Key Trends in Cloud Application Performance Management

Date:   Wednesday , May 02, 2012

One of the principal challenges to developing applications in the cloud is ensuring optimized performance once an app is deployed. Most developers build their applications on PaaS platforms. In large part, these platforms excel at providing flexibility and speed, but don’t provide the integrated tools necessary to enable developers to ensure these apps will perform "in the wild". The speed of iteration for app development, especially given the shift to PaaS platforms, has driven the need for an Application Performance Management (APM) solution that ensures apps are quickly and efficiently tested for performance quality and continuously monitored prior to launch. This means testing the mobile and cloud applications in the PaaS development environment itself. With APM tools integrated into those platforms, developers are suddenly able to monitor how their app performs throughout the DevOps cycle – ensuring that they can deliver their app on time while minimizing costly adjustments and fixes.

The problem with current solutions that address this issue is that they are essentially complex enterprise testing solutions with a browser-based interface. Developers will not adopt these as they are expensive, difficult to use and inflexible. Building a web interface on an existing enterprise testing solution and deploying on AWS will not lead to greater adoption, just continuing frustration. For instance, slapping a web interface on an Oracle CRM application does not make it the same as Salesforce – from the ground up, it needs to be built for the cloud and the tools developers user today.

The proliferation of countless new mobile applications has fundamentally altered the development process - creating a new development cycle that is faster than any before it, commonly referred to as agile development. The speed of this new process requires testing solutions that can be integrated into platforms developers are already using, integrated with Continuous Integration (CI) services that allow developers to continuously monitor their applications in an easy and affordable way. Solutions that become part of the development operations (DevOps) process are the only ones that will work – both for the developers themselves – and the process that they have embraced.

Adapting development tools to work as part of commonly-used PaaS platforms eliminates the need for the expensive and tedious test creation process – replacing it with nearly instant testing without the need for complex scripts – a solution that makes more sense in the frenetic DevOps world of today. A great use case for this is location-based applications. As more applications take advantage of location, (from Twitter to Foursquare and Google maps) user experience will depend heavily on scale. Running tests simulating thousands of concurrent users spanning multiple continents will give app developers a true test of how location-based applications will work "in the wild." With integrated APM solutions, application developers can eliminate the painful and laborious scripting process altogether, saving time, effort, and money.

As businesses turn to the agility of applications to replace traditional mobile and desktop software and as the process of developing these applications becomes faster and more widely practiced, the need for integrated APM solutions will only increase.
California based Mu Dynamics is a provider of testing solutions ensuring the performance and security of both applications and network infrastructure. Pioneering a testing approach that uses your real traffic to test your applications and networks, the company allows customers to quickly determine the impact of any changes and validate the functionality and performance of their unique environment.