What is most valuable?
What we are looking at is the real-time user experience. We are a retail business and the customer walks in, he places an order for the material. We would like that to be efficient, the order to be processed, and it should immediately get delivered. The performance is a key factor for us. We are a franchising business and the application is deployed in the cloud. Most of the time, the users complain about the slow performance. For us, it's very important to track down where exactly the problem is; for example, in which geographical region is there a problem. Then, we nail it down and find out what session is causing a problem there. That's the whole idea. That's where we're seeing that AppDynamics is able to help us.
How has it helped my organization?
We have been able to identify the application issues or the user experience issues. We are able to address that. If the user has been complaining that they are experiencing a problem, we get to know that proactively. We are able to find out which geographic region, what store is having an issue with it so that we can monitor it; it comes as an alert, we try to diagnose it, and try to fix the issue.
What needs improvement?
We've not been able to get one answer to all of our problems; for example, if there is anything else happening on the networking side. I'm pretty excited to learn about the infrastructure monitoring.
One thing that is missing is the desktop monitoring. The desktop monitoring is not there. A lot of times, the problems are created or caused by some other applications, which is blocking or causing an issue with the application.
These kinds of things I still see as missing pieces in AppDynamics, and that’s the reason for my rating.
I just started using the database side. I haven't gone through that. At a recent conference, I was looking forward to participating in one of the sessions so that I could learn more about the product. I started to see some valuable things. I was especially excited to see Business iQ. I need to learn about that. I see there is potential for being more productive and helpful to the business. But, it's too early for me to comment on that.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We haven't used AppDynamics very extensively. If I had to rate its stability, I would say that AppDynamics is about 8/10. There is a little room for improvement. Sometimes, we do have performance issues on AppDynamics. The metrics take a long time to load. I raised this point when I was in one of the sessions at the conference.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is scalable. The good part is that we can add as many nodes as needed. We can do that. We can add as many clients as we need; we can do that. I don't see an issue with scalability. That seems to be good.
How are customer service and technical support?
They have been pretty good with technical support. In fact, one of the technical support persons helped me in terms of doing the proof of concept. I've been able to get that support. They're very good. In fact, the day before I provided this review I pointed out a problem and I see some communication going on there; they're pretty good. They're very good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
The ERP system that we have used has partnered with AppDynamics. They suggested this. We weren’t really looking for evaluating solutions; it just came along with that. Then, as we started to use that ERP application more and more, we encountered performance issues. The need arose to find one tool that can help us and that could give us end-to-end monitoring.
There are many tools available, but they cover only one segment of that. The good part with AppDynamics is that you get all three layers, even though there still are some missing links. Looking at the vision and listening to them at the conference, I'm very positive and optimistic that AppDynamics is going to come forward with new ideas and new solutions that can help us.
How was the initial setup?
We had some initial setup challenges because our application is different than regular web-based applications. I had to engage with our application vendor to have that issue resolved. After some initial hiccups, everything went smooth. The support has been very active. Whenever I needed it, I want to have a call, a joint session, it was there. That was support.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
There are some other monitoring tools, such as SolarWinds, ExtraHop, and so on, but they are for different verticals. There are also open-source database monitoring tools out there. There are many tools out there. It becomes really hard to focus.
We already had the AppDynamics license, which we got when we acquired the ERP system. We got a license with that because AppDynamics was partnered with our ERP system. That basically gave us an advantage, and it's a good tool. I did some reviews on it, and found that they're doing very well.
As I started looking into other products, such as end-user monitoring, AppDynamics was really good with that and the database side. If there is an application available which basically gives you end-to-end visibility, why not go with that one?
What other advice do I have?
Performance is a real challenge for any application. It's very hard to get a single solution that gives us complete visibility. I would certainly recommend looking at AppDynamics, that kind of a tool, that basically provides complete visibility.
I use Browser Real-User Monitoring with AppDynamics’ Database Monitoring and Java Application Monitoring products.