Five Years of Listening: AppDynamics is a 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant APM Leader Again

How great are winning streaks? You get validation for hard work (which is, of course, the only way you have long term success. I’m not talking lucky streak, here.). It draws attention to the good work you’re doing. And it lends credibility.

And as the world continues to speed up, attention spans get shorter, and competition gets stiffer, staying on, or near, the top year after year has become even more gratifying and rare.

Think about it. We’ve always lived in a world of one-hit wonders, flavors of the month, and fads. But most of us remember a time when at least the brands and companies we’d always known remained stable. Now not even the enterprise world is safe from our wavering interests. We’ve witnessed multiple once-mighty corporations taken down, unable to survive the era of the customer.

So, in these fickle times, it felt particularly great to hear that we’ve hit a special milestone, being rated among the leaders in Gartner’s 2016 APM Magic Quadrant five years in a row. The Magic Quadrant’s reputation is well earned, as it is one of the most thorough and meticulous pieces of research and analysis in the enterprise world. Being recognized by Gartner as a leader in our industry for five straight years is a testament to the team’s hard work and talent, and there’s a lot of people to thank for it.

But we’ll keep it about the customers. We’re very proud of the high quality of our products and our people. But “high quality” is just a short way to say, “Customers find that your products are very helpful for them and their business.” And our employees are high quality because they realize that, and enjoy moving down the customer-centric path as a team.

Innovation is a conversation

Customers have always been the best guide. I mentioned their short attention spans earlier. Short attention spans have gotten a bad rap, but I’m hesitant to tag that customer trait in negative terms. For one, what is a short attention span really? It’s evolving wants and needs, and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s difficult to keep up with, but not bad. Also, more often than not, customers’ moving gazes have really good judgement. That’s why it’s a good habit to figure out what’s distracting their attention. The aforementioned once-mighty corporations didn’t.

The most consistent innovators are actually the best listeners. It’s as important a skill for a company as being technically savvy. Innovation is a conversation. Customers tell us what they think of current products, we use that information to make things better, we ask them if they like this new thing we made for them, then we listen some more.

What’s that? You want APM to help you drive better business outcomes? We’re on it. And thank you for letting us know.

Keep listening, and apply your skills and creativity to what you hear, next thing you know, you’ve got a nice winning streak on your hands.

Please be sure to download the 2016 APM Gartner Magic Quadrant report. We’ll certainly be listening to what it has to say.

Gartner [Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites], [Cameron Haight, Federico de Silva], [21 December 2016].

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

AppDynamics: Unified Monitoring for the Enterprise

This article originally appeared on Intellyx blog

Rounding Out Platform with Synthetic Monitoring

A decade ago, the Application Performance Management (APM) market was a dusty corner of enterprise IT, focusing on keeping creaky enterprise apps up and running.

Today, the world has changed. Applications have changed. Enterprise IT is undergoing rapid reinvention. As a result, APM is now at the crux of the digital transformation trend. And squarely in the center of this firestorm is San Francisco-based AppDynamics.

Modern applications consist of a mélange of interconnected elements, from the front end to the cloud to the enterprise back end. This modern definition of the application as well as the full power of today’s big data analytics combine to underscore the true significance of AppDynamics’ application intelligence capabilities.

In 2015, AppDynamics is rounding out their Application Intelligence Platform with the addition of browser synthetic monitoring to their existing real-user monitoring (RUM) capabilities, enabling customers to have a complete suite of web performance testing capabilities.

Synthetic monitoring depends upon running test software that simulates real user behavior across the global Internet, while RUM leverages code running in users’ browsers and mobile apps to monitor actual user behavior. Synthetic monitoring, therefore, is particularly useful for performance testing as well as testing functionality that is not yet live.

AppDynamics is combining these various monitoring capabilities into a Unified Monitoring offering. They built this Unified Monitoring on a single platform – their Application Intelligence Platform – to monitor and manage end-user experience in the context of business transactions.

AppDynamics’ secret sauce is the end-to-end nature of this platform, as it traces the entire business transaction path from the end-user device through the application code and third-party API calls to servers, databases, and other infrastructure, as shown in the figure below. 

ADUMAppDynamics Unified Monitoring (Source: AppDynamics)

The Unified Monitoring solution leverages a common data platform, making it easy to install and manage, and provides consistent and shareable interfaces for all users. This approach replaces the miscellany of siloed, non-integrated, infrastructure-specific tools that characterize the monitoring solution for many enterprises.

Ongoing Value for AppDynamics Customers

AppDynamics ties the new synthetic monitoring tool to its existing application intelligence capability, offering detailed, data-driven performance insights and user experience analysis. The image below illustrates how the Unified Monitoring dashboard correlates RUM and synthetic monitoring data.

ADUM-screenshotAppDynamics Unified Monitoring (Source: AppDynamics)

Because of AppDynamics’ modern architecture and unified code base, its synthetic monitoring product appears simply as an additional tab in the unified product interface above. Customers simply have to turn it on to use it. They can then leverage all of the application intelligence analytics AppDynamics has already built into its platform to analyze both synthetic and real user data.

AppDynamics Unified Monitoring identifies and resolves web application performance and availability issues. In particular, the platform offers automatic dynamic baselining, which helps companies reduce false positives. Customers can schedule tests whenever they want, and run them as long as they want – and because the tests are running in the cloud, they pay for what they use.

The cloud-delivered visibility is a key strength of AppDynamics’ synthetic monitoring, because it offers worldwide, always-on coverage, flexible configuration, and rapid, on-demand deployment, thanks to remote synthetic agents running on Amazon AWSIBM SoftLayer, and numerous other cloud environments around the world via the ComputeNext cloud marketplace. (AppDynamics is also rolling out expanded performance management support for applications running on AWS in the current release of its platform. Stay tuned for a future BrainBlog post for further analysis of AppDynamics’ instrumentation of AWS.)

The Intellyx Take

Central benefits of the Unified Monitoring approach, beyond the cost savings benefit AppDynamics can pass along to customers, include the ability to combine synthetic and real user monitoring, for example, to enable customers to run A/B tests across the two monitoring approaches. There is also no practical upper limit on the number of synthetic users a customer can call for, due to the elastic nature of the cloud.

Furthermore, the fact that AppDynamics designed their platform from day one to support the addition of capabilities like synthetic monitoring is now providing dividends, both to their internal development teams as well as to customers.

In today’s complex, dynamic, digital world, enterprises no longer have the luxury of leveraging siloed tools. Digital business transactions are end-to-end, and thus monitoring must be seamless and end-to-end as well. AppDynamics has understood this principle from the start, and the benefits of their early design decisions are now paying off.

Intellyx advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. AppDynamics and ComputeNext are Intellyx clients. None of the other organizations mentioned are Intellyx clients. Intellyx retains full editorial control over the content of this article.