Performance and availability mean everything to application users at both the enterprise and consumer level. Think about how much we rely on technology for our everyday communication—when Slack suffered from an outage this summer, it affected thousands of business professionals across the globe who use Slack to communicate, organize tasks and share information. In a sense, we are only as efficient and effective as the technology we use.
With this in mind, it’s clear achieving and maintaining application health is paramount to overall business success. In part one of this series, we explored how creating and maintaining a healthy app involves not only ensuring it’s performing well via lifecycle APM, but also making sure it’s available when needed—making a log management solution that monitors availability, enables proactivity and reacts quickly to overcome problems is crucial.
In order to help ensure a healthy application, we must first consider a few defining characteristics.
Understanding a Healthy Application
Even for humans, health is more than just being alive—if we’re not performing optimally, we’re not having the best experience possible. Optimum health for an app or website doesn’t mean it’s just up, but that it’s also performing in the way the market demands. For this, organizations need to implement an integrated APM solution to ensure top performance and continuous availability.
However, achieving application health is easier said than done. Issues that arise for teams working in silos can lead to digital war rooms and blame storming. Organizational structure can get in the way of disparate teams working together to achieve performance and availability. How can organizations overcome this issue?
Optimizing Performance and Availability
As we know, each piece of the APM puzzle must be incorporated to achieve full-stack visibility and ultimately top performance: user experience, metrics, traces and logs. Following a few key best practices can help achieve overall application health.
- Early Adoption: Implement application performance and logging tooling as early in the application development lifecycle as possible. Without integrating these tools from the beginning, organizations run the risk of having errors in availability and performance when they deploy the app. This is because one of the key benefits of a full-stack APM solution is the ability to analyze the performance characteristics of the application code and logic itself. If an application isn’t properly written, it can be so inefficient that no amount of resource in production can assure appropriate service delivery.
Another critical benefit of early lifecycle APM adoption is the knowledge it delivers about app performance can be reviewed with business stakeholders to ensure complete alignment against shared goals—before going live in full production.
- Integrated Solution: As mentioned above, the biggest challenge to achieving availability and performance is typically organizational structure. For most organizations of a reasonable size, separate teams monitor performance and availability; in some cases there may even be multiple teams monitoring performance and availability, specifically aligned with the individual technologies (e.g. compute, storage, network, web, cloud, etc.) underpinning each application. To get around the obstacles this creates, it’s key to have an integrated solution where every team is looking at the same set of information—the so called single pane of glass. The ability to share information proactively with management across teams is paramount to overall success and avoiding digital war rooms, or at least minimizing time spent in them.
- Implement High-Value and Appropriately Priced Solutions: Powerful, easy-to-use solutions that will achieve integrated application performance and availability management for any type of organization operating either on-premises and/or cloud-based applications are key. Traditional APM solutions were either so complex to deploy or so expensive that ubiquitous adoption was not operationally or fiscally possible—depriving much of the organization and its applications the benefits of APM by restricting its application to only the most important subset. As a result, quick-to-value and affordable solutions are needed to enable tech pros who may be working in the organizational performance silo to get running quickly and show success to the organization.
Although apps serve their own unique purpose—whether that’s for consumer use enabling us to watch TV and movies on-the-go or at the business level to streamline work and communication—they’re all connected by a universal need: performance and availability. Companies must therefore prioritize application health, and in turn creating and delivering an exceptional user experience.