Choosing an application performance monitoring (APM) solution can be a daunting task. A quick Google search will show popular products, but there's also a long list of less-well-known open source products available, too. So how do you choose the right solution? ...
Here are some important guidelines to remember when you start to plan your mobile monitoring strategy ...
1. Real device monitoring is a "must"
Only real devices let you capture the true mobile end user experience in terms of application performance and availability. Be sure to use non-jailbroken/rooted devices, production version apps (non-modified), run complex user scenarios using complex client logic on real devices, and measure client-side performance impact on the overall user experience. Other monitoring solutions, such as browser emulation, fail to reflect the true mobile user experience.
2. Leverage both RUM and Synthetic monitoring techniques
Real User Monitoring is the best way to know what is happening on a user's device, as it is based on an agent within the application that collects data and communicates it to the monitoring server. Synthetic monitoring allows organizations to track application behavior against real networks globally in a “clean-room” environment, and provides an excellent solution for debugging problems identified in the field.
3. Extend your existing monitoring solution to mobile
There is no need to re-invent the wheel. Your operations center has accumulated valuable experience in monitoring and triaging incidents. There is no need to create new processes, re-train personnel or buy completely new solutions. Rather, it is advisable to expand those processes to cover your mobile initiative as well by making it mobile-relevant.
4. Select your synthetic monitoring coverage wisely
Synthetic monitoring, by definition, provides sampled coverage of the audience, devices, carriers and locations, and user scenarios. It is not realistic to provide coverage for everything. Identify those combinations that are relevant to your business objectives and work from there.
5. Ensure the reliability of your monitoring solution to eliminate false alerts
There is nothing most frustrating to your Ops Center staff than false alerts. Your mobile monitoring solution must comply with stringent SLAs to ensure that your engineers do not waste time on alerts caused by problems related to device availability, for example. Device redundancy, together with identification and reduction of alerts driven from known issues, help to ensure proper attention to real issues that are impacting end users.
Eran Kinsbruner is Director of Product Marketing at Perfecto Mobile.