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Selecting the right application monitoring tools for your business

When it comes time to select the right Application Performance Management (or APM) tools for your business, you need to make sure that you consider all the different aspects of each available package before you employ one.

It’s important to keep in mind that the applications and tools solutions you choose should be complete and also equipped with features that can scale with your business. At the same time, you need to be mindful that evaluating and comparing performance management tool solutions and all the different vendors will not be an easy task.

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Understanding your needs

Unless you are clear about your needs do not start the search for an APM tool. What are the typical needs for an APM?

  1. Code level diagnostics
  2. Types of technologies to be monitored
  3. End-user experience monitoring
  4. Out of the box/custom dashboards for your IT Operations
  5. Agent/agentless monitoring
  6. Cloud based/on premise tool
  7. Synthetic monitoring tool

Six points mentioned above are some of important high level requirements. Also come up detailed requirements. For example, list of critical metrics you need to monitor.

This is the first step to narrow down your search for a right APM tool for your needs.

What to Look for in an APM Tool

Once you are clear about your needs you then try to match your needs with available tools in the market. An APM tool that informs you that a specific transaction is slow, but is not able to tell you where, why, and who should be in charge of correcting this issue, is virtually useless. Therefore, a proper APM tool should offer an extensive library of integration gateways to analyze and aggregate data from almost all the major service providers.

There are open source options that might be worth considering which you can bend to your own needs, such as Nagios.

Many APM tools can offer useful analysis capabilities, just be mindful that these capabilities should be aiding your understanding of all your generated data. Also, to make all your tasks more manageable, a few criteria may be prioritized more than others with regards to your overall assessment of APM.

Two starring lights: New Relic APM Systems and Sensu

The criteria by which you should decide on an APM system should be as follows: reporting, monitoring, and analysis.

New Relic APM systems can map the history and status of an application in real time. You can also make use of pre-programmed behavior which will enable you to be able to identify changes with regards to your overall monitoring data.

Certain providers like Sensu choose only to target server-side monitoring and these providers will not offer you any client-side RUM functionality. It’s important to be wary of that.

Remember, an APM tool may be used to ensure the success of your business. APM tools ideally improve the availability and performance of the business applications that you presently use. Let that be your guiding light in selecting a system that works for you.

The Pros and Cons of Using the Datadog APM Platform

Another APM tool that may meet some of your needs: Datadog has a fully qualified and sophisticated user interface, which makes it ideal for collaborative environments.

On the other hand, you should also note that this very robust APM platform can become very expensive if you decide to increase the size of your development projects.

You can significantly reduce the chances of misunderstandings if all development teams are involved in the overall search for a single APM tool to solve all your problems, with the same vision of things and the same tools. It’s important to analyze and assert patterns by always looking at different levels of load on your global infrastructure.

Those patterns will determine your ideal APM tool choice.

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The Benefits of Using the Right APM Tools

Performing these kinds of tests with your APM tools, you can contribute significantly to sustainability and the overall planning of your systems.

You might also wish to give some thought to the idea that these tools are handy if you want to be able to identify potential problems before actual end users ever encounter them. Remember, your business’ public image will be damaged if you only identify issues after users begin confronting them in real-world scenarios.

It’s really in your best interests to invest in a high-quality APM solution to make sure that all your testing is fully complete before you release your application to the wild. While all applications frequently require a server to run, not all software packages will require users.

It’s crucial to use the right APM tools to test your apps depending on what real-world uses you plan for your software. When looking at the APM tools, you need to make sure that the one you select is appropriate for your use case. Every detail needs to be considered: from the efficiency of requests made on the underlying databases to the speed of the demands on the network.

For example, not all applications need to be scalable. In such a case, a tool like Stackify specializes heavily in dealing specifically with web application analysis.

On the other hand, New Relic, as we mentioned, monitors mobile and web users. It’s ideal if you need a tool that provides comprehensive end-to-end visibility. In other words, you should use a tool that offers a high level of detail with regards to each transaction that your APM tool monitors.

Lastly, tests and alerts will be necessary for specific types of applications. By its nature, you’ll find that these forms of monitoring among APM providers that specialize in monitoring user-centric applications – usually web-based and mobile-based.

Why You Should Use APM Tools Alongside RUM Platforms

It’s really important to carefully choose a solution that the stakeholders in each life cycle of the application will adopt. As a basic rule, APM providers who analyze RUM from the web also tend to be the ones who offer web performance monitoring. The selection of the right APM tool for your business will depend heavily on the use cases that you have planned for your software.

