What is APM? Overview, Common Terms, and 10 Critical APM Features

This silo effect can lead to more inefficiency and blame as teams rely on separate tools and different information. APM platforms provide a single integrated platform using AI and automation to deliver a precise, context-aware analysis of the application environment. Organizations can continuously monitor the full stack for system degradation and performance anomalies by utilizing an APM platform.

Long-time APM users also report that APM has given their organizations some unexpected but impactful advantages. When an app malfunctions, loads slowly, or fails to run whatsoever, consumers become irritated, which can result in brand degradation or lost revenue. Whenever an internal business application starts to malfunction, employee productivity may decrease. Seeing all of this data in a single trace can short circuit having to attempt reproducing a problem in QA. Getting to root cause can be nearly instantaneous with an APM solution that collects details traces.

Key features of APM tools

These microservices are typically run on distributed infrastructure components, such as VMs, containers, or serverless functions. This design paradigm allows for each microservice to be scaled independently of one another, which can improve the application’s availability, durability, and efficiency. The world of technology is constantly evolving, and software applications are more complex, dynamic, and widely distributed than ever before. Basic application architecture has also changed formats over time, from standalone to client-server, then to mobile devices and cloud services. Serverless monitoring allows you to monitor the performance of applications that use cloud-based services such as AWS instead of on-prem servers.
With this visibility, you can see all these components and understand the interdependencies between them, getting faster answers to all your questions. Point solutions only provide a limited view of a company’s application architecture. This limited visibility makes it harder to identify root causes of application performance issues, resulting in longer downtimes when problems arise. Further, they only provide a single view of the application architecture, often missing the “cause and effect” of performance problems — for example, increased CPU usage caused by a microservice failure.

  • Trying to manually maintain, configure, script, and source data in a cloud-native environment is beyond human capabilities, which means organizations must continuously automate these tasks to ensure proper application performance.
  • Error tracking groups related errors into a manageable set of issues, which provides more context, facilitates smarter troubleshooting, and supports actionable alerting.
  • At the foundation, application performance monitoring tools look at the application’s hosting platform, mine information on process utilization and examine memory demands and disk read/write speeds.
  • Application metrics-based APM Tools typically provide dashboards and visualizations that display performance data in real-time.

It’s important to select the metrics that are most important to your organization and configure the dashboard accordingly. Advanced tools perform continuous profiling, meaning they automatically profile applications to identify performance issues and optimization opportunities. For example, Granulate’s Continuous Profiler can help you optimize application performance on an ongoing basis across any environment, at any scale.
For example, a development or operations team can instantly tell from this visual that their database is causing some performance spikes. They can also leverage their APM to identify exactly which database query and web requests were affected. The heart of APM solutions is understanding why transactions in your application are slow or failing. Even the most effective monitoring methods require foundational knowledge to increase the likelihood of success. Keep the following in mind when developing your app and infrastructure monitoring strategy. Database monitoring allows you to monitor the performance of your database so you can determine how long queries are taking.

Key monitoring features of APM tools

Every day, customers use apps to shop, stream TV shows and movies, connect to social media, manage finances, and work. In the age of working from home, customers rely more than ever on these apps to conduct their daily lives. When an app crashes, is slow to load, or doesn’t load at all, users become frustrated, which can cause the business to suffer brand damage or lose revenue. When an internal business application begins to falter, the company may also see reduced employee productivity. It’s important to configure alert policies based on the severity of the issue and the people who need to be notified.
Performance management systems will often combine monitoring data with automation and orchestration to bring a level of autonomy to some problem remediation. Automated load balancing has the potential to trick IT professionals into thinking everything is working properly because the combined performance of the servers appears to be fine. In reality, the automation could be masking issues where some servers are carrying more of the load than others.

APM refers to application performance management or application performance monitoring and is an essential tool to help optimize and monitor the performance of your apps. Machine learning-based tools allow teams to automatically identify causal relationships between performance issues and isolate their root cause. This hands-free approach is particularly useful in large-scale, dynamic systems, and it can significantly reduce an organization’s MTTR while saving them both time and money.
Also known as application component deep dive, this aspect involves tracking all components of the IT infrastructure. Extensive, in-depth monitoring is performed on all the used resources and experienced events within the app performance infrastructure. This includes an analysis of all servers, operating systems, middleware, application components and network components. Component monitoring provides a deeper understanding of the various elements and pathways identified in the previous processes. An enterprise workload that functions poorly, experiences frequent software or infrastructure issues or poses availability challenges will incur costs to troubleshoot and remediate. In some cases, prompt remediation can take place before users are even aware of an issue.

Cost-Saving Techniques with Cloud FinOps

Other metrics, such as customer satisfaction, can be created or tailored to the specific needs or purpose of the application. High disk usage can indicate issues with inefficient data storage or data retention policies. They were throttling us and the only way we would have ever known is because track all of the exceptions and can see in our APM that those affected transactions were also failing. APM monitors your web server for data related to CPU usage, memory demands, and disk read/write speeds to make sure usage doesn’t negatively affect performance. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of New Relic. Any solutions offered by the author are environment-specific and not part of the commercial solutions or support offered by New Relic.
apm software meaning
IT professionals can create rules and select monitoring parameters so the APM tool alerts them when a problem arises or when an application’s performance dips in a specific area — or deviates from an established baseline. The terms application performance monitoring and observability are often used interchangeably, but they can diverge in scope. Trying to manually maintain, configure, script, and source data in a cloud-native environment is beyond human capabilities, which means organizations must continuously automate these tasks to ensure proper application performance. Dynatrace enables automation through automatic deployment, configuration, discovery, topology, performance, and updates.
apm software meaning
It can also be critical to monitor things like Redis, Elasticsearch, SQL, and other services for key metrics. Some are combining traditional application performance monitoring with AI to automate discovery of changing transaction paths and application dependencies. Others are combining observability with AI to automatically determine performance baselines, and to sift signals, or actionable insights, from the ‘noise’ of IT operations management (ITOM) data. Industry analyst Gartner finds that organizations can realize a “60% noise reduction in ITOM through use of AI-augmented tools.” In addition to collecting performance data, these agents perform user-defined transaction profiling, tracing each transaction from the end-user UI or device through every application component or resource involved in the transaction.
apm software meaning
Error tracking groups related errors into a manageable set of issues, which provides more context, facilitates smarter troubleshooting, and supports actionable alerting. Some error tracking tools provide visibility into the source code, as well as the state of local variables at the time of the error. A service inventory provides high-level visibility into the health metrics, dependencies, deployments, and monitors of all services in a given application—and allows you to search and filter specific services and their dependencies.

why application performance management is important

An effective application performance monitoring platform should focus on infrastructure monitoring, as well as tracking the user experience, the performance and reliability of any dependencies and business transactions. APM tools provide administrators with the data they need to quickly discover, isolate and solve problems that can negatively affect an application’s performance. APM involves monitoring various metrics related to the application’s performance, including response time, throughput, error rate, and resource utilization. These metrics can be collected from various sources, such as the application itself, the underlying infrastructure, and external user experience monitoring tools. These tools monitor network traffic to identify issues that may be impacting an application’s performance. It is typically performed by network performance monitoring tools that can analyze network traffic data to identify issues such as high latency, network congestion, and packet loss that may be affecting the application’s response time.

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