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Application Performance Monitoring

Applications are the channel through which users experience your products or services. To drive customer engagement and revenue, apps should maintain high quality and deliver a seamless experience.

Users do not appreciate slow or error-ridden applications. Statistics reveal websites that take over three seconds to load are abandoned for faster-loading competitor sites. High abandonment rate results in loss of business ROI and competitive edge.

Application performance monitoring (APM) holds the key to avoiding such bleak situations. APM tools allow you to continuously monitor application behavior, identify potential problems, and rapidly resolve them before users get affected.

Even when an application is up and running, there could be parts of it that are performing below the optimum level. Complex multi-tier applications can have many modules and transactions moving through multiple modules or systems. This necessitates monitoring at various levels—component, transaction, server, network.

Certain APM products measure app performance based on network traffic while several others rely on server and app metrics. Application performance monitoring tools, such as App Dynamics, perform code-level profiling and transaction tracing. Such monitoring not only identifies resources slowing down the app but also helps answer why they are slowing down.

Strategy for Application Performance Monitoring

Modern application environments are so complex that developing an effective monitoring strategy can be challenging. QBurst helps clients establish monitoring strategies closely aligned to their business goals. The following are three primary considerations that we recommend for effective monitoring.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive Coverage

Monitor components and the system as a whole. Identify and compile a list of all critical components in the app environment, such as hardware, network, operating system, application, and database. Depending on whether your app is a monolith hosted in a local data center or a cloud-native, the list can include components like virtual servers, containers, and storage solutions.

Consider components outside the application environment, such as third-party solutions on which the app depends. Ancillary app performances also affect your application and need to be monitored.

Monitor beyond the first page. Measure individual page performance as well as multi-step transactions to get an end-to-end view of user interactions. Include synthetic monitoring to proactively address issues and real user monitoring (RUM) to capture dynamics from actual users.

Selective Alerting

Selective Alerting

Collecting performance metrics alone is not sufficient. You will need to configure alerts to notify relevant teams in case of deviations from the baseline. Early detection through proactive notification helps resolve issues before users are impacted.

However, alerting is effective only when it is restricted to critical situations. If there are too many alerts configured, it can lead to an “alert storm” where potentially critical alerts are missed in the deluge.

Defining and adjusting alert thresholds is often an ongoing process. Focus on improving the end-user experience while configuring alerts. If you are using AppDynamics as your performance monitoring system, the dynamic baseline alerting feature relieves you from constantly setting and adjusting alert thresholds.

Monitoring Tools

Monitoring Tools

When the critical metrics to be monitored and alerted upon are identified, the next step is to choose the appropriate application performance monitoring tool. There are numerous performance monitoring software in the market but not all may support monitoring of all necessary components of your application environment.

Your performance monitoring system can be a combination of tools, with the primary platform monitoring the business-critical areas and additional monitoring software covering the less critical aspects. To reduce complexity, you can even opt for a single tool to monitor, alert, and report after evaluating potential trade-offs.

The selection of tools can also vary according to the kind of application being monitored. The tooling required for a highly distributed containerized Python application on Google Cloud Platform is widely different from that needed for a locally hosted internal app.

Splunk, Dynatrace, New Relic, Datadog, and AppDynamics are some of the tools available for application performance monitoring. QBurst APM consultants aid clients in the selection and configuration of appropriate performance monitoring software.

Benefits of Application Performance Monitoring

  • High-quality user experience
  • Improved performance and productivity
  • Well-planned and budgeted IT upgrades
  • Increased business revenue and security

Gartner’s Six Critical Capabilities for APM Tools

  • Business Analysis
  • IT Service Monitoring
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Distributed Profiling
  • Application Debugging

Monitoring Application Performance with AppDynamics

AppDynamics is an easy-to-use tool for application performance management offering many key benefits that differentiate it from other APM solutions. With total visibility into the app environment and automated remediation, AppDynamics can help you lower the time to detect and mitigate issues.

Code-Level Visibility

Code-Level Visibility

AppDynamics allows you to drill down to the individual line of code and identify the root cause of a performance bottleneck. You can easily trace a request from start to finish to see if a transaction is slow due to garbage collection issues or a remote web service call, saving valuable developer time.

Automated Anomaly Detection

Automated Anomaly Detection

Every agent monitoring a transaction collects detailed metrics to create a dynamic baseline for each metric. AppDynamics employs machine learning algorithms to detect real-time performance issues, compare them with the baseline, and raise alerts.

Across-The-Board Monitoring

Across-The-Board Monitoring

A combination of synthetic monitoring and real-user interactions (browser and mobile RUM) provides comprehensive coverage of web-based, native mobile, and IoT applications. The unified monitoring builds a transparent picture of app performance.

Powerful Analytics with Intelligent Alerting

Powerful Analytics with Intelligent Alerting

AppDynamics collects transaction, log, and end-user data and correlates it with business data to show the impact on business and customer experience. To prevent alert flooding, the tool sends only meaningful alerts to the relevant staff along with actionable insights.

AppDynamics Implementation

AppDynamics APM solution can be deployed on-premises or used as a SaaS product. The on-premises deployment varies considerably from the SaaS model and our solution architects guide you in choosing the appropriate solution and licenses. With the APM tool configured, you can start monitoring the following:

  • Application Performance: Proactively monitor end-to-end business transactions, remote services, service endpoints.
  • End-User Experience: Monitor and optimize browser and mobile apps with RUM and synthetic monitoring.
  • Infrastructure: See the impact of infrastructure health on application performance by monitoring metrics such as CPU usage and memory.
  • Database: Monitor databases using the database agent to optimize application performance.
  • Custom Dashboards: Create custom dashboards on application health, infrastructure parameters, and business data for various stakeholders and support teams.
  • Application Analytics: Discern the impact of application health on business outcomes with real-time analysis and visualization.

Ensure optimal application performance with efficient monitoring systems.