Backups & DR

Backups & DR

How to Use Application Performance Tools: An Ultimate Guide

Posted on Oct 19, 2021 2:28 pm

Do you spend a lot of time monitoring application performance manually? If you want to take back that time, you need to know how to use the right application performance monitoring tools.

Fortunately, using the tools isn’t too difficult. However, you do need to know what goes into them and how to choose the right tool so that you can use the tool easily.

Read on to learn more.

Observe App Behavior

One of the most important parts of using the best application performance monitoring tools is to observe how apps work. You can use the right tools to make sure apps are working as normal.

When they aren’t working properly, application performance monitoring can collect data. The tool you use can alert you of the problems and their source.

That way, you’ll be able to determine if the problem comes from app dependencies, the infrastructure supporting the app, or the app itself. Knowing where the problem lies will help you fix it and avoid similar errors in the future.

Track Information

Application performance monitoring tools can also help you track information on various elements. The right tool will let you track when your application is available and running.

You can also use a tool to track customer satisfaction to make sure customers are happy with the experience. CPU usage can tell you about the memory demands and if the usage affects the performance of your app.

By tracking error rates, you can know how often your app fails to perform well. And you can keep an eye on how many people are using your app at a given time.

Other information application performance monitoring tools can track include request rates and response times. Those details can tell you about the traffic your app receives and the overall speed.

Analyze the Data

After collecting that information, such as app behavior, you can analyze the datasets. Doing this regularly can help you track the overall success of the app and of the application performance monitoring tool you use.

Be sure to consider the effects on your business when analyzing data. That way, you’ll be able to focus on the most important data points to save time.

Look at the data at least once a month, but feel free to do so more often when necessary. No matter how often, a good data analysis can help make sure your apps are performing how they should.

If you find problems when analyzing the data, you can work to eliminate those problems. And you’ll be able to improve operations for your business.

Adapt Application Environments

As you start to analyze data, use it for more than looking at the past. If you see certain problems occur in a pattern, you can expect those problems will return if you don’t do something.

Use the data you have to fix those problems before they happen again. That way, those problems won’t affect the business, and they won’t require as much of your attention to solve.

You can also use data to anticipate similar problems, regardless of trends. If you can do that, your business will have plenty of time to adapt and change.

Select the Best Tool

Next, you should consider some of the best application performance monitoring tools. This will help you choose the ideal tool for your business and its needs.

Whether you work for a new business or a company that’s been around for years, tools are essential. And deciding on a tool for APM (application performance monitoring) can make or break your operations.

What works well for one business may or may not be right for your company. So consider a few factors to help decide between the best application performance monitoring tools available. 

Ease of Use

How easy a tool is to use is critical because it can help make training employees easier. And it can save you a lot of time once you and your team start using the program.

Consider if you’ll need to install anything on your company servers or if you can start using the application immediately. Decide if you’ll want to customize your dashboards or if the program comes with dashboards you can use.

You should also know if the tool will require frequent upgrades and security patches. And it’s important to know if you can automate certain activities that you have to do regularly.

While all of those things aren’t necessary, they can streamline application performance monitoring. That way, you can spend more of your time on other tasks.

Support for Programming Languages

Another major factor that can help you decide between application performance monitoring tools is the programming languages you use. If you use one or two languages, you’ll need a tool that supports them.

You could find a tool that meets every other requirement, but a lack of language support can negate all of that. So be sure to rank this factor highly when choosing which tool you’ll use.

Similarly, you should consider if you’ll need to add more programming languages later. If so, you may want to use a tool that will support the languages you add in the future.

Consider some of the most popular programming languages to get ideas. Even if you don’t have plans to add more languages, you never know what may happen later.

Security

Program security is another vital feature of a good APM tool. You should figure out whether or not a tool offers certain security features to help protect data, especially if you use the cloud.

Encryption is essential because it allows you to keep hackers from accessing the files you encrypt. A tool that offers permissions can also be useful since it lets you grant more access to certain users than others.

Regular updates can also help keep your data secure by getting rid of security patches. That way, you’ll be able to use the most up-to-date version of the tool at all times.

The right solution for you will prioritize security without making access impossible for authorized users. Make sure that you choose a tool that will keep data secure without locking you out.

Technical Assistance

Even as an IT professional, you never know when you may need technical assistance for application performance monitoring. Don’t be afraid to consider when and how you can get the help you require.

You should know if help is available around the clock or only during certain hours. Determine if the tool offers written documents that may answer your questions or if you’ll need to speak to someone.

Another thing to consider is if you want the company that makes the tool to have more interest in the success of your business. While not a requirement, it can be useful.

Cost

As with any investment, you need to consider your business budget to choose the right application performance monitoring tool. You should consider how much money you have to spend each month.

Having a small budget can help you narrow your search for the ideal tool for your company. However, the number isn’t the only thing to think about.

You should know if the tool will charge per server per month or if you’ll purchase a site license. Research what the price you will pay includes and if that’s enough for your needs.

If not, consider what extras you can purchase and how much those will cost. That way, you can get the right set of features for your team.

Train Everyone

At a minimum, you should train the members of the IT department on how to use the APM tool you select. They should know how to deploy the tool and how to fix problems that come up.

If possible, train others in the organization on the basics. When employees from other departments know how the system works, they can all work together to ensure the success of your application and the business.

You don’t have to train everyone at first, but make a plan for everyone to learn the technology. That way, everyone will have some knowledge of the system, and they can ask the right questions about it.

Develop Rules

You should also write rules for the application monitoring tool to help it determine when an app is normal. Rules can also help the system know which apps are critical to the business.

A set of rules may also allow you to check on problems within a particular area of the app. Or you can set thresholds to use to monitor for problems.

Being able to create rules that meet the needs of your organization is vital. That way, you won’t have to spend time manually monitoring the process.

Using Application Performance Monitoring Tools

The best application performance monitoring tools can help you keep the company on track. However, you need to know how to choose and use the right tool.

That way, you won’t have to let security risks last before fixing them. And you will be able to maintain the security for your app and overall business.

Are you ready for help to set up your digital infrastructure? View our managed services to learn how we can help monitor your applications.

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