Mobile apps are serious business, and mobile app performance is key. With this in mind, APMdigest asked industry experts – from analysts and consultants to the top vendors – to recommend the best ways to ensure mobile app performance. Part 4 of the list, the final installment, covers more production solutions such as NPM and ITOA.
14-A. NETWORK PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT (NPM)
You can’t improve what you don’t understand, so it really comes down to metrics. First, establish a quality-of-service baseline and trend data for the entire mobile application stack, from the platform out to the mobile devices. Next, use technology such as network performance management to start monitoring key performance metrics, including: network signal strength, upload throughput, upload latency, upload dropped packets, download throughput, download latency and download dropped packets. Then you must seek to understand how each key performance metric affects the overall experience of using the application so you can quickly detect, alert, pinpoint and troubleshoot a problem in the mobile application stack. For instance, signal strength may cause excessive buffering, while dropped packets may lead to jitter with real-time streaming media.
Director, Systems Management Product Marketing, SolarWinds
Monitoring the delivery of content rich, responsive mobile applications is predominantly performed using traditional, enterprise style APM products with the emphasis on application performance, server performance, application dependency mapping, transaction monitoring, using synthetic transactions and monitoring client performance (RUM). Within enterprise environments (where networks have much higher availability, throughput and redundancy than mobile networks) it is now widely recognized that networks are not perfect connectors of applications, servers and clients and that performance and availability problems are often hard to pinpoint as being solely in the application, server or networking domain thus making it difficult to improve performance and to resolve availability issues. When delivering mobile services across dynamic, high latency, low bandwidth mobile networks the need for timely, accurate and complete network management information spanning the full range of networking technologies is essential.
14-B. Application-Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM)
Behind every enterprise mobile application is a multi-tier service delivery architecture. The mobile application stack is subject to the same perils faced by traditional web business applications, including network latency and congestion, application chattiness, server resource issues, and database performance. Addressing mobile application delivery issues requires management platforms with broader visibility horizons that include both network and application analytics, which is exactly what Application-Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM) provides. AANPM uses key data points from the network with application-oriented analysis, creating a system with cross-platform visibility and enabling IT to ensure high-performance delivery from the back end of the mobile application stack. AANPM solutions enable IT to quickly locate problems, regardless of their source and solve them as quickly as possible.
CTO, Fluke Networks
The best way to ensure outstanding mobile performance is to provide high-speed, robust (minimal dropped packets and timeouts) end-to-end network connectivity that includes LTE or high-speed WiFi. The operative words here are "robust" and "end-to-end", which spans from the mobile user to the application server. Assuring subscriber satisfaction means providing application-aware performance intelligence at all points across the infrastructure from the WiFi/LTE access point to the core. Application-performance awareness is important as different applications require varying network performance to deliver acceptable customer experience. For example, the streaming-video experience contrasts with simply downloading a web page. The first requires considerable throughput and is highly latency sensitive while the latter is much more forgiving from a network performance perspective – so long as the page content loads in a relatively quick manner, it's acceptable. But lag and buffering in a streaming video can ruin the whole thing. Augmenting this with backend data center insight including in-depth application payload analysis provides comprehensive service understanding.
Solution Manager, Network Instruments/JDSU
Mobile apps are prone to impact from the unintended consequences of change, so the best way to ensure performance is to aggregate as many sources of data as possible – including user experience and usage – and identify abnormal patterns using advanced analytics. By detecting anomalies in datasets, companies are better able to identify problems they wouldn't otherwise have known existed – let alone have been monitoring for.
VP of Security Products, Prelert
16. Reactive Data Layer
Today’s most performant mobile apps are capable of extreme data distribution, speed and scale, coping seamlessly with the huge amounts of heterogeneous data they need to pull from in order to work over the Internet. The best apps can do it without a single hiccup in performance. A reactive data layer is an emerging architecture that developers can leverage to vastly simplify the way an app processes these enormous swathes of data, which are coming from limitless sources in multiple languages. An RDL reduces the data’s complexity by rationalizing it into a single, live data model, allowing for responsive apps that push the envelope of performance.
