Imagine that you are running a business. It could be large, small, mid-sized. It could be a brand new start-up or it has been around for decades. Perhaps it’s more corporate with a suit and tie, or maybe it’s more laid-back with a gaming room in the office. Regardless of the culture of your company, the bottom line comes down to: how do we make more profit? How do we cut down costs? How do we grow our audience?
The solution is application performance management (APM). An APM solution will help you understand your business and your users such that you can clearly visualize upward mobility and outward expansion. Let’s look at the different areas that APM can help with.
Manage Infrastructure and Cloud Services.
Like most companies, you probably have a web app, a mobile app, a website, and possibly an online store. These different entities must be highly available, 24/7, to ensure users across the globe are satisfied, regardless of what device they are using. In order to do that, from an infrastructure perspective, you have several datacenters, availability zones, virtualized servers, cloud services etc to keep the digital business running.
A great APM solution will give you one view that shows you all of your datacenters and servers within each datacenter. For cloud monitoring, such as AWS, Azure, Docker etc, it will show you all of your cloud instances, and the processes running on each. Not only that, but it will display which servers talk to each other within a given time frame. This is referred to as the Purestack. You can view infrastructure metrics such as CPU usage, memory usage, disk storage, network traffic etc for every process and every server across the delivery chain.
Manage Data Processing and Data Transfer between dependencies.
If we look at your web app, it probably is made up of one or more sub-apps. Each sub app, for simplicity’s sake, has a web tier, a mid-tier and a database tier — at the very least — or different combinations as apart of the application stack. Each component must be able to communicate seamlessly with each other, and must do so as efficiently as possible. Now we are thinking about networking, how data transfers from one tier to the next. We are also thinking about how data is processed within an individual tier. Issues with data transfer, or data processing could easily cause an outage for several hours.
An APM solution, again, in one view, will show you these dependencies as well as the response time contribution on each tier. This is referred to as the PurePath. This is extremely helpful with isolating problem tiers, and by extension, isolating problem transactions. That way you can know why your user isnt converting. Is it the login? Is it the product search? Is it the credit card processing? APM will analyze the delivery chain for you and tell you.
Manage your code.
You probably have several developers that need to a) code new features for the next big innovation, and b) maintain the software and fix bugs. This means you’d need to be able to see transactional and code level information to quickly tell where you may be having an issue. Poor code = poor apps. Poor apps = frustrated users. Frustrated users = decline in profits.
Let’s face it. No one likes to debug thousand of lines of code. With purepath technology, APM actually digs through those lines of code for you, shows you the slow methods, the errors and the exceptions on the code level. It’ll also show you the transactions that call those methods, as well as the databases queries associated with those transactions in a hierarchical view, from the web requests to the database and back. It’s easy to dive deep into your code and see the problem within minutes.
Manage your users.
Speaking of users, you also have to consider what your users are actually doing once they access the app. What URLs are they clicking on? What are the popular search items? What is the most popular purchases? What geographical region has the most sales for your product? Understanding user behaviour is crucial for repeated business.
One Tool. One View. All-in-one.
We’ve looked at infrastructure, data processing, data transfer, application development and user behaviors. For all of these, you need an Application Performance Management (APM) solution to be able to understand your audience. APM will be able to show you problems with your applications, show you the dependencies within your application stack and how they communicate with each other, and show you several performance metrics that will help you understand what you need to change.
Not only that, a solid APM solution will integrate seamlessly with your existing tools. Are you using ServiceNow? No problem. How about Slack, HipChat, Jira? Consider it done. Once you have optimized your application with APM, you can enjoy the satisfaction of making your profits, and not having to worry about an outage. A good APM solution is simple, yet robust. It will foresee the outage before it happens, and notify you of it, find the root cause for you, and package it all in an easy-to-digest view.
Don’t be reactive. Be proactive, get a great APM solution and put yourself on the fast-track towards your business goals.