APM and Viewpoints - Part 1
February 22, 2017

Terry Critchley
Author of "Making It in IT"

Share this

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) is a set of disciplines, part of Performance Management, designed provide accurate information on how business applications are performing. Many organizations rely on APM to give them sufficient information to see if their internally‐developed applications and third party applications are performing well. The purpose of this exercise is both operational and, in the longer term, capacity planning purposes.

The overarching reason is to match delivered performance with the service level agreements (SLAs) developed between IT and the business(es). There are other reasons, not least those of organization productivity and external customer acceptance of the online service, particularly web sites.

The cruel fact of the matter is that poor or erratic performance (response times and throughput) are bad for business. Zero performance when the system is down doesn't help the cause either. As an aside, note that availability is an essential component of performance.

Aspects of Performance

There are several aspects of applications and related software that need to be monitored since an application makes use of other software in its execution. The number of aspects needing consideration depends on the complexity of the supporting environment. Typically, IT personnel will need to be aware, at a detailed level, of the performance of:

■ Internet services

■ Response times (overall)

■ Network traffic and latency

■ Transaction tracking (visibility) where applicable

■ The infrastructure - operating system, hypervisors

■ Database

■ Web server software

■ Other middleware

■ ERP and other application systems. These sometimes have their own resource and reporting monitors.

■ File servers, messaging systems etc.

■ Use of what are known as "deep dive diagnostics" for knotty problems

An important aspect of performance (and other) monitoring is where the observer stands when looking at the IT scenario. If a complaint says the performance of an application is dreadful, the network man might say "Everything is fine" and the database man may agree, both saying "What's the problem?" All these people may say that the performance world is rosy but not to other people who have a different idea on what is rosy and what is not.

These are what I call viewpoints, a popular concept in IT architecture design method. Read APM and Viewpoints - Part 2, outlining the different viewpoints.

Dr. Terry Critchley is the Author of "Making It in IT", "High Performance IT Services" and “High Availability IT Services”.

This blog was created from extracts from Terry Critchley's book: High Performance IT Services [ August 25 2016]

Share this

The Latest

March 26, 2020

While remote work policies have been gaining steam for the better part of the past decade across the enterprise space — driven in large part by more agile and scalable, cloud-delivered business solutions — recent events have pushed adoption into overdrive ...

March 25, 2020

Time-critical, unplanned work caused by IT disruptions continues to plague enterprises around the world, leading to lost revenue, significant employee morale problems and missed opportunities to innovate, according to the State of Unplanned Work Report 2020, conducted by Dimensional Research for PagerDuty ...

March 24, 2020

In today's iterative world, development teams care a lot more about how apps are running. There's a demand for fixing actionable items. Developers want to know exactly what's broken, what to fix right now, and what can wait. They want to know, "Do we build or fix?" This trade-off between building new features versus fixing bugs is one of the key factors behind the adoption of Application Stability management tools ...

March 23, 2020

With the rise of mobile apps and iterative development releases, Application Stability has answered the widespread need to monitor applications in a new way, shifting the focus from servers and networks to the customer experience. The emergence of Application Stability has caused some consternation for diehard APM fans. However, these two solutions embody very distinct monitoring focuses, which leads me to believe there's room for both tools, as well as different teams for both ...

March 19, 2020

The 2019 State of E-Commerce Infrastructure Report, from Webscale, analyzes findings from a comprehensive survey of more than 450 ecommerce professionals regarding how their online stores performed during the 2019 holiday season. Some key insights from the report include ...

March 18, 2020

Robinhood is a unicorn startup that has been disrupting the way by which many millennials have been investing and managing their money for the past few years. For Robinhood, the burden of proof was to show that they can provide an infrastructure that is as scalable, reliable and secure as that of major banks who have been developing their trading infrastructure for the last quarter-century. That promise fell flat last week, when the market volatility brought about a set of edge cases that brought Robinhood's trading app to its knees ...

March 17, 2020

Application backend monitoring is the key to acquiring visibility across the enterprise's application stack, from the application layer and underlying infrastructure to third-party API services, web servers and databases, be they on-premises, in a public or private cloud, or in a hybrid model. By tracking and reporting performance in real time, IT teams can ensure applications perform at peak efficiency — and guarantee a seamless customer experience. How can IT operations teams improve application backend monitoring? By embracing artificial intelligence for operations — AIOps ...

March 16, 2020

In 2020, DevOps teams will face heightened expectations for higher speed and frequency of code delivery, which means their IT environments will become even more modular, ephemeral and dynamic — and significantly more complicated to monitor. As a result, AIOps will further cement its position as the most effective technology that DevOps teams can use to see and control what's going on with their applications and their underlying infrastructure, so that they can prevent outages. Here I outline five key trends to watch related to how AIOps will impact DevOps in 2020 and beyond ...

March 12, 2020

With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), CIOs should focus on three short-term actions to increase their organizations' resilience against disruptions and prepare for rebound and growth, according to Gartner ...

March 11, 2020

Whether you consider the first generation of APM or the updates that followed for SOA and microservices, the most basic premise of the tools remains the same — PROVIDE VISIBILITY ...