AppDynamics Review

Straightforward to set up, good for building dashboards and is quite stable


What is our primary use case?

The big problem we've always had is connecting the dots, so to speak. We've never been able to say that the application is having an issue before somebody calls us and tells us, and that's extremely embarrassing. Plus we're a little late to the table. With AppDynamics, you can be able to tell whether they're having errors or whether they're having a slow response time. 

How has it helped my organization?

We're able to detect issues now before the customer calls us. Another thing that this helps us with is the fact that there are some conditions we see in the database, for instance, locking and blocking and high CPU, that we've always had been trying to correlate this high CPU and high blocking. We were always wondering: is that necessarily bad or is it just kind of a warning sign or what is that? With this product, we're able to correlate everything with what the application is saying and saying, "we've got blocking, we've got high errors, we've got high response time, therefore it's probably a database and therefore it's probably an issue." Before we had this product, we weren't able to do that.

What is most valuable?

This solution is great at alerting us to issues and letting us know if anything is correlated.

The release management capabilities are great. If you do a new release, you have to ask: how's will it perform? Is it going to have problems? Before it was hard to actually measure. Now we're able to precisely measure the performance and also the error rate. That's very helpful.

It's also helpful with building dashboards. You can build dashboards for different parts of the company, for the operations, for the application, for the infrastructure, all the above.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The stability has been good.

What needs improvement?

At first, I thought it had a high learning curve. However, it's not so much. It's just different. It's different from all the other tools and it's just not as intuitive as it could be. I'm not sure how you fix that. For instance, the training on the dashboards that is provided could be a little bit better, as could the use cases. They should have some good examples out there. As it is right now, I had to scour YouTube to find some stuff.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a few years. I started using it around 2015.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been great. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm relatively new at this company, and we're doing a POC on it right now. We have it on about 75 machines. In terms of scalability, my guess is the architecture will allow it, is t's in the cloud. It should scale. However, I really don't know here in the company where I use it. I know other companies have scaled thousands. I personally haven't experienced that myself, however.

As it is going well, we're likely to expand it. That said, we're still just in the POC phase.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty simple. It's not overly complex. Implementing it shouldn't be a problem.

In terms of deployment and maintenance, the team is pretty much my team. It's a site reliability engineering team, and it's pretty small. The people who'll actually be maintaining it will not only be implementing, so to speak, but utilizing it and customizing it. That will ultimately also include a lot of other teams, like your operation, application, and infrastructure teams.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I can't speak to the exact cost of the solution. It's not a part of the product I handle.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise those considering the solution to be patient and stick with it. A lot of these tools are pretty simple, however, they're simply used. For instance, they measure CPU and network and memory and stuff like that. The graphics may be pretty flashy, however, it doesn't provide the hardcore data that AppDynamics does. That's why you need to kind of just relax and stay with it a bit and you'll be successful. If you're just looking for something flashy to give you back immediate results that you can use today or tomorrow, it's probably not the right fit.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

21.6
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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