18 Ways to Ensure Mobile App Performance - Part 4
July 24, 2015
Share this

Mobile apps are serious business, and mobile app performance is key. With this in mind, APMdigest asked industry experts – from analysts and consultants to the top vendors – to recommend the best ways to ensure mobile app performance. Part 4 of the list, the final installment, covers more production solutions such as NPM and ITOA.

Start with Part 1 of the List

Start with Part 2 of the List

Start with Part 3 of the List

14-A. NETWORK PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT (NPM)

You can’t improve what you don’t understand, so it really comes down to metrics. First, establish a quality-of-service baseline and trend data for the entire mobile application stack, from the platform out to the mobile devices. Next, use technology such as network performance management to start monitoring key performance metrics, including: network signal strength, upload throughput, upload latency, upload dropped packets, download throughput, download latency and download dropped packets. Then you must seek to understand how each key performance metric affects the overall experience of using the application so you can quickly detect, alert, pinpoint and troubleshoot a problem in the mobile application stack. For instance, signal strength may cause excessive buffering, while dropped packets may lead to jitter with real-time streaming media.
Michael Thompson
Director, Systems Management Product Marketing, SolarWinds

Monitoring the delivery of content rich, responsive mobile applications is predominantly performed using traditional, enterprise style APM products with the emphasis on application performance, server performance, application dependency mapping, transaction monitoring, using synthetic transactions and monitoring client performance (RUM). Within enterprise environments (where networks have much higher availability, throughput and redundancy than mobile networks) it is now widely recognized that networks are not perfect connectors of applications, servers and clients and that performance and availability problems are often hard to pinpoint as being solely in the application, server or networking domain thus making it difficult to improve performance and to resolve availability issues. When delivering mobile services across dynamic, high latency, low bandwidth mobile networks the need for timely, accurate and complete network management information spanning the full range of networking technologies is essential.
Jeff Roper
CTO, Entuity

14-B. Application-Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM)

Behind every enterprise mobile application is a multi-tier service delivery architecture. The mobile application stack is subject to the same perils faced by traditional web business applications, including network latency and congestion, application chattiness, server resource issues, and database performance. Addressing mobile application delivery issues requires management platforms with broader visibility horizons that include both network and application analytics, which is exactly what Application-Aware Network Performance Management (AANPM) provides. AANPM uses key data points from the network with application-oriented analysis, creating a system with cross-platform visibility and enabling IT to ensure high-performance delivery from the back end of the mobile application stack. AANPM solutions enable IT to quickly locate problems, regardless of their source and solve them as quickly as possible.
Bruce Kosbab
CTO, Fluke Networks

The best way to ensure outstanding mobile performance is to provide high-speed, robust (minimal dropped packets and timeouts) end-to-end network connectivity that includes LTE or high-speed WiFi. The operative words here are "robust" and "end-to-end", which spans from the mobile user to the application server. Assuring subscriber satisfaction means providing application-aware performance intelligence at all points across the infrastructure from the WiFi/LTE access point to the core. Application-performance awareness is important as different applications require varying network performance to deliver acceptable customer experience. For example, the streaming-video experience contrasts with simply downloading a web page. The first requires considerable throughput and is highly latency sensitive while the latter is much more forgiving from a network performance perspective – so long as the page content loads in a relatively quick manner, it's acceptable. But lag and buffering in a streaming video can ruin the whole thing. Augmenting this with backend data center insight including in-depth application payload analysis provides comprehensive service understanding.
Brad Reinboldt
Solution Manager, Network Instruments/JDSU

15. ITOA

Mobile apps are prone to impact from the unintended consequences of change, so the best way to ensure performance is to aggregate as many sources of data as possible – including user experience and usage – and identify abnormal patterns using advanced analytics. By detecting anomalies in datasets, companies are better able to identify problems they wouldn't otherwise have known existed – let alone have been monitoring for.
Mike Paqquette
VP of Security Products, Prelert

16. Reactive Data Layer

Today’s most performant mobile apps are capable of extreme data distribution, speed and scale, coping seamlessly with the huge amounts of heterogeneous data they need to pull from in order to work over the Internet. The best apps can do it without a single hiccup in performance. A reactive data layer is an emerging architecture that developers can leverage to vastly simplify the way an app processes these enormous swathes of data, which are coming from limitless sources in multiple languages. An RDL reduces the data’s complexity by rationalizing it into a single, live data model, allowing for responsive apps that push the envelope of performance.
Sean Bowen
CEO, Push Technology

