What is an APM & How to Choose the right APM tool?

Infrastructure and Web Services are vital to most of the business entities out there.   

Imagine how much revenue would be lost if these services, especially that depend on computing power, go haywire, or underperform, or what if they can’t deliver to you in critical times?  

Here is where Application Performance Management (APM) tools come to help. An APM tool monitors your microservices, websites, and infrastructure 24×7. Then, it analyzes the situation using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect issues.   

These tools help you to quickly assesses which part of your infrastructure is causing an issue, and how it is affecting the other parts.   

However, not every APM tool can be helpful, especially with the production environments.  

So, when choosing an APM tool, look for the following abilities:  

Traceability 

When a problem occurs, not only the tool should send an alert, but it should also show why the issue occurred and where. Some tools can even show which part of the source code had become troublesome.  

Performance Metrics  

Check if the tool is able to give metrics on:  

  • Transaction processing rate 
  • Response time 
  • Page load time 
  • Load on the host machine 

Automated Updates  

Now the question is – when the APM tool is updated, do you have to restart the host machine or any other services running on the server?  

If that is the case, then it is going to be an unpleasant experience. Also, it is an indication that the APM tool is outdated. Sigh!  

Modern APM tools update themselves automatically and would not require anything to restart.  

Data Granularity  

How fast can the APM tool capture the stats and logs?  

If the tool can capture more detailed data and analyze it fast, the speedier the issue detection can be. 

Conclusion 

These days the trend is towards microservice architecture. Using a microservice for each specific work helps agile practices and the fast at which the applications can be deployed.  

However, with that, comes additional overhead of keeping track of those services. A typical SaaS product easily uses at least 50 different microservices. To keep track of them in real time, a clear picture of how these services are interacting and performing is essential.  

If the APM tool can provide a clear view of the microservices, that too without extra effort, besides all the above characteristics, it’s time to go for it.

Author: Raghunath Reddy