanced proficiency were determined, as well

as whether or not the ANPM technology provider offered formal certification programs. Top

marks were given to those with broad training options, short learning curves, and existing

certification opportunities.

Disruption Minimization Many ANPM solutions can be deployed without any disruption to

the managed environment, but others will require downtime for software installation, network

tapping, or other deployment steps. Some require scheduled network downtime, or a maintenance

window in production operations. This measure assesses the impact each ANPM solution has on

the monitored network during deployment, with preference given to those with lesser impact.

Support and Services An important part of any management solution is the facilities made

available by the technology supplier to support initial rollout as well as ongoing production use.

In this section, we evaluated several specific areas of interest for supporting and servicing ANPM


Customer Support This area investigated the variety of customer support offerings, guaranteed

response times for highest support levels, methods for reporting product issues, and diagnostic

information gathered at the point of failure. Also of interest was the presence of organized

user community groups, which can act as a powerful supplemental resource to technology

users. Highest ratings in this category were given to those with broad support offerings, fast

responsiveness, and a well-developed and well-organized user community.

Professional Services Within the range of ANPM offerings included in this study, some require

significant professional services to fully deploy, while others require virtually none. In this

category, we gave the highest rankings to solutions that could be deployed with minimal efforts

or cost.

Code Fixes Every system goes through patches, minor upgrades, and major upgrades as

functionality is added and problems are fixed. Generally, these are all good changes, but there is a

balance to be struck here too much change creates chaos and stability risks in the management

tools. In this section, we asked about the frequency of minor and major incremental software

updates, and gave the highest rankings to solutions that were updated regularly, but not overly


Ease of Administration Once an ANPM solution has been deployed, focus turns towards

ongoing configuration and administration, to ensure that the system remains fully functional and

that the maximum value can be realized. In this section, we investigated several categories that

helped to illuminate each ANPM solutions administration facilities:

Ease of Admin – Here, the intent was to assess how much time was required by operations staff

to keep the ANPM solution up and running, with preferential ranking granted to those requiring

the lightest touch.

Update Process When it comes time to apply a patch or upgrade to an ANPM solution, two

questions are predominant. What will be the impact to my continuity of monitoring? And how

can large numbers of distributed instrumentation devices be updated efficiently? Highest scores

in this section were given to solutions that had a means to transparently apply updates without

interrupting coverage and to those that included (where applicable) features for en masse updates

of remote instrumentation.


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Testing/Migration Facility – While not universally the case, many IT shops require pre-deployment

shake-downs of new or upgraded technologies (including management tools) before rolling

them out into the production environment. Our interest here was to determine whether or not

ANPM solution providers gave discounts for test labs and short-term migration project use of

their products. Highest scores were given to those who charged lesser licensing fees (or none at

all) for such uses.

Automation of Management Increasingly, managed environments are becoming more complex, as

are the tools that are used to manage them. EMA is a strong advocate for automation whenever

and wherever possible within management tools, technologies, and practices as a means to extend

human operator resources, keep up with highly dynamic IT infrastructures, and reduce error

introduction rates. As it applies to ANPM, we asked if solutions included features and capabilities

such as self-configuration, automatic adjustments to changing managed environment conditions,

autopopulation/autodiscovery, and wizards and templates for configuring data source devices

(such as a GUI front end as an alternative to command-line configuration to setup up NetFlow

or IP SLA). The more automated features, the higher the ANPM solution was rated.

Cost Advantage

All management tools carry costs of one type or another. The most obvious and commonly recognized

are the licensing costs associated with the tools themselves. But importantly, there are other aspects of

total cost of ownership (TCO) for ANPM tools that are also relevant, particularly the cost of mainte-

nance (support and upgrades) for the technology. And it must be noted that solutions that carry a high

licensing cost may still provide a compelling return on investment by favorably assuring operations.

For this portion of our analysis, EMA focused on the typical licensing costs for an initial deployment,

what types of licensing models are offered, maintenance fees for the highest levels of support services,

and whether or not ANPM technologies providers offered creative delivery mechanisms such as SaaS

(software as a service) or via MSPs (managed service providers). These latter two approaches have

shown the greatest traction within smaller shops, but even large organizations are finding them advan-

tageous as a means to support regional facilities and/or supplement core network operations staff

during off hours.

