In an intensely competitive business landscape and with the ever-increasing pace of business technology, the importance of properly performing software cannot be overstated. Monitoring, managing and improving the performance of web applications, in particular, is more important than ever.
Elements that seemed to be relatively unimportant or luxurious are now critical aspects of a more demanding and more knowledgeable public. For instance, even a few milliseconds on page loading time could be what puts your site on the top, or dooms it – if the time goes in the wrong direction.
This guide combines ten of the most practical and helpful tips for improving application performance. It is easy to make hypothetical plans to improve performance but putting effective plans into action (and producing the results) can be much more difficult. Implementing the following techniques may help make your plans a reality.
1. Integrate Application Performance Management (APM) Into Your Cloud Structure
Modern APM software must be able to adapt to all of the requirements, specifications and challenges of public and private cloud environments. Learning about cloud monitoring and implementing it for your applications is going to become a necessary step in coming years.
2. Secure and Accelerate with a Reverse Proxy Server
Web applications often perform poorly and run slowly because of a constant switching of tasks, thrashing the server. Although a hardware upgrade may seem like the obvious fix, you could just add a reverse proxy server to offload some of these tasks.
3. Compress Data
One of the most meaningful performance accelerator for your application could involve data compression. Focus specifically on image, video, music and any other media, and utilize the highly efficient compression standards that are readily available.
4. Add a Load Balancer
One easy change that could have a huge impact on both performance and security would be the addition of a load balancer. As opposed to constantly improving a core web server, a load balancer can effectively distribute web traffic across a number of different servers. This can balance the load of traffic, hence the term.
5. Increase Visibility
Improving your visibility across the application stack can help identify performance bottlenecks and improve the overall end-user experience. This includes the software, middleware, database and extended infrastructure, and the application delivery chain itself.
6. Cache Static and Dynamic Content
Caching may involve several strategies, and all are geared towards delivering content to users more quickly. The two types of caching you should consider are:
- Static: Image files, code files and other files do not change frequently.
- Dynamic: Some applications generate fresh HTML for each page request; briefly caching one copy for a brief period can significantly reduce the number of pages that must be generated, while still delivering content that meets requirements.
7. Utilize Dynamic WAN
As opposed to traditional WANs, newer solutions offer traditional MPLS connections to the data center, as well as a connection to a VPN and the Internet. These hybrid WANs can greatly alleviate network congestion.
8. Update Software Versions
One of the simplest performance boosting techniques involves selecting components for the software stack based on reputation for stability and performance. Stable, updated versions are almost always higher-performing than the originals.
9. Streamline Other Areas
One non-traditional strategy for performance improvement does not involve your application at all. You could greatly improve the efficiency of your business as a whole by streamlining other areas, like online time clock services such as Clockspot or more efficient marketing strategies. Taking a holistic look at your business may be the best thing you can do.
10. Reassess Your APM Software
Application performance management has exploded into an industry, all to itself. This means there are far more options currently available for APM software than there may have been at the last time you assessed your needs.