Home > Frequently Asked Questions About Application Performance

Frequently Asked Questions About Application Performance

Digital transformation is changing the way companies do business, putting pressure on IT to continually monitor and manage the performance of applications delivering business-critical services. IT managers are responsible for making sure applications in today’s increasingly complex IT environment are running as fast and efficiently as possible. Poorly performing applications must be optimized for companies to leverage the benefits of digital transformation. Otherwise, customer experience will suffer, product or feature releases may fall behind, and the competition will come out ahead. Even small application performance issues result in wasted time. Waiting 30 minutes per day equates to 2.5 hours per week and 120 wasted hours in a year. How do productivity losses like these affect your company’s bottom line?

Visibility Is Key to Finding and Fixing Performance Problems

To fix problems, you need specifics. For instance, is the transactional performance slow because you don’t have enough compute power? Or is it slow because the application code is poorly written? Or is it slow due to something seemingly unrelated or unknown? Whether your infrastructure resides on-premises, in a hybrid cloud, or is cloud-native, you need comprehensive visibility into your complete infrastructure and application stack. That’s the universe in which application performance management (APM) solutions shine. This complete stack includes virtually every element from the moment a transaction is “clicked” in a custom web or device application, through all layers (on-premises, hybrid, cloud) of compute, storage, and network infrastructure, and potentially IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS elements. APM offers complete visibility into the performance and response time of critical applications, behaviors, and transactions, coupled with visibility into the full-stack infrastructure performance metrics. The software monitors and manages the performance and availability of applications and all their associated infrastructure across your distributed computing environment, so you can keep everything running smoothly.

FAQs About APM—Separating Facts From Fiction

Can APM ensure my cloud apps are fast enough?

Yes. You can use APM to proactively identify issues and speed up the resolution time for problems such as end-to-end latency and associated performance hits affecting the user experience. APM delivers metrics to illustrate how an application is performing, both now and over time. Through APM, you can understand, down to the line of code or database query, precisely what, where, and why the application is slow.

What are the most common scenarios affecting application performance?

Typical web application performance issues include slow servers suffering from insufficient capacity, “noisy neighbor” shared resource contention, poorly written code, traffic (demand) spikes, weak HTML tags, database requests that are poorly written or too slow to execute due to internal database contention, and problems at the load balancing level (e.g., overloading compute, storage, or network elements). If IT is experiencing any of these issues, you’re not alone. More than 73% of organizations experience loss of productivity due to performance slowdowns in their applications.

Why is the application performing poorly?

Did you know a one-second delay in a webpage’s load time can result in a 7% reduction in business transaction conversion and up to a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction? To answer the question “Why is the application performing poorly?” you need insights into all aspects of user experience, business transactions, application performance, and database and infrastructure health. Look for solutions that offer a single source of truth, so you can identify and fix performance issues.

Can I afford the APM solution I need?

Traditionally, APM tools have been an expensive proposition, a line item you’ll only find in the budgets of large organizations. Some APM solutions can cost several thousands of dollars per year per host. Alternately, companies such as SolarWinds specialize in powerful and affordable IT infrastructure management software, including APM.

Can I integrate APM into my existing processes?

Think about the extensibility and foundation of your APM solution. Is it flexible enough to integrate ubiquitously and dynamic enough to be configured rapidly as your environment changes? For example, tying IT service management (ITSM) processes such as ticketing, change management, IT asset management, and more into your APM environment for complete management from issue detection through to resolution.

Can a single APM solution monitor a wide range of applications?

Yes, APM software can monitor a variety of applications and frameworks. However, what’s more important is to evaluate how the tool aligns with your particular business needs. Can the solution monitor your web server and the underlying database performance, as well as your in-house, custom-built web APM? Your commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), custom, hybrid, or SaaS-delivered apps? An ideal APM tool should offer monitoring support for these applications and more.

End Poor Application Behavior With Modern APM

To maintain uninterrupted business processes, the performance and availability of your applications are critical. Even small performance issues can have big consequences. With APM, ITOps can detect, diagnose, and remediate complex application performance problems, and maintain an expected level of service. There are many APM solutions from which to choose, each with their own set of performance monitoring tools. Evaluate APM tools based on ease of use, improved end-user experiences, and the ability to gain the holistic, end-to-end view IT needs to turn data into actionable insights.
Avatar photo
Dave Wagner
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…
Read more