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In Cloud Computing and Development Last updated: May 4, 2023
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Application Performance Management (APM) can help in today’s era of tech-driven and digital computing for optimal application management.

APM tools track the various components of applications to track response time, latency, and the overall health of the applications, which assist organizations in ensuring availability, optimizing application performance, and improving user experiences.


The metrics generated by APM also help organizations to detect and avoid application performance issues before they harm business users.

APM has evolved as technology advances; in a sense, traditional APMs were used to monitor applications hosted on local infrastructure, but in today’s dynamic tech world, most of the apps are cloud-native, so APMs have also evolved to support cloud-based applications.

What is a Cloud Application Performance Management (APM)?

Cloud Application Performance Management (Cloud APM) is a comprehensive cloud-based solution for managing the performance and availability of applications installed on-premises (private), on the public cloud, or in a hybrid configuration. This solution gives you complete insight, control, and automation over your applications, assuring the optimal performance of applications.

According to PRNewswire, the global application performance management (APM) market is expected to reach $12 billion by 2026. Considering such massive penetration of APM, it is clear that existing and new APM will be in widespread demand.

How Cloud APM Works

Cloud APM enables organizations to provide excellent user experiences by optimizing IT resources such as hardware and applications and offering visibility into the numerous components associated with an application.


Agents and data collectors deployed on application servers or end-user devices collect and transmit performance data from several sources to the Cloud APM server. Data is gathered and compiled before being displayed on the Cloud APM console. The console is a unified user interface that provides a consolidated view of hybrid apps in the form of charts and graphs, among other things.

You use the console to evaluate the status of your apps in real-time to spot any difficulties and ensure the application is running at the required level. Integration with third-party products and components expands the cloud APM’s functionality.

Cloud APM systems collect data on how various application, software, and hardware components allow developers to detect and troubleshoot issues and optimize the application performance.

Benefits of APM

In today’s digitally connected world, people’s lives revolve around applications. So, if your application provides a poor user experience, it won’t sustain itself in today’s highly competitive digital space.

APM solutions help organizations to gain better visibility into their application performance and help to make data-driven decisions to improve the overall user experience.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Application stability and uptime have been improved.
  • Give insight into any problems that may be causing slowdowns.
  • Reduced the number of performance incidents, resulting in lower operational expenditures.
  • Application performance issues are detected and resolved more quickly.
  • Improved utilization of infrastructure.
  • Developer and operational productivity have increased.
  • Improved user experiences lead to higher conversion rates.
  • IT teams are empowered to function more efficiently.
  • A deeper grasp of your app’s interrelated components.

APM is an essential aspect of software development that is often overlooked. It ensures that applications run optimally by monitoring their performance and detecting potential issues.

There are multiple cloud APM providers available in the market, and here are some of the best ones.

Elastic Observability

Elastic is named a visionary in the 2022 Gartner for APM and Observability. Also, it has won the top 3 awards from EMA (Enterprise Management Associates) in Automatic End-to-End Observability.

Elastic Observability is one of the modules of the Elastic Stack monitors and provides insights into application performance monitoring, Infrastructure monitoring, Real user monitoring, log monitoring, and synthetic monitoring.

It provides end-to-end visibility into cloud-native and distributed applications, from services to applications and infrastructure.

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Elastic Observability provides real-time insights into application performance and infrastructure that will help to gauge the health and performance of the systems that benefit stakeholders to make data-driven decisions to drive better business outcomes. It was developed by Elastic, one of the world’s most respected software development companies.

Elastic Observability also includes machine learning-powered irregularity detection and alerting capabilities, allowing teams to proactively identify and address issues before they become major problems. From a security perspective, it offers larger protection and involves Elastic SIEM & Security Analytics, Endpoint security, and cloud security to safeguard every system and respond to online threats.

The platform monitors large-scale infrastructure with the support of 200+ integrations, including various cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The end-user performance can also be tracked through URL, operating system, browser, and location to get insights into application performance on end‑user systems.


  • Automatically identify variances and map service dependencies.
  • Real-time troubleshooting with a live tail.
  • Detects patterns and outliers with log categorization and anomaly detection.
  • Proactively monitor and verify customer experiences.

Elastic Observability is a scalable and flexible platform to monitor and manage end-to-end application performance and related metrics to keep strict vigilance on the infrastructure for organizations of all sizes and types.


Instana is an IBM company focused on automating Application Performance Monitoring and Observability. It improves application performance management and accelerates CI/CD pipelines irrespective of application location.

Instana is an Industry-leading AI-powered platform with automation capabilities for application performance monitoring from discovery to troubleshooting.

