Application Performance Management Summary
Application Performance is Vital to An Organization
Application performance management (APM) addresses the need to understand, measure, manage, and communicate the performance of an organization’s mission critical software applications. While easy to define the key components of APM, to execute these tasks is often daunting. With application performance becoming increasingly vital to a business’ performance, it is important to manage and improve—not just measure—application performance.
When all is said and done, the end-user’s experience with an application is what really matters. The performance characteristics with the greatest affect on users are application availability and response time. Users expect applications to be available for their work. When using the applications, they expect timely and responsive interactions to remain productive and satisfied. Effective application performance management optimizes application availability and response time—and use of best practices helps make it happen.
Organizations beginning their performance management journey often lack the specific talents and skills to meet the challenges of performance management. These organizations typically understand the concept of availability, how to effectively manage it and even recognize some of the key components of performance management. However, there are frequently gaps in their capabilities to successfully utilize the available tools and best practices to achieve the desired levels of performance.
Compuware’s APM expertise helps organizations use the tools they have already invested in to measure, manage, and improve the performance of their applications through the adoption and implementation of industry recognized best practices. The goals of APM best practices are to improve the performance of mission critical applications and to achieve the best outcome. These best practices must be embedded in a continuous improvement process to ensure that application performance meets the businesses needs.
Compuware’s approach to APM best practices embraces the need to understand, measure, and communicate application performance and culminates with the linkage of application performance to the needs of the business.
The stages of this process are:
- Understand – This step of the process focuses on learning the applications and their requirements, the users of the applications and their expectations, and the infrastructure supporting the applications. This activity encompasses the development of an inventory of available tools for supporting application performance management.
- Measure – Once the requirements of an application are understood, the technical parameters are considered to establish an effective measurement approach using the available tools. The objective of this step is to establish and implement meaningful performance measurements based upon the requirements of the individual applications and the users of them. If gaps in the measurement capability are identified, then optimal solutions for addressing the shortfalls must be developed.
- Communicate – The performance measurements collected need to explain the observed impact of the application’s behavior on the business. This is often the most challenging stage of the APM activity and requires frequent adjustment as the needs of the business adapt to the changing trends in the market.
- Link performance to business needs – Performance reports distributed outside of IT must be grounded in what matters’ to the business. It is intended to improve the business organization’s understanding of how well applications are supporting their needs while keeping the IT department informed of business changes affecting what is important going forward and how to measure against it. Thus, this stage of the activity starts the cycle over, forming a continual improvement process.