Why are Managed Application Services so Difficult for MSPs?

MSPs have long aspired to deliver that same executive dashboard to their customers. Have we found a solution?

Since the beginning of time in IT, senior managers have craved the elusive ‘executive’ or ‘business service’ dashboard for high-level overviews of mission-critical services delivered by IT in support of the business. With the advent of cloud, containers, and microservices, achieving the executive dashboard becomes more difficult as the dynamic and ephemeral IT landscape becomes even harder to manage. For MSPs looking to provide this type of business service-centric managed service on behalf of their customers, there are many challenges.

Traditional APM Tools don’t fit Today’s IT Landscape

MSPs have long aspired to deliver that same executive dashboard to their customers. Customers will pay handsomely for this kind of business service visibility within a managed service offering, yet traditional application performance management (APM) tools available to MSPs are not well suited to broad deployment for the mass market – and even less suited to a ‘cloudy’ or containerized IT environment.

Focus on Custom Apps only

Today’s APM tools are far too rigid to be viable in the new, highly ephemeral digital IT world. With sophisticated code-level injection techniques, they focus primarily on custom applications, yet ignore the other 85% or more of applications that are packaged, not custom. At a price point beyond $100 a month per server, they induce massive sticker shock for customers when MSPs try to build services around them. They also require extensive specialist expertise to deploy and operate, and still offer only weak visibility into the underlying infrastructure, making it very difficult to triage application problems in production.

Why Traditional APM Tools don’t work for MSPs

Traditional Monitoring tools can’t get there either

While conventional IT infrastructure monitoring and service management tools have come a long way in delivering something close, they also lack application awareness. And they also lack the ability to link application problems to their underlying infrastructure.

So for MSPs, there remains a gap in capability that is very hard to bridge at an acceptable price point. For MSPs to be able to offer managed applications or business services, several requirements need to be met:

– Low license cost per server
– Support for mainstream packaged applications
– Low impact on staffing in operations
– Monitor applications over highly dynamic infrastructure (cloud, containers, and microservices)

Traditional APM tools have become accepted in certain circles – notably among DevOps communities at large enterprise organizations for home-grown, mission-critical applications. However, MSP adoption of these tools, especially for packaged applications, remains very limited.

ScienceLogic SL1 Automation Engine for AIOps

For MSP deployment of application-centric managed services, ScienceLogic has an answer. ScienceLogic SL1 ties together deep application visibility and dependency mapping with infrastructure mapping and machine learning – managing even the most dynamic and ephemeral infrastructure.

This results in many benefits for the MSP:

– Enables new application-centric managed services
– Offers a very attractive price point compared to existing APM tools
– Allows operational support to scale with very low staffing overhead and extensive automation
– Ensures operational troubleshooting of application problems via correlated IT infrastructure visibility
– Enables managed services for packaged applications without complex code injection techniques

Now MSPs can create new application-centric managed services around ScienceLogic SL1 – a new platform that will enable advanced services creation – specifically geared to the new, highly dynamic digital world.

For more information visit our SL1 website at www.sciencelogic.com/SL1

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