Application Performance Monitoring (APM) is the practice of monitoring and managing the performance and availability of software applications in real-time. It involves the collection, analysis, and visualization of data related to various aspects of an application’s performance, such as response time, latency, throughput, error rates, and resource utilization.
APM involves the deployment of agents across the application environment and supporting infrastructure. These agents continuously collect and sample performance metrics, often referred to as telemetry, at regular intervals, typically as frequently as once every minute. APM tools and solutions are designed to help organizations gain insights into how their applications are performing, identify and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks, and optimize the overall user experience.
There is a growing trend in APM solutions to move away from traditional tools and embrace observability. Observability is a technology for collecting and analyzing performance data that is better suited for the intricate nature of modern, distributed cloud-native applications. Observability replaces traditional monitoring agents with instrumentation that continuously captures performance and contextual data. It leverages machine-learning techniques to analyze and correlate the data in real-time.
APM solutions commonly include a centralized dashboard, where aggregated performance metrics are collected, analyzed, and compared against predefined baselines. The dashboard notifies system administrators about any deviations from these baselines, which may indicate existing or potential performance problems. Additionally, it offers contextual information and actionable insights that administrators can utilize to effectively troubleshoot and address the identified issues.
In this article, we will be reviewing the ManageEngine Applications Manager, which will help you select the right APM solution for your organization.
Overview of ManageEngine Applications Manager
ManageEngine Applications Manager is an application performance monitoring tool that allows IT teams to monitor the performance of their business-critical applications and servers. It is a comprehensive solution that offers visibility into the performance of various components of an application, including databases, servers, services, and transactions. The tool provides real-time monitoring of application performance metrics and offers alerts and notifications when thresholds are breached. It also provides reports and analytics that help teams identify performance trends, troubleshoot issues, and optimize application performance.
ManageEngine Applications Manager supports a wide range of applications and technologies, including Java, .NET, PHP, and Node.js. It can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, and it supports hybrid environments. Additionally, the tool offers integration with other ManageEngine products, such as ServiceDesk Plus and OpManager, for end-to-end IT management.
ManageEngine APM is an agentless tool that runs on Windows or Linux operating systems, and it uses auto-discovery mechanisms to discover and draw up application topology. ManageEngine APM is available in three editions: Free, Professional, and Enterprise edition. The Free edition provides most of the functionality of the Professional edition with a few restrictions and supports up to 5 monitors. The Professional edition allows you to add up to 250 monitors including monitoring, alerting, and reporting features and targets SMBs.
Finally, with the Enterprise Edition, you can monitor a greater number of servers and applications within a distributed setup. This involves configuring separate installations of the Applications Manager to monitor individual resources. The data collected from these independent installations, referred to as Managed Servers, can then be viewed collectively from a central installation known as the Admin Server.
How ManageEngine Applications Manager Works
ManageEngine Applications Manager has several prerequisites that must be met before it can be installed and used. These include having an operating system of Windows or Linux, installing Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 11 or higher, configuring a supported database such as MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle, or PostgreSQL, ensuring the required ports are open, having sufficient system resources such as CPU, RAM, and disk space, and having administrative privileges on the server where it will be installed. By meeting these prerequisites, users can successfully install and utilize ManageEngine Applications Manager.
The applications manager works by collecting data from various sources, such as servers, databases, applications, and network devices. This data is then analyzed to identify any potential issues or anomalies that could impact the performance of the IT infrastructure.
One of the key features of ManageEngine Applications Manager is its ability to monitor the performance of various applications, including custom-built applications, web applications, and enterprise applications such as SAP and Oracle. The applications manager uses various metrics such as response time, resource utilization, and transaction volume to track the performance of these applications.
In addition to application monitoring, ManageEngine Applications Manager also provides features such as server monitoring, database monitoring, cloud monitoring, and digital experience monitoring. This allows IT teams to identify any issues with the underlying infrastructure that could be impacting application performance.
Another important feature of ManageEngine Applications Manager is its alerting and reporting capabilities. The applications manager can send alerts to IT teams when it detects any issues with the applications or infrastructure being monitored. It also provides detailed reports that can help IT teams identify trends and patterns that could be impacting application performance.
ManageEngine Applications Manager is a powerful tool for IT teams looking to ensure the performance and availability of their critical applications and infrastructure. Providing comprehensive monitoring, alerting, and reporting capabilities, it helps IT teams quickly identify and resolve issues before they impact users.