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Instana addresses six core capabilities of today’s Development and operations team, such as automated discovery and monitoring, context guide, application perspectives, unbounded analytics, root cause analysis, and pipeline feedback.

Instana automatically discovers and maps all services, tracks observability metrics, traces each request, profiles every process, maps all application dependencies, and resolves issues faster. It is suitable for cloud-native, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud applications.


  • 250 domain-specific sensors for real-time discovery.
  • Automate dependency mapping across the entire full stack for flexible application perspectives.
  • Automation of Root-cause analysis.
  • One hundred percent distributed tracing and 1-second metrics for immediate software deployment pipeline.

Whether you are part of an SMB or large enterprise looking for automatic discovery of your entire application stack and want a real-time performance analysis with root cause analysis and optimized performance with unbounded analytics, Instana would suffice your requirement. The software can be tested for two weeks without any cost.

Google Cloud Operations

Google Cloud Operations is a collection of tools and services that allow cloud users to manage and monitor their applications and infrastructure. These tools assess application performance and stability, diagnose issues, monitor and report on cloud resources and services, and automate processes.

Google Cloud Operations offers extensive monitoring, logging, and diagnostics for applications operating on Google Cloud, alternative clouds, and on-premise infrastructure.

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The primary components are Google Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring. They work together to deliver the detailed observability required to monitor your infrastructure and applications.

Cloud Logging automatically consumes Google Cloud audit and platform logs, allowing you to get started quickly. Cloud Monitoring offers an unrestricted view of all Google Cloud metrics and interaction with third-party platforms for monitoring and managing non-Google Cloud services.

This set of tools simplifies application performance management by allowing users to detect, diagnose, and remedy issues that may influence business performance.

The suite includes tools such as Cloud Logging, Cloud Trace, Error Reporting, and Debugger, making it a complete solution for controlling cloud services. Its integrated dashboard displays automatically captured telemetry from Google Cloud services.


  • Management and analysis of logs in real time.
  • At-scale observability of built-in metrics.
  • Management of latency.
  • Running and scaling a standalone managed service Prometheus.
  • Cost and performance management.
  • Health assessment and service monitoring.

Google Cloud Operations suite ensures your applications work smoothly and provides better visibility and control through integrated tools. Google Cloud operations products are priced by volume of data with free monthly allotments and unlimited access to Google Cloud platform metrics and audit logs.


Dynatrace is a software-intelligence monitoring platform to measure the performance of your applications, their underlying infrastructure, and the end users’ experience.

This all-in-one platform modernizes and automates enterprise cloud operations, releases higher-quality software faster, and delivers optimum digital experiences to end users.

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Dynatrace is an AI-powered solution not just for application performance monitoring but also provides visibility in the infrastructure and AI-backed solutions for full-stack environments responsible for the digital ecosystem, such as Infrastructure monitoring, Application and microservices, application security, automation, digital experience monitoring, and business analytics.

It is a single comprehensive platform for end-to-end monitoring and management to support all observability, security, and automation solutions. Dynatrace supports more than 600 technologies to extend the platform’s capabilities to customize the environment and empower the team.


  • Obtains infrastructure metrics using auto-discovery.
  • Provides applications with automated, code-level visibility and root-cause solutions.
  • Vulnerability management for runtime applications is automated.
  • Synthetic monitoring across a global network.
  • In real-time, high-fidelity data is collected, and dependencies are mapped to reveal the precise root causes of problems.

Dynatrace launches and monitors the whole cloud stack and all applications and containers operating within it, including applications and workloads that may traverse different cloud and hybrid environments. The software is available for a free trial for 15 days.

New Relic

New Relic is a leading application monitoring platform that helps to monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize applications and helps to reduce downtime and increase reliability across the web and mobile applications.

The platform offers complete visibility into your applications stack for businesses of all sizes and provides in-depth insights to overcome the issues well in advance and improve the performance of your applications stack.

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New Relic has the tools and features for a system administrator, DevOps engineer, or site reliability engineer to help them maintain the performance of applications and ensure their uptime to perform at peak levels.

Real-time data visualization, powerful analytics, and automatic alerts help identify issues well in advance and quickly resolve them before they become major breakdowns or create outages. Its platform is compatible enough to integrate with over 500 applications for seamless use in your existing workflows.


  • It can host telemetry data from any source.
  • Resolves issue up to 80% faster.
  • Real-time monitoring of SLAs and KPIs to remedy issues before they affect users.
  • Get fast access to all application vulnerabilities.