17. Dynamic Rate Control with Feedback (DRCF)

Mobile application experiences can live or die based on congestion-caused latency and packet loss in the network. With so many congestion spikes occurring in 3G and 4G networks, the user experience is constantly under threat. Our field deployments with mobile operators have proven that the best way to ensure performance is utilizing dynamic rate control with feedback (DRCF) technology to detect data traffic congestion at the cell level and instantly take action that minimizes latency and packet loss.
John Reister
VP of Marketing and Product Management, Vasona Networks

18. MANAGE THE MULTI-SCREEN EXPERIENCE

The top focus of ensuring mobile performance is on optimizing the multi-screen experience. We are only at the beginning of a revolution happening around the mobile device, in many dimensions:
First, wearables, add-ons, fashion gadgets etc. are predicted to proliferate at stunning rates, expanding new user experiences on and around the mobile device. Second, the definition of a mobile device is graying out: users want continuous experience from any screen (/"glass"): their TV, Internet console, mobile device, tablet, iWatch etc. Since the users are sensitive to performance from the device they are using, setting visual KPIs that measure end-to-end response times including backend performance, client side process and rendering, are critical. Naturally, due to the sophisticated, but fragile nature of thick clients running on mobile devices, it is important to measure performance from a variety of screen sizes and hardware restrictions while reproducing real world conditions such as degraded network conditions, resource consumption on the device, access to sensors on the device, unscheduled events (FB message, stock alerts) etc.
Amir Rozenberg
Director of Product Management, Perfecto Mobile

Share this

The Latest

February 24, 2017

Global revenue in the BI and analytics software market is forecast to reach $18.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 7.3 percent from 2016, according to the latest Gartner forecast. Gartner believes the rapidly evolving modern BI and analytics market is being influenced by the following 7 dynamics ...

February 23, 2017

An important aspect of performance monitoring is where the observer stands when looking at the IT scenario. Each participant has a different view of what is bad performance - network, database, web, system, user personnel, management and external people - customers, regulatory bodies etc. These are what I call viewpoints ...

February 22, 2017

An important aspect of performance monitoring is where the observer stands when looking at the IT scenario. If a complaint says the performance of an application is dreadful, the network man might say "Everything is fine" and the database man may agree, both saying "What's the problem?" All these people may say that the performance world is rosy but not to other people who have a different idea on what is rosy and what is not ...

February 21, 2017

Instapaper, a "read later" tool for saving web pages to read on other devices or offline, suffered an extensive outage 2 weeks ago. While Instapaper hit a unique problem — a file size limitation — its experience speaks to a much larger problem: scaling a database is difficult, and never quick. That basic fact explains why outages like this are surprisingly common ...

February 16, 2017

Hybrid Cloud is the preferred enterprise strategy, according to RightScale's 2017 State of the Cloud Report ...

February 15, 2017

IT departments often try to protect against downtime by focusing on the web application. Monitoring web application's performance helps identify malfunctions and their cause on a code level, so that the DevOps team can solve the problem. But, monitoring application performance only protects against application errors and ignores external factors such as network traffic, hardware, connectivity issues or bandwidth usage, all of which can have an impact performance and availability of a website ...

February 14, 2017

Everybody loves DevOps. In fact, DevOps is the hottest date in IT. That's because DevOps promises to satisfy the deepest longings of digital business — including fast execution on innovative ideas, competitively differentiated customer experiences, and significantly improved operational efficiencies ...

February 13, 2017

Forrester forecasted that direct online sales totaled 11.6 percent of total US retail sales in 2016, but digital touchpoints actually impacted an estimated 49 percent of total US retail sales, according to The State of Retailing Online 2017: Key Metrics, Business Objectives and Mobile report, released by the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org division and Forrester ...

February 10, 2017

Cisco's acquisition of AppDynamics – and the premium it paid – represents a "statement acquisition" that addresses several converging trends in both technology and financial markets. For strategic acquirers and tech investors, the acquisition is about delivering value to users and improving business outcomes through a go-to-market model that drives recurring revenues ...

February 08, 2017

Industrial and technological revolutions happen because new manufacturing systems or technologies make life easier, less expensive, more convenient, or more efficient. It's been that way in every epoch – but Continuity Software's new study indicates that in the cloud era, there's still work to be done ...