Take some time today to carefully analyze the full life cycle of your software package before you make a final decision on which APM tool you wish to use. It’ll be much better down the road when you have a clear rationale for your product and the reasons for the APM tool you chose.

An APM tool should primarily be used to monitor the availability and performance of your website or platform in continuity. On the other hand, you need to understand that web performance monitoring is at the same time frequently used in conjunction with a RUM tool.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is an advanced passive approach which is used to analyze the performance of a website.

You should also note that in the scenario of a web application, the RUM aggregates and tracks each page visited by a specific user and each button that they click on.

RUM tools have a global vision of the environment and can even identify a specific transaction that is particularly slow. Also, you need to be mindful that whether it is a question of studying production data or replaying a problem, everything will depend explicitly on the details of each transaction.

APM tools that work with your test automation tools is essential

It’s important to be aware that functional or performance error details are essential whether a transaction is executed several times or just once.

At the same time, you should also understand that although regression or load testing is a crucial factor with regards to your applications, the real value arises from the data that an APM platform can aggregate. Remember, even if it is not you, someone else may make mistakes that will affect you in one way or another with regards to the functioning of your application.

Like the problems that may impact your application, the solutions to solve these problems may follow the entire development lifecycle, which means it’s important that APM tools also integrate with your test automation tools.

APM tool or set of tools together that suits your needs can literally revive your IT Operations. IT infrastructure has grown so complex because of so many options cloud, service virtualization etc. that the single approach doesn’t work any longer. Some organizations even have up to 30 different monitoring products deployed. In most cases, right tool choice can bring it down to 4 or 5. Review your APM toolset now. And pick one if you don’t have any setup with some tools providing no obligation pilot.

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Dynatrace vs. CloudQA TruMonitor Synthetic Monitoring Tools Comparison

Most website description of the tools only add to confusion and you can lose a ton of time if you pick a tool that doesn’t match your expectations. So, before you put all your faith the in the most popular synthetic monitoring tools it is better to question whether they are really worth your time.
In this article we’ll compare Dynatrace synthetic monitoring which one of the popular options and CloudQA TruMonitor which brings promising features that pack a punch. Staring with a short  introduction for both synthetic monitoring tools and then a juxtaposition of most relevant features for an in-depth tool comparison.

HubSpot claims, if the site brings in $100,000 / day in revenues, 1 sec page improvement will bring in extra $7,000. That’s how much a second is worth; it can mean a 7% increase or decrease in your revenues.

Dynatrace-vs-CloudQA

Dynatrace – Synthetic Monitoring:

Short synopsis: Dynatrace is an Application Performance Management (APM) software that runs for on-premise and cloud applications. Dynatrace – Synthetic Monitoring is one of its performance analysis tools.

How does it work: Record and playback tool for creation of monitoring scenarios.

Standout features: Monitoring for multiple locations in a single execution.

Challenges: Basic record and playback tool to build monitoring scenarios.

Pros: Global coverage, rich dashboard and detailed reporting.

Cons:  Doesn’t work on complex web applications like Single Page Application, no provision to edit a scenario after being created and high costs.

Bottomline: Dynatrace – Synthetic Monitoring tool is useful ONLY for very basic monitoring and can be very costly to operate.

CloudQA TruMonitor:

Short synopsis: CloudQA is a cloud based web testing and performance analysis platform. TruMonitor is a synthetic monitoring tool by CloudQA.

How does it work: Record and playback tool for creation of monitoring scenarios.

Standout features: Powerful recorder and agility in management.

Challenges: There is no out of the box APM but CloudQA works well with 3rd party APM tools from Google (name of the tool) & NewRelic.

Pros: Very easy to setup and use. Works with even the most complex web applications and is cost effective.

Cons: Geographical monitoring from XX locations compared to YY offered by Dynatrace

Bottomline: TruMonitor is the easiest and the most effective synthetic monitoring solution available in the market.  

Side by side feature comparison:

