In May last year we launched AppDynamics Lite 1.0, the first free application performance management (APM) solution to monitor and troubleshoot a production JVM. 18 Months and 50,000+ users later I’m pleased to announce version 2 of AppDynamics Lite is here and the innovation hasn’t stopped. In fact, I would say Lite 2.0 gives many legacy (or vintage) APM vendors a run for their money. Five years ago the standard for any APM solution was the ability to perform Byte Code Instrumentation for logging application response times along with some JMX metric collection to monitor JVM and container resource. Lite 2.0 does all this, albeit it’s limited to a single JVM, which is one more JVM than any other APM vendor will give you for free.
Here is an example of what AppDynamics Lite 2.0 looks like today when you monitor a single JVM.
Why did AppDynamics create a free product?
Simply put, we wanted to disrupt the market and make APM accessible to everyone. When we released Lite 1.0 the APM market was infected with expensive, complex and heavyweight monitoring solutions which ultimately failed to deliver the promise of APM. If you wanted APM you had to endure a sales pitch from people dressed in blue suits who told you everything you wanted to hear. You’d sign up for a POC, offer corporate hospitality to a few pre-sales consultants who would then spend days configuring their APM solution onsite. They’d run several load tests, find something interesting to screenshot, and then walk you through another sales pitch to debrief your POC. A day later you’d end up with a quote for five million dollars which would magically drop to 1 million dollars if you purchased by the end of the week. That was the APM buying experience that several hundred organizations endured for the past decade. We felt that kinda sucked. We created AppDynamics Lite so organizations could download and try APM all by themselves. 2 minute download, 2 minute install and you’re up and running. No sales pitch’s, no consultants, no five million dollar quotes, just pure APM for you to use and evaluate all by yourself. If you don’t have budget for APM no big deal, if you like Lite and you want more then you could always take a free trial of our Pro Edition and upgrade.
So what’s new in Lite 2.0?
Lite 1.0 was great for monitoring and troubleshooting performance. However, we wanted our Lite users to become pro-active so that they were notified when application performance was being impacted. With Lite 2.0 we’ve now added the ability for the user to configure simple alerts in the following areas:
1. Overall Application Performance (e.g. if avg response time is greater than 5 seconds)
2. Business Transaction Performance (e.g. if “Make Payment” takes longer than 10 seconds)
3. JVM Health and Resource (e.g. if JVM thread pool reaches its limit)
Real-Time Monitoring of JVM Health and Resource
In addition to application and business transaction health, Lite 2.0 now allows you to monitor the health and resource of your JVM via metrics exposed via JMX or PMI. Users can browse domains to select any MBean in the JVM to monitor with live graphs as shown in the screenshot below. This is useful information for debugging in real-time which JVM resource is being exhausted by application requests when slowdowns are occurring. Many JVM’s and containers are deployed with default configuration and are rarely optimized for production environments by developers or operations. For example, if your application is maxing out on JVM thread pools or database connection pools then these two resources can create severe performance bottlenecks for your JVM and application. Simply increasing these pool sizes can alleviate bottlenecks so the JVM and container can make more use of available server resource like CPU and memory. You can also monitor and trend custom MBeans in your application that you’ve written yourself to expose KPI of your application.
We’ve also added monitoring support for NoSQL and caches so you get deep visibility of how tiers like Cassandra, MongoDB and Coherence impact your application and business transaction performance. Lite 2.0 gives you code level visibility of NoSQL data access along with response times of actual Cassandra and MongoDB Queries. You can also monitor many KPI metrics that Cassandra and Coherence expose via their JMX console. With more and more applications leveraging elastic and agile data stores it makes sense for us to add this visibility, especially with many organizations utilizing these technologies for cloud migration.
Watch the AppDynamics Lite 2.0 Video:
You can download AppDynamics Lite 2.0 and be up and running in less than 15 minutes.
If you’re interested in monitoring your entire application rather than a single JVM you can request a trial of AppDynamics Pro. We’ve also created this quick 2 minute video which outlines the differences between AppDynamics Lite and Pro.