Highest marks in this section were given to those providers offering lower-cost entry points, lower

maintenance fees, and SaaS or MSP delivery models. The only preferences assigned to licensing model

(i.e., processor-based, appliance-based, agent-based, usage-based) was to those ANPM providers who

offered multiple options over a single (and hence less flexible) approach.

Product Strength

The second major axis of evaluation within the EMA Radar Report framework is that of Product

Strength. This category is comprised of two focus areas Architecture & Integration and Functionality.

Details on how these areas have been addressed specifically for ANPM are provided below.

Architecture & Integration

The first of the two major product strength categories is Architecture & Integration portion, and is

meant to gauge the underlying enabling technology base upon which the bulk of ANPM function-

ality is delivered. Following are the areas of analysis used in this research report for evaluating the

alternatives and methods for architecting an ANPM solution:


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Design As mentioned earlier, there are several basic approaches to monitoring application

performance from the network perspective. One of the key measures in this study was

ascertaining each solution’s scope and inclusion of the various types of ANPM data sources.

Beyond monitoring, management solutions can also provide similar levels of visibility while also

including active control functions. An ANPM solution may be broad or narrow in this regard, and

may be designed to be more or less real-time. It may also go beyond application-specific metrics

to collect other collateral and supportive data. Top scores in the category were given to those

solutions that included true real-time capabilities, those solutions that included an ability to take

or invoke closed-loop corrective actions, for breadth of ANPM data sources supported (packet

inspection, NetFlow/xFlow, agents, IP SLA and log files), and for integral support of additional

supplemental/complementary data sources.

Scalability The basic need for any ANPM solution to support collection and storage of

large volumes of performance metrics goes without saying; however, solution scope in terms

of throughput capacity as well as distributed coverage are important points for consideration.

In terms of scalability, top scores were given to those systems capable of both high volume

processing of ANPM data as well as architectural support for very large scale, distributed

monitoring deployments.

Breadth of Environments and Applications Supported – While some managed environments

are well standardized and are thus relatively “simple, most have a mix of networking technologies

in play. The same can typically be said regarding the number and type of applications that are

present and are expected to be visible via an ANPM solution. In general, the broader the better,

so that barriers to coverage and visibility are minimized. It is also important to recognize that

there exists a mainstream of network and application technologies that must, at minimum, be

supported. Weightings in these categories were tilted towards support for mainstream network

and application types but also for diversity and breadth, along with the ability to accommodate

custom/non-published application types.

• Integration and Interoperability While some ANPM solutions will come tightly integrated into

a multifunction, multi-capacity suite of management tools, most will not live in a homogeneous

environment. Consequently, it is very important that ANPM solutions be able to integrate and

interoperate with products and technologies from other vendors that fulfill other complementary

functions. Of particular interest within this research were integrations between ANPM solutions

and event/fault management systems (most commonly those that are on the big screens in a

Network Operation Center), service management systems (most commonly help desk applications

but also service operations or BSM dashboards), and CMDB/CMS solutions (present either as

part of an ITSM/ITIL initiative or in conjunction with a higher level BSM solution). Also of

interest was whether or not open APIs are available for integration with any other IT or non-IT

applications and functions. Highest ratings in this category were granted to those solutions that

had proven (certified, fielded, supported) integrations within each of the three complementary

functional areas as well as ample API options for custom integration.


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




Functional completeness and scope is the second major angle of analysis applied in this research in

determining relative product strength. Following are the primary Functionality criteria that were used

as part of this research and analysis:

Application Discovery/Recognition If a network performance management solution is to

be application aware, one of the most important aspects of that solution is the way in which it

identifies those applications. Further, to the more general assessment of application types supported

(as discussed above within the architecture and integration section), this inquiry focused more

specifically on the mechanisms for identifying applications and for how new, unknown application

flows are presented to a system operator. Important for rating well in this category was a range of

choices and options, so that the many different, subtle and unique identifiers of various types of

applications can be accommodated.

