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5 Ways to Optimize Application Performance Management

Level 11

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.

5.Analytics

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.

The SolarWinds trademarks, service marks, and logos are the exclusive property of SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC or its affiliates.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

7 Comments
smttysmth02gt
Level 13

Thanks!

david.botfield
Level 13

Thanks for the article.

vinay.by
Level 16

Nice write up

ecklerwr1
Level 19

APM monitoring it tricky sometimes.  I've found it, like event correlation, to be an art to do well.

Jfrazier
Level 18

To call Runtime application architecture discovery a substantial undertaking is an understatement.

Encrypted data paths (https, vpn, etc.) and  encrypted packets prevent many tools from being able to determine the architecture and unable  monitor the resulting environment.

This become increasingly more complex in a multi-tenant environment.

bobmarley
Level 15

Thanks for the write up

tallyrich
Level 15

Managing performance has become much more than just up/down monitoring as it was years ago. It's critical as monitoring professionals that we keep ahead of the performance issues and rectify before things break. (or slow down to the point where people see them as broken)

About the Author
Paul Parker, a 25-year information technology industry veteran, and expert in Government. He leads SolarWinds’ efforts to help public sector customers manage the security and performance of their systems by using technology. Parker most recently served as vice president of engineering at Infoblox‘s federal division. Before that, he served in C-level or senior management positions at Ward Solutions, Eagle Alliance and Dynamics Research Corp.