A Full Guide on Using Application Monitoring for Your Business

Timothy Miller Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

Wondering whether you can optimize your business using application performance monitoring? The answer is “Surely!” Our full guide on application monitoring usage will serve as proof.

Contemporary businesses and startups depend on software applications for running their digital activities and supplying SaaS or AaaS (application-as-a-service). Nowadays, expedited application and service delivery without sacrificing quality is a top concern. Have you ever imagined the negative impact to businesses if your applications don’t function properly at customer sites?

To optimize application stability, you should be tracking functionality and real-time analytics using one of many application performance monitoring or APM solutions on the market.

Feel intrigued about what APM is, its features and why it should be implemented in your business? Go on reading!

What is Application Monitoring?

Application monitoring is the process of measuring, evaluating and troubleshooting the effectiveness of your software applications to guarantee accessibility, performance and a superior user experience. APM helps you ensure your mission-critical applications operate smoothly and at optimum levels. To gain and sustain appropriate service levels, your applications require regular monitoring and the help of innovative monitoring tools to assess, track and diagnose the issues that could interfere with optimum functionality.

APM has become extremely vital for engineering specialists, IT administrators and DevOps teams. Adding application monitoring to your current infrastructure should be an integral part of your digital strategy. APM solutions deliver insights into application metrics, as well as business processes, with widening capabilities for engineering operations supervision.

Several high-value APM features include:

  • CPU usage and server monitoring where key applications are stored and functioning
  • Evaluating access registers to your web server to compare user requests with how much time it takes to react to all requests
  • Monitoring error rates
  • Checking network traffic and application downtimes
  • Monitoring website or web apps with the help of a certain analytics system to examine and discover pages with low velocity
  • Scaling as well as estimating key performance metrics with reference to application affiliation with programming languages and services like SQL, Elasticsearch, Redis and so on

Types of Application Monitoring Tools

There are 3 key types of APM tools based on app metrics, network performance and code-level tracing and dependencies.

App Metrics

Application performance monitors include a wide range of tools that capture various app and server metrics. In the ideal case, these tools provide the number of requests your app receives and potentially slow URLs. Since such tools don’t execute profiling at the code level, some reasons for poor performance won’t be identified.

Network Performance Monitoring

Network Performance Monitoring solutions identify application performance by measuring network traffic.

Code-level Tracing & Dependencies

Traditional APM products are based on transaction tracing and code profiling. With a high-quality APM solution, you can identify exactly what is causing poor performance in your applications, troubleshoot and fix issues often before users are impacted.

Users hate waiting, and some businesses consider deleting poor performing software and purchasing a better variant as the ideal solution. However, by eliminating application glitches or bugs, businesses can optimize existing applications and avoid a poor user experience, which can range from losing clients to legal claims. Let’s look at the ways APM solutions measure performance.

Ways to Measure Application Monitoring

The performance of an application is typically checked and evaluated with 2 metric sets:

The First Set of Metrics

Application load period is a proven performance metric, measuring the number of transactions in a given time frame. Transactions per second, or TPS is an accepted metric for identifying the end-user’s experience. The more time it takes for an application to load, the worse the user experience.

Engineers typically don’t run into performance challenges during the design stage. Applications in production handle platform demands that are hard to duplicate in labs. By implementing application monitoring tools, engineers can identify platform problems that don’t surface in development, as well as production environments.

The Second Set of Metrics

Local or cloud resources are implemented by your applications for calculations. APM solutions check applications for load effectiveness and measure capacity during various scenarios. Additionally, APM solutions search for all possible locations or hotspots where performance bugs can take place.

The above-mentioned metrics help establish a baseline for application performance, identifying optimizations when behavior is subpar. The last comes in handy for external event correlation, as well as a pro forma analysis of performance. Applications that don’t meet the metrics and other features fail to get their reliability factor. This results in disappointed users that won’t use your applications anymore.

APM solutions leverage numerous techniques and approaches, depending on the particular outcome your business or technology leaders want:

  • Synthetic monitoring – A tool analyzes a certain application under standard time conditions using the information from previous research
  • Network checking – APM tools monitor application accessibility as well as efficiency according to network traffic
  • Real user checking – Evaluating the digital experience by measuring the ways end-users engage with the application and the timing of every engagement
  • Distributed tracing – APM tools analyze the application’s functioning on the code level

APM tools gather information regarding performance to support businesses in optimizing the user experience.