CEO, Push Technology
17. Dynamic Rate Control with Feedback (DRCF)
Mobile application experiences can live or die based on congestion-caused latency and packet loss in the network. With so many congestion spikes occurring in 3G and 4G networks, the user experience is constantly under threat. Our field deployments with mobile operators have proven that the best way to ensure performance is utilizing dynamic rate control with feedback (DRCF) technology to detect data traffic congestion at the cell level and instantly take action that minimizes latency and packet loss.
VP of Marketing and Product Management, Vasona Networks
18. MANAGE THE MULTI-SCREEN EXPERIENCE
The top focus of ensuring mobile performance is on optimizing the multi-screen experience. We are only at the beginning of a revolution happening around the mobile device, in many dimensions:
First, wearables, add-ons, fashion gadgets etc. are predicted to proliferate at stunning rates, expanding new user experiences on and around the mobile device. Second, the definition of a mobile device is graying out: users want continuous experience from any screen (/"glass"): their TV, Internet console, mobile device, tablet, iWatch etc. Since the users are sensitive to performance from the device they are using, setting visual KPIs that measure end-to-end response times including backend performance, client side process and rendering, are critical. Naturally, due to the sophisticated, but fragile nature of thick clients running on mobile devices, it is important to measure performance from a variety of screen sizes and hardware restrictions while reproducing real world conditions such as degraded network conditions, resource consumption on the device, access to sensors on the device, unscheduled events (FB message, stock alerts) etc.
Director of Product Management, Perfecto Mobile
As the New Year approaches, it is time for APMdigest's 10th annual list of Application Performance Management (APM) predictions. Industry experts offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2020 ...
Enterprises with services operating in the cloud are overspending by millions due to inefficiencies with their apps and runtime environments, according to a poll conducted by Lead to Market, and commissioned by Opsani. 69 Percent of respondents report regularly overspending on their cloud budget by 25 percent or more, leading to a loss of millions on unnecessary cloud spend ...
For IT professionals responsible for upgrading users to Windows 10, it's crunch time. End of regular support for Windows 7 is nearly here (January 14, 2020) but as many as 59% say that only a portion of their users have been migrated to Windows 10 ...
Application performance monitoring (APM) has become one of the key strategies adopted by IT teams and application owners in today’s era of digital business services. Application downtime has always been considered adverse to business productivity. But in today’s digital economy, what is becoming equally dreadful is application slowdown. When an application is slow, the end user’s experience accessing the application is negatively affected leaving a dent on the business in terms of commercial loss and brand damage ...
Useful digital transformation means altering or designing new business processes, and implementing them via the people and technology changes needed to support these new business processes ...
xMatters recently released the results of its Incident Management in the Age of Customer-Centricity research study to better understand the range of various incident management practices and how the increased focus on customer experience has caused roles across an organization to evolve. Findings highlight the ongoing challenges organizations face as they continue to introduce and rapidly evolve digital services ...
The new App Attention Index Report from AppDynamics finds that consumers are using an average 32 digital services every day — more than four times as many as they realize. What's more, their use of digital services has evolved from a conscious decision to carry around a device and use it for a specific task, to an unconscious and automated behavior — a digital reflex. So what does all this mean for the IT teams driving application performance on the backend? Bottom line: delivering seamless and world-class digital experiences is critical if businesses want to stay relevant and ensure long-term customer loyalty. Here are some key considerations for IT leaders and developers to consider ...
Through the adoption of agile technologies, financial firms can begin to use software to both operate more effectively and be faster to market with improvements for customer experiences. Making sure there is the necessary software in place to give customers frictionless everyday activities, like remote deposits, business overdraft services and wealth management, is key for a positive customer experience ...
For the past two years, Couchbase has been digging into enterprises' digital strategies. Can they deliver the experiences and services their end-users need? What pressure are they under to innovate and succeed? And what is driving investments in new technologies? ...