09. July 2018
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Grafana for CA APM

In today’s application performance management (APM), dashboarding is one of the central capabilities you expect from a fully-fledged APM suite. Recent trends, such as AI ops, leverage data analytics and machine learning to make APM smart, certainly try to automate things. Still, you rely on proper dashboards for the day to day operation of your experienced APM and ops teams.

APM Solutions Lack Proper Dashboards

Current commercial APM tools, however, seem to lack quality in the dashboard department as they focus their innovation efforts elsewhere. Integrated dashboarding features often look as if they come straight from the 90s. Building custom dashboards feels like a usability nightmare, sometimes even involving ancient technologies such as Adobe Flash.

A prime example for this phenomenon is CA APM, formerly known as Wily Introscope. While this tool has certainly proven itself with respect to its technical core, such as application tracing and metric processing, its features for custom dashboarding don’t get anyone excited anymore.

Modern Grafana Dashboards for CA APM

However, the open source community has produced a variety of modern dashboarding solutions to visualize all kinds of data. Grafana is one of them and it lends itself well to visualize typical APM metrics.

Our Grafana Plugin for CA APM

Tired of the underwhelming dashboarding capabilities provided by most commercial APM suites and CA APM in particular, we built a data source plugin to visualize metrics from CA APM with Grafana.

Our plugin enables you to query all the metrics from CA APM and visualize them in modern-looking Dashboards. You don’t need to type agent and metric queries by hand, just use the intuitive query browsing mode instead. If you want, you can still use the raw query mode to leverage the more advanced regex features supported by CA APM.

With this data source, you can display all your established CA APM metrics on dashboards with a modern look and feel. If you already have Grafana in place, you can integrate the visualization of metrics from CA APM with data from your other tools. You might even want to integrate data from different APM tools in a single dashboard. Grafana comes with built-in connectors for popular metric sources, such as Elasticsarch, Prometheus, InfluxDB or Graphite.

It’s Free And Open Source!

The best thing is that you can use all of this for free. And because it is open source, you might even want to contribute and are free to customize everything. You can find our Grafana data source for CA APM on GitHub. Similar data sources to use Grafana on top of your APM solution are also available for other APM tools, such as AppDynamics and Instana.

This is just one example of how you can improve your APM performance using open source technologies. If you are interested in open source APM or APM in general, come talk to us! Comment on this post directly or reach out to us via email at digital-experience@novatec-gmbh.de.

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