TMCnet Feature
September 10, 2021

Why and How to Monitor Your Application's Performance

In today's hyper-connected digital world, the performance of a business application can be the difference between the company's success and failure. Performance problems can create significant barriers to an organization's growth. Less than perfect application performance has the potential of making customers take their business elsewhere. In such a scenario, application performance monitoring (APM) has become critical for companies looking to deliver on time and keep their customers happy. Let’s look at why and how to monitor your application’s performance.

1) The link between bottlenecks and slower application performance

Bottlenecks in an application can lead to computers and servers slowing down drastically. A bottleneck can happen when a network is overloaded or a component of a computing device can't keep pace with the rest of the system. As a result, the performance of an application has the potential to degrade substantially. Being able to address bottlenecks will usually result in the system returning to better performance levels. Common causes of application performance bottlenecks are CPU utilization, memory utilization, network utilization, software limitations, and disk usage.

2) Analyze the type of application slowdown

Degradation of application performance can lead to application slowness. To find out the root source of the problem, you need to assess whether the application slowness is one-time or recurring in nature. If the slowdown is one-time, your customer support team will likely hear from application users via an email, social media message, live chat, or call. However, if the slowdown is recurring in nature, user behavior is likely to be different. The user may contact the developers or the product team for help. It is critical to find out how long users have been experiencing an application slowdown as that will help you analyze whether the problem is one-time or recurring.

3) Check server performance

Application slowness may also be commonly caused due to server trouble. Today, the majority of applications are deployed on multi-layered complex infrastructure with multiple servers. Application performance can be adversely affected due to lack of server RAM (News - Alert), server performance issues, or overloaded LDAP, DNS, or AD server. In such a scenario, just pouring over historical server logs may not help get to the root of the problem. You should consider going for specialized APM (News - Alert) tools to analyze the reason behind server performance degradation. Log management can act as a supportive asset to your APM strategy and help you pinpoint the specific reasons causing application performance to slow down.

4) Investigate any problems at client-side

In a few cases, application performance may deteriorate due to issues that occur on the client side. Some scenarios to consider are:

- Outdated client systems

- Application architecture causing excessive CPU or memory usage on the client-side

- Resource competition as a result of too many programs competing for CPU, memory, network bandwidth, or disk I/O at the client-side

To address such issues, you should get access to client-side systems and analyze them with the help of APM tools.

5) Carry out code-level performance profiling

If you're looking to find out why your application slows down, throws errors, or has bugs, it’s best to get down to the code level. After all, finding out why an explicit request to your application doesn't work properly can be exhausting and extremely tough. Use an APM tool to track what your application does at the code level. By doing so, you can capture insights on what's happening, such as:

- What key strategies are being called in your code?

- Which of the strategies are slow?

- Are things like garbage collection, JIT, etc., causing your application to slow down?

- What dependencies are being invoked?

After finding out these details, you can subsequently rectify the parts of your code that could be causing your application to slow down.

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