What is our primary use case?
When you have a lot of AWS products running (and integrations connected to them) the only way you can monitor them is to have a system or automatic reporting. Cisco AppDynamics gives lots of "extensions" that collect metrics and feed them back to an AD controller so you can get a picture of health, usage, rules, and reporting.
It also works across environments from cloud to traditional, which means you don’t need something for AWS and then something for in-house products.
How has it helped my organization?
AWS was a new environment for a client and they used a series of extensions to show how the installation was performing and how changes impacted their setup, down the line. With sprawling cloud processes, it can be hard to see how your changes impact integrations, but AD really helps out with this.
Specifically, with the use of Cisco AD extensions, we were able to prove that a move from MySQL to Amazon Aurora sped up data retrieval. This meant a trial of Aurora was proven to be a success and led to a gradual phasing out of MySQL DBs.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is the ability to take a report, and in particular, a visual, and link it to actual application performance and then the consequences. This means you can show how an incident or action has an effect on the business. This is invaluable for executive meetings, where it can sometimes be hard to link an event to an outcome, a month down the line. The bottom line is that it helps protect your bottom line.
The extensions can be edited in a simple config file so you can sculpt what you are getting.
What needs improvement?
It could do with more than one data centre/multiple AWS accounts in a pane of glass. Also, improved scalability to large environments would be helpful.
How is customer service and technical support?
For me, it’s always support and training that need improvement, as both of these are crucial to using a product effectively. When there are so many features it would seem to be a benefit, but in reality that can be daunting.
What other advice do I have?
We chose to procure this solution via the AWS Marketplace because you don’t need to buy physical hardware to use it.
I would rate the solution at nine out of ten because you can edit the config files easily and make the reports your own. Also, it supports loads of AWS products: S3, Elastic MapReduce, EC2, DynamoDB, ELB, RDS, Route 53, etc.