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The Role of APM in DevOps and SRE Practices 

  • Keren Feldsher
  • March 5, 2024
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As the software development world becomes faster, enterprises must adapt to customer demands by increasing their application’s deployment frequency. They often rely on DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) methodologies to achieve this. These approaches ensure high system availability amidst frequent deployments and prioritize delivering a seamless user experience.

At the heart of both these practices lies application performance monitoring (APM), a suite of tools and processes that provide real-time visibility into software performance, availability, and reliability.

This article explores the indispensable role of APM in driving the success of DevOps and SRE teams, highlighting its key capabilities, benefits, and use cases for businesses.

What is APM?

Application performance monitoring (APM) includes the process, tools, and practices involved in monitoring and managing how applications perform and behave during execution. Integrating APM into a system helps identify bottlenecks, pinpoint issues impacting user experience, optimize the system’s performance, and make the system efficient.

Traditionally, APM has been synonymous with analyzing the performance metrics of a system, such as request response times, uptime and error rates, CPU usage, etc. However, APM has undergone significant advancements in recent years, allowing it to offer insights into performance across various complex environments. These environments include but are not limited to, microservice architectures, various cloud environments, application programming interfaces (APIs), and more.

Why do you need APM?

Application Performance Monitoring has several benefits, including capacity planning, reducing app incidents, saving costs, etc.

Capacity Planning

APM tools gather data such as CPU usage, memory usage, requests per second, response times for different components, error rates, etc., that help DevOps with capacity planning. By analyzing this data, developers and operation teams gain insights into peak usage and seasonal patterns.

This information collected by APM allows IT teams to anticipate future demand spikes and appropriately scale/descale their infrastructure.  

Reducing app incidents

Using metrics captured by APM tools, DevOps teams actively monitor critical system metrics essential for system reliability. DevOps teams get notified whenever a metric exceeds a predefined threshold, enabling them to address potential issues before they significantly impact end users.

Cost Savings

For organizations that utilize cloud services, APM tools help optimize cloud spending by providing insights into resource usage and performance across cloud environments. DevOps teams can identify idle resources and leverage cost-effective pricing models to optimize cloud spending.

Additionally, APM tools provide insights into the application’s behavior, helping developers and operations teams identify bottlenecks, slow-performing components, or other issues that might impact user experience. Organizations can avoid unnecessary infrastructure upgrades, reduce downtime-related losses, and optimize operational costs by addressing these performance issues early on.

How DevOps and SRE facilitate reliable systems

Although DevOps and SRE represent different disciplines, they have shared objectives such as improving collaboration, automating processes, and ensuring the reliability and performance of software systems. 

DevOps and SRE teams are tasked with anticipating and addressing unforeseen spikes in traffic, network disruptions, system malfunctions, and other potential challenges.  

Reliability teams perform many activities, such as defining key metrics, monitoring the system regularly, analyzing the root cause of an issue, notifying stakeholders via alerts, adding automation, etc. This section describes some of these operations.

Real-time system monitoring and observability

Observability is vital for highly available systems as it allows continuous monitoring of DevOps metrics such as health, latency, errors, saturation, etc. SRE and DevOps practices recognize the significance of monitoring and observability in gaining insights into system behavior.

User experience monitoring via APM tools involves tracking metrics related to page load times, transaction times, and other user-facing aspects of the application. Infrastructure Monitoring includes infrastructure components of the systems such as servers, databases, networks, and other critical components.

Observability using APM tools includes:

  • Metric Collection – Collecting a wide range of metrics related to the application’s infrastructure & performance.
  • Log management – allowing teams to aggregate, search, and analyze log data from various sources.
  • Tracing – allowing teams to trace the flow of requests through complex distributed systems.

Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Root cause analysis (RCA) aims to identify and address the underlying causes of incidents or problems within a system. RCA helps organizations comprehend the reasons behind an issue and devise viable solutions to prevent similar incidents in the future. DevOps and SRE teams conduct post-incident reviews to analyze incidents, identify contributing factors, and determine the root cause.


SRE and DevOps teams leverage automation to construct and maintain reliable systems. Automation is crucial in achieving consistency, efficiency, and repeatability in various software development, deployment, and operations aspects.

These teams employ various automation techniques to foster reliability, including:

  • Infrastructure Provisioning and Configuration via Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
  • Continuous Integration (CI)
  • Continuous Deployment (CD)
  • Monitoring and Logging
  • Auto Scaling
  • Configuration Management

APM: Unlocking superpowers for DevOps and SRE

Application Performance Monitoring tools equip teams with real-time insights into application performance, reliability, and user experience, enabling them to identify issues and optimize system performance proactively.

In this section, we will discuss the role of APM in empowering DevOps and SRE, exploring how it enables teams to monitor performance, set up alerts, and perform historical analysis.

Performance Monitoring

APM tools excel in real-time monitoring, collecting various performance metrics across different application stack layers, including application code, servers, databases, networks, and third-party services. This comprehensive data provides real-time insights into the application’s performance and infrastructure, enabling teams to enhance system reliability proactively.

Alerts and notifications

APM tools are equipped with alerting and notification functionality to instantly notify teams of abnormal behavior or performance issues. These tools enable teams to establish threshold-based alerts for various performance metrics, such as response time, error rate, throughput, and resource utilization. 

When a metric exceeds or falls below a predefined threshold, the APM tool triggers an alert to notify relevant stakeholders. Teams can customize alert conditions based on specific criteria, such as time thresholds (e.g., sustained high CPU usage for >5 minutes) or comparative analysis (e.g., compare current response time to historical baseline).

Historical analysis and trending

APM tools serve as repositories for historical performance data, allowing teams to analyze performance trends and identify patterns or recurring issues. Leveraging visualization features and customizable dashboards, teams can present historical performance data in various charts, graphs, and heatmaps to aid data-driven decisions for optimizing the system’s performance.

Additionally, APM tools facilitate teams’ establishment of performance baselines by analyzing historical data and identifying typical performance patterns under normal operating conditions. By establishing these baselines, teams gain a reference point to gauge current performance, thereby facilitating the swift identification of deviations and anomalies.

Selecting the right APM solution

When you are ready to integrate an application monitoring (APM) tool for observability, you want a tool that is easy to get started with, has all the required features, is stable, offers excellent customer support, and saves you money.

Coralogix is built differently from all other observability tools present in the market. It leverages the Streama© architecture, which focuses on processing the data first and delaying storage and indexing until all the important decisions have been made. This means you get the benefits of cost optimization from the get-go. 

Coralogix is well-known for its quick and excellent customer support, offering 24/7 customer support. When you opt for Coralogix, you get real-time alerts, no vendor lock-in, 100s of integrations such as  Syslogs, Webhooks, OpenTelemetry, Files, and much more — making it the right solution for your observability needs!


By providing comprehensive insights into application and infrastructure performance, APM empowers teams to identify and address issues proactively, fine-tune system performance, and deliver exceptional user experiences. Whether the goal is facilitating continuous delivery within DevOps frameworks or upholding service reliability in SRE practices, APM is essential for an efficient, resilient, and reliable system.

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