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Introduction to APM: Benefits of APM

So, what can an APM tool buy you? Setting aside the hypothetical ‘Peace of mind’ marketing pitch, let me show you how exactly an APM tool can help you support your Application effectively

1. Historic Monitoring of Key Metrics

APM tool can record the monitoring metrics which are invaluable in troubleshooting. For example, take a look at the ‘response time’ graph of a particular application. You can readily see that the application suffers during business hours.

Historic

2. Application Flow map

A modern APM can create a flow map of the application out-of-the-box. This very useful to understand various backends your application connects to (In an enterprise application infrastructure, you may be surprised to find some backends that your application should not be connecting to, ouch)

appdynamics

Image source: Appdynamics.com

3. Deep Java Memory monitoring

Java Memory issues can be a killer. Modern APM tools can help in finding out GC trends and sometimes help in finding a leak too

New relic

Image source: newrelic.com

4. JVM Method level monitoring

This is where APM can be really handy. You can instrument any method/class within your application and the APM tool can show the performance metrics (how many times it is called, how long does it take to execute etc).

Note: In Java 1.5 above you can instrument this on the fly (no need to restart)

5. Business transaction monitoring

This is the true power of modern APMs. It can trace and co relate method executions and plot a graph for a ‘business transaction’, for example, say ‘userLogin’ or ‘executeSale’.

dt

Source: Dynatrace.com

A Modern APM tool can do much more that what I just described (such as Alerting, reporting, Transactions deep-dive analysis, release comparisons, Taking actions on an event (alert) etc.

The fact is, as an Application support and Operations professional, an APM tool can make you look like a magician, revealing critical information instantly. If your organization does not have an APM tool implemented, do yourself and your organization a favor and push for acquiring an APM tool. You will be glad you did

Coming up: Popular APMs

Previous: Introduction to APM

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