Businesses are running on applications and applications are critical for every business today, regardless of industry and location. Why are application performance management (APM) tools such as Instana and application resource management tools like Turbonomic unique in that space? Tushar Bajaj, Director, WW Sales for Turbonomic unpacks it for us.
Question: How does Turbonomic help?
Application owners and infrastructure owners manage and meet the supply and demand of the resources for their specific applications, regardless of where the application resides. It could be in a data centre or on the cloud or containerised as microservices or they might be trying to modernise their existing applications and moving them from an on-prem infrastructure to a cloud infrastructure. There are a number of use cases – whether it is right sizing the application and then migrating it, or lifting and shifting the application, or modernising the application – all those things become very critical. Applications needs resources at run time to perform well and Turbonomic provides that equilibrium from the resources standpoint for applications to perform optimally.
Question: Why is Turbonomic so unique?
What Turbonomic does so uniquely is it provides elasticity to safely execute recommended actions in by understanding the supply and demand of an application in terms of resources.
We have teams that do coding. We have developers. Infrastructure teams can change configurations for the resources to give more memory, more compute. But it is all manual. What Turbonomic does so uniquely is – it provides elasticity. When we talk about cloud, every customer is looking to do more in the cloud. Number one reason is they get elasticity. Now when our applications need elasticity, we are able to automate that elasticity for customers. This is unique because we don't just recommend what needs to be done. We do it for the customers safely and that is the key: safely executing the recommended actions in Turbonomic by understanding the supply and demand of an application in terms of resources. That is what sets us apart from every other tool on the planet.
Question: Within what regard do you mean by safety – is it security or risk avoidance of performance?
We are able to safely manage the risk and resiliency of those applications. In our experience, C-suite executives are willing to buy an insurance policy with hyperscalers by paying 20% more for infrastructure without even knowing that they're going to ever use it. It could be because they don't want to assume the risk. Turbonomic takes that out of the equation because Turbonomic understands that supply and demand of the application at every level. Turbonomic can give resources and it can take resources back when they're not being utilised. This is a critical differentiator because the industry has tried to solve the problem of application performance by always giving more resources, which results in higher costs on-prem or in the cloud. But over time, the cloud bill keeps increasing, with lots of hidden costs as well. If cutting costs was easy, every tech executive would turn down half of their virtualised machines (VMs) but they don’t do that because performance would degrade. Turbonomic is able to balance the resource utilisation for the applications when it needs them, which means there is no need to spend on extra capacity and the cost savings becomes a by-product of best performance possible. Turbonomic does the automation part very well based on AI and it can optimise environments to remove IT waste, improve performance and realise the cost savings being recommended by the platform. Many other vendors recommend actions that have to be manually taken by IT Teams but none of those other vendors in the marketplace can automate those actions to safely improve application performance.
Question: Is there like an easy benchmark assessment tool or simulated environment tool that will help?
We can get Turbonomic up and running in any customer environment in less than forty-five minutes. And by the way, we are an agentless install, so there is no agent to deploy. After forty-five minutes, Turbonomic can start sharing with you preliminary data from a client environment highlighting performance risks, its waste and the cost savings, along with the risk avoidance that clients can have in their environment within their infrastructure. For the business partners, this is a huge opportunity because to provide services around right sizing an environment, migrating application workloads to the cloud, containerisation and microservices to extract that data sets from a client environment is a huge task and we can discover, automate, operate and execute all of that from the platform.
Question: Partners are now not wanting to simply resell. They want to focus on the product but build service offering around them almost like instantaneously….
Exactly! Partners have couple of choices. They can either be the service provider, managing the client infrastructure with help of Turbonomic and provide services around that as a sort of a managed service. They can also own the software themselves. And if they're in a business of providing, let's say, finops services to a client or sustainability services to a client, then this could be part of one of the tools in their architecture that they have developed to provide to the customer as a service.
Question: Are there any limitations in terms of regional sort of scalability tracing this region?
