AppDynamics Database Monitoring Review

The best feature is the live view. You can see exactly what's going on.

What is most valuable?

The best feature is the live view in database monitoring because you can see exactly what's going on. As soon as you know there is something wrong with your database, you can go and see which query it is. We were trying to do that for some time. We would contact the DBA, but by the time you do that, the query is gone. That's the best thing about it.

How has it helped my organization?

It's still in UAT, but we saw that most of the third-party products are running some queries that we don't have any visibility into. Now, we have access to the database view, live view. We can see which queries are taking a long time. We can go back to the vendor and we can tell them, “You need to do something about this. Why is it taking such a long time?” Then, they will recommend something, to do some maintenance on the DB, or they might give us a patch or something. So, this product helps.

What needs improvement?

At a recent conference, I saw the log analytics, and I was very impressed with it. We are not going to use it, but I would like to see how that works out and whether it can be of any use with our applications. That is one thing I'm looking forward to if it comes to us, and if we get to implement that.

The way it was explained in the presentation is that we can actually correlate a particular event and we can see all of the aspects: on the database side, what happened at the time; in an application; and from the end user perspective – that holdup that you get in the one place by just a simple query. That's very interesting.
One thing for which we didn't get a clear answer is how taxing or how much overhead it can create on a database. We were told that the remote monitoring is the best way to do it. However, sometimes we have databases located across data centers that might be thousands of miles apart. That is something which I might want to see in the documentation: What are the specific recommendations about over WAN, within country? How they want to implement it?

I would rate the product higher if they improved the documentation.

For how long have I used the solution?

1 year

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it looks good. We have not seen any abrupt crashes or anything like that. It's pretty stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We used technical support once. We applied a new license, and it was not getting connected. We contacted them, and they gave us a very standard document. We just used that ourselves. It wasn’t even on the phone. We just used that, and it was very easy to do it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I joined the company after they started using the solution. They asked me to evaluate it, it is. We were evaluating it in our team. We kind of liked it. And then we went forward.

I come from a customer service background. I worked at BMC Software before. In general, when I’m looking to work with a vendor, the first thing is that you need to be very prompt with the responses, because the customer expectations are very high. The answers need to be very clear. Sometimes, with some other vendors, we ask them something and they just keep asking for logs.

I was working on a case. I won't name them, but they asked for the same log three times. It took a week just to get them the logs. We were like, "You could have asked for all of the three steps in first email." When we are opening a case or have to deal with customer support, they need to first talk to us, understand what the problem is. Most of the customer support representatives, they try to deal with everything by email. They need to understand that if it's a severity 2 or severity 1 issue, you should get on the phone and discuss the whole thing. Then, accordingly, you can start troubleshooting or asking questions. That's what my expectation is because I worked on the other side. I know what I’m looking for.

What other advice do I have?

Just implement it. I've never seen anything like this, so I would tell everyone, “You should try this.”

One thing that everyone needs to understand: If APM is for their application or not. That's the most important part. If you think that you have a lot of deadlocks, or something is happening with your application, and you're spending months figuring it out, then APM is the only way you can sort this thing out.

I've seen some presentations. They were very impressive. There was one case from healthcare. They were saying that they were investigating an issue for 18 months. They rolled out AppDynamics. In 36 hours, they got their root cause. That's impressive.

I was just doing a UAT for something. We were running some jobs and suddenly everything froze. We went to AppDynamics, and we saw that one query was taking everything on the database. It's very transparent in that way. It's one of the best database monitoring solution I've ever seen.

My company uses other AppDynamics products, but I belong to a different line of business. We are looking into it. We are going to use the machine agent and the app agent, especially the .NET and Java agents.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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