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Application Performance Monitoring Tools

Application Performance Monitoring

Applications Performance Monitoring (APM) is more than just monitoring metrics on a dashboard with a monitoring solution. Simply put, monitoring application performance is about ensuring that your business applications are performing as expected, at all times, with proper tracking and reporting of performance issues. The end goal of an application performance monitoring software in any business is to ensure that the supply of services to end users is uninterrupted and that the quality of delivered end user experience is supreme.

Let us try to understand the various concepts of an application performance monitor and see why they are gradually becoming an inevitable part of IT Ops and DevOps teams across different businesses.

Let us split the operations of IT teams broadly into three primary components:

  1. Server & infrastructure
  2. DevOps
  3. End user experience
As we examine these three components in detail, the boundaries of application performance monitor tools will become increasingly clearer. While operations across mentioned teams are often overlapping, it is important to understand the precise scope of these operations and their importance in ensuring a smooth application lifecycle process with minimal performance hiccups.

App performance monitoring tool for servers and infrastructure

The role of IT Ops teams is to solve internal as well as client needs by ensuring the infrastructure and operational environments supporting application deployments are in order. Application Performance Management therefore becomes extremely crucial in maintaining a continuous and smooth flow of operations. Given the size, scale, and efficiency of business operations, Application Performance Monitoring services can offer some invaluable benefits to manage business critical applications.

The bottom most layer of any software stack is the infrastructure layer. Monitoring CPU usage, load, memory, server uptime, etc. are some of the primary steps involved in infrastructure monitoring which is a part of application performance monitoring. Consider the following cases:

  1. Information about CPUs running at full capacity
  2. System processes using high resources
  3. Network load in the server
  4. CPU, memory, Disk I/O analytics
These are some of the key metrics that IT admins rely on to understand and optimize server and network performance through thorough network application performance monitoring, and plan capacity upgradation as well as resource allocation. Once the infrastructure elements are covered, the next layer is the applications that are hosted on these servers. While some key metrics can be retrieved with ad hoc scripts, a comprehensive application performance monitoring software can dig deeper and wider to present more than just a few performance counters of these business applications. If your application performance components right at the grassroot levels are measured, it is an indication that the foundations of your app performance monitoring principles are strong.

Application performance monitoring software in DevOps

While application performance monitoring tools are mostly employed to monitor application performance in production environments, similar systematic application monitoring in the development environment can significantly decrease development time and increase application performance and stability. The terms DevOps (development + operations) is becoming increasingly popular. It is important to note that web application performance management is a key component of DevOps practices acting as a catalyst in most DevOps processes. In fact, most enterprises that have adopted DevOps find this as one of the core applications of enterprise application monitor systems.

EMA (Enterprise Management Associates) research states that manual troubleshooting is the single biggest bottleneck that DevOps teams face in their continuous delivery pipeline and that 'Application Performance Monitoring' solutions can substantially mitigate the challenges generated by high rates of production change.' For example, a request made to a web application is taking unusually long to respond. This could be due to slow running queries trying to retrieve the relevant information from the database but of course, without an app performance monitoring tool, such problems are hard to identify. There are numerous possibilities of errors like these causing problems in web application performance monitoring while tracking background as well as front end transactions such as JVM becoming completely saturated, transactions consuming time, etc. With the right app performance monitor tool, these transactions details are made available and error causing codes can directly be pinpointed and delays in problem identification and resolution can be massively reduced. Operations, development and quality assurance teams then become more flexible breaking barriers in collaboration and becoming more transparent and effective with their development as well as production processes.

Application Performance Monitoring Tools - ManageEngine Applications Manager

Monitor application performance to measure end user experience

The objectives of IT Ops and DevOps teams across organizations converge at one common goal that is satisfying customer demands. As they say, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Measuring end user experience therefore is of paramount importance to meet customer expectations and retain them in the long term. A good user experience leads to continued usage of service which directly translates to more revenue generated. But how does an app performance monitor fare when we consider the challenges when performing web app performance monitoring from an end user's perspective?

Usually, an application performance monitor tool employs a technique called synthetic transaction monitoring to mimic, record, and re-run possible end user interactions with a given web application by executing behavioral scripts. These transaction details present important information that can ensure your application can handle the projected load. These synthetic transactions in any application monitor are captured with an agent that executes these transactions and collects information for optimal web app performance monitoring across geographies. An application monitor that enables End User Experience monitoring, also known as digital experience monitoring, then offers the following benefits to business organizations:

  1. Test and monitor application performance before its launch
  2. Become aware of performance issues before the end user does
  3. Measuring impact of third party components in your application
  4. Performance stats for application access across geographies

Application Performance Monitoring Software - ManageEngine Applications Manager

While most application performance monitoring tools tend to associate monitoring application performance only with DevOps, the implementation of any app performance monitor tool is more diverse and beyond just the scope of DevOps. The implementation of application monitoring solutions across industries spanning education, manufacturing, sports, IT, banking, hospitality, etc. for infrastructure and web app performance monitoring is a testament to their ever increasing rate of adoption as well importance in terms of business value they offer.

ManageEngine Applications Manager is one such application performance monitoring tool that is recommended by thousands of admins across numerous industries. Applications Manager offers out of the box monitoring for over 100 popular servers and business applications. With its unified console offering monitoring, alerting and analytics capabilities for IT Ops, DevOps as well as End User Monitoring, Applications Manager is an ideal and affordable Application performance Monitoring tool for small, medium as well as enterprise organizations.

Frequently asked questions on APM

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Application Performance Monitor - ManageEngine Applications Manager
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