GSX Blog

The 4 Critical Principles of APM: What You Need to Know

Posted by Meryll Moreau on Mon, Nov 04, 2013

Reading lots of content related to the APM industry, I had the chance to find a really interesting webcast done by Larry Dragich about  “Solving the Application Performance Puzzle”.

He got the talent of summarizing in 20 min what the fundamentals of APM are making them pretty straight forward.

The Main Principles of Application Performance Management can be applied to any monitoring or strategic discussions within an IT department. Gartner defines APM as “one or more software and hardware components that facilitate monitoring focused on end-user experience monitoring , runtime application architecture discovery modeling and display, user-defined transaction profiling, component deep-dive monitoring in application context, and analytics”.

What is the major focus in the Main Principles of Application Performance Monitoring? The End User Experience. Let's dive into these principles to see what exactly is critical to understand and monitor your entire application.

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The first principle is the approach called “Top Down Monitoring”, also known as Real-time Application Monitoring. This measures performance, modifies the application stream and watches application traffic without touching the application stream. It can either be Agentless (interacts or watches the application) or it can have Agents (which are self regulatory, deep diving and monitor the application).

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The second principle we will discuss is called ITIL Management, which deals mainly with IT processes. ITIL sends calls to action when critical thresholds have been reached whith strong KPIs and SLAs in place. This type of management helps you take action when issues are discovered with help from the trouble ticket interface and continual service improvement process. For more information on the benefits of ITIL, read this article.

Reporting & Analytics is the third principle that uses advanced analytics to feed its alerting and profiling features. By taking raw data to analyze and track the application workload, this principle uses a common set of metrics, averages and percentiles to offer Administrators information on their application. What Dragich highlights is the importance of the baseline being able to define what your normal application workload is and compare with the existant. Therefore administrators can better control and manage the performance of their infrastructure.

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The final principle, Bottom Up Monitoring, conducts infrastructure monitoring or event correlation to help correlate events and automate your system.

Application Performance Monitoring can improve your daily headaches, improve your end-user experience and organize your IT department for improved capacity planning as well as management of your entire environment.

This article is based on “Solving the Application Performance Puzzle” by Larry Dragich, Director of Enterprise Application Services at The Auto Club Group (ACG). In this presentation, he discusses the foundational elements that go into a successful APM strategy and maps them to a real-world workflow. Each element goes deep as a broad category, and each category encompasses specific monitoring tools that support the end-user-experience (EUE).

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Tags: application performance management, Baselining, application performance monitoring, Reporting, APM, analytics