If you have ever worked in a kitchen, you know how tough it is to be short-staffed. Cooks have to work twice as hard and their performance suffers, leaving not-so-happy customers and comped meals for the complainers.
It’s similar to how applications operate. Maybe an application is glitching out from poor coding on the backend or bogging from an influx of data coming in. In either case, the end-user application experience suffers. This is why IT and network administrators need visibility into application behavior – to spot and fix performance problems.
For this entry in our ABCs of ITIM series, we are taking some liberties with the term Application eXperience and using it for our letter X. Read more about what precisely an application experience is, how it relates to application performance monitoring and the importance of both.
What is Application Experience?
Application experience is the performance, trustworthiness and support applications receive. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) improves performance by tracking and measuring how software responds and capturing this via metrics, charts and reports, including:
- How many data transactions occur
- A server's response time
- Current active users on the network
What is Application Performance Monitoring?
Application performance monitoring (APM) is a process or tool that monitors applications across various devices, servers and systems, providing statistics on these assets and their overall health.
"From a network-centric point of view—where we are interested in monitoring the user experience and showing how long the user waited for a request—APM can measure response times not only for the application but also for databases and the network. If the solution is agentless, it detects the network traffic and monitors the responses," Pavel Minarik, VP, Technology for Progress, said in an article for Forbes.
Minarik lists several practices IT managers should consider when choosing an APM solution. These processes are crucial, especially for your organization.
Think About Which Applications Require Monitoring
Most organizations will have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of applications at their fingertips. That does not mean IT should monitor all of them. Instead, they should be noting what the most critical applications are that need fast response time.
Integrate with Other Monitoring Solutions
An APM solution should not be siloed. Don't hesitate to make it part of your IT infrastructure monitoring (ITIM), management and surveillance tech stacks. Integrate APM with your currently deployed network and IT infrastructure monitoring solutions, and tie it into the dashboards. Even better is if your APM is already designed to work that way.
Automation is Key
If an IT professional can use a tool with automation, nine times out of ten they are guaranteed to use it. With an APM solution, look for automation capabilities that collect data, build reports and respond to common IT issues.
But Don't Overdo It with Automated Notifications
APM systems should not flood IT with alerts but instead tell the right person when there is an issue that needs attention and alert that person the way they prefer: email, Slack, Teams or whatever.
Gain Better Insight into Your Network with Reporting
Reports should be tailored to the recipient. IT staffers can receive information based on their area of responsibility, while high-level reports can be crafted for your executive team. These reports should also be integrated into various forecasting tools to peek into your application performance future and help with planning.
What are the Benefits of Using Application Performance Management?
APM tools offer the following benefits:
- Minimize Mean Time to Recovery
Mean time to recovery (MTTR) measures how long it takes IT to fix a problem, usually one that results in system failure. The faster they find a problem and the more detail they gather, the sooner it gets resolved.
- Efficiently Respond to Bugs and Glitches
An APM tool effectively discovers software issues such as glitches and bugs. When IT professionals identify these types of defects in custom applications, developers can rework the code to solve the problem.
- Promote Engineering Productivity
While most of the focus of an APM tool is on the health and monitoring of production environments, there are use cases to incorporate it into a pre-production one. Although development and staging environments don't reach near the same traffic level as production environments, APM can identify problems that may go under the radar of standard unit and integration tests.
- Decrease Cost of Operations
If an application was the victim of a rushed development cycle, the money to fix it can grow quickly. There are productivity and stability benefits to be had from an APM tool. By increasing insight into the application's performance, IT can tune the underlying infrastructure so the right number of resources are used to power it.
- And Customers Are Happy!
Every benefit of using an application performance monitoring tool leads to one thing: customer satisfaction.
As you’ve read this article, did you find yourself thinking about your own application monitoring-related struggles? Progress WhatsUp Gold can eliminate those bothers by monitoring key applications across your network.
How Can Progress WhatsUp Gold Improve the Application Experience?
Application monitoring with Progress WhatsUp Gold enables IT to track the status of applications on connected network devices. The Application Performance Monitoring add-on can identify causes, create detailed reports about issues and help restore applications back to their regular operations.
WhatsUp Gold offers a wide array of monitoring profiles for popular apps. IT can apply these out-of-the-box, best-practice profiles, customize them or create their own to get real-time monitoring for all your mission-critical applications.
IT can also control which conditions generate alerts; i.e., they can create separate warning and down states, define critical and non-critical application components and even define dependencies at the component or application level. Get quick visibility of the health of all applications with the Current Status Dashboard. Analyze application performance problems over time or diagnose chronic problems with our Component Summary Dashboard.
The MIB browser in WhatsUp Gold provides access to thousands of SNMP objects to monitor detailed performance metrics. Additionally, the WMI library contains thousands of Windows performance metrics.
View All of The ABCs of Infrastructure Monitoring
Looking to start on the basics of IT infrastructure monitoring? Our alphabetized index is an excellent place to begin or extend your education. View all of our current topics.