What is most valuable?
By far the most valuable/important feature for us is the ability to correlate the performance of individual business transactions across multiple nodes and applications in our environment.
How has it helped my organization?
Usually when a performance issue occurs there is a lot of finger pointing and spin that happens as a result. AppDynamics makes it very clear when/where the issue is occurring and it makes us quickly find and solve the root of the problem. It has also helped us foster more trust in our teams and the applications those teams build because everyone is being monitored by the same application.
What needs improvement?
The alerts and pro-active monitoring need work. I have found it very cumbersome to setup meaningful rules. This has led us to use the tool as a reactive tool instead of a proactive tool. Also, it would be great if this could be an iPad app (or at least not flash) so we could have easier access when working remotely. Lastly, this app needs better support with LDAP authentication (see below for more details regarding this topic).
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using this solution for a little over 6 months in total.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
Yes, we still don't have AppDynamics properly working with LDAP. The actual LDAP integration was not hard. However, we have a large organization and something about pulling up our LDAP user list causes the UI to completely freeze. This has essentially made it to where we cannot provide everyone we want access without a lot of hassle.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Nothing conclusive, however there have been times where we don't see full business transactions. I believe this is because of our use of MongoDB which doesn't seem to be completely supported for which we configured custom exits for.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
No, another part of our company used New Relic though. We could not use that solution because it is cloud based and the specific data our group interacts with cannot be externally hosted.
How was the initial setup?
I believe our setup was fairly straightforward, however it was difficult to get the MongoDB interactions to work correctly (still think we have some issues even now with this).
What was our ROI?
IT is fairly hard to quantify exactly, but I believe the ROI was very high. I believe this product saved us countless hours/time and really has allowed us to focus on building/maintaining software instead of digging through logs while doing more rudimentary application monitoring.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Yes, as stated above we considered New Relic but could not use it because it was a hosted solution.
What other advice do I have?
I would say the best thing people could do is to monitor as much as possible. By this I mean don't just monitor the app your team/group is building, but also everything it interacts with. I found the most use out of this tool when we could see the whole picture not just our small slice.