In addition to all features, the platform also supports a range of programming languages and frameworks, including Java, Ruby, Node.js, and. NET. Relic is a wholesome product comprising 30+ capabilities in a single platform to monitor, analyze, debug, and optimize the entire infrastructure stack. Its pricing is based on actual usage.


In today’s digital age, organizations must have real-time information regarding the performance of their applications, and this is where AppDynamics (a Cisco subsidiary) comes in. AppDynamics is a comprehensive application and business performance monitoring suite that ensures every aspect of even the most complex multi-cloud setups is visible, optimized, and ready to drive growth.

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AppDynamics gives businesses end-to-end visibility into their applications, allowing them to discover and resolve performance issues in real-time to keep their applications running smoothly.

Its proprietary Cognition Engine uses machine learning to automate anomaly detection and reduce MTTR by providing instant root cause diagnostics. It also helps to link software metrics with business performance metrics so IT administrators can quickly jump into the essential concerns and diagnose them.

IT teams can immediately discover what and where application performance is being impacted by its ability to precisely locate the core causes of application problems in real-time, from 3rd party APIs down to code-level concerns.


  • Baselining and anomaly detection are automated.
  • Correlate whole stack performance with important business indicators and resolve issues quickly before they impact the bottom line.
  • Visualization of user experience to ensure that apps run smoothly.
  • Third-party SaaS, ISP, DNS, and other performance metrics can be used to get insight into performance.

AppDynamics is a complete application performance management tool that allows you to maintain a continual eye on the health of your application stack, be alerted to any issues as they arise, and rapidly resolve them. Its extensive insights will assist businesses in making informed judgments about future enhancements and advances.


Datadog has been named a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for APM and Observability.

Datadog is a complete AI-powered code-level monitoring solution for everything from microservices to distributed systems, containerized applications, and various other backend services and databases.

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Datadog’s APM system may be used by enterprises of all sizes to swiftly identify and handle issues while minimizing downtime and business disruption. Its personalized alerts and visualizations assist in detecting key performance indicators and long-term performance patterns.

Users can choose from various ingestion options tailored to their use cases through Datadog’s broad ingestion capabilities. With its powerful analysis and visualization features, users can easily make sense of all the data created by these various ingestion methods.


  • Improve application stability using the Datadog UI, Terraform provider, and APIs.
  • Detects threats and code vulnerabilities in production to mitigate them before they become breaches.
  • Reduce MTTD with ML-based notifications that are automatic and customized.
  • Automatic identification of improper deployment.

Datadog is a wholesome product to optimize resource consumption and application performance, detect and resolve root causes, and collaborate more effectively to provide a seamless experience to end users.

Scout APM

Scout is an application performance and monitoring tool to trace and identify application performance issues and optimize them for all sizes of businesses. One of its uniqueness is it has a low overhead on application performance, making it an ideal product to monitor applications in production environments.


It plays a vital role in providing detailed insight into the performance of various components of an application that assists developers and IT teams in locating and troubleshooting the issues even before they create significant outages.

The platform provides real-time metrics, detailed trace analysis, database query analysis, profiling, and error tracking that helps IT teams and developers to stay updated about the infrastructure and immediately take action if an incident arises.

IIts TelemetryHub module aids in whole stack application monitoring. Whether you’re using microservices, serverless, monoliths, or a combination of these, its distributed tracing can help you see how your application is working from end to end and help you quickly detect, prioritize, and fix issues.


  • Memory Bloat Detection identifies single memory-intensive requests.
  • Notification and alerting on various web requests and background jobs.
  • Monitoring the database for slow queries.
  • Request Queuing can be used to determine how long it takes a request to reach your application from further upstream.
  • Ability to trace transactions across different application layers.

Scout Application Monitoring is a lightweight and enterprise-grade application monitoring service created specifically for today’s modern development teams. Its simple setup process and user-friendly UI make it an attractive tool for developers of all skill levels. Its pricing is transaction-based and fixed monthly rather than node-based. Scout APM is free for open source.

Final words

APM (Application Performance Monitoring) is a tool used by businesses of all kinds to monitor and manage application performance. Businesses can utilize APM to discover and remedy performance issues before they affect end customers.

It helps enterprises to track critical performance metrics, monitor end-user experience, and fix application issues in real-time.

APM metrics provide significant insights into application usage and infrastructure performance for enterprises, allowing stakeholders to plan and drive business growth.

Alternatively, if you are on a tight budget or prefer a self-hosted solution, consider these open-source APM.

  • Satish Shethi
    I have been in the IT industry for more than 20 years. I have served Fortune 100 company in a senior role looking after projects related to US Banking, BFS, Mortgage, Insurance, and FMCG. Apart from IT, I like to read books, especially spirituality… read more
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