APM tools are software applications that help IT professionals monitor and manage the performance and availability of software applications. These tools provide real-time monitoring and visibility into the performance of applications, enabling quick identification of performance issues and their root causes.
APM tools allow IT teams and developers to proactively manage application performance, ensuring high availability and optimal user experience. By providing a holistic view of application performance, these tools enable IT teams to identify bottlenecks, troubleshoot performance issues, and optimize application performance.
The use of APM tools extends beyond troubleshooting. They facilitate effective capacity planning, enhance quality of service, improve user satisfaction, and ultimately, drive business growth. APM tools are critical for maintaining the health and performance of modern software applications, ensuring they deliver the desired outcomes consistently.
This is part of a series of articles about application performance monitoring.
Let’s review a few popular APM solutions and how they can help improve performance for your applications.
The Coralogix APM feature set empowers you to see the behavior of your entire system at a glance so you can dive into the health of any of your applications in unprecedented detail.
As part of Coralogix’s full-stack observability platform which includes Cloud and Infrastructure Monitoring, RUM, SIEM and more, Coralogix eliminates context-switching by bringing together all your logs, metrics, traces and security data in a single interface for easy correlation, trouble-shooting and remediation.
Furthermore, with Coralogix APM (and all of Coralogix) you only pay for the data ingested and processed. With unique in-stream analysis you can query and analyze all your data (logs, traces, metrics, security events) as well as generate alerts and insights without indexing and hot storage.
With Coralogix you can choose how to store and process your logs, metrics and traces while enjoying access to all Coralogix services and features, with no additional charges for querying. This delivers direct savings to Coralogix customers who have moved most of their data to low-cost archive storage with built-in data routing and rapid querying of unstructured data stored in archive, directly from the Coralogix UI.
Coralogix is also open source-friendly so you can continue working with your preferred shipping agents. Additionally data is stored in open source Parquet so there is zero vendor lock-in.
Additionally, Coralogix provides 24/7 support with an average 1 minute response time and an average resolution time of 1 hour, for no extra cost.
AppDynamics APM provides end-to-end visibility into the performance of your applications. It offers real-time monitoring of application code, transaction times, and user experiences. A key feature is its Business Transactions monitoring, which helps in understanding how back-end performance issues affect the end-user experience.
AppDynamics also provides a dynamic baselining feature that intelligently adjusts performance baselines based on historical data, helping in more accurate anomaly detection.
Datadog APM is a part of the broader Datadog cloud monitoring platform. It provides real-time performance tracking and end-to-end tracing of requests across distributed systems. With Datadog APM, users can visualize bottlenecks in their applications, track errors, and monitor individual transactions.
The tool integrates with other Datadog services, providing a unified view of performance data across applications, infrastructure, and logs. It provides automated anomaly detection and alerting capabilities, enabling performance management.
Dynatrace provides full-stack monitoring, from applications to infrastructure and cloud environments. It automatically discovers and visualizes application dependencies, making it easier to understand complex software ecosystems.
Dynatrace’s AI engine, Davis, provides automated root cause analysis and real-time problem detection, reducing manual troubleshooting efforts. It also features user experience monitoring, allowing teams to track and optimize the user journey across web and mobile applications.
New Relic is a platform that covers application performance monitoring, real-user monitoring (RUM), and infrastructure monitoring. It provides detailed insights into application operations, including transaction tracing and error tracking.
New Relic’s strength is its flexibility and extensive data analytics capabilities, enabling users to customize dashboards and reports to meet their specific monitoring needs. The platform’s real-time analytics help in quickly identifying performance bottlenecks and understanding their impact on end-users.
Source: New Relic
Instana is specifically designed for monitoring microservice architectures and cloud-native applications. It offers automatic and continuous discovery of application components, service dependencies, and performance metrics.
Instana’s APM capabilities include end-to-end tracing, detailed performance analytics, and automated root cause analysis. Its focus on microservices makes it effective in dynamic environments where services are frequently updated or changed.
Raygun provides a suite of tools focused on error tracking, crash reporting, and performance monitoring. It provides a straightforward and user-friendly interface, allowing teams to quickly identify and resolve issues.
