AppDynamics Review

It's our eyes to the application and stitches a lot of information together on one screen.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is just the sheer visibility it gives us, especially being on the performance team. It's basically our "eyes" to the application. Without it, we don't know the flow, we don't know where things are being impacted. We just love the visibility it gives us.

We have a lot of legacy systems. We have a lot of engineers, people. Not everybody knows the whole picture, where AppDynamics basically stitches all that together for us. So, you don't have to go to 10 different people, you can go to one screen and see that full view.

How has it helped my organization?

It improves the way we work, it improves our efficiency; a whole host of things, actually. It allows us to be more proactive than reactive. It even helps us more in our non-prod environment. We find issues before we ever get to production.

What needs improvement?

We're definitely looking for adoption of more platforms. We have some legacy z/OS systems that we use, so we're looking to help stitch those in. It's pretty difficult to; things aren't on the open system side. We’re definitely looking for that.

Given the testing we do, we look for ways to save detailed information on tests, such as "point in time". If we have a test we run, and we want to save that granularity and be able to pull it up, like a month later. We've expressed our want for that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any stability issues. Overhead seems to be pretty low. With some existing monitoring solutions we've had, we've always had the concern for overhead. We don't seem to have that concern with the AppDynamics solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems to be scaling well for us. We have hundreds of nodes, hundreds of agents out there right now. I don't admin the tool too much but from what I've heard, it's scaling pretty well.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have technical support. We have the technical services. We work with one of their engineers on a monthly basis. It’s great, very responsive, knowledge is really good.

What other advice do I have?

Adoption: It's hard to do with just one person driving it. If you have that adoption, the team doing it, that definitely makes it a lot easier. Start on a couple small things. Work your way up. Don't try to do one "big bang" and get it all in there. At least for us, that's the way it's worked well.

In general, when I’m looking to work with a vendor, the most important criteria are definitely reliability, where they sit in the industry, responsiveness. They have to be responsive. They have to be cutting edge. Those are basically the main points.

As far as using other AppDynamics solutions, we started to get into the database monitoring side, so we can see some query performance, and not have to bug the DBAs; we can look at that ourselves. We’re enjoying that.

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