In 2013, APMdigest published a list called 15 Top Factors That Impact Application Performance. Even today, this is one of the most popular pieces of content on the site. And for good reason – the whole concept of Application Performance Management (APM) starts with identifying the factors that impact application performance, and then doing something about it. However, in the fast moving world of IT, many aspects of application performance have changed in the 3 years since the list was published. And many new experts have come on the scene. So APMdigest is updating the list for 2016, and you will be surprised how much it has changed.
Part 5 is the final installment of the list of top factors that impact application performance.
27. CODE INTEGRATION
As application topologies become more and more distributed, the need for seamless code integration between applications in new releases has become a significant factor in application performance. This is especially true in the case of expanding IT departments when new employees are not always familiar with the application topologies and dependencies in an organization.
Founder & CEO, Correlsense
28. PACE OF INNOVATION
Developers are reacting to unrelenting pressure from the business to implement more business functionality in less time, at a lower cost (of development) and to then evolve that code more frequently. These pressures have caused there to be a tremendous amount of innovation in process areas like Agile and DevOps, and in new languages (PHP, Python, Ruby, Node-JS) that collectively improve developer productivity. But all of these process and technology improvements abstract the developer from the performance characteristics of their code. Docker is just the latest example of this. So the number one factor that impacts application performance is that the pace of innovation in the application stacks in response to business pressures makes measuring and ensuring application performance more difficult. This is THE challenge that the APM vendors must address
29. LACK OF TESTING
Not testing performance early in development and not testing it later in production. Today's tools make it easier to "shift-left" moving performance testing into the development cycle so that all new code can have not only unit, smoke, and functional tests, but also performance tests that will detect performance regressions and defects before the code becomes part of the project. Allowing code that performs poorly into a project increases the cost to address this defect later. Adding performance testing as a ‘shift-right' into production ensures that the production system truly can scale and perform well when demand is higher than a development or pre-prod test would simulate. Testing in production also allows testing third-party components as a part of an integrated performance load test. You don't want a third-party feature to be the blocking item that can't perform at scale.
Sr. Evangelist, SOASTA
The biggest factor that impacts application performance is a lack of experience, which includes knowledge. Performance (meaning transactional performance and scalability) gets plenty of lip service, but how many people really test for performance at every build? Think about a scalable and fast architecture from day 1, from the messaging platform to the backend to the use of Angular to the load balancers: Everything has an impact. A culture of testing at every build, and setting clear SLA's drives true performance. There is no way around it.
30. INEFFICIENT COMMUNICATION
Over the past decade, IT Organizations have heavily invested in APM and UEM solutions to become aware of potential performance issues even before consumers of the service felt the pain. New generation APM tools go even further with infrastructure discovery, analytics and deep code analysis to refine and speed up the diagnosis process when something goes wrong. This is all good, but it must be recognized however, that these same organizations tend to spoil all these efficiency gains because of immature communication processes. I believe that no matter how fast IT becomes aware of an application performance issue, today, the top factor that impacts application performance and customer experience is really the ability or inability for the IT organization to respond quickly enough and prevent the issue from getting bigger and the performance from deteriorating even more.
Senior Director of Product Marketing, IT Alerting & IoT, Everbridge
Numerous factors can impact application performance - a mistake in design, application defects, insufficient capacity and many others. However, for each of such factors to impact the application, a change should happen. Application, infrastructure, data, workload or capacity – something should change for performance to deteriorate. Hence, the top factor that impacts application performance is a change. To ensure maximum performance it is critical to know "what's changed?” and be able to detect early changes that are causing negative impact. Today, most application performance management tools still mainly focus on application transaction performance and availability. Leading vendors started to explore application logs looking for additional information about application behavior. Change is a key missing piece required to manage application performance. Change detection, change correlation with performance events, and risk assessment of changes are critical capabilities IT Operations needs to become truly proactive in maintaining optimal application performance.
32. UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS
From reading APM reviews on IT Central Station, I see that it is a common theme that an "unknown unknown" is what most concerns IT and DevOps managers. Examples of these "unknown unknowns" that impact app performance include factors such as the way an application responds to an unanticipated application behavior (e.g. "80% of users are coming from mobile devices!"), user behavior (e.g. "We didn't expect users to keep hitting that button.") and/or load (e.g. "Traffic spike of 600% during the summer!?").
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station
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