There is no scalability issue if you're providing this as a managed service to any customer because you're not using SaaS at that point. And there is no scalability issue from a product standpoint – eight of the top ten largest money centre banks in the world use Turbonomic in production. And we are talking hundreds and thousands of workloads being managed on a daily basis. IBM’s own CIO organisation uses Turbonomic to support our global workforce – over half a million actions annually in a hybrid environment comprising of VMs, containers and cloud workloads. Value is delivered when you have actionable insights by pushing a button or automating certain type of actions to happen on their own schedule. Once you’ve set it, you can just sit back and monitor to see that your application performance is improving and your application response times are improving – which means your resiliency is improving and as a by-product, you have cost savings.
Question: Let’s switch gears to Instana
Turbonomic is the “Switzerland” for any APM tool. That is what sets us apart from every other tool on the planet.
Similarly, Instana is very much complementary to Turbonomic. Turbonomic is the “Switzerland” for any APM tool. A customer might use Instana. They might use AppDynamics, Dynatrace, New Relic, Datadog…. we work with all of these products. One of the reasons for applications to work well is when code is architected and written well. If there are issues, APM tools come in to picture. Turbonomic when coupled with an APM tool, can get the application level data and we can correlate application response time with performance and prove to a customer that the demand and supply of the resources that Turbonomic is providing to their application matters because it can improve the application response time. So, Instana in itself is unique, because what differentiates and sets Instana apart from every other APM tool in the market is its one second interval tracing ability. If you look at other APM vendors or APM tools in the marketplace, you will see that some are doing snapshot at every 30 second interval or something. But what if you’re a bank or retailer and you have a failure within seconds, you’ve lost that transaction. We are able to trace every single transaction on a one second interval and be able to provide data about it.
Question: Against that and the opportunity cost, I mean it took number of seconds, but for a company like Amazon, yeah, I mean that could be millions of dollars?
So, yeah. Think about banks, think about stock exchange – with them, a millisecond matters. Because if you have a failure for a millisecond, it could be tens of millions of dollars of impact to the business.
Question: So when our business partners are considering Turbonomic or Instana, is there like some of them might be sort of sitting there thinking, what's the easiest entry point?
Typical customers have an unidentified need that they need to manage performance of the applications they use which is usually addressed when something breaks or goes wrong. They are not preventative in nature. With Turbonomic and Instana, we are proactively being preventative. The entry points are where there are applications that are not monitored or VMs that host Kubernetes or traditional applications or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments. Our findings show that APM tools are used only in 14% of applications out there. Which means 86% of applications that are not covered by APM tools could fail at any moment. Plus, if you have applications that are born on the cloud that are running on Openshift or containers, legacy tools will never work.
Instana was a born-on-the-cloud containerised application based APM tool. It is best of the breed when it comes to that and that is your entry point. For instance, for any customer, applications running on distributed or IBM zSystems or IBM Power platform, we can support with our APM. For Turbonomic, the five key use cases are Sustainability, Modernisation of Applications, Right Sizing, FinOps and Containerised applications – these are all the entry points. Any customer that has an application and they run them on their own infrastructure, whether it's on-prem or in the cloud, that's your entry point. We also have a lot of synergy with a lot of other toolsets outside of OpenShift too. Ansible could also be entry point. We want the partners to learn how to run these engagements, so we will help them co-sell, so they can get independent very quickly and drive value on their own.
Furthermore, the conversion rate is extremely high. When it comes to automating optimisation and providing that elasticity to clients in the cloud, there is no other vendor on the planet that does that and that is why we have over 3500 customers globally. The top banks, top auto manufacturers in North America, top insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and many more.
** The worldwide APM market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 2023-2030, rising from US$7.9billion in 2023 to US$18.8 billion in 2030.
About the author
Tushar Bajaj has over 20 years of proven track record in sales management and leadership roles bringing to life complex implementations related to hybrid cloud solutions (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), IT Automation, APM portfolio and implementation of business services. His unique ability to forge solid relationships with the C-suite executives has led to happily productive teams across different industries.