Installation and Deployment
ManageEngine APM is an on-premise application, which means installation is local. Organizations looking for cloud service convenience would have to consider cloud-focused products. ManageEngine APM system requirements depend on the number of monitors. A minimum of 2 CPU cores, 4 GB RAM, and 100 GB of storage space is required for the professional edition. A minimum of 4 CPU cores, 8 GB RAM, and 200 GB of storage space is needed for the Enterprise edition. Because ManageEngine APM is agentless, the installation process is pretty much quick and easy. Little in-depth tech skills are required to deploy it, and most network admins will have no problem installing and configuring the software.
ManageEngine APM can be installed on Linux and Windows servers. To install Applications Manager on Windows, follow the steps required for the free/professional edition and the enterprise edition.
Dashboards and Visualizations
ManageEngine APM lets you visualize your entire IT infrastructure in one customizable, feature-rich dashboard with plenty of graphical data visualizations. It comes with four Dashboards: Default Dashboard, Business View, Availability, and QoS Worldwide. It has a modern, though somewhat busy-looking, browser-based interface. So finding your way around might be a bit tricky at the start since there are plenty of options to consider. Nonetheless, ManageEngine APM would still be considered aesthetically pleasing from a visual perspective.
Users have the flexibility to create custom dashboards tailored to their specific needs. You can create your own layout, select required performance metric widgets and choose column sizes to create user-specific/ business-specific custom dashboards. They can choose from a range of pre-built widgets and easily drag and drop them onto the dashboard canvas. This allows users to personalize their dashboard by displaying the most relevant metrics and visualizations.
The ability to custom design maps with drag-and-drop tools is also very intuitive. The applications Manager heat map widget feature allows you to visualize the severity of specific monitors at a glance. This lets you become aware of the state and impact of many monitors in a single scan of the eye. Heatmaps provide a visual representation of application performance metrics across different components or layers. They use color-coded grids to highlight areas of concern or improvement, making it easier to pinpoint performance issues and focus troubleshooting efforts.
Alerts, Reporting, and Integration
There are several alert types, known as alarms, in ManageEngine APM, and each has a unique purpose. Alarms are generated based on the availability, health, are, or attribute of the monitor. Alarms inform network admins about faults in the application and trigger actions such as email notifications, SMS notification, or execution of custom scripts based on your configuration. ManageEngine APM leverages AIOps technology (machine learning + big data) to generate intelligent alarms, which means that you can avoid alert storms and get to the root cause of issues quickly.
Applications Manager offers comprehensive reporting capabilities to analyze and present performance data. It provides a range of pre-built reports and the flexibility to create custom reports. These reports offer insights into various aspects of application performance, including availability, response time, throughput, error rates, and resource utilization. Historical reports allow you to track performance trends over time, conduct capacity planning, and make data-driven decisions for optimization. Reports can be scheduled for automated generation and distribution to stakeholders, promoting informed decision-making and accountability.
Applications Manager supports integration with other systems and tools to streamline workflows and enhance overall monitoring and management processes. It provides integration options through APIs, webhooks, and plugins, allowing seamless data exchange and synchronization with external systems. Integration with ticketing systems, such as ServiceNow or JIRA, enables automatic ticket creation for identified issues, facilitating efficient incident management. Integration with IT service management (ITSM) platforms enables better alignment with ITIL practices and centralized management of application performance alongside other IT processes.
ManageEngine Applications Manager integrates with various third-party tools and technologies to enhance monitoring and management capabilities. It supports integration with popular frameworks, databases, application servers, cloud platforms, and virtualization platforms. This enables a holistic view of the entire application stack and facilitates comprehensive monitoring and troubleshooting of complex, distributed environments.
Licensing and Price Plans
Applications Manager pricing plans are based on the number of monitors and the number of users who will access various reports and dashboards in the APM. Monitors are required for each specific application, server, or service being monitored. In addition, you have the option to buy perpetual or annual license subscriptions. The yearly subscription also includes maintenance and support fees. The ManageEngine APM licensing and pricing model makes it ideal for organizations that want value for a fair price. The complete breakdown of the pricing details is publicly available on their website.
A 30-day free trial is available for download. During installation, you can choose either the Professional or Enterprise edition. Once the trial period expires, it will automatically convert to the free version without a valid license.
ManageEngine Applications Manager is a reliable and powerful solution for businesses looking to optimize their application performance and ensure high availability. With its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface, it is a valuable tool for IT teams and business users alike. In conclusion, Because ManageEngine APM is agentless, the installation process is pretty much quick and easy. Little in-depth tech skills are required to deploy it, and most network admins will have no problem installing and configuring the software.
The solution can scale from essential to complex setups, and it can be integrated with many other tools, which is a powerful feature. However, some users have complained that the product upgrade process can sometimes be cumbersome and cause issues that break the system. But the swift response from the product support team usually fixes the problems. Other than that, it’s difficult to find faults with this package. Overall, the ManageEngine APM is a great tool to help any business manage its applications and business services better.