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Why SaaS is the best way to monitor on-premise environments

Lee Atchison Profile picture for user Lee Atchison March 14, 2019
Some organizations still use on-premise solutions for application performance monitoring! New Relic's Lee Atchison explains why SaaS should be a no-brainer

Businessman monitoring through telescope stands on arrow above clouds © alphaspirit - shutterstock
It’s past time to debunk an idea that’s somehow still kicking around in application performance monitoring circles. Put simply, just because you have an on-premise technology environment does not mean you need an on-premise monitoring solution. In fact, an on-premise monitoring solution has many disadvantages, even when dealing with purely on-premise environments.

Almost all companies still relying on on-premise environments also leverage private and public cloud technology in conjunction with their data centers. So as the lines between on-premise and the cloud continue to blur, the distinction between them becomes increasingly meaningless.

More to the point, perhaps, while forward-looking organizations understand that on-premise monitoring lacks the scalability, flexibility, and rapid innovation needed to deal with modern software environments, they may not yet realize that SaaS-based monitoring is also better at dealing with on-premise infrastructure.

SaaS should be a no-brainer!

For example, even though industry analysts explicitly acknowledge the rapid growth and acceptance of SaaS-based monitoring solutions, they still suggest that vendors offering both on-premise and SaaS are better positioned in the market due to this capability. That might make sense if companies needed an on-premise monitoring solution to track their on-premise or hybrid environments, but of course they absolutely don’t.

There are four key reasons why pure multi-tenant SaaS monitoring makes sense for the modern digital native era, whether your environment is on-premise, hybrid, or in the cloud:

  1. Cost — SaaS-based APM offers a much lower total cost of ownership, especially when you consider the opportunity cost of engineering time sunk into installing, maintaining and upgrading on-premise monitoring solutions.
  2. Scale — On-premise solutions simply can’t effectively scale and maintain monitoring to cope with an organization’s biggest, most important days, especially in auto-scaling and ephemeral cloud environments. With on-premise solutions, ensuring you have sufficient monitoring capacity for your biggest days means supporting excess capacity during non-peak times, wasting money.
  3. Faster to visibility — SaaS-based monitoring can get you up and running in your monitoring solution faster than on-premise monitoring solutions can. You can deploy a SaaS offering in a matter of hours or minutes instead of the weeks or even months it takes to set up an on-premise monitoring solution.
  4. Faster updates — SaaS-based monitoring can deliver new features and functionality to you quicker than an on-premise solution can. When a new feature or capability is available, you can get instance access to it in a SaaS-based environment. On-premise monitoring solutions often require a long upgrade cycle to get the new capabilities added to your system.

Notably, these benefits hold true when monitoring on-premise environments as well as cloud and hybrid ones.

That’s why, if you look closely, you’ll notice that many vendors that once embraced on-premise monitoring solutions are now actively working to deprecate their on-premise solutions and migrate their customers toward their newer online products. They’re pushing their newly hatched SaaS solutions because they recognize that it’s a superior delivery model. Critically, however, the full benefits of SaaS-based monitoring are available only via true, full-fledged, multi-tenant SaaS approaches. The offerings of some legacy APM vendors systems are single-tenant SaaS and face many of the same disadvantages as do on-premise solutions.

No reason not to go SaaS

Historically, typical objections to SaaS-based APM have centered around security issues like data residency and security, but such concerns are fading as confidence in SaaS grows. Clearly, the SaaS model is more than capable of delivering huge benefits to large on-premise architectures as well as to modern cloud-based environments. So maybe it’s time to stop clinging to outmoded ideas of what SaaS-based monitoring can and can’t do.

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