Application dependency mapping are flow-based technologies combined with more detailed configuration information that can enable more real-time awareness of application-to-infrastructure interdependencies.
Support for application life cycle planning by providing tools with common data sources to support both the management of applications over the network and the needs of application developers seeking to design for real-world distributed infrastructures. These tools can enable new modes of collaboration, such as in application network reviews (ANRs).
Support for security in terms of anomalous behaviors both in terms of IT governance (whos using what application and where), and intrusion detection.
The list is not complete, but it should give you an idea. The truth is that while these seem to represent a whole host of fragmented or different tools, the reality is that many, and in some cases almost all, of these requirements are coming together in the portfolios of management innovators taking more of a flow or bloodstream approach versus a more traditional component-by-component approach.
Some of the vendors to watch are, in alphabetical order, Apparent Networks, Cisco, Compuware, Coradiant, EMC, e.g. Innovations, Fluke Networks, Netcordia, NetQoS, NetScout, Network Physics, OPNET, OpTier, Packet Design, Shunra, Solar Winds and Wild Packets.
In the end there are several reasons why you, as executives, in particular should care:
EMA has already seen striking examples of value brought to IT organizations via AFM capabilities; including some with explicit organizational and process-directed changes. Among the more dramatic is 50% reductions in MTTR for critical application services, as well as teaming between application developers and network managers to ensure that new applications can perform correctly across the infrastructure.
Probably the key words in grasping the impact of AFM as a continuum are visibility and context. This is why EMA believes in the coming two-to-five years, AFM will redefine performance management and ultimately force platform vendors, as well as the industry more broadly, into new approaches for assimilating and integrating application flow information as a unifying resource for managing business services.