The Future of Application Performance Management: Modern APM
July 16, 2013

Stephen Pierzchala

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With business profitability depending on fast, reliable web applications, superior application performance has never been more critical. But delivering high-performing applications can be extremely difficult. IT organizations find themselves squeezed between mounting complexity in the application delivery chain, increased user and business demand, and the manpower and funding to keep up.

At Compuware, we’ve long recognized the need for an end-user focused approach to application performance management (APM). But today’s businesses need approaches that extend further, offering the deepest and broadest insights into application performance and business impact, combined with cost-efficiency and the fastest time-to-value.

Modern APM solutions can deliver these benefits through a single cloud-based environment offering the following capabilities:

- Real User Monitoring: Delivers a complete view of application performance and actual end user experience for all users, browsers, devices and geographies. It also measures every transaction, 24/7, in production.

- Synthetic Monitoring: Provides an “outside-in” perspective of web, mobile and cloud application availability and service levels. It identifies when key pages and transactions are slow or unavailable from multiple geographies around the world, before customers are impacted.

Previously, IT organizations would have to invest in multiple tools that had little or no integration in order to do synthetic and real user monitoring, and analyze that combined data. IT organizations are now able to purchase, deploy and manage a single APM as-a-Service (APMaaS) product that provides insight into availability and performance from both real user and synthetic monitoring perspectives.

More specifically, this new approach to APM allows much stronger correlation between backbone and Last Mile synthetic results with the performance that real users are actually experiencing, and the business results of that performance.

With real user monitoring you will never truly detect an availability problem because no users will be hitting the site — while synthetic can tell you exactly where, when, and in many cases why an outage is occurring. Thanks to deep-dive diagnostics integrated with real user monitoring, IT organizations can now pinpoint anywhere across the delivery chain why application performance is slow, for which users and on what devices and browsers. This enables a complete picture of performance challenges in a “single pane of glass.”

- Third-Party Services: Assesses the performance of external services like CDNs, ads, social media and video and enables companies to instantly determine if a problem’s root cause is internal or due to a specific service provider. Businesses can also capture sessions for off-line analysis with third-party providers.

- Business Impact: Modern APM solutions can quantify the impact of application performance on real-user experience, customer satisfaction and business results. Businesses can track real-time conversions, abandonment and revenue alongside performance, which helps them prioritize action based on business facts.

These new capabilities outlined above make a true user experience management solution a reality, offering deeper and broader insight into application performance and enabling more effective problem isolation and triage. Modern APM delivers these capabilities along with the convenience, flexibility and fast time-to-value of a cloud-based environment.

Stephen Pierzchala, Technology Strategist, Compuware APM's Center of Excellence.

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