A Look Back: Evolven Software at AppD Summit New York

One of the highlights of 2017 for AppDynamics was AppD Summit New York. We took over NYC’s Pier 36 with over 1200 attendees and made big announcements around the next generation of Business iQ, new machine learning capabilities, and upcoming IoT and network visibility.

We were also able to share the spotlight with some amazing partners, including Evolven Software, who was an exhibitor at the event. We’re excited to share this Q&A with Evolven’s CEO, Sasha Gilenson, as we reflect back on the event. 

You say that “change is the root of all evil” – what do you mean by that? 

SG: Gartner researches state that 85% of performance and availability issues are caused by some kind of change. These can be changes in configuration, data, code, workload, and infrastructure. But there is often a change that triggers an incident, unless it’s a hardware failure. Evolven customers also confirm these statistics. Everyone agrees that one of the first questions in an incident war room, is “What changed?” The challenge is that many of the changes are unknown to the IT organization. Identifying them and then deciding which change is a culprit takes a lot of time and effort

What value do you deliver to AppDynamics users? 

SG: AppDynamics provide a fantastic solution to detect performance and availability issues and to narrow down location of the issue to the exact service call, function or query taking too much time or failing, or in other words – AppDynamics tells you “what’s wrong”. However, in many cases the “what’s changed?” question still stands– why is this function or query is slow now when it worked fine just a few hours ago. Is it a change in the function itself, in the call path, in the data the function expects, workload, or environment configuration? Evolven automatically detects all these changes as they happen and correlates them with AppDynamics findings (health rule violations, performance KPIs, transaction topology), and identifies changes which  are the most probable root cause of the incident.

We asked Jonah Kowall, AppDynamics’ VP Market Development and Insights, to share his insights on the joint value proposition.

Jonah: We’ve seen different practices within the silos of IT Operations around availability and performance as a practice and change and configuration management as a practice. Often times configuration management is tied to either security or other initiatives. The result is that monitoring tools can isolate a root cause of failure or slowdown from a technical perspective, for example poorly performing code, slow sql, malformed data coming into an API call, failed hardware, or degraded hardware. By working to combine enterprise actual changes as well as configuration management and APM that isolation can be done to the level of what changed, who changed it, and what was the linked change management ticket, build, or release. This is much more powerful, especially when the technology can support both legacy or typical enterprise technologies and modern technology stacks.

What is unique about Evolven and its approach?

SG: The main goal of IT is to deliver and operate rapidly, safely and securely changes supporting organization’s business requirements. To support this goal IT implements tools to manage and automate IT processes which drive change, along with tools to monitor symptoms of issues resulting from wrong by changes.  However a critical component is still  missing today – a technology for detecting and analyzing what actually changed. Evolven Change Analytics is the only solution that automatically detects actual, most granular changes across end-to-end IT environments, estimates risk of these changes and correlates them with investigated issues. And the Evolven’s solution does all this in data centers, virtualized environments, private and public cloud

The Summit featured a session on machine learning (ML). How does Evolven use ML to benefit its customers?

SG: Machine Learning is the heart of Evolven’s analytics engine. Thousands and thousands of granular changes are implemented on daily basis in IT environments. Just knowing what changed is not enough to prevent incidents and problems and investigate them faster. IT specialists cannot spent their time going through all this data looking for relevant information.

This is the goal of our machine learning analytics – to identify the changes that risk performance and availability of business systems and directly point to the changes that caused issues that need to be investigated. Evolven also uses machine learning for correlating the changes we detect with other data from existing IT tools, like AppDynamics.

Can you share some examples of how existing customers are using Evolven?

SG: There is a wide range of user scenarios our customers follow applying Evolven in their environment. However most of them use Evolven to accelerate issue investigation and to prevent issues. For example, we have numerous customers using Evolven to analyze consistency of the application and environment configuration across load balanced and clustered servers. Detecting and remediating risky inconsistencies improves system reliability and resiliency. Let me illustrate incident investigation process using the integration between AppDynamics and Evolven with a few technical examples of real issues solved by our customers.

Example 1:

AppDynamics detects a transaction responding in less than 5 seconds. It rapidly narrows the issue down to a JDBC query that looks legitimate. Without Evolven you will need a DBA to debug the query. The DBA might need to evaluate a schema, database configuration and even environment configuration. This can take a lot of time.

But the query has worked before. What changed?

Evolven instantly presents a change deployed last night in a stored procedure that is invoked by the query. A developer for some reason added an option to recompile one of the statements in the procedure. The issue was not detected in testing as test data sets are smaller than the production ones.

