By Cassandra Balentine
Software developers look to application performance measuring (APM) tools to quickly and easily identify bottlenecks. Scout Monitoring, a company known for its server monitoring tools, recently released a Software as a Service-based APM tool at the recent Amazon Web Services reLInvent event.
Established in 2009, Scout Monitoring is a privately held, seven-employee company based out of Fort Collins, CO. The company provides server and application monitoring services to developers worldwide, which are touted as being developed by programmers for programmers. Its hosted monitoring tools are designed to provide a clean and reliable monitoring solution for servers and application.
With the addition of its APM solution, Scout is expanding its portfolio and customer base. Prior to the new release, server monitoring was the company’s sole product, serving companies like Apple, Intel, and Sendgrid.
Scout decided to introduce its APM system based on the request of existing customers. The new solution was in development for about six months prior to its release. Derek Haynes, founder/CEO, Scout Monitoring, says its customers are largely part of modern development teams, and the APM tools they were using weren’t tailored to their processes and therefore had a difficult time solving performance problems.
“For them, the number one cause of performance issues is custom code they’ve written themselves—not hardware failures,” explains Haynes. To address, this, Scout is “laser focused” on identifying slow custom code.
Due to trends such as virtualization and cloud computing, application development and management is more complex. Release cycles are shorter and more programmers are turning to agile development strategies. Production environments are more dynamic with frequent software releases. These factors make it difficult for APM solutions to keep pace with accelerated development cycles.
Compared to competing APM products, Scout automatically prioritizes performance problems based on their impact on business-critical Web applications.
According to the company, Scout APM is the first APM platform to offer context-driven performance analysis, highlighting bottlenecks that have immediate impact on revenue first. This allows developers to correct the software code before it has a dramatic effect on the bottom line.
“With one line of code customers can add context to each request their applications deliver,” says Haynes. Developers can then sort slow requests by this context and identify correlations. For example, finding that the highest paying customers also experience the worst performance.
Scout APM sets itself apart from the competition by being in tune to the needs of modern developers. “Development teams are focusing on core application code and handing off their infrastructure management to vendors. Most software developers don’t like owning infrastructure uptime. We’ve made the decision to cut out parts of the legacy application monitoring stack that no longer apply and focus our time on identifying custom code bottlenecks faster.”
Scout takes a licensed approach to APM, which differs from competing hosted solutions that are generally priced by the server. Scout APM is licensed at $10 per monitored process per month, meaning a small scale deployment would cost less than $100 per month and a typical deployment costs less than $1,000, according to the company.
This pricing method was structured so that developers and department managers could quickly add Scout APM to troubleshoot development issues without having to seek budget approval from senior management.
“Modern development teams aren’t deploying to large, dedicated servers and get penalized on per-serving pricing. We charge based on the application’s throughput so they are free to structure their application however they want,” says Haynes.
Scout APM is available now as a cloud-based solution. Fast moving modern development teams that own their application code and rely on outside services for other critical areas—like RDS for database services—are ideal candidates for the new offering. SW