How to Ensure and Optimize Application Performance

September 14, 2020

How to Ensure and Optimize Application Performance

Application performance management (APM) involves managing the availability and efficiency of software applications by obtaining and translating IT metrics into business outcomes. Because application performance hiccups are inevitable, it’s crucial to have a robust APM solution in place so IT teams can resolve problems faster and more efficiently, lessening the impact on users and the bottom line.

One factor muddling application performance optimization is the speed of change. On-premises and cloud infrastructures are growing at an exponential pace. In addition, workloads are moving to the cloud, complicating the job for most understaffed and overworked IT departments.

But users don’t care. They expect the applications they’re using to be responsive and lightning fast. Of course, the onus is on IT teams to make it happen.

The top performing applications are also important to the C-level. Business outcomes and revenue are often tied to achieving efficiencies and productivity gains no matter where the software resides or how obscured the infrastructure.

Without a Window Into Infrastructure, Optimization Is Elusive

However, lack of visibility into infrastructure stacks—and the applications within them—presents significant challenges. It’s necessary to have a crystal-clear view of the various layers (including VMs and hypervisors) and an integrated APM solution. Otherwise, IT teams can’t see or quickly troubleshoot server, database, application, and network issues.

With integrated APM, application-level assessments such as response time, load patterns, and resource usage are easy to identify. This information is necessary to ensure application performance and achieve optimal utilization.

Since APM tools collect billions of data points, you’ll receive real-time, detailed performance metrics for every aspect of your technology stack, helping you ascertain when an application is experiencing problems and—more importantly—why.

How APM Benefits IT Organizations

Aside from visibility into performance metrics across application environments, APM offers a myriad of tangible benefits to improve the experience for every user in the organization.

Access diagnostic insightsAPM allows you to monitor app performance regardless of location or device. If problems arise, you can pinpoint and address issues before users complain.

Meet SLAs—APM also provides real-time reporting on SLA compliance and uses context analytics to measure how applications impact the business.

Manage costs—Additionally, APM can help you better predict peaks and valleys in application consumption, so you can manage the capacity of your capital-intensive resources.

How APM Supports In-House Teams

Using a centralized tool offers teams access to the same data for use across the application life cycle, including predeployment, production, and postdeployment. This accessibility allows

  • support teams to provide faster, higher value customer service;
  • developers to control the application quality and deliver a better user experience;
  • quality control to conduct load testing to deliver product consistency;
  • operations to monitor and ensure code quality to mitigate future performance issues;
  • product managers to determine the rate at which users are adopting new features; and
  • business leaders to track business transactions based on production application behavior and reduce MTTR by more quickly identifying and remediating performance issues.

What to Look for in Application Optimization Solutions

Regardless of system complexity, a successful diagnosis depends on having a holistic view of your application environment. Look for products designed to track application performance and each element of the application so you know when issues arise.

While evaluating vendors, look for a solution capable of delivering in-depth, code-level monitoring of app performance to help your IT team visualize bottlenecks and identify occasions when end-user experiences don’t meet SLA expectations. Features like heat maps can isolate outliers and trends, enabling IT operations to drill down and identify the root cause.

Whether you’d like to simplify complicated IT processes or proactively monitor and maintain your application environment, you’ll spend less time troubleshooting and remediating performance issues with a modern application optimization solution.

Dave Wagner is a senior manager of product marketing at SolarWinds with over 20 years of experience focused on IT performance and optimization. In his current role, Dave works closely with product management and corporate marketing to ensure alignment in go-to-market strategy and messaging for the SolarWinds application performance monitoring (APM) products. Prior to joining SolarWinds, Dave served as CTO of OpsDataStore, business development principal for TeamQuest, and vice president, marketing and sales at Solution Labs Inc.