How To

Application Monitoring Vs. Infrastructure Monitoring: Tradeoffs and Synergies

The IT teams of today are managing a growing number of increasingly complex applications on increasingly complex infrastructure. Maintaining security, compliance, and system health requires strong monitoring practices in regard to both applications and the infrastructure as a whole. 

When a company has budget and resource limitations to consider, however, the question arises of whether to prioritize application monitoring or infrastructure monitoring.

Key Takeaways:

  • Prioritizing application monitoring can mean losing sight of the big picture of the overall infrastructure, while an exclusive focus on infrastructure monitoring means overlooking the granular details of an individual application’s health.
  • Organizations able to use both monitoring methods together can harness this synergy to gain full visibility of the entire development environment.
  • The ideal cloud platform empowers the user to seamlessly manage monitoring tasks at any level through a simple, unified control plane.

Understanding the key tradeoffs and synergies between monitoring methods can equip decision-makers with the insight necessary for choosing how best to build an enterprise’s unique monitoring strategy.

What is application monitoring vs. infrastructure monitoring?

Application monitoring is the process of gathering metrics pertaining to a specific application and viewing them through an intuitive monitoring interface to gauge the health and performance of that app.

Infrastructure monitoring, specifically in a cloud setting, entails verifying the health and performance of various aspects of the infrastructure environment. This can include platforms, software, and other services at distributed locations even across a hybrid multicloud ecosystem.

When weighing the decision of application monitoring versus infrastructure monitoring, the first major consideration should be their similarities. They are similar in that they identify pain points in the production process and help strengthen security and efficiency.

On the other hand, the notable difference between the two monitoring types is their visibility levels of a company’s IT landscape are at highly different scales.

The World Economic Forum reports that most business and cyber leaders believe that current geopolitical risks, along with developments in cybercrime-related technology, will lead to catastrophic cyber events in the near future. This widespread concern illustrates the importance of maintaining strong security and monitoring practices. It also underlines how vital it is to understand the tradeoffs and synergies of application monitoring vs infrastructure monitoring.

Tradeoffs between application monitoring vs. infrastructure monitoring

An organization that focuses solely on application monitoring over infrastructure monitoring, or vice-versa, is at risk of losing sight of key aspects of its operations. Even if a company excels in one area of monitoring, it is crucial to be aware of what it might be lacking in the tradeoff.

Choosing application monitoring as the priority means focusing on app availability and providing the best end-user experience possible. Choosing infrastructure monitoring means gaining visibility of one’s own network environment in order to protect the business from cost-inefficiencies and security threats.

It stands to reason, then, that the main factors in application monitoring versus infrastructure monitoring are the end-user experience vs the internal developer experience. Both are critical to enterprise success, so it is important for decision-makers to weigh the choice carefully when in a position that requires prioritizing one over the other.

Organizations operating in an ideal cloud environment have options for both application and infrastructure monitoring. The tradeoff of not adopting such a platform is the possibility of sacrificing critical visibility over applications and infrastructure as a whole.

For a deep dive on the power of the Nutanix Cloud Platform (NCP) and how it can improve your security, take a look at the Nutanix Starter Kit.

Synergies of using both application monitoring and infrastructure monitoring

Investing time and resources into implementing both application monitoring and infrastructure monitoring means capitalizing on what both methods have to offer as well as their unique synergies. A hybrid approach that balances both monitoring methods has the potential to eliminate the most blind spots in an organization’s IT visibility.

What application monitoring brings to this hybrid approach is deep, insightful information on how each individual application is running.

What infrastructure monitoring brings is a broad, high-level big picture of the infrastructure’s health that can help admins proactively prevent outages and maximize network-wide performance.

The argument of application monitoring vs infrastructure monitoring is moot when IT teams are capable of utilizing both and harnessing the synergy between them to view the environment at any scale. Where difficulties may arise, though, is in navigating the complexity of executing two very different monitoring practices simultaneously.

Organizations need a platform that can accommodate this hybrid approach and make it simple to manage tasks at both the application and infrastructure levels. Nutanix Prism is an infrastructure solution that facilitates the synergy between granular and broad-reaching monitoring methods and makes monitoring information from any scale available through a single, simple pane of glass.

Resolving the application monitoring vs. infrastructure monitoring debate

Every enterprise is unique, with its own goals and concerns. Some need stronger application monitoring vs infrastructure monitoring. Some may need both but find themselves pressured to choose, while others are in a position to capitalize on synergy with minimal tradeoffs.

The foundation of any monitoring practice, especially those native to the cloud, is the underlying platform. Building the right monitoring strategy can be simple when the cloud platform itself is able to accommodate the client’s needs and the cloud provider is willing and able to collaborate toward a functional solution.

Nutanix Prism is a simple, one-click infrastructure setup solution that gives the consumer the ability to monitor their applications and infrastructure however they want. It resolves the application monitoring vs infrastructure monitoring debate by giving the user the ability to use either as they see fit and to adjust their strategy on the fly for continued success.

Learn more about risk management practices resulting from strong monitoring as well as using monitoring results to optimize apps in the cloud

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