18 Ways to Ensure Mobile App Performance - Part 4
July 24, 2015
Share this

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.

Start with Part 1 of the List

Start with Part 2 of the List

Start with Part 3 of the List

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.
Michael Thompson
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.
Jeff Roper
CTO, Entuity

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.
Bruce Kosbab
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.
Brad Reinboldt
Solution Manager, Network Instruments/JDSU

15. ITOA

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.
Mike Paqquette
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.
Sean Bowen
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.
John Reister
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.
Amir Rozenberg
Director of Product Management, Perfecto Mobile

Share this

The Latest

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...

June 17, 2020

In the agile DevOps framework, there is a vital piece missing; something that previous approaches to application development did well, but has since fallen by the wayside. That is, the post-delivery portion of the toolchain. Without continuous cloud optimization, the CI/CD toolchain still produces massive inefficiencies and overspend ...

June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated digital transformation projects. To better understand where IT professionals are turning for help, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers. Our research found an increase in demand for resources related to APM, microservices and dependence on cloud services ...

June 15, 2020

The rush to the public cloud has now slowed as organizations realized that it is not a "one size fits all" solution. The main issue is the lack of deep visibility into the performance of applications provided by the host. Our own research has recently revealed that 32% of public cloud resources are currently under-utilized, and without proper direction and guidance, this will remain the case ...

June 11, 2020

The global shift to working from home (WFH) enforced by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders has had a massive impact on everyone's working lives, not just in the way they remotely interact with their teams and IT systems, but also in how they spend their working days. With both governments and businesses committed to slowly opening up offices, it's increasingly clear that a high prevalence of remote work will continue throughout 2020 and beyond. This situation begets important questions ...

June 10, 2020
In recent years, with the emergence of newer technologies ranging from the cloud to machine learning, IT modernization has evolved from a replacement of end-of-life infrastructure to an enabler of innovation and business value. It is a complex process that can take months or even years, but a recent survey shows that the effort begins to deliver measurable results almost as soon as an organization executes the first steps on its roadmap ...