How to Implement Application Performance Management Tools

Businessman in the office flat illustration

Businessman in the office flat illustration

Here’s the truth regarding the stability of your website and all its encompassing applications – without an effective APM tool, you’re only borrowing time until a catastrophic error arises. Without the use of an application performance management solution, it’s impossible to continually monitor each level of an application, along with how it interacts with your network infrastructure. With the complexities now common among all applications, without this deep level of management, the experiences of your users can be significantly tarnished. Eliminate this possibility by learning how to correctly implement APM tools into your IT department.

Because air tight monitoring is required for all applications, and even more so when implementing an APM tool, the following tips are here to help streamline and simplify this often complex and misunderstood process:

Document APM Requirements

Before rolling out an APM tool, it’s essential that you and your IT director outline and document the requirements needed to maintain full control of applications. Does your APM need to delve deep into codes? What frequency should reports be made? Where should agents be sent to monitor for errors? What triggers are set in place to signal a potential issue? These are only a sample of the requirements you must flesh-out prior to implementing an APM solution.

APM Rollout Strategy

How does your business plan on implementing the APM tool? Will you suddenly rush the tool throughout all applications at all network levels? Or will the APM tool be rolled out in various phases? While both methods can work according to your needs and desires, both require effective planning to occur without a problem.

Take Into Consideration Future Growth Potential

When planning out the capacity for your future APM server, it’s essential to consider the rate of future growth. What will the traffic to an application be in three months? Six months? Or a year? While it’s nearly impossible to give a complete answer, if you know that your web applications will grow in popularity due to the quality of its service or an effective advertising campaign, make sure that you allow room in server processing capacities for this growth. Perhaps one of the primary reasons why an APM solution fails is because the APM server was not set up to handle heavy traffic loads.

Discuss Implementation Techniques With the APM Vendo

While the primary goal and function of an APM solution is universal, the exact technologies and features used within said solution are dependent on the third party vendor. Therefore, it’s essential to discuss implementation techniques and suggestions directly with the APM vendor. This is especially important if your web application monitoring program has unique requirements or your network infrastructure is unique, complex or dynamic. Doing so may help streamline the implementation process and reduce the number of installation/implementation errors.

Know Before You Buy – Website Monitoring Software Guide


The concept of purchasing a website monitoring solution may seem simple; however, the moment you begin reviewing various offerings and solutions, this once-simple task has now become one filled with questions and confusion. For many website owners, determining the ideal monitoring solution is a complicated process as there are literally hundreds of products designed around the same basic goal, but implemented in a variety of fashions. In order to help clarify this process, take a few minutes to review the following guide. Although your digital enterprise may feature unique challenges or elements, there are several fundamental concepts applicable to all website owners searching for a monitoring tool.

Website Monitoring Software Buying Checklist

Before purchasing a website monitoring solution, it’s imperative that you take time to fully understand the technologies and capabilities of its features. While uncovering the ideal solution for your enterprise requires a deeper understanding of how your website operates and what metrics need consistent monitoring, the following checklist are fundamental elements you must understand before moving forward.

  • Monitoring Server Locations and Quantity – Perhaps one of the most important features to look for in a website monitoring solution is the number and location of servers used by the monitoring tool. There are two primary reasons as to why this is an essential element to uncover. The first reason is if there’s a power outage at one of the server locations, your website is still monitored through one of its other locations. The second, and most important, is the ability to monitor and check the performance of your website from multiple locations throughout the world.
  • Event Log Frequency and Details – The only way to truly understand errors and issues within your enterprise is to review the event logs. With highly-detailed event logs, you’re able to understand the true causes of performance errors or website downtime. Many times, it’s through these event logs an administrator is capable of determining the root cause of an issue or error. It’s also important to make the distinction of whether or not you want (or need) to use a paid solution, or a free web browser application monitoring tool, and this will ultimately depend upon your individual needs as well as your budget.
  • Method of Monitoring – There are two primary methods of effective website monitoring: synthetic and real-user. Synthetic monitoring interacts with your website and its page elements based upon a pre-determined script. This ensures critical business processes and functions are operational and behaving as normal; however, because the test runs based on pre-determined actions, the true functionality of your site is unknown. This is where real-user monitoring comes into play. Also referred to as end-user monitoring, this method actually tracks and records the actions and behaviors of real users. By accessing this data, you’re able to understand exactly how your website interacts with visitors. Many times, a synthetic test clears a website, yet visitors are still experiencing various errors or performance issues. With real-user monitoring data, you’re able to identify hidden issues within the site to help cultivate a truly stable and operational website.

