AppDynamics Review

We've had experience using dynaTrace, CA & Gomez but AppDynamics excels in terms of implementation, footprint & overhead.


What is our primary use case?

Extensive use cases, dozens of primary and secondary use cases ranging from core application monitoring at the global level to micro level performance analysis at the transaction level. AppD provides the ability to also manage total interactions at the web/mobile browser level, the database and core infrastructure including server level and L4 network.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a services organization, so we use AppDynamics with our customers. It has allowed us to expand our footprint in the application management business with virtually all of our major accounts. We were able to expand and go into other applications that we weren't in or offering previously. We have a new value proposition for our customers- enhanced visibility, enhanced stability, and we can reduce our costs to them because our cost structure is reduced by using AppDynamics. We have other examples like this as well where AppDynamics has improved the way we function and operate. As of date of this article, our company has in excess of 30,000 AppDynamics agents deployed globally and we are monitoring billions of annual page views for major customers.

Furthermore, AppDynamics is a key toolset and drives tremendous value and efficiency in our remote performance management center which supports over 10,000 retail locations on behalf of our retail customers.

What is most valuable?

  1. Ease of deployment- it's easy to install and use. This is key for us. Even as the product portfolio has expanded to include additional- AD has done a great job of ensuring that the deployment process is straightforward and usually up and running in minutes. Even the upgrade process has been made a very low touch and the simple process makes it easy to keep your deployment up to date with the latest releases.
  2. Low infrastructure overhead and footprint, which go hand in hand. Low invasive processes for care and feeding of the solution in extremely large scale environments.. Despite dozens of deployments across hundreds of applications- we have yet to see a case where AD is negatively impacting application execution or functionality.
  3. Features- in terms of diagnostics it's very good and very extensible. AD has clearly contemplated the multitude of monitoring workflows and features needed to sustain enterprise application performance across all major tech platforms and architectures.
  4. Extremely reliable and resilient agent based technology.
  5. Extensibility - the solution has been designed to account for rapidly changing application architectures. A strong example is the mobile and browser related capabilities AppDynamics has brought to market. With near out of the box functionality for iOS and Android- AppD also provides support for single page applications and additional advanced JS type deployments models
  6. Integrated view of database system performance and execution- AppD has crafted a powerful single pane of glass view
  7. Breadth and depth of portfolio with ever expanding capabilities including synthetics, log management and analytics capabilities
  8. The analytics engine, now called BusinessIQ is very, very powerful. The ability to capture business parameter information and operational information and merge it together for integrated dashboarding is one of the pillars of the IT-Business paradigm. I was able to create powerful analytics queries using GUI, or if you want to go deeper- the solution allows for complex SQL statement execution to really perform deep IT level business intelligence

What needs improvement?

AppDynamics should try to find some measure of support or functionality in an SAP and Peoplesoft environments- however with the introduction of C++ agents- the PeopleSoft realm will be covered shortly. Additional support for NextGen mobile platforms also needs to be high in the roadmap prioritizations

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with stability. Highly stable with extremely light impact- negligible.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't have any issues with scalability. Unbelievably scalable - we selected this solution for its ability to aggregate thousands and thousand of end point monitoring.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

AppDynamics redefines customer services, especially in post sales support- maybe one of the most responsive service desk teams in the industry.

Technical Support:

They have done a superb job of getting some obscenely bright software people with a passion for customer services and unleashed them in the market. Some of the finest technical support in the industry.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We previously used AppSight by BMC software. The problems we had were problems with deployments, stability, visibility and wide support of jvms. Stability was the largest problem. Our technical architects and engineers who are part of my delivery team have used every major application and server monitoring technologies.

How was the initial setup?

Extremely straightforward- we can have an enterprise deployment with several dozen end points being monitored in less than 3 hours.

What about the implementation team?

Our first few implementations we did ourselves and then for our first major customer implementation we got AppDynamics to assist. We currently support all of our internal and external deployments.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're regularly looking at various options. Even before we made the decision to standardize on AppDynamics, we already had experience with VMC Appsight. We also had experience using dynaTrace, CA and Gomez at some of our customer's environments. We also heard our customers talking about their experiences with these other products.

What other advice do I have?

Basically, you can't over-speak importance of deployment, configuration and infrastructure footprint because what happens is that people get excited when they see the output of various products (such as dynaTrace or CA Wiley). They say, "wow, it's very powerful, we've never had visibility, we're going to implement at all costs." Then they buy the solution and they realize they need 5X the amount of servers, a lot of storage, experts to manage it, etc.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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5 Comments
kapilmalik1983ConsultantTOP REVIEWER

What are the other areas of improvement in Appdynamics you think about?

22 June 14
Sid RoyReal UserELITE SQUADTOP 5

Hi! Please email me at sidroy@scicominfra,com and I can give a good, complete answer. The reality is that when instrumenting/monitoring business critical applications with a tool like AppDynamics- the benefits are organization wide from business users leveraging the service; to IT operations who have to manage productions; to development/testing/ISV groups that own the engineering aspect of an application. Each area has their own metrics and benefits that are tangible (like actual dollars) and intangible such as customer satisfaction and improvements to technical operations. Send me an email on your specific areas of focus and I can provide a more in-depth answer.

Thanks!

22 June 14
venkata kagitalaUser

What are the cons of AppDynamics?

19 February 15
User at a tech services company with 10,001+ employeesUser

I totally agree with Sid, I am AppDynamics user and implementer for past 3 years, the best part of AppDynamics is they have the best post-sales support in Industry w.r.t to tools.

We have expanded this tools with Middleware monitoring including MQ, Tuxedo other than Standard java based application server.

Another great feature is we use the tools to do custom monitoring using custom scripts.

20 April 15
Sid RoyReal UserELITE SQUADTOP 5

From a con perspective there are coverage gaps in terms of monitoring critical if not legacy architectures like mainframe type systems. Despite the slow erosion of the mainframe base- it seems that many major, major organizations are still leveraging MF technology in their stack typically due to the costs of converting - but most likely due to the fact that those machines never stop working and rarely have errors like open systems. When a customer leverages for instance Infor software in their architecture - this will be a gap from an AppDynamics monitoring perspective. I have also mentioned the lack of coverage in SAP worlds which in essence removes a big part of the critical application market. However, I have been recently informed that the lack of monitoring coverage is less about technical fit and more about SAP restrictive licensing and support policies :-0

20 September 15
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