Top 8 APM Metrics Used by IT Teams to Monitor Application Performance

8:13 pm
August 29, 2023

Monitoring application performance is crucial for providing a superior customer experience. To effectively fine-tune apps and systems, IT teams rely on application performance monitoring (APM) metrics. APM solutions provide a centralized dashboard that aggregates real-time performance metrics and insights for analysis and comparison. By monitoring key APM metrics, IT teams can quickly identify and address application issues, enabling improved customer experience.

Summary

IT teams utilize APM metrics to monitor application performance and ensure a superior customer experience. APM solutions offer a centralized dashboard for real-time performance metrics, enabling quick identification and resolution of application issues. Key APM metrics to monitor include Apdex and SLA scores, application availability, CPU usage, error rates, garbage collection, number of instances, request rates, and response times. Additional metrics such as database queries, I/O, network usage, node availability, throughput, transaction tracing, and transaction volume provide a more comprehensive understanding of application performance.

Key APM Metrics to Monitor

When monitoring application performance, IT teams focus on the following eight key APM metrics:

1. Apdex and SLA scores

Apdex and SLA scores are essential for measuring end-user experience. The Apdex score tracks app performance relative to a specified time goal for web requests or transactions. SLAs, defined in customer contracts, ensure compliance and provide benchmarks for customer satisfaction.

2. Application availability

Application availability measures whether an application is online and accessible. It is crucial for maintaining service level agreement (SLA) compliance and preventing user dissatisfaction.

3. CPU usage

CPU usage indicates the percentage of CPU capacity utilized by an application. High CPU usage may lead to slower response times, and consistently exceeding 70% CPU usage can indicate insufficient capacity.

4. Error rates

Error rates record the percentage of requests that result in failures, helping to prioritize issue resolution and ensure a smooth user experience.

5. Garbage collection

Garbage collection identifies and eliminates excessive memory usage, improving overall application performance. Balancing the frequency of garbage collection automation is crucial.

6. Number of instances

Tracking the number of application or server instances enables scaling based on user demand, ensuring optimal performance and cost-efficiency.

7. Request rates

Request rates help identify traffic patterns and anomalies, ensuring the scalability and security of software applications.

8. Response times

Response times measure the average time for an application to return a request for resources, including server response time and network latency. Slow response times can lead to page abandonment and lost business.

Additional Application Metrics

In addition to the key APM metrics, IT teams may consider monitoring other metrics to gain a comprehensive understanding of application performance:

  • Database queries: Measures the number of queries requested from a database, identifying slow or inefficient queries.
  • I/O (Input/output): Tracks app data read/write rates and performance of storage media.
  • Network usage: Measures total network bandwidth used by an application, identifying performance issues and bottlenecks.
  • Node availability: Specific to cloud environments, tracks the number of available and responding nodes in a cluster.
  • Throughput: Measures data transfer volume between an app and users/systems.
  • Transaction tracing: Captures detailed information about single transactions, identifying performance bottlenecks.
  • Transaction volume: Measures the number of transactions processed, assisting with scalability and capacity planning.

Get Started with APM Solutions

IBM Instana Observability offers real-time observability for all environments. Supporting over 250 technologies, Instana delivers quick time to value and ensures seamless adaptability to evolving complexities. Learn more about application performance monitoring with IBM Instana.

FAQs

Why is monitoring application performance important?

Monitoring application performance allows IT teams to identify and address issues that impact the customer experience. It enables fine-tuning of applications and systems to ensure optimal performance and user satisfaction.

How do APM solutions help IT teams monitor application performance?

APM solutions provide centralized dashboards that aggregate real-time performance metrics and insights. They offer tools for analyzing and comparing metrics, establishing baselines, and alerting system administrators to deviations that indicate performance issues.

What are Apdex and SLA scores?

Apdex scores measure the relative performance of an application by specifying a goal for response time. SLA scores, defined in customer contracts, establish performance benchmarks. Both scores are crucial for assessing end-user experience.

What is garbage collection in the context of application performance monitoring?

Garbage collection refers to the process of identifying and eliminating unnecessary memory usage in applications. It helps optimize performance by reclaiming memory from unused or redundant objects or data that are no longer in use.

Why is monitoring response times important?

Monitoring response times allows IT teams to assess application performance and identify issues that may cause slow-loading pages. Slow response times can lead to page abandonment and negatively affect the customer experience.


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