Back to top icon


Should On-Prem Apps Use SaaS Monitoring?



Need better visibility into the health of the applications running in your data center? Before you choose an application performance monitoring (APM) tool, think about this: a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution is your best choice for monitoring all of your applications, both in the cloud and on premise. Here are seven reasons why:

Reason #1: Seamless updates and 1/10th the maintenance

On-premise solutions come with operational burdens that eat up additional resources. You need to install, update, patch, and scale an on-premise monitoring solution as the monitoring data and the number and types of applications you monitor grow.

With a SaaS solution, updates to your APM tool are seamless, there’s no system to maintain, and no hardware to worry about. Your team stays focused on your applications and business goals, and isn’t distracted by maintaining a monitoring tool. The only burdens remaining are agent updates and alert policies common to any monitoring system.

Reason #2: Coverage no matter where your applications are running

Let’s say you started moving some of your applications to the cloud. You’d have a hybrid cloud environment, but your on-premise solution couldn’t monitor both so you’d have to add a cloud-capable tool to the mix. Now you have two tools that don’t talk to each other. This means your team would have to exert twice the effort, monitor twice the dashboards, analyze twice the metrics … you get the picture.

But with a SaaS solution, you can use one tool for all your environments. That’s one interface and one clear picture of your applications and infrastructure, whether they are in the cloud or on-premise or some combination thereof. Think of it as future-proofing your monitoring solution. Even if you don’t move to the cloud anytime soon, it’s easy to proxy monitoring traffic from behind your firewall to a SaaS monitoring service.

Reason #3: Scalability and speed for analyzing the big data that good monitoring generates

Imagine you find the perfect APM tool, but then you have to limit the applications and servers you monitor because you don’t have the storage capacity or budget to store all the data that is generated. That can happen with an on-premise monitoring solution if you’re not prepared to create a highly scalable environment and continually make further architecture investments as data volume grows.

A SaaS APM solution can scale dynamically as your needs grow. There’s no infrastructure investment or ongoing support to worry about. Plus, it’s easier to try a new analytics tool if you don’t need to make a massive investment to use it.

Reason #4: Security that is as good as or superior to on-premise

Securing a monitoring system probably isn’t your company’s core competency. But it should be for cloud-based monitoring companies. Look for providers with world-class teams, and make sure they have the investments, commitment, and audit results to prove it. On your end, it's hard enough to keep all of your systems patched and updated without adding an on-premise monitoring solution to the effort. That’s energy better spent on your application experience, security, and performance.

In some industries and geographies, making sure certain data types and personally identifiable information doesn’t leave your data center or country is a necessity. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use a SaaS APM solution. Choose a solution where your team has complete visibility and control over what, if any, sensitive information is processed by the service.

Reason #5: Lower total cost of ownership

A robust on-premise monitoring solution requires a significant investment in hardware and infrastructure. Plus you need to continue investing as the data and applications grow. While this may not be as burdensome for larger data center environments, if you wanted to add deep event analytics to the picture, for example, those capabilities would require a significant amount of extra infrastructure, above and beyond what APM tools traditionally require.

SaaS solutions can provide a lower total cost of ownership because you don’t have the investments and operational costs of an on-premise solution. That’s savings that you can use for running your applications.

Reason #6: New features faster, automagically

With an on-premise solution, your team has to wait for version releases and updates to be installed before they can get their hands on new capabilities. Want an interface to a new team collaboration tool? Sorry, you need to wait until version 4.2.6 comes out and then wait another month while the system is upgraded if ever.

In contrast, faster and more frequent updates are a cornerstone of the SaaS model, with no effort necessary on your part. You’ll stay up-to-date with the latest capabilities, which can help you improve insight into application performance and speed troubleshooting.

Reason #7: Frictionless monitoring of new applications

When your developer teams launch new applications, how does monitoring get added? If you use an on-premise solution, the developer has to make sure it gets done and potentially add more collection, processing, and analytics infrastructure in the process to support the new application. With a SaaS solution, however, there’s no dependency on the team running the monitoring tool to make capacity changes in order to support new apps. If you use automation tools in the code pipeline, then modern SaaS monitoring agents can be integrated into the build process without risk that the collector and processing infrastructure will be overloaded.

It’s really about one thing

Perhaps the most compelling reason to choose a SaaS APM solution versus an on-premises tool is this: freedom. With a SaaS solution, you can change your architecture, move to the cloud, add new applications, scale up, or scale down without worrying about your monitoring infrastructure keeping up. At the same time, you can continue to deliver the insight your team needs to make your software and your business successful.

Further reading