Application Performance Management (APM) is the management of software app performance and availability. If you want to take control of your apps’ performance, you need to comprehend what to measure and how to interpret it.
What is APM?
Since apps have evolved from stand-alone and client-server varieties to distributed apps and cloud-based ones, APM has also evolved to follow suit. APM refers to the management of app performance to make it easier to know when they are functioning properly or behaving abnormally. You might observe things such as:
- The virtual machines that the app is running in
- The physical hardware that the app is running upon
- The container that the app is running in
- The app’s behavior
- The JVM hosting the app environment
When you capture all the necessary performance metrics, you need to interpret and associate them with how they affect your business transactions. At this point, the magic of APMs starts to kick in. The people who sell APMs have experts in different technologies to ensure that they understand what the performance metrics in each individual system mean and combine them into a holistic view of your application.
The next step entails the analysis of this holistic view against what is considered normal. APM solutions need to identify why the problem is occurring and where things started going wrong.
Depending on the environment that your app is deployed in, you can remediate the problem by telling your APM solution to do certain things.
Why is APM important?
Although the importance of APM might seem obvious to you, you might still need to explain this importance to other people like your boss. Here are several reasons why you need an APM:
A proactive approach to system management, the management side of most companies loves pro-activity. Once you know how the environment works, you can be stopping problems before they happen. Although this is not instant, it makes the result worth the effort.
Increased customer satisfaction, the major goal of APM is the improvement of customer satisfaction since they are the lifeblood of any system. As the efficiency of your systems increases, the efficiency of your customers also increases, resulting in higher satisfaction and retention of customers.
Build credibility with the user, building credibility takes a lot of time but losing it is instantaneous. As you become more proactive and start communicating with your customers about their problems, you will build their confidence and break negative perceptions that they may have about your company.
Isolation of environment inefficiencies, as you start being more proactive, you will come across several inefficiencies in your environment. For instance, you might encounter excessive DB calls or looping code that you did not know about. You might also notice things such as extra network hops.
Reduction in staffing, once you have a good idea of how your environments work and put proper alerts in place, you will not need the extra people to validate or monitor your systems. Although you will still need people to react to the alerts, the number of bodies will reduce substantially. This will allow your senior employees to focus on their tasks while leaving daily operations to the junior staff.
Learn your environment, the first step in any APM implementation is to learn your environment. Having an APM will allow you to learn how your app flows, how it runs, and who is using it. It helps management and IT to become familiar with varying usage volumes.
App developers can use retrace monitoring because it provides greater visibility to code performance after deployment to a remote server.