Application monitoring, also called application performance monitoring, is an area of information technology (IT) that focuses on making sure software application programs perform as expected. The goal of performance monitoring is to provide end users with a positive user experience.
Application monitoring tools provide administrators with the data they need to quickly discover, isolate and solve problems that negatively impact an application's performance. Such tools can be specific to a particular application or monitor multiple applications on the same network, collecting data about client CPU utilization, memory demands, data throughput and bandwidth.
One of the most important steps in any application performance monitoring initiative is combining data from disparate monitoring "silos" into a correlation engine and dashboard. The dashboard makes data logs easier to read and saves IT staff from memory-dependent and error-prone manual correlation and analysis.
In virtualized environments, application monitoring software helps administrators watch application servers so that they comply with service-level agreements (SLAs). Business rules can be set to alert an administrator when there is a problem, assuring that business-critical applications and functions are given priority.