8 Key Components for Application Performance and Reliability

Application performance and reliability can make or break a business. Poor application performance, reliability or availability is expensive, and the costs reach beyond lost productivity, including lost customers and lost revenue. Companies that cannot provide successful IT operations and working software risk tarnishing their corporate brands and users’ experiences. Achieving and maintaining the necessary application performance and reliability that users need is critical to your organization’s success.

Here we break down our eight key components that contribute to application performance and reliability for your organization. An organization needs to understand all these areas and build the agility to use fast feedback cycles to address users’ requirements.

1. Users
Successful IT organizations address application performance and reliability challenges by starting with their users’ needs. It’s essential to understand the users’ experience, expectations and requirements. If applications are unreliable or slow to the users, the causes need to be understood and remedied until the users have an improved experience. Everything begins and ends with the users.

2. People & Teams
The complexity of application performance and reliability requires experts in multiple areas to work collaboratively for successful outcomes. The best architectures and performance emerge from collaborative and self-organizing teams, so enabling those people and teams is critical. Part of enabling and supporting individuals and teams often includes automating processes to reduce errors and offload the team of lower value work.

3. Visibility & Observability
Identify gaps in the data needed to make informed decisions about the application. You need to look at the environment and understand logs and performance data, where users might be experiencing challenges, what risks and single points of failure or resource contention exist, and put those pieces together to determine the environment’s health and usability. Create more transparency to enable better decision-making.

4. Security & Compliance
Integrate security, compliance and risk management controls across all eight application performance and reliability components. This means that experts from these areas must also be integrated into activities and discussions. Security may be a risk area for application performance or reliability, so perform a gap analysis and regular audits of your environments to identify any security, compliance or regulatory risks and stabilize the environment.

5. Architecture
Architecture is a foundational aspect for applications and their supporting infrastructure. Good architecture enables reliability and performance, while poor designs can prevent improvements or make them very costly. Embrace modern, virtualized and automated design principles and build security and compliance into the architecture.

6. Infrastructure
Sometimes an application performance or reliability challenge is rooted in the infrastructure. Select and plan infrastructure and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) that meet your current and future application and user requirements. To minimize risks and human errors, use automation to reduce repetitive operational tasks.

7. Application Chain
Consider everything that makes up the application: the software, the processes of development and deployment, and the teams. We call this the application chain, and all the links can contribute to application performance and reliability. The application chain applies to both applications that are developed in-house as well as SaaS applications. In addition, place workloads wisely to support performance and automate high-risk and critical operations to support reliability.

8. Connectivity
Choose data centers and providers with the connectivity capabilities to serve your users. These critical choices can avoid latency and bottlenecks that slow down the user experience. Edge workload placements with robust connectivity also support application performance for distributed users.


Overall, it’s essential to maintain a holistic and iterative approach. Each of the eight components contributes to the user experience. Incremental improvements feed back into one another as user feedback and data drive decisions on which next efforts will best improve an application’s performance and reliability.

Watch our on-demand FlexTalk where we discuss building a performance mindset with Jason Konzak, SVP of Professional Services, Michael Fitzgerald, Sr. Director of Transformation, and Peter Samland, Sr. Director of DevOps. Register here.

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