Metrics and Measurement Performance management systems generally gather a wide range

and large volume of performance metrics. Presented in this category were those considered most

important for characterizing application activity from the network perspective, including volume,

response times, errors, and quality by application/user/server. Also included was a special

question about support for VoIP quality measurements, since there are specific and discrete

metrics that are applied to voice traffic, such as MOS and R-Factor. Since the focus of this

research is application awareness, traditional device-centric health measures were not included.

As with many other categories, scoring in this area was based on the breadth of metrics and

measurements supported.

• Capacity Planning One of the primary uses of application-aware data is reality-based planning,

whereby capacity monitoring and changes to network capacity can become informed decisions

made in the full context of understanding how the network resources are being used. In particular,

recognizing the influence of individual or groups of applications and the contributions they make

is paramount for reducing both infrastructure cost as well as operational risk. In this measure, we

looked for support of long-range trending reports, including trend extrapolation as well as the

ability to conduct “what-if ” analysis based on current performance conditions.

Alerting/Alarming When things go wrong, and performance problems are recognized, it is

essential that operations personnel be notified of the situation as quickly as possible. It is also

important not to set off lights and sirens too often today’s interconnected and interdependent

IT infrastructures generate enough event and alert chatter even before performance monitoring

alarms are added into the mix. Basic performance alerts and alarms need to recognize short-term

and long-term patterns, as well as include as much information as possible to assist subsequent

investigation and diagnosis. Additionally, a growing number of ANPM solutions are including

behavioral modeling to recognize unusual patterns of observed activity, either in the volume of

transactions/flows/sessions or the in the total traffic bit volumes. Some ANPM systems are also

able to identify special/unique performance issue scenarios, such as microbursting in multicast

traffic a transient, sub-second phenomenon that requires true real-time, packet-based monitoring

technologies. Scoring here tilted in favor of those solutions that provide the broadest set of alerting

and alarming supports.

Troubleshooting Whether reacting to a performance problem reported by the help desk

or proactively investigating a growing issue that has not yet been recognized by the end-user

community, rapid and efficient troubleshooting is perhaps one of the most important objectives of

network management and operations. For ANPM solutions, combining various types/sources of


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



data, accelerating workflows, and intuitively presenting data best facilitate troubleshooting. Further,

troubleshooting is most effective if analysis can include current and historical data, including

forensic reconstruction, and there are special analysis features included for discrete application-

layer technologies such as Rich Internet Applications, multicast, industry-specific application or

control protocols, VoIP/video, WLAN, or custom/in-house developed applications. Highest

rankings in the category were granted for efficiency features, support for forensic/reconstructive

analysis, and the presence of special analysis capabilities.

Security and User Management Since an ANPM solution will have visibility into detailed

user activity as well as potentially proprietary or private information, it must provide some form

of access controls. And while most ANPM solutions are not deployed for the purpose of security

management per se, ANPM solutions are often able to recognize potential security events. Some

solutions have been designed or optimized for this parallel purpose while others have not. Scoring

in this category was prioritized towards solutions that offer strong credentialing, discrete controls

to data and functions, and those systems designed to play either a complementary or direct role in

security operations.

Analytics/Advanced Analysis The leading edge of management technologies apply

automated, intelligent analysis to the data collected by monitoring systems. Such capabilities can

deliver better early recognition of performance problems, support for complex infrastructures,

and/or accommodation of recent technology innovations such as virtualized computing and

cloud services. This research included an assessment of the degree to which each ANPM

provider has developed and included a range of advanced functions, from dynamic thresholding

and baseline shift/drift recognition to data mining, and route analytics. Also of interest was

specific support for correlating ANPM data in the service of monitoring intra-datacenter n-tier

architectures, shared/balanced network links, outsourced/cloud services, and mixed physical/

virtual computing environments.

