Application Performance Monitoring Tool – DZone Performance

In this article, I reported on my experience working on large applications and how monitoring went into my journey as I started building software designed to solve business-critical problems.

Solving serious customer problems can create great business opportunities, but you need to be prepared for really high customer expectations in these situations.

In order to serve these customers and take advantage of these business opportunities, I quickly realized that most of the daily activities needed to be automated, which took up a lot of my time, negatively impacting productivity.

We have new customers every month; Applications become more and more complex, bureaucracy also increases, and emergencies that were once a month earlier now force us to stay at work late every day.

I have no idea that my application was broken because a client reported the error directly to me. These customers do not report bugs or errors; They end up using an application in search of another team that is better organized.

After more than ten years as a software engineer, I spent a lot of time selecting the best tools to improve my productivity.

There has been a lot of confusion in the surveillance world, perhaps because so much data can be used in so many different ways. First, it is challenging for developers to understand what is the best combination to solve their emergencies. In this article, I wrote about trying to differentiate in my own experience:

  • When or under what circumstances monitoring can be effective.
  • Why you should monitor some parts of your system and why not others.
  • What is the right tool for each specific monitoring problem.

What are Application Monitoring Tools?

Application monitoring tools generally consist of two parts:

  1. Agent
  2. analytics platform

Agent is a software package that developers install on their servers or applications (depending on the design of the agent). Its goal is to collect relevant information about application behavior and performance.

This information is sent remote platform It analyzes that data and creates visual charts to help developers easily understand what is happening in their applications. It is able to send alerts to developers when something goes wrong.

what are they not

This is clearly a simplified description that can include a large amount of equipment.

In fact, many tools look like application monitoring tools, but they have nothing to do with application monitoring. These similarities made it hard for me to locate the right tool to solve my productivity problems.

Here’s what I learned in my journey.

log management tool

Log management tool is often the first type of tool we approach because since the beginning of the application development journey, viewing application logs is the most important activity every day, to be informed about what is most important in our application. What is happening inside processes. ,

But as the application started to scale (it runs on multiple servers, requires a complex architecture, etc.) I realized that extracting relevant information from logs about application performance and monitoring the impact of new releases over time It was very difficult to do.

As the car was invented, People were initially looking for a faster horse because they were accustomed to using a horse., Then he realized that taking it to the next level required a different tool.

uptime monitor

The uptime monitoring tool can be described as a more sophisticated “ping”.

The main purpose is simple: your application endpoints can be pinged from multiple regions to understand how well (or poorly) they are by users located in different geographies.

This information is useful for understanding how the cloud infrastructure works to bring your applications to the end-users (load balancer, CDN, network, etc.); It does not provide any information about what is happening within your application.

In my case, my application serves users around the world, so external ping statistics helped us understand which regions face the most latency by making decisions about which regions we should put our servers in. have to do.

They monitor the external environment; You will never know if your database has slowed down.

Server vs Application Monitoring

this is hardest to understandAnd I couldn’t find any interesting articles that helped me articulate the separation of duties rather than ads trying to sell all kinds of tools.

The application runs on the server, so they are clearly two strictly related system components. So it can be confusing at first.

But server and application monitoring serve two completely different needs.

Server monitoring focused on infrastructureand also provided basically for free By any good cloud provider.

google gcp, AWSAnd DigitalOcean Offers you the most important metrics by default, such as CPU usage, storage, bandwidth, and more, completely free of any additional cost other than running the VM.

Understanding how long your VMs should grow (or down) is an important requirement, but Saying the CPU is at 100% can mean everything and nothing,

  • If your application consumes a lot of resources, what part of your application do you need to refactor?
  • How can you identify why a certain part of your app is slowing down, leading to a negative experience for your users?
  • How can you be aware that your application is firing exceptions, and why?

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, server monitoring works by setting up an agent at the server level, therefore “outside” of your application. But it’s almost impossible to look at your application from the outside and know what’s going on inside your code.

Application monitoring ultimately focuses you on the “application”.

This class of tools provides you with a software library, not a package to be installed in the OS. Developers install integration libraries into their applications like any other dependency without touching the server’s configuration. It automatically collects relevant information about your code’s performance, errors and trends to alert you if something goes wrong, such as a watchdog.

What problems does the Application Monitoring Tool solve?

Provides metrics and alerts to application monitoring tools Identify bugs and bottlenecks in your application without waiting for customers to report a problem.

A well-designed application monitoring solution provides developers with the information they need to connect application performance to business results and identify and fix performance issues before they affect end-users, better technical support and service To enable the best continuity of

It acts like a watchdog allowing you to visually track how your code runs, 90% of the analysis works in complete autonomy.

This is exactly what the Inspector is designed to do and how it is positioned in the surveillance market.

Why is application monitoring important?

This is important because happy customers are paying customers.

Having an application is the easy part, relatively speaking; Everyone can do this.

The real work starts with building your relationship with the customer and making them number one.

If you put the customer first, they will remain loyal fans of your application. On the other hand, one of the worst things that can happen to your business is error-prone, buggy software.

Nothing will turn potentially paying customers away faster than waiting for a site to load or discover it completely. So do whatever it takes to make them happy, and the revenue will follow.

What can you monitor in an application?

You should be able to easily know how long your application takes to serve HTTP requests or background processes like jobs, cron tasks, etc. to understand what are the most consuming processes in your system. How long does it take?

Each execution cycle is generally referred to as a “transaction”. So during a transaction, the application can perform many different tasks such as SQL queries, reading/writing files, making external system calls, algorithms, etc.

We call this list of tasks a “timeline”, and you can see it visually like in the image below:

We list this task

All this information is collected automatically by monitoring tools by developers without any difficult configuration.

I truly believe that clear and simple information is the most important thing to make better decisions.

Learning why, when and how to use monitoring tools was one of the most confusing parts of my developer journey, and I hope this experience can help you have a more conscious vision of your needs and help you Which are the right tools you need to solve your problems and improve your productivity.

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