What is Application Performance Management?
Application performance management (APM), is the monitoring and managing of performance and availability of primarily software applications.
The function of APM is to to detect and diagnose application performance problems to maintain an expected level of service – often to agreed SLA’s.
APM is a key tool for IT Management to aid the understanding of software and application performance metrics into business meaning e.g. downtime to busness, systems reliability and response times to name a few.
Most Application Performance Management tools help unifies systems, network, and application monitoring – and gives IT the capabilities to proactively ensure that application performance meets user expectations and business priorities. With Application Performance Management tools the IT function can pinpoint issues early and fix them before service degrades.
Application Performance Management helps:
- Proactively ensure continuous up-time with alerts and automatic repair of potential problems – before users are affected.
- Quickly identify root causes of application performance problems— across network, server or multi-tier application or component dependencies
- Gain the valuable insight necessary to improve application performance and availability – through real-time and historical reporting and analysis.
APM tools provide insight and data to rapidly find and assess the impact of issues, isolate the cause, and restore performance levels.
How do you calucate the Total Cost of Ownership per gigabyte of storage – our breakdown of this is as follows based on analysis of customer installations, cost of storage (based on EMC hardware) and administrative and backup costs:
|Initial Cost||Depreciated Cost per Annum (4 Years)|
|Cost of Storage Hardware per GB||£4.61||£1.15|
|Cost of Backup Hardware per GB||£9.52||£2.38|
|Cost of Administration per GB Current||£0.24||£0.24|
|Total Cost per GB||£14.37||£3.77|
This gives a Total Cost of ownership per GB of £14.37 and an ongoing TCO of £3.77
Some customers have used figures as high as £18 per GB for TCO so a range may be appropriate.
SAP R3 applications are often mission critical to many businesses and since your SAP system has been specifically configured to your business processes, your testing plan should confirm that applications can achieve the set business objectives and that the underlying hardware and infrastructure is capable of supporting the required load and transactional volumes.
SAP General Performance benchmarks and SAP Testing have been around since 1993, and the purpose of these benchmarks is essentially to flex the application performance and underlying infrastructure that SAP runs on.
However most generic benchmarks are of little value to many SAP end customers to establish general performance of their implementation. Actual implementation seriously isn’t run in most suitable benchmark environment, SAP architecture and modules are distinct, configuration, coding, implementation, hardware, DB etc. are all distinct and the customer installation is often highly customized for your corporation and natural environment.
One widely used tool for SAP Testing and SAP Performance testing is the IBM® Rational® Performance Tester Extension for SAP Solutions – this tool allows you to test the performance of SAP R/3 applications. There are some open source performance testing tools that can be used for SAP Testing but often given the complexity of SAP most organisations tend to use commercial performance test tools.
- Test creation. You create your test by recording a session with the SAP GUI client. Typically, the recorded session starts when you log on to the SAP R/3 server. You then interact with the application in order to produce a relevant performance test, and the session ends when you log out. The recorded session is split into transactions and SAP screens. Response time measurements and verification points are automatically added to transactions and SAP screens.
- Test editing. After recording, you can edit the events in each transaction and SAP screen. With the SAP Protocol Data view, you can use snapshots of the SAP screen to edit the events. You can replace recorded test values with variable test data, or add dynamic data to SAP tests. You can also set verification points on field values or window titles to validate that the test behaved as expected.
- Test validation. Before deploying the test, you can run the test manually as a single virtual user to make sure that the test runs smoothly and produces the expected results in a nominal environment with minimal server load. You can experience multiple test editing and validation cycles before your test is robust.
- Workload emulation with schedules. When the test runs repeatedly as anticipated, you specify an execution schedule and user groups to emulate a workload that is generated by a large number virtual users. You can add SAP batch input tests to the schedule to simulate a heavy load on the servers while minimizing virtual tester resources.
- Schedule execution. You run the schedule, deploying test execution over virtual users that can be hosted on remote hosts. Each virtual user runs an instance of the SAP GUI client. Response time results are provided by the SAP R/3 server and recorded. Verification points are checked and results are recorded.
- Evaluation of results. You evaluate the results produced by the SAP performance tests through the various reports that are generated during execution. You can also design custom reports.