4 Best Practices for APM in the Cloud
January 30, 2014
Josh Stephens
Share this

Moving your applications to the cloud has undeniable benefits. The cloud offers dynamic environments where you can spin up instances quickly, only consume what you need, and eliminate the costs of renting or purchasing expensive servers.

But the cloud also means developers are building software on a platform they don't "own", where things can change in an instant. There is no real-time insight into the performance and health of the infrastructure, to say nothing of the applications that run on it.

When things go wrong, it's hard to know where the bottlenecks are. Is the application consuming too much CPU? Is an unresponsive API causing it to time out? Is network latency degrading application performance? How do you know what you don't know?

These issues eat into your bottom line and negatively impact customer satisfaction. And while you can't anticipate every potential problem, you can be prepared to avoid many of them.

Here are four best practices to optimize your application performance monitoring:

1. Collaboration

Invite other team members to participate in your APM tool. You can set role-based access controls that grant edit privileges to admins, or restrict read-only users to see only systems with a certain tag. This gives users access to the features and data they need to do their jobs, without distracting them with superfluous information.

Some products offer deep URLs to facilitate information sharing across teams, and also allow you to annotate important events that correlate to subsequent performance changes.

2. Tagging

Alerts defined by tags allow you to customize how, when and why you're being notified about the performance of your applications. For instance, if you have a set of front-end application servers behind a load balancer, you may want to tag them "frontend" and create a unique alert for each set of performance metrics that you want to monitor.

When used correctly, include and exclude tags, process alerting and threshold alerts can help users react quickly and efficiently to solve performance issues.

3. Automation

The self-service, automated provisioning of IT resources has come of age and is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. Chef and Puppet are two popular orchestration engines that allow you to spin servers up and down in response to evolving business needs. Your APM solution should integrate tightly with existing automation tools, modifying automatically in response to operating environment changes, and providing real-time visibility into all your Chef- and Puppet-deployed applications and services.

4. Custom metrics

No two businesses have the same goals and objectives. The same can be said for application performance monitoring metrics. Custom metrics provide enhanced visibility into specific areas of an application where you want to collect, view or analyze additional information – such as page load time, web transaction response time or database query execution time. Setting these up should be as easy as modifying a simple script and creating a custom dashboard to display your data.

ABOUT Josh Stephens

As Vice President of Product Strategy at Idera, Josh Stephens brings nearly 20 years of experience in the technology industry. Prior to Idera, he founded a consulting and technology company focused on helping companies adapt their product and go to market strategies to take advantage of the high velocity, inside sales model focused around inbound marketing and social media. Previously, he was VP of technology at SolarWinds where he spent more than a dozen years helping to define and innovate their product and go to market strategies. Earlier in his career, Stephens spent time at Greenwich Technology Partners, International Network Services, and the United States Air Force.

Share this

The Latest

October 21, 2021

Scaling DevOps and SRE practices is critical to accelerating the release of high-quality digital services. However, siloed teams, manual approaches, and increasingly complex tooling slow innovation and make teams more reactive than proactive, impeding their ability to drive value for the business, according to a new report from Dynatrace, Deep Cloud Observability and Advanced AIOps are Key to Scaling DevOps Practices ...

October 20, 2021

Over three quarters (79%) of database professionals are now using either a paid-for or in-house monitoring tool, according to a new survey from Redgate Software ...

October 19, 2021

Gartner announced the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to explore in 2022. With CEOs and Boards striving to find growth through direct digital connections with customers, CIOs' priorities must reflect the same business imperatives, which run through each of Gartner's top strategic tech trends for 2022 ...

October 18, 2021

Distributed tracing has been growing in popularity as a primary tool for investigating performance issues in microservices systems. Our recent DevOps Pulse survey shows a 38% increase year-over-year in organizations' tracing use. Furthermore, 64% of those respondents who are not yet using tracing indicated plans to adopt it in the next two years ...

October 14, 2021

Businesses are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve network performance and security, according to a new State of AIOps Study, conducted by ZK Research and Masergy ...

October 13, 2021

What may have appeared to be a stopgap solution in the spring of 2020 is now clearly our new workplace reality: It's impossible to walk back so many of the developments in workflow we've seen since then. The question is no longer when we'll all get back to the office, but how the companies that are lagging in their technological ability to facilitate remote work can catch up ...

October 12, 2021

The pandemic accelerated organizations' journey to the cloud to enable agile, on-demand, flexible access to resources, helping them align with a digital business's dynamic needs. We heard from many of our customers at the start of lockdown last year, saying they had to shift to a remote work environment, seemingly overnight, and this effort was heavily cloud-reliant. However, blindly forging ahead can backfire ...

October 07, 2021

SmartBear recently released the results of its 2021 State of Software Quality | Testing survey. I doubt you'll be surprised to hear that a "lack of time" was reported as the number one challenge to doing more testing, especially as release frequencies continue to increase. However, it was disheartening to see that a lack of time was also the number one response when we asked people to identify the biggest blocker to professional development ...

October 06, 2021

The role of the CIO is evolving with an increased focus on unlocking customer connections through service innovation, according to the 2021 Global CIO Survey. The study reveals the shift in the role of the CIO with the majority of CIO respondents stating innovation, operational efficiency, and customer experience as their top priorities ...

October 05, 2021

The perception of IT support has dramatically improved thanks to the successful response of service desks to the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home, according to new research from the Service Desk Institute (SDI), sponsored by Sunrise Software ...