Top Ways to Integrate Application Monitoring

Implementing an APM solution demands essential knowledge. Let’s dive into the aspects you should bear in mind before and during the implementation.

Introduce AMP to Business Operations

Business and technology leaders face an overwhelming choice among contemporary AMP tools. When considering potential solutions, ensure tools provide a full picture of application performance, as well as associated business operations. A well-chosen APM solution should support correlating key transactions for your business with the outcomes you target and expect to receive.

Accentuate Configuration

The engineering team of your business or startup should be aware of the application dynamics for proper configuration. To guarantee the smooth functioning of an APM tool, engineers should accentuate configuration. The more you increase the visibility of your application, the easier to reveal what parts of the application to optimize. Consulting firms leverage questionnaires and working sessions to ensure your APM configuration meets stated goals.

Be Ready for Variations

Variety is a must-have when considering an APM solution. Know whether the solution you’re considering integrates synthetic transactions, manual instrumentation, automation and other advanced capabilities. And never forget to consult with clients when implementing APM solutions as a consultant.

Synthetic transactions support businesses and startups in setting notifications once a new issue occurs, identifying reasons for performance troubles. Manual instrumentation allows your engineering team to track troubles and events in the critical elements of their code. Client commentary is essential regarding quality assurance. Different businesses use different SLAs to determine the quality of the user experience with the business services being delivered.

Select the Right Engineers

When using outside services, be sure the engineering specialists have experience with your chosen APM solution. Those who know the application will get most out of the APM tool and become valuable members of your team.

Take a Cohesive Approach

Interactions between your applications and servers, containers and your entire technology stack have a great impact on performance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking application performance is exclusively tied to code performance.

Quality APM solutions include advanced monitoring capabilities that capture the entire picture of application performance. By combining code-level tracing, application metrics, exception tracking, error and event logs and more, APM solutions will boost business performance.

Multidimensional APM solutions also simplify businesses processes by automating data gathering and storage, which further expedites troubleshooting and issue resolution.

Select the Relevant Metrics

A well-designed application performance monitoring tool delivers out-of-the-box metrics, as well as custom metrics. Correlating application and infrastructure effectiveness will help you attain your business goals. Customizable dashboards enable the right personnel to see the right metrics to regulate and optimize the relationship between applications and business performance.

Accentuate the metrics that make the difference from a larger perspective to help business leaders understand the relationships between CPU utilization, speed of code and memory use to business results. Leveraging APM data creates insights that improve strategic business planning.

Immediate access to data differentiates contemporary businesses, especially those embracing digital transformation. Ensure that all involved in the use of your APM solution have real-time access to vital performance and resource data.

Design an Actionable Alert Platform

To rapidly address performance challenges and avoid costly downtime, you need to know when essential metrics exceed established thresholds. A well-organized platform of workable, real-time notifications can guarantee that alerts get to the right team member before negatively impacting users.

Your DevOps team is best equipped to decide what kind of notifications need immediate attention. When tied to business goals, alerts should indicate the potential for disrupting the user experience by identifying early symptoms before troubles surface.

A solid APM implementation includes an alert strategy with actionable notifications tied to business goals. Alerts and notifications directed to the correct personnel will quickly alleviate problems. Your APM tool of choice should also integrate with popular notification services for disseminating alerts for your DevOps teams and reports to business and technology leaders.

Include Deployment Tracking to the Software Design Practice

Deployment tracking is the best way to confirm that engineering and design assumptions bear out in production. APM tools with deployment tracking should become an integral part of Test-Driven Design to verify code modifications yield desired results in production applications.

Documentation

Modern cloud applications are as robust as they are regularly changing. APM processes should be entirely documented in compliance with overall digital best practices to stay on top of the latest iteration. Businesses should record system configurations, deployment data, alert and notification metrics and more, plus review the information from time to time to ensure data is up to date and clear.

If you’re looking to get APM integrated into your business, check out our team of engineering professionals at Engre.

About Timothy Miller

Timothy M. is a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty. He is a technology and engineering writer and editor who writes on engineering news and blog topics for Engre.co. He brings into his reporting a wealth of experience in research and analytical writing.