CategoryFeatureDynatrace – Synthetic MonitoringCloudQA – TruMonitor
CreationRecording ScenariosBasic recording of user actionsAdvanced recording of user actions with support for assertions and hovers
MonitoringBrowsersReal browser supportReal browser support
Location Based MonitoringMonitor multiple locations around the world Simultaneous monitoring of same scenarios across multiple regionsMonitor multiple locations around the world
ComplexitiesSupports basic web applicationsMonitor complex web applications like Single Page Application
MaintenanceEditing ScenariosOnly addition of validation and editing CSSPerform complex actions- Adding scripts, store variables, random variables, alerts, waits etc
3rd Party IntegrationsOut-of-the-box integrations with popular toolsOut-of-the-box integrations with popular tools
Scheduling FrequencyChoice of 5, 10, and 15, 30 and 60 minute frequenciesChoice of 5, 10, and 15, 30 and 60 minute frequencies
ReliabilityFalse Positive ResistanceBased on deviation from historical baseline metricRetrial of monitoring, automatic waits and robust CSS selectors
ReportingDashboardCan create and share custom dashboardBasic dashboard
Performance MetricsAvailability, uptime, full loaded time, network time, client time, server time, and resource timings.Availability, uptime, full loaded time, network time, client time, server time, and resource timings.
Performance Analysis– Line graphs, pie charts and histograms based date and time series analysis of Load times for URLs, and User actions
– Interactive graphs with user action and URL filters
– Run trends for status on application glitches while monitoring a scenario
– Drill-down for glitches with screenshots
– Other graphs
– Line graphs and histograms based date and time series analysis of Load times for URLs, and User actions
– Interactive graphs with user action and URL filters
– Run trends for status on application glitches while monitoring a scenario
– Drill-down for glitches with screenshots
Alerts and NotificationEmail, Dynatrace mobile app and custom integrations like Slack, PagerDuty and JIRASMS, email, and custom integrations like Slack, PagerDuty and JIRA
Competitive BenchmarkingUsing Apdex ratingsOn request
OtherSupport (Basic Subscription)– Product onboarding
– Live chat
– 8 Hours / 5 Working Days available
– Product onboarding
– Dedicated Support Assistant
– Live chat
– 8 Hours / 5 Working Days available
InfrastructureOn premise and CloudOn premise and Cloud
Price$ 0.35 per 25 runs$ 0.14 per 25 runs

Summary

With growing performance expectations and web complexities, synthetic monitoring is indispensable for companies who want to stay ahead of the competition. Unlike other monitoring tools, TruMonitor offers a comprehensive solution for analysis of user journey; even on complex web applications. Contact us to learn more on how you can leverage synthetic monitoring to become proactive in delivering quality digital experience.

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Ecommerce Monitoring

5 reasons why ecommerce monitoring is so important

Performance of your web application can make or break your growth efforts. It’s critical for good shopping experience which in turn affects your revenue, loyalty, and reputation. Organizing a performance management strategy helps to balance risks and deliver a user experience that exceeds customer expectations. Ecommerce Monitoring is a useful tool to help your digital performance deliver that great user experience. Let’s dive deep into why you need ecommerce monitoring.

Ecommerce Monitoring

Errors occur unexpectedly

Demand for shopping is 24*7. But how would you know if something went wrong while users are shopping? For example – during late hours, there is an increase in the traffic, at such point if users experience a delay in loading or encounter a 404 error, it will impact your sales and customers trust. Ecommerce monitoring can assist in such situation by continuously monitoring the performance and alerts the team for technical glitches. It constantly helps in preventing a bad shopping experience.

3rd party services can you slow you down

Thanks to innovative technologies like API integrations, you can hook up the website with a service of your choice. For example, you may use a plugin that helps in customer analytics or a promotional banner.

Such services can cause your website to slow down or malfunction. It may not be apparent on your device but real users with different browsers and geographical locations can get affected. Ecommerce monitoring tool help you in detecting any issues with 3rd party services.

Test Web services

Your e-commerce business need collaboration with a number of services like – application vendors, application development tool suppliers, and middleware vendors. With the continuous exchange of data, smooth communication with assured quality is of importance. While web services offer modular solutions, e-commerce monitoring assist in supervising these services, testing the workflows and reporting any issues. It could help your firm in delivering superior quality when compared to competitors, improving the website rating and enhanced brand equity

Analyse and Baseline Performance

E-commerce Monitoring helps in benchmarking the performance of your web application all time. Guarding your website and measuring its performance all throughout the day over a period say a month, quarter or annually may be tough. Monitoring takes assistance from the marked baseline, mirror the same test in the live environment and provide you with a comparison result. You can then quickly analyze the gap between the expected and actual result. With all data in hand, you could identify the areas of improvement and strategize your development accordingly and stay ahead amongst your competitors.

A Detailed Report to Debug Issues

Customer expectations are rising, and they don’t tolerate slow performances. Presence of alternatives makes it easy for them to abandon a web app with quality issues. Bad experience affects the user’s impression of a brand.

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Improve the shopping experience today

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synthetic-monitoring

Synthetic Monitoring is a simulation of user actions on a web application in order to record functional and performance metrics. The user actions can be simulated for various web browsers and geographical locations. Monitoring is then configured to run at regular intervals which enables continuous analysis.

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