Security and Performance United: Cisco's AI-Powered Self-Hosted Observability Platform

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  May 21, 2024

While the popularity of SaaS (News - Alert) observability solutions surged in recent years, there remains a strong demand for self-hosted alternatives. This approach, also known as customer-managed observability, encompasses on-premises deployments or cloud-based setups where the organization retains complete control of its data and associated operations.

This preference for self-hosted solutions is often driven by stringent regulations for data residency and sensitive data protection. In certain industries, such as public sector, finance, healthcare and retail, compliance mandates may necessitate keeping data within specific geographical boundaries. Additionally, organizations operating in regions lacking a local SaaS point-of-presence may face latency or reliability issues with cloud-based solutions.

Self-hosted observability empowers these organizations to leverage application monitoring tools while maintaining complete control over their data. This ensures end-to-end visibility into their most critical business systems, a vital capability for delivering seamless digital experiences to customers and users. By proactively identifying and addressing performance bottlenecks or potential issues, self-hosted observability allows organizations to optimize application performance and maintain uptime.

However, self-hosted solutions also come with their own set of considerations. Organizations need to factor in the additional burden of infrastructure management, ongoing maintenance of the observability platform and the specialized skillset required to operate and interpret the collected data effectively. While SaaS offerings often handle these aspects on behalf of the customer, a self-hosted strategy requires a dedicated internal team or external expertise to guarantee smooth operation. Another thing they can do is utilize a solution from a company we often pen about across our sites.

Cisco announced a new virtual appliance for its AppDynamics On-Premises application observability offering that allows customers to use a self-hosted observability solution built on AI-powered intelligence for anomaly detection and root cause analysis, application security and SAP (News - Alert) monitoring.

The latest innovations allow IT operations teams to detect application performance anomalies faster and with greater accuracy, protect against security vulnerabilities and attacks and maintain the performance of SAP applications and business processes, all while retaining full control of their observability deployment.

Cisco (News - Alert) also announced AppDynamics Flex, a new licensing model that provides optionality for customers to choose between self-hosted and SaaS observability offerings and support them through the transition from self-hosted to SaaS when the time is right for their business. 

The innovations come with several advancements designed to improve application performance, security and manageability.

Dynamic baselines and historical trends are used to identify deviations from normal behavior to reduce the mean time to identify for application issues. Automated transaction diagnostics and root cause analysis further expedite resolution. These capabilities allow IT operations teams to pinpoint problems and utilize suggested solutions.

Cisco Secure Application helps users locate and prioritize application security vulnerabilities based on business impact. It combines application context with an automated business risk score. Additionally, Runtime Application Self-Protection defends against vulnerability exploits.

Customers gain full-stack observability across on-premises SAP and non-SAP environments. AI-powered intelligence for the Java stack better equips SAP developers and BASIS admins to ensure service availability, optimize performance for business goals and uncover SAP security vulnerabilities.

Lastly, expanding beyond on-premises deployments, Cisco offers self-managed observability solutions in AWS and Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure. Customers will use Amazon Machine Instance or Virtual Hard Disk images of the virtual appliance. This caters to scenarios where a local SaaS instance is unavailable or when complete control over the observability solution is desired.

"Many of our customers continue to rely on self-hosted observability to manage business critical applications, and we are thrilled to deliver these AI-powered innovations as part of Cisco AppDynamics On-Premises for the first time," said Ronak Desai, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco AppDynamics and Full-Stack Observability. "Customers can now use this virtual appliance together with our Smart Agent capability to deploy new innovations faster and simplify lifecycle operations."

The virtual appliance for Cisco AppDynamics On-Premises will be generally available in May 2024. The Automated Transaction Diagnostics feature will be available in Q3 CY2024. The AMI and VHD packages for self-hosted cloud-based deployments will be available in Q3 CY2024.

Edited by Alex Passett
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