Application sprawl

What is application sprawl?
Application sprawl is the growth of an IT system that includes more applications and consumes more resources overall. Systems that suffer from inefficiency due to poor design are often discussed in terms of sprawling applications.

The key idea in application sprawl is that every application is resource hungry, but there are only so many resources to use. Hence, systems can benefit from an intentional, in-depth approach to adding applications.

One question is whether individual applications are really needed or whether they are just added arbitrarily. The question also arises as to whether applications are served efficiently, for example by virtual machines in virtualized systems. For this reason, application solutions often involve reducing the number of applications in use and cleaning up IT systems in order to serve each application efficiently.

A network professional can see where applications are located in an IT system and how they are served by different VMs, which in turn obtain CPU and memory from a central pool. By changing the way applications live in a system, planners can free up disk space and conserve resources. To combat urban sprawl, engineers analyze in detail all the components of a larger system and plan its operations in more detail.

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