Improve Monitoring Satisfaction With These Simple Steps


Effective website monitoring is amount the most important steps you can take to ensure consistent uptime and sustained performance. Because the majority of digital enterprises feature complex page elements and third party content, monitoring your entire website and its functions is imperative to catch errors before it has time to negatively affect users. While there are literally hundreds of tips and techniques regarding website monitoring, the following steps are universal in its ability to protect and sustain your website functionality.

Step One – Frequency of Monitoring Tests

Perhaps the most important step you must take to protect the stability of your website is frequent monitoring checks. The frequency of monitoring tests determines the overall effectiveness of your monitoring solution. Slow monitoring, such as performing tests every five minutes, leave ample room for errors to progress. Ultimately, if your monitoring checks are spaced too far apart, your site is left vulnerable to a myriad of performance and functionality issues. Therefore, protect your site by implementing a monitoring check for specific metrics every 60 seconds. To enhance your monitoring capabilities, adopt a solution that features continual monitoring.

Step Two – Establish Frequent Reports

Any website monitoring solution worth your time should create performance functionality reports. While these reports are essential, if you only receive one report a week with limited data, you may miss critical system errors and issues. In order to maintain full control over the functionality and performance of your enterprise, you should ensure the monitoring tool features daily reports. Reports should include vital statistics for critical system metrics, such as page load times, traffic, error reports and server availability. Of course, this is only a snippet of the reports you should receive.

Step Three – Automatic Diagnostic of Errors

While the majority of monitoring solutions can alert you to website errors, the most effective monitoring tools provide diagnostic capabilities. In order to make the most out of your monitoring solution, use a tool that features diagnostic capabilities. This automatic feature immediately begins tracing an error to the root cause. By establishing such a feature, you’re able to receive notification of an error, but also reports leading to the possible cause. This allows administrator’s to implement effective fixes and corrections without having to spend hours researching the root cause of an error.

Step Four – Monitor Physical and Virtual Components

The modern website features a host of physical and virtual components. In order for a website to function as it should, each component must be fully operational. Perhaps one of the most important steps involved in effective website monitoring is establishing a monitor for physical components, such as CPU usage rate, memory availability and server health, as well a virtual component, such as page load times, application monitoring response time and performance slowdowns. By covering physical and virtual components, your entire enterprise is monitored for optimum performance and stability.

RUM Monitoring for Application Management


RUM, also referred to as Real User Monitoring or End User Experience, has made its way from the small corners of an IT office into the standard operating procedures for both large and small businesses. The reason? As businesses turn to web applications to complete both casual and critical processes, the importance of high-quality user experiences has never been greater. In the realm of application performance management, there are several factors you must consider when evaluating an APM solution.

Sophistication of RUM Processes

While most RUM solutions are founded in the traditional W3C Navigation metrics, it’s essential that some of these metrics and tools aren’t supported in older web browsers. Therefore, it’s essential to look for the following qualities of a RUM tool in regards to its sophistication:

  • User Transactions (or User Journey) Documentation – It’s essential to be able to track a user experience from the beginning, or execution, of an application to the end of the event, or transaction. Therefore, only choose an APM solution capable of delivering end-to-end user experience reports.
  • Individual Session Reports – Building off of the user transaction documentation, in order to gain relevant metrics regarding user experiences, such as shopping car conversions and event abandonment.
  • Above-the-Line Performance REcording – Also known as “perceived render time,” this RUM metric is used to actively monitor tools and perspectives, which all results in overall end-user satisfaction.

Complete Traffic Reports and Traffic Sampling Reports

Because data related to RUM is inferential, it’s essential that an APM tool is capable of delivering complete traffic reports rather than just a sample of traffic reports. Even through complete traffic reports is paramount to the success of an application, it may be a viable option to retrieve sampling reports, which may reduce license costs associated with APM tools. While sample traffic reports are acceptable for small-to-medium sized enterprises, applications that see an immense amount of traffic should opt for a complete, or whole, traffic report.

User Event Capturing

While many get this feature confused with end-user experience reports, user event capturing is much different as it primarily records the timestamps between two distinct events. For example, the average duration of time between the load of an application and the user clicking a specific button. Such implementation allows IT managers direct insight into how an application should be designed and developed to decrease time durations between events.

Reporting Options

Although not the most intense feature, how RUM data is reported determines how an IT department is able to view the transactions and inner-workings of an application. Generally, an APM tool should provide RUM data through:

  • Ease of use reports; often referred to as inbuilt, or standard, reports.
  • Custom reports. Not every report template will cover the issues you must monitor. Therefore, only choose an APM tool capable of creating customized RUM reports.
  • Ease of Data Release and Export. It’s essential that your APM solution allows RUM data to be exported and displayed in such a manner that IT departments are able to clearly visualize and implement changes as needed.