Monitoring APM metrics: the key to delivering application performance

Transforming data into actionable insights starts with APM metrics that prioritize application performance and end-user experience.

What are application performance monitoring metrics?

Data is the fuel that powers an effective application monitoring and management strategy. When properly collected, managed and reviewed, application metrics transform meaningless chunks of technical information into a comprehensive narrative that reveals the reliability of your system and provides important clues regarding the overall user experience.  

Application performance monitoring (APM) agent collects and compiles key metrics of your application and infrastructure that allow your IT or DevOps team to identify and resolve functionality issues before they have a negative impact on business outcomes. Some of these metrics are response times, error rate, throughput, etc.

The key to application monitoring involves developing a greater understanding of your system and its users by collecting data that reveals if apps are behaving normally, alerting if there are anomalies, providing context about how functionality issues impact business outcomes, and optimizing the application to prevent performance issues.


Key metrics to monitor

The abundance of data available can make application performance management seem overwhelming. Knowing which application performance metrics to focus on is essential to finding an APM solution that works for your organization. The following metrics are critical to identifying application errors or system issues: 

  • Error rates: Monitor how often app performance degrades or fails. 

  • CPU usage: Assess CPU usage, memory allocation, and desk read/write speeds to evaluate the effect of usage on performance. 

  • Response times: Determine whether speed is affecting application performance by tracking the average response time. 

  • Request rates: Measure your application traffic including spikes, inactivity, or number of active users. 

  • Uptime: Track your application availability over time to check compliance with service level agreements and assess overall reliability.

  • Number of instances: Scale your application to meet actual user demand with autoscaling, based on the number of app or server instances running at any one time. 

  • Garbage collection: Improve performance by identifying and eliminating the problems caused by heavy memory use in Java or other languages that use GC. 

  • Customer experience: Understand and improve upon the user experience by using a combination of Apdex scores and SLA thresholds to measure customer tolerance or satisfaction.


How AppDynamics helps

AppDynamics is an integrated APM solution that helps organizations establish a center of monitoring excellence to efficiently and effectively monitor and manage application performance. 

Using AppDynamics for APM includes the following benefits: 

  • Visualize your entire tech stack from front end to back end, down to code-level for real-time observability that highlights application topology and interdependencies.  

  • Automatically create a dynamic baseline for each performance metric of your application for a comprehensive perspective of optimal performance. 

  • Eliminate false positives and improve accuracy with alerting triggered by dynamic baselining.  

  • Capture hundreds of metrics automatically without instrumentation of code changes, or configure custom metrics in personalized dashboards. 

  • Identify root cause analysis with an AI/ML-powered cognition engine that helps teams quickly diagnose issues to reduce MTTR. 

  • Gauge the impact application performance has on business outcomes with end-to-end transaction tracing.

Hear from our customers


“With AppDynamics, our mean time to detection went from hours to less than 10 minutes, which is a huge win for us.”

Nemo Hajiyusuf, Software Engineering Manager, Alaska Airlines

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