Application Performance Monitoring vs. Management

April 08, 2013 | Heroix Staff

The acronym APM is used to represent both application performance monitoring and application performance management, although the two aren’t interchangeable.  Monitoring and management don’t have the same meaning.  Is it the same thing to monitor the progress of a project and to manage a project?  Not quite.  Just as it’s not the same to monitor an IT infrastructure and manage an IT infrastructure.

Application performance monitoring refers to the collection of performance data.  Reports are generated that reflect the status of the applications and servers that are running on the IT infrastructure.  The process can be automated by using application performance monitoring software which allows you to see the up to the minute status of the servers and applications.  The software detects issues that could lead to performance problems, allowing the IT staff to fix the issue before it gets out of hand.

Application performance monitoring products can be agent-based or agentless.  An agent-based application performance monitoring solution requires software agents to be installed on the systems that are being monitored.  An agentless application performance monitoring solution does not need to be installed on the system which results in a lower cost of ownership, immediate deployment, lower software license fees, and streamlined operation.

Application performance management is a term that is a much broader than application performance monitoring.  In addition to monitoring the performance and availability of software applications, it also refers to managing the performance and availability of software applications.  Monitoring the IT infrastructure and diagnosing a problem isn’t enough.  That problem needs to be fixed, which falls under the application performance management terminology.

Application performance management ensures the optimal performance of applications from a business and end-user standpoint.  Application performance management solutions provide early warning for potential problems and measure and monitor performance (like application performance monitoring) but also help to troubleshoot the issues before they have any kind of significant impact on the business or user experience.

Essentially application performance management is the umbrella term that applies not just to application monitoring but also to other disciplines including enterprise monitoring, performance analysis, system modeling, and capacity planning.  Comprehensive application performance management solutions provide greater visibility across the infrastructure to include web servers, applications servers, the network, database, and storage.  The intended goal of monitoring application performance is application performance management.