Top 5 best application performance management (APM) solutions in 2017

It’s safe to say that computers and other IT hardware are critical in business operations. If physical technology is slow or breaks down, then firms can end up missing deadlines and targets, causing a whole heap of trouble. And the same thing goes for software applications – companies need them to work effectively, as they rely on them.

Sometimes, amidst the chaos of huge workloads and strict deadlines, it can be hard to keep an eye on business software – problems can often slip under the radar, and even when they’re undetected only for a short time, they can still affect productivity greatly.

That’s why application performance management (APM) software exists. A major area in the field of IT infrastructure management, these tools can monitor and manage the performance of software deployed within a business. The aim of APM solutions is to detect and diagnose application performance issues as soon as possible, enabling them to be solved more quickly, thus saving money in the long run. Here are some of the best APM offerings out there.

1. SharePath from Correlsense

Track performance issues in real-time

Platforms: Desktop | Key features: Performance management for cloud, mobile, SaaS and data centre applications | Dashboards: Yes | Free trial: Free version available

Easy-to-use
Free ‘Lite’ version
Not the most premium offering out there
No web portal

Correlsense is a company that offers a number of application performance management technologies, and SharePath is the firm’s leading product, designed for business and IT managers who use complex software on a daily basis.

The platform provides users with a complete picture of the service and performance levels of key enterprise applications. It can be used with applications split across areas such as mobile, SaaS, cloud, data centre and legacy platforms. SharePath monitors apps in real-time, so you don’t have to worry about issues being missed.

What’s great about this APM solution is that it analyses all user activity, meaning that issues accidently caused by employees can be addressed straight away. As well as this, there are dashboards that you can share with everyone on your team, and you’re provided with service level reports and alerts. To top it all off, there’s a ‘Lite’ version which is completely free to use (although naturally it’s feature-limited).

2. Loupe

An APM with an easy setup, yet powerful features

Platforms: Web | Key features: Bottleneck and performance monitoring | Dashboards: Yes | Free trial: Yes

No installation necessary, quick setup
Groups events and finds bottlenecks
Some APMs cover more applications
Some may prefer traditional software

Loupe is an effective, feature-packed application performance management tool. Aimed at enterprises and IT administrators, this solution lets you trace events, performance and other metrics to work out the causes of issues affecting software negatively.

A good APM solution will help you find problems with apps straight away, and if you’ve got to hunt through a sprawling list of potential issues, then it’s going to be hard to do that. However, Loupe automatically groups log events so you can find and address performance issues with a minimum of fuss.  

The system also gives you a visual understanding of your application usage and offers insights into bottlenecks that can subsequently be tackled. It’s easy to get up and running with this system, as you don’t have to install anything onto your servers – the setup process is very nicely streamlined.

3. Kaseya Traverse Monitoring

A powerful APM to cover every corner of your business

Platforms: Web | Key features: Performance management for cloud/on-premise, predictive analytics, automatic troubleshooting | Dashboards: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Works across cloud and on-premise systems
Troubleshoots any problems
Doesn’t cover all software areas

Plenty of businesses use the cloud along with on-premise systems, and when you have a bunch of different apps – from cloud through hybrid to traditional software installations – monitoring them all can be very difficult. Traverse Monitoring is an APM tool that aims to tackle these sort of scenarios.

It can automatically discover apps, networks, servers and systems, meaning you don’t have to dedicate time in order to configure things manually. Once it’s set up and running, Traverse will monitor each device and app to determine if there are any issues. If a problem is identified, it’ll fire up a troubleshooting process and try to resolve it before your business is affected.

You can also back up and restore changes across your applications, and you’re sent predictive analytics concerning their overall performance.

4. Stackify Retrace

An APM designed for devs

Platforms: Web | Key features: Dev-focused, actionable insights and visibility into issues | Dashboards: Yes | Free trial: 14-day

Designed with the needs of devs in mind
Provides actionable insights
May be too restricted for general users

If you’re a developer or have a team of software engineers working within your company, then it’s obviously quite common to come across performance issues and other bugs. Stackify Retrace is a targeted ‘devAPM’ system, giving development professionals the tools they need to find and address problems effectively.

The platform alerts developers if any issues and bugs have been found, and it can be used to improve performance levels across test and production servers. Retrace has been designed so that it provides visibility, data and actionable insights into app performance and faults.

There’s a centralised dashboard that displays code performance and metrics, including errors and logs. Stackify can also be used with most common app stacks, and this is a highly scalable SaaS solution, so it’s easy to install and use.

5. ManageEngine Applications Manager

A powerful and scalable APM

Platforms: Web | Key features: Scales to 50,000 apps | Dashboards: Yes | Free trial: 30-day

Covers all aspects of apps and core infrastructure
Highly scalable
Not cheap

Applications Manager from ManageEngine is a tool which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s being marketed as an enterprise-ready, usable and affordable APM. Businesses are provided with everything they need to ensure critical applications and systems are always in perfect working order.

This solution can find and address issues involving the end user, applications and important components such as databases, servers, ERP packages, web services, cloud platforms and virtual systems.

Applications Manager works with a single install and allows you to address issues easily, plus when looking further down the road, it’s highly scalable – indeed, it can scale to up to 50,000 applications.