Raygun’s APM tool tracks every user session and provides diagnostic details for each transaction, making it easier to understand what went wrong and why. It also integrates error tracking and crash reporting into its APM capabilities, offering a holistic view of both application performance and health.
Here are some of the key capabilities you should look for in an APM solution.
Full-stack performance monitoring means the solution should be capable of monitoring all components of your application stack, including the user interface, application server, database, and infrastructure.
A full-stack APM solution provides a comprehensive view of your application’s performance, enabling you to identify and resolve performance issues at any layer of your application stack. This holistic approach to performance monitoring ensures that no aspect of your application’s performance is overlooked, enhancing the overall user experience.
Moreover, a full-stack APM solution facilitates collaboration between different teams responsible for various layers of the application stack. By providing a common platform for performance monitoring, it fosters better communication and cooperation, leading to improved problem-solving and faster resolution of performance issues.
Another crucial factor to consider when choosing an APM solution is its ability to collect data efficiently. The solution should be capable of collecting and processing large volumes of performance data without adversely affecting the performance of your application.
An efficient APM solution employs lightweight agents that consume minimal resources, ensuring they do not impact the performance of your application. These agents collect performance data in real-time, providing you with up-to-date insights into your application’s performance.
User experience is at the heart of application performance. Therefore, an effective APM solution should include user experience monitoring and diagnostics. This involves monitoring the performance of your application from the user’s perspective and providing diagnostic tools to identify and resolve user experience issues.
User experience monitoring enables you to measure key performance indicators such as page load times, error rates, and transaction times. It provides insights into how your users interact with your application, helping you identify areas of improvement to enhance user satisfaction.
User experience diagnostics tools enable you to drill down into performance data and identify the root cause of performance issues. They provide detailed transaction traces, error logs, and other diagnostic data, helping you pinpoint the exact source of performance problems and resolve them quickly.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics are transforming the way we monitor and manage application performance. An AI-powered APM solution uses machine learning algorithms to analyze performance data and identify patterns and trends. It can predict potential performance issues before they occur, and automatically perform root cause analysis, making it easier to troubleshoot performance issues.
Furthermore, advanced analytics capabilities allow you to derive meaningful insights from performance data. They enable you to identify correlations between different performance metrics, understand the impact of performance issues on business outcomes, and make data-driven decisions to enhance application performance.
Finally, an effective APM solution should offer extensive reporting and visualization capabilities. These capabilities allow you to visualize performance data in a way that is easy to understand, enabling you to quickly identify performance trends and issues.
Reporting and visualization capabilities allow you to generate detailed performance reports, providing you with a comprehensive view of your application’s performance over time. These reports can be customized to include key performance metrics, facilitating effective communication of performance information to stakeholders.
Any observability platform you consider should have built-in tools for keeping costs as low as possible. Make sure to ask any vendors what features they have actually built to help with this effort. Coralogix’s architecture is designed for cost-efficiency with in-stream analysis and lightning fast querying from archive. This completely reduces the reliance on expensive indexing and hot-storage. Furthermore, Coralogix allows you to choose where and how to process every part of your data set, so high priority data can be indexed and stored in hot storage, while anything else can be sent directly to archive.
In conclusion, Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools are indispensable in today’s complex and dynamic IT environments. These tools provide comprehensive insights into the performance of software applications, contributing to a positive user experience. As technology evolves, the need for efficient, full-stack monitoring, minimal performance impact, user experience diagnostics, advanced analytics, and effective reporting becomes increasingly critical.
The integration of AI and machine learning in APM tools marks a significant advancement, enabling predictive analytics and automated problem resolution. This not only streamlines the monitoring process but also enhances the ability of IT teams to proactively address issues before they impact the end-user experience.
In the end, APM tools are about driving business success. By ensuring applications are efficient, reliable, and user-friendly, these tools play a key role in supporting the overall objectives of application development. As you select an APM solution, focus on how it aligns with your operational goals and the specific needs of your IT infrastructure. The right APM tool can transform the way you manage and optimize your applications.