General Question

redcupbluecup's avatar

What is application performance management? I know nothing about computers.

Asked by redcupbluecup (87 points ) December 4th, 2009

What kind of work would a company that specializes in application performance management do? If someone more knowledgeable than me could explain this to me as if I were 8 years old, that would be awesome.

For instance, Wikipedia says: “Application performance management, or APM, refers to the discipline within systems management that focuses on monitoring and managing the performance and service availability of software applications.”

I have no clue what this means.

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6 Answers

ratboy's avatar

Making computer programs run faster and crash less often.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Many companies use a single or small number of computer programs to handle all their business. Applications performance management tries to make these programs faster and more stable, so business productivity is not affected by the limitations of the program.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It’s fancy lingo for something that anyone could do with the aide of a search engine and some patience.

analysys's avatar

Perhaps it’s a cop out, but I use wikipedia for definitions of funky industry concocted monikers I’ve never heard of before…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_performance_management

So, my own crack at this is… imagine that you want to normalize and standardize the experience your workforce has for their business applications. For example, IT wants to know that the software they developed is generally going to perform effectively enough for the workforce to get their job done efficiently. So, in strategy phases of design, you’re building out systems and putting technology in place which monitors this responsiveness, so that all the systems are running optimally, are not overloaded, etc. Why is all this important? Your users aren’t going to uniformly tell you, “hey, SQL server 18 is choppy. Need to reallocate more resources over there.” They generally don’t have that kind of expertise and might for example call it in as a repair problem, and in some cases even refrain from raising a flag with your IT folks at all.

syntak's avatar

application performance management lets you assign RAM or processor priorities to certain programs running on your machine. you can lose performance on a certain application but then assign most of your RAM power for Adobe applications for example.

dabbler's avatar

Some good answers up already (except I’d have to say @NaturalMineralWater who is completely off the mark, sorry!).
Application performance can range in scope from single-machine load balancing so that critical things absolutely get done and everything gets some attention, to something like google or amazon or…
At the big web sites there are layers of application management to monitor availability across several similar resources (e.g. a processor ‘blade’ that could parse your input to figure out what you need), distribute any given task to an available resource, and within resources (e.g. a giant database) distribute tasks so they are handled as efficiently as possible.

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