Getting the Full Application Picture with BlazeMeter and APM Integration
BlazeMeter provides you with a robust set of front end metrics to monitor your performance testing — but testing needs to go beyond the front end. Adding your APM (Application Performance Metrics) allows you to see a complete view of your entire application. Mapping your front end metrics to your application’s full view allows you to see if there are any issues that affect your front end or - even worse - your users. This blog post will provide a high-level overview of why you should use APM metrics with BlazeMeter and which metrics to look out for when testing.
This blog post is based on my webinar “BlazeMeter APM Integration Overview”, which you can watch here.
What are APM Metrics?
APM tools provide metrics for monitoring and managing the performance, availability and user experience of software applications. When you run tests through your application’s layers, such as the middle-tier and database, you need a way to view what is going on.
An APM tool gathers this information for you, usually through an agent. The agent gets the data while the code from your application is running through your environments. The data can be anything from raw code to TSQL calls. Agents can also gather data about the servers themselves (CPU, disk, memory, etc). These metrics help infrastructure engineers to see if the servers are performing as expected.
End-to-End App Visibility
When something breaks on your app or website, you will need to analyze the complete system. We all know about that call we get from our customer about our website running slow. The first thing we do is look at the UI -- and yes -- it's slow. Then we call the web team and ask them. They will spend hours to find it’s not the UI.
When an application is running slow or has issues, it is usually not because of the front end. Rather, it’s usually because the middle-tier or backend ran into an issue.
APM metrics will give you visibility and insights into these areas.
What Can BlazeMeter & APM Do For Me?
BlazeMeter does a great job of showing you metrics from the UI (Front end). With BlazeMeter and APM you get the metrics from the start of your application to its complete stage, helping you identify where the bottleneck occurred.
You will also be able to predict spikes in traffic. Identifying spikes before they overwhelm networks or servers and assist you in preparing for events that create a surge in demand (like Black Friday).
How to Connect to Your APM Solution to BlazeMeter
Here are the integrations that BlazeMeter offers out of the box:
- New Relic APM
- DX APM
- DynaTrace APM
- New Relic Infrastructure
Proactively Monitor Your APMs
Once you are set up, you want to make sure you choose the correct metrics to help you proactively monitor your apps and systems. Looking for the metrics that best meet your use cases and set KPI Alerts on them.
BlazeMeter allows you to select the metrics you need and to set alerts on them when you are running your test. Being able to run your load tests often can help you find issues before they happen. With the APM and BlazeMeter connected, you can find the issue and resolve it before the customer does.
Which APM Metrics Should I Monitor?
When looking at metrics there are a handful you will always want to monitor:
- Response time
- Disk - Disk metrics will show you the disk size; what it’s used and how much is free. This will help you know when your disk is running out of space.
- Memory - There are a lot of metrics to monitor the Memory; they will tell you how much memory you have used and how much you have left.
- CPU - The CPU metrics will tell you how much CPU is being used. This will give you an idea of how many cores you need.
With these metrics in place, you can be more proactive with impending hardware issues.
Watch your database for long running queries or store procedural calls that could cause deadlocks.
Watch your open and closed connections on all connection points, such as database connections and apis; this could cause a Resource Memory Leak.
You will also want to watch all your threads for long running processes.
Microsoft and Java provide their own set of metrics to help you be proactive in monitoring your applications, such as ART (average response time).
Finding an issue in your application can be a long, time-consuming process. If it happens in production then it’s a very stressful process, where everyone wants an answer to what happened, when it happened and how to resolve it quickly.
With the correct tools working for you, this process could be a quick and easy process. With BlazeMeter and APM working together they can help you find and diagnose the problem quickly.
To see and learn more about BlazeMeter and APM integration, watch the webinar.
Contact us for a demo or for more information.