What is most valuable?
Performance is the most valuable feature, especially the tag and follow, which has to do with multiple JVMs and diaries. Also, getting to know when you hop into different segments and trying to figure out where this is actually happening, and then that too, if it is happening to the backend. That is the key and that helps.
How has it helped my organization?
Server Monitoring has saved us time. We have issues that previously took days to solve, become resolved quickly. Once you know what's your normal, you know your anomaly. That's the key.
We have our own challenges because the amount of JVMs we are dealing with. But still, this is really helpful in trying to analyze a lot of our issues with certain types of JVMs. Not necessarily out-of-memory errors, but a few memory leaks, and a few applications that had third party JVMs that got leaked. Had I not known this, it would have taken a long time to solve these issues. There are ways to find them, but it takes more time.
What needs improvement?
One area that needs improvement is application integration. They do have it now, but that has to be improved. What happens is, right now, we cannot deep-dive into it. Four years back, I requested application integration. It took four years get it. At least it is there. The thing is that it has to improve. That's it.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability is good. I mean, we had issues. I have been using APM for four years, so I know where it was, and now where I am I know, so I'm so happy with it. It's much improved.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability, it's good. It has challenges too, because I'm dealing with a very large setup. Scalability is definitely there, but now with the new features that are coming out, with a backend, it definitely will be better.
How is customer service and technical support?
I am happy with technical support.
How was the initial setup?
There were initial setup issues on both sides. I don't want to complain and it's not fair to do that, but now, if you look at it, it's reasonably stable, but every upgrade is a challenge. I mean, software is like that. Especially with the amount of changes they are making. The only thing about AppDynamics is they release quickly. Hopefully, they know you cannot keep up with this pace. A big enterprise, cannot handle that many releases like that. It requires a lot of coordination to upgrade to a new release.
And the biggest thing I wanted them to do, is to not require agent upgrades. That means every agent must be recycled. Someday they will push the agent from the controller with automatic upgrades. Something has to happen like that. Hopefully that will happen. That is my next ticket.
What other advice do I have?
Use it, and when you use it, use it regularly. If not, don't use it at all. You won't get the benefit unless you use it properly on a regular basis, so you know what normal looks like. You need to know how this thing looks, so that you know your anomalies and can resolve issues quicker.