Active controls Beyond monitoring and analysis, some ANPM solutions will deliver the ability

to take direct actions in response to existing or pending/potential performance problems. The

extent of active controls can be quite broad, ranging from intrinsic direct capabilities to scripting

to triggering actions within other management tools. This is an emerging area of functionality

for most ANPM solution providers, unless they provide ANPM functionality as an adjunct to

a core optimization value (as in the case of many WAN optimization controller vendors) or if

they have change and configuration management capabilities elsewhere in their management tools

product lines. Highest scores here were given if direct controls were available; however, none of

the participants enjoyed this capability and thus the most common responses related either to

other products offered by the vendor, integration with third-party control systems, or simple script

launching capabilities.

• Ease of Use – The final area of assessment that contributes to the overall Product Strength score

is Ease of Use, which encompasses the ability of the ANPM solution to be used directly as a

means for collaboration between the various groups with IT and with IT’s service constituencies.

Along these lines, we looked for the ability to group ANPM monitoring and reporting in various

ways, such as by business/organization construct, geography, address range, application type,

or technology type. We also looked for integrated support for business/service prioritization,

application dependency recognition/mapping, and understanding of logical and/or physical

topologies. Next, we assessed each ANPM solution’s support for a broad mix of visualization

and reporting functions, such as consoles, portlets/mash-ups, and scheduled and ad-hoc reports.


EMA Radar for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Finally, we asked whether or not each ANPM solution had the means to specifically support

consoles, portals, and/or reports for a broad range of discrete roles, spanning IT (network,

systems, applications, storage, service desk, service management, etc.) as well as non-IT (executive,

financial, Line of Business) functions. As with so many of the other areas of this study, the

highest scores were granted to solutions which supported the broadest range of options and

optimizations, as well as the ability for operators to tune the system to their specific needs without

the direct involvement of the ANPM solution provider.

Vendor Strength

The third and final major axis of analysis and comparison within the EMA Radar Report framework

is that of Vendor Strength. This section is a combination of measures that are meant to gauge

not only the financial viability of an ANPM solution provider, but also the quality of their vision,

strategy, go-to-market, and market voice. As such, following are specific categories used to assess

vendor strength and how they have been applied to ANPM solutions:

Vision The purpose of testing vision in the ANPM sector is to understand each solution

providers viewpoint of who they are, what value they provide, and where they fit into the broader

ecosystem of management tools and practices. First, an understanding of the role that ANPM plays

and the value that ANPM solutions can and should deliver in terms of IT operational efficiency

and operator effectiveness was assessed. Next, each providers understanding and appreciation of

integrated IT service management (ITSM) and the broader move of IT towards service-oriented

operational models was gauged. Finally, specific attention was paid to how each supplier articulated

their relationship and role in supporting and empowering their customers.

Strategy While vision is tuned towards a broad understanding of role and purpose, strategy

is meant to assess how each provider plans to achieve their vision. Consequently, this measure

was specifically attuned to functional roadmaps and plans to evolve ANPM technology and total

solution scope/capability over time.

Financial Strength An important aspect of selecting an ANPM solution provider is to

understand their viability as well as their ability and commitment to ongoing development of their

offering. Key measures used in this category included organizational size and revenues (specific to

ANPM as well as overall), access to capital, profitability, and investment rate in R&D.

Partnerships/Channel While ANPM solution providers must develop and deliver key technology

as a basis of their approaches, an important complementary element to their effectiveness and

presence takes the form of business alliances. Strength of partnerships was evaluated by measures

such as number/breadth/depth of technology alliances and breadth of channel relationships.

More is generally (though not always) better in both cases, and credit was given based on the length

of time partnerships were active in the field.

• Market Credibility – Beyond simple presence and visibility in the marketplace, which is more of

a measure of marketing budget than anything else, the ability of an ANPM solution provider to

achieve and maintain credibility is important when assessing their overall strength. In evaluating

credibility, EMA examined a number of measures, including how focused the provider is on the

ANPM space, whether or not it is an exclusive focus or a supplemental position supporting an

adjacent core competence, how often they compete directly with other ANPM solutions providers,

and which other credible industry voices are backing them up.


EMA Radar™ for Application-Aware Network Performance Management Q3 2010 Summary

©2010 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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