Product

CGI uses AppDynamics unified monitoring to gain performance insight

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Summary
This blog post is a summary of a case study that I conducted with CGI. You can see the full case study HERE. Quite often, the vast majority of the AppDynamics customers that I interview maintain only their own in-house software applications.

This blog post is a summary of a case study that I conducted with CGI. You can see the full case study HERE.

Quite often, the vast majority of the AppDynamics customers that I interview maintain only their own in-house software applications. Speaking to CGI about its performance demands gave me an interesting perspective on the unique position of its type of client services consulting model.

CGI specializes in IT and consultant services for clients across the globe. Not only does it have its internal environments to manage, but it also serves requests from both the upstream and downstream tiers that it consumes. Technically, it is part of an application stack that serves as a continuous tier from upstream and downstream services that make up the parts of an entire business transaction.

CGI’s environment

I sat down with Steve Perkins, the Service Delivery Manager responsible for the infrastructure delivery and end to end service management. We spoke a bit about the environment, challenges, and the selection process CGI underwent in choosing an APM solution. CGI is powered by:

  • Oracle technologies, including MySQL
  • Various open-source solutions
  • Java
  • .NET application stacks.

Steve’s job is to measure the end to end performance between the entire lifecycle of a request that makes up CGI’s business transactions. It came as no surprise that their demands eventually led to the need for a more robust, complete, and unified APM platform. Steven and his team began to qualify AppDynamics, and he discussed with me their challenges and the selection criteria that eventually led to their adoption of AppDynamics.

Challenges & Selection Process

Steve explained that their biggest challenge was to understand a full business transaction from end to end. The difficulty in understanding this problem is that a single transaction consumes various tiers, including requests for both upstream and downstream services. Correlation and code visibility in a highly distributed transaction such as theirs is imperative in diagnosing application problems and optimizing performance.

The selection process incidentally involved a partner from the UK recommending AppDynamics. This eventually led Steve and his team to perform a trial case study to discover what AppDynamics could do for them. Specifically, they were looking for a system that could:

  • Help manage their infrastructure
  • Manage the SLAs with their existing customers
  • Demonstrate the full end-to-end performance of their system

Implementation & Benefits

CGI concluded after this case study that AppDynamics was the APM platform of choice for its needs. Over the course of about 9-12 months, it expanded the use of AppDynamics across all its development environments. With the aid of AppDynamics, it was able to build a more robust integration between the following environments:

  • Development
  • Testing
  • Production

Steve explained that this integration between development, testing, and production environments provides an accurate feedback loop that allows them to iterate more effectively and efficiently. Based on his past career experience with multiple companies, Steve explained that he has seen his share of tools whether they were built in-house or by a third party and admitted that he has never seen anything as good as what AppDynamics provides.