By Paul Parker, SolarWinds Federal & National Government Chief Technologist


Unfortunately, even with an incredibly fast infrastructure, if application performance is poor, then constituents will more than likely have a bad experience. Proper application performance management (APM) is vital for identifying application performance issues and helping ensure that they maintain an expected level of service. Load testing, synthetic and real-user monitoring, and root-cause analysis are just a few of the key tools that comprise a balanced approach to APM.


Understanding the importance of application management raises the question: How can public sector IT professionals ensure that their applications are performing optimally?


Here are five key components that should be in every IT pro’s APM toolkit.


1. End-user experience monitoring

This should be high on the primary list for public sector IT professionals’ APM efforts. End-user experience monitoring tools collect information on interactions with the application and can help identify any problems that are having a negative impact on the constituents’ experience.


Many factors can affect the user experience. As local government bodies move closer to complete cloud adoption, it’s important to find a tool that can monitor both on-premise and hosted applications. It’s also useful to consider a tool that makes provisions for instant changes to network links or external servers if either, or both, are compromising the end-user experience.


2. Runtime application architecture discovery

This part of APM looks at the hardware and software components involved in application execution—as well as the paths they use to communicate—to help identify problems and establish their scope.


With the complexity of today’s networks, discovering and displaying all the components that contribute to application performance is a substantial task. As such, it is important to select a monitoring tool that provides real-time insight into the application delivery infrastructure.


3. User-defined transaction profiling

Understanding user-defined transactions as they navigate the architecture helps IT teams to map out events as they occur across the various components. In addition, it can provide an understanding of where and when events are occurring, and whether they are occurring as efficiently as possible.


4. Component deep-dive monitoring

This component of APM provides an in-depth understanding of the components and pathways discovered in previous steps. In a nutshell, the IT management team conducts in-depth monitoring of the resources used by, and events occurring within, the application performance infrastructure.



Finally, as with any IT scenario, having information is one thing; understanding it is another.


APM analytics tools help IT teams to:


  • Set a performance baseline that provides an understanding of current and historical performance, and set an expectation of what a “normal” application workload entails
  • Quickly identify, pinpoint, and eliminate application performance issues based on historical/baseline data
  • Anticipate and alleviate potential future issues through actionable patterns
  • Identify areas for improvement by mapping infrastructure changes to performance changes


As IT environments become more complex, it is equally important to choose a set of APM tools that integrate with one another and with other tools and solutions already in place. Having visibility across all pieces of the application environment is critical to having a complete understanding of application performance and helping ensure “always on” optimization.


Find the full article on GovTech Leaders.


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