Software as a Service

5 Must-Have Features of SaaS Application Performance Monitoring Tools

Application Performance Monitoring is critical to keeping any software application fine-tuned for optimal performance within an on-premise infrastructure or a private cloud. This is even more important if the application is hosted on a public cloud provider’s infrastructure where the app owners’ control over the underlying architecture is more limited. Businesses looking for APM tools to overcome performance related issues will find many vendors offering some kind of APM solution, but not that many for whom this is their primary product and expertise. Selecting Application Performance Monitoring and High-Level Server Management tools requires an organization to carefully analyze their performance requirements and identify the essential components, features and abilities which must be part of the Performance Monitoring tool. Low cost, ease of management and integration, and the fact that they are powered by a Managed Service Platform makes SaaS Application Monitoring tools an attractive choice for businesses. Some APM vendors such as the innovative New Relic have come up with a Cloud version of their tool, delivered as a service yet equally powerful as an in-house installed solution. However, the core requirements for selecting an Application Performance Management tool remain essentially the same:

 

1. User Experience Monitoring

Identifying how the users are interacting with your application is the key feature any app developer would like to see in a monitoring tool, where real-time analysis and statistics related to users’ experiences of interaction with an application help to identify performance issues. SaaS Application Performance Monitoring tools should give application managers the ability to look inside their applications and provide real time statistics on user sessions, user experiences with different web browsers, application response times in completing a query, application availability and other core performance figures essential to fine tuning the application for optimum performance.

2. Ease of Use and Low Complexity

SaaS based Web Application Performance Management and Monitoring tools provided as a service must be easy to use for application managers and all other operations staff so that they can efficiently optimize the performance of their app. Integration and deployment into the application’s in-house data center or a private/public cloud should be smooth and require only a minimum amount of effort. Look for APM vendors such as New Relic which collaborate with public/private cloud infrastructure service providers for seamless integration into their computing resources.

3. Scalability Analysis & Projection

A Scalability Analysis and Projection mechanism in an SaaS Application Performance Monitoring tool gives application owners the ability to get insightful data on the utilization of computer resources by their application, the frequency of input/output transactions the server is handling over defined periods of time, the application’s behavior with an increase in demand, and the key statistics related to application scalability with a growth in the number of users. Scalability Analysis & Projection help businesses to plan key future enhancements for the back-end infrastructure resources and to predict the behavior of an application in peak traffic scenarios.

4. Tracking Web Transactions and Application Analytics

An SaaS Application Performance Monitoring tool needs to be smart in identifying the response time, error rates and other critical information to gain timely insight into all the performance bottlenecks an application is experiencing. The APM tool must investigate, analyze and audit every transaction and compare it with the performance benchmark for continuous optimization of the managed application. Application Analytics, on the other hand, should precisely pin-point the specific transaction, unclear SQL query or code causing the problem, saving the app manager valuable time and resources.

5. Application Availability

Application availability should be a prime concern for any application developer. Developers must ensure that their application remains live 24/7  even if unattended. An SaaS Application Performance Monitoring tool must routinely check an application for uptime availability and immediately report any possible downtime to the administrator so that problems can be dealt with proactively. Besides alerting the application’s managers, SaaS APM tools provide detailed event-based reports on transactions and the code or server incident which caused application downtime so that an immediate remedy can be applied.

 

These features are must-haves for any SaaS Application Performance Management tool deployed by a business to control the performance of their application. It allows application managers to take proactive steps to keep their app running at optimum efficiency and should be the key deciding factor in purchasing any APM suite.

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