What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the view it gives me about the wait states in the database. It shows me the snapshots for the database queries; some of the details behind what might be contending on the database if there's an issue. I think that's really insightful for the applications that we use. That's pretty helpful and beneficial for troubleshooting.
How has it helped my organization?
The biggest benefit we have found is that we are quickly able to identify the root cause, especially if it's in the database layer. We also use AppDynamics on the app layer as well. It quickly helps us get to the root cause. That's been the number one benefit of using it.
What needs improvement?
I definitely want to see some drill down capabilities, especially at the database layer, because the snapshot gives me up to a certain point where I can see the wait states. I can't really see at that particular point in time, a certain SQL was causing the issue in a real time basis, and I can alert someone on that basis. I definitely want to see some drill down capabilities at that layer.
I've seen some demos of the upcoming capabilities such as doing monitoring at the network layer. And then the EUM, the end user monitoring; I definitely will be looking forward to using those in the future.
I haven’t given it a perfect rating due to the future capabilities, which are definitely coming.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
So far, we have not found any instability caused by AppDynamics APM. We have had instances where, just to eliminate possible causes of issues, we have turned off AppDynamics, but it has never caused us issues with the database being either slow or going down.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We haven't really had the need to scale it. We're in the early part of the journey in our AppDynamics deployment, but we will soon be going there. We still have to get to that point.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have used technical support a couple of times. When we had the new release, the deployments were not as smooth as we thought. I think we had to engage the AppDynamics engineer, and a couple of times for the configuration that we just did not know. It was probably a training issue more than anything else. Other than that, it's been self-sufficient as far as we can tell.
Tech support were really helpful. We have a good partnership with AppDynamics. That's what we appreciate because they understand how my company works, the culture, the scope and the ecosystem. We really like it, having that partnership.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We run a lot of third-party packages, and we fly blind to what happens inside. We have tons and tons of logs. To go through those whenever we have an issue takes days or weeks. It's a similar story, I think, across the board. For us, though, the applications being so critical, we need to get to a root cause and fix it. Until that point, before we had AppDynamics, it was a constant back and forth with the software vendors. With this tool, since we’ve had it and have been able to pinpoint where the issue is, we can get on to the root cause really quickly.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was kind of different and new. I wouldn't describe it as complex. Once we had the person from AppDynamics sitting next to us, we could quickly get to it.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
There weren’t really any other companies we looked at before we chose AppDynamics. In our company, we have another tool that they use. I think AppDynamics is quickly picking it up. But we as a group never looked at any other tool.
In general, when I look at working with a vendor, the capabilities in the product is definitely the most important criteria. That's number one. The second thing is, as I’ve mentioned, if you have a good partnership and a good representative from the vendor side who can represent your issues to the product teams and get those features in. I think that's kind of critical for us.
What other advice do I have?
If colleagues looking to implement database monitoring asked me for advice, I would definitely advise them to look at this APM tool, first of all. Then, basically just work with the engineers initially and get self-sufficient with the tool. And spend some time with the tool. If it's a training issue, get some training on the tool itself.
As long as they know their space, they know their infrastructure, they know their database ecosystem, it should be pretty easy.
We use the AppDynamics database monitoring plus the APM on the app side right now.