AppDynamics Review

We use a lot of the metric browsers and then the APIs to then ingest that into Splunk.


What is most valuable?

Right now, we use a lot of the metric browsers, we use the APIs to then ingest that into Splunk, and then create nice visual graphs that upper management can then digest very easily. We use AppDynamics not only from a troubleshooting point of view, but also for trending, analysis, and capacity.

How has it helped my organization?

It's definitely cut down our troubleshooting, from a mean time to restore or repair, and pinpoint the actual problem that we are having; reducing that time.

What needs improvement?

I don't think we've tapped into everything that AppDynamics can do. I can't really mention something it should do because AppDynamics might already do that and we just haven't implemented that yet.

Nonetheless, I know that a lot of the problems that the people are having is they lost work. It'll be really good if they could retain the data a little bit better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From my standpoint, it’s pretty stable. I know that when we first set it up, we put everything under one application. Now, we are kind of breaking away from that, and we are losing a bunch of the data. From that standpoint, people are getting upset, but I understand that's the limitation of the app. I think some people just need to move on.
Once we get everything the way we want it, the maps are going to show up the way we want it. I think it will be a lot more beneficial.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a lot better now that we can see one application, can see the other application, whereas before, we didn't have that visibility. That's why we put everything under one application. Now, I think we can do as much or as little as we want.

How is customer service and technical support?

I personally haven't used technical support but the company definitely has. They're on site all the time. I know from talking to our monitoring guys, they love it. They think that the support is always there and always readily available. They are the administrators; I am more of a power user.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We weren't previously using any APM solution. We were flying blind. We knew we had to do something. That's when the monitoring manager got wind of AppDynamics and really pushed hard for us to implement it.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup a little bit but not all too much; just from a 40,000-foot view of, “Hey, this is what's coming down. You might want to play around with it.” I wasn't involved in the installation or anything of that nature.

From what the installation people said, initial setup was pretty easy. All you had to do was put the agent on. I know our development were kind of balking about putting the RUM JavaScript out on all their pieces of code. Now that it’s out there, they're pretty good about adding more and more to it because they are seeing the benefits of doing that. From a standpoint of installation, I think everything has been running pretty smoothly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don’t know any of the other vendors that were on the shortlist. I am sure there was but I don't know. I wasn't a part of that conversation.

What other advice do I have?

If you're not getting the support or if you're not getting the answers when they are trying to troubleshoot, then this is a definitely a really good solution and it will save you time in the long run.

With the benefits of pinpointing the issue quickly, we can get either our servers or our application up and running better. We've pinpointed a lot of long transaction times and were able to fix that. Not knowing that, because we fixed that, it also fixed three or four different applications.

It’s also nice to see the mapping. Once you start building all these things and its building on top of each other, AppDynamics does a very good job of showing, “Holy cow, we actually are talking to all these other different servers.”

As I’ve mentioned, we were flying blind and now we are starting to see. It's been a lot better.

In addition to AppDynamics APM, we use EUM as well. We are trying to get our company off of Google Analytics and go straight AppDynamics, but it’s a slow boat.

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