Choosing an Application Performance Monitoring Tool

Every day, applications are becoming more complex, utilizing various technologies and spanning multiple systems and locations. Ensuring that applications deliver optimal performance and a seamless user experience has become increasingly difficult in this challenging landscape.

DevOps teams need effective application performance monitoring and check service status tools that provide comprehensive insights into their applications, regardless of location or technologies.

What is APM?

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) actively monitors an application’s performance to ensure it operates at its best and delivers a smooth user experience. DevOps teams can effectively address performance issues and manage their applications by monitoring metrics using special tools. Such services are also popular among website administrators. They help, for example, check down if necessary.

Organizations that deploy and manage applications require a robust APM strategy to gather and analyze performance-related data from all components involved in the application delivery process. Teams should have easy access to CPU utilization, memory usage, disk I/O speeds, application response times, error rates, and the frequency of application problems or failures.

Performance monitoring becomes even more crucial as applications become more distributed and complex, spanning multiple cloud environments or running in hybrid clouds. An APM strategy should monitor infrastructure and application components and track business transactions, dependencies, and the overall user experience. This holistic view allows DevOps teams to identify root causes and address issues before they impact the user experience.

Member of DevOps team analysing app data with an APM tool

Tips for Selecting an APM Tool

To implement an effective APM strategy, organizations need monitoring systems that can track performance over time and provide DevOps teams with the necessary information to address performance issues proactively. When choosing an APM tool, consider the following essential capabilities:

  1. Full-stack performance monitoring across all layers, including code and transaction levels.
  2. Support for programming languages and platforms used in the organization’s applications.
  3. Efficient data collection without impacting application performance.
  4. User experience monitoring and diagnostics.
  5. Monitoring applications across various environments (on-premises, cloud-based, hybrid).
  6. Traceability, diagnostics, root cause analysis, and issue resolution.
  7. AI and advanced analytics for deeper insights into collected data.
  8. Seamless integration with third-party tools and technologies.
  9. Customizable alerting and notification capabilities, including anomaly detection.
  10. Extensive reporting and visualization features for easy understanding and action.
  11. Simple implementation and use, along with reliable technical support.
  12. Cost-effectiveness to reduce overall application maintenance costs.

In addition to these capabilities, decision-makers should consider whether the platform is offered as SaaS or self-hosted software that can be implemented on-premises or in the cloud. They should also evaluate whether the platform relies on client agents or supports agentless data collection for performance monitoring. Lastly, decision-makers should assess the scalability and security mechanisms of the chosen APM tool to ensure data protection.

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