Is your APM strategy current?

The consumerization of IT and the integration of BYOD throughout the enterprise in recent years has made the customer king. And this means the end-user experience has become critical. The latest figures show that if your site doesn’t do a full page load in 3 seconds or less, then your customers will leave and abandon you and head over to your competitors site to spend their money there. Customers simply have no patience for slow, erratic, or downed websites. And this is why keeping your business-critical applications running optimally and efficiently is crucial for the success of your organization. Without this you might as well close up shop.

 

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Application performance monitoring is the key to ensuring that the hard-earned app is delivering the business value it was designed for. APM is the IT discipline that focuses on application monitoring and management. One source well summarizes the purpose of APM as follows: “To translate IT metrics into an End-User-Experience that provides value back to the business.”

 

Application performance in the life of a business is critical and deserves a fair treatment for any organization. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a pulse check on your APM strategy from time to time to make sure you’re current on everything and also getting the best business value you need. Here are some best practices for checking your APM strategy for relevancy.

 

1. Get to the root-cause quickly

 

In today’s digital world having an application down is like closing and locking the door of your physical shop during the Christmas shopping rush. Therefore, when an application is acting up you need to be able to isolate the problematic server, module, or line of code and troubleshoot the issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. You need to have a fast log analysis system that gives insights holistically across your infrastructure, instead of just looking at each application in isolation from the others. The goal is to find the performance issues before your customers do.

 

2. Review your application performance at every level

 

Multi-tier applications today are complex and there are lots of moving parts between the frontend, middleware, and backend. It’s important therefore to understand the lifecycle of each application including its individual components and modules; the transactions that cross many modules and systems; and the underlying infrastructure of servers and networks that support each application. The use of backend monitors can detect such things as latency and imbalanced CPU, which can indicate underlying configuration issues that must be addressed.

 

3. What are your business priorities?

 

Business owners and IT leaders need to have a perspective on which problems impact the business the most, and then start there. In other words, instead of tuning slow SQL statements that are for low priority work, invest your energies in collaborating with the business managers to identify which workloads are most important. In an ideal world you’ll also want to have a set of KPIs that compare application performance to stated business goals, which then trigger alerts when performance falls below the specified thresholds.

 

4. Improve the end users’ experience

 

As a subset of application performance monitoring and management (APM), end user experience monitoring is all about getting optics on your visitors’ experience in order to be alerted to problems before they are. It’s about understanding such key metrics as page views and load times, site page build performance, and users’ browser and platform performance. At the end of the day, pleasing your end-users is the key to your business success and you start by monitoring their experience.

 

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5. Keep up with mobile application performance

 

While it’s true that the desktop environment is still the framework for most monitoring efforts, this is changing rapidly. More and more vendors have started to offer mAPM or mobile application performance monitoring platforms to deal with the rapid changes and increasing complexity of managing business-critical applications running on mobile, virtual, and physical devices. Not to mention, smaller and more dynamic form factors and device sizes will require innovative ways to ensure that APM (or mAPM!) keeps end-user experience front and center as the central business goal.

 

6. Build an APM-focused culture

 

Businesses today must build a culture where business owners, subject matter experts, and other individual contributors are all allowed to participate in the planning, development, and release of a web application that will bring the organization to the next level. While there’s never going to be a cookie-cutter approach to this, giving your network involvement throughout the lifecycle of application development will go a long ways to securing their buy-in and support of a performance mentality.

 

7. Deploy Monitis APM!

 

If you’re looking for a best-in-class 24/7 web and application monitoring tool that covers all your IT systems, then you need go no further than Monitis. As a cloud based APM company, Monitis provides customers with a clear and intuitive dashboard that lets them see whatever they want in their IT world in a glance. Whether it be Web apps, servers, networks, websites and more, it is all covered in the various monitoring tools that Monitis provides.

 

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With Monitis you can get first hand optics into all your applications, servers, and databases and eliminate any problems associated with user experience before they harm your business. Application monitors are available for Email Round Trip, MySQL, Log, Oracle, Tomcat and Java/JMX and they are constantly adding more. The mobile version of Monitis allows you to get the latest metrics and push notifications delivered to your Android and iPhone/iPad devices.

 

The benefits and takeaways from Monitis are peace of mind and less stress. Knowing about the issues before they strike means you can be proactive rather than reactive. This is good for you and your business, and ultimately leads to better performance and happier customers.

 

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