Example 2:

AppDynamics detects that a significant portion of users executing a specific transaction wait for more than 10 seconds. AppDynamics points to a third party component that slows down the transaction. The component is a black box. Without Evolven production support needs to escalate the issue to a vendor supplying this component.

But only part of the users experience poor response time. What is different?

Evolven instantly compares virtual hosts running the third party component and detect a difference in the patch level of .Net framework across the servers. The component relies on .Net. Obviously some of the virtual hosts are still based on an older image that was not patched.

What was your experience from the NYC Summit?

SG: It was a very unique event in many senses. The open space layout of the venue enabled productive and quite intensive interaction between the attendees, the AppDynamics team and partners. like Evolven. The list of attendees and companies they represented was impressive. This was the first time Evolven was able to introduce its unique approach, technology and value of the integration with AppDynamics to such a wide range of AppDynamics users. I was excited to find that anyone that spoke with me or my team confirmed the value and relevance of our solution and the integration for their organizations.

Check out highlights of AppD Summit New York here.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: xMatters

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Abbas Haider Ali, CTO of xMatters. 

AppD: What issues was xMatters founded to address?

AHA: The core principles behind our product are built around making the lives of IT teams better by automating collaboration and improving handling time for all manner of events – failed build, incidents, major outages, service disruptions, application performance issues, and more. Our market focus has been on enterprises who have to support both autonomy and velocity for teams leading their company’s digital transformations, while meeting the compliance, governance, and collaboration requirements that come into play when you have tens of thousands of people in your technology organization.

AppD: What are the main three differentiators for xMatters?

AHA: Our primary differentiators stem from the “integration-driven collaboration” philosophy that we deliver in our product. Whether you’re a developer, infrastructure engineer, DBA, ops engineer, SRE, service desk process owner, or any other member of an IT function in an enterprise, you have a core system or two that serve as the focal point of your day. Our goal is to make it really easy to connect any product into xMatters so that when it needs to get a hold of you or someone on your team, it can do so, utilizing either an on-call schedule or other ruleset, or using other systems in your enterprise to figure out who needs the info and can act on it. Three differentiators that stem from this philosophy include:

  • Enriched Notifications: Since xMattters connects your entire IT ecosystem, every notification can become an actual business insight. Our view is that a single system often provides only one piece of the puzzle that’s required to solve complex issues that arise from managing the software delivery lifecycle.

  • Actionable Alerts: Actionable doesn’t entail just a simple acknowledge, escalate, or resolve sort of behavior—it connects the recipient of an xMatters alert to the workflow to get their job done. The actions in xMatters are not only useful for the immediate recipient and the team that they’re on, but also across teams. This means you can get help from teams outside your service, or if needed, move ownership over to other teams with full context using the appropriate task management system (e.g. JIRA or ServiceNow).

  • Multi-step workflow:  xMatters lays the foundation to connect your data, tools, teams, and people. This means that any business process that spans any combination of entities has the ability to do so in an automated, context-driven, and curated fashion. As data moves at unprecedented velocities to support continuous delivery initiatives, xMatters can make sure that required issues get the visibility and efficient resolution they deserve.

AppD: We have several sessions on DevOps at AppD Summit New York – how can xMatters help speed DevOps adoption?

AHA: DevOps teams in enterprises face unique challenges that xMatters is particularly suited to address. Collaboration and automation are key tenets of a DevOps approach to building and running applications. In an enterprise, the tricky thing is that even the newest applications have dependencies on services that may not run with a DevOps approach. That means you have different parts of enterprise tech teams that run at various velocities, with different tools, under different constraints, and somehow they all have to work under a governance and accountability umbrella that is very different than what you’d find at a startup.

Our integration-driven collaboration approach steps in to allow the DevOps team to get their work done at the pace they need, while the job of moving information across tools and teams is handled transparently by xMatters. Systems of record get current state, updates, and activity logs, while operations teams can move alerts between teams as they need to. And if any of them need to work on something together, it’s a breeze to engage just the people you need into collaborative sessions in the enterprise’s platform of choice – conference calls, web meetings, Slack, Hipchat, etc.

AppD: Tell us about the joint xMatters and AppDynamics story; what does it offer?

AHA: There’s no doubt that application performance management systems are at the heart of how enterprises should be managing their IT business. At the end of the day, it’s the information in AppDynamics that tells companies how effectively they are at serving their internal and external customers. And if something goes wrong, or is about to, it’s a great place to see what’s happening and get into resolution mode quickly and in a targeted fashion. That also means that there’s a very natural connection point between our respective products. When AppDynamics sees something starting to go wrong, call it a “yellow alert,” the integration between our products and the larger xMatters integration ecosystem, is to determine who is best suited to take action on the information or what other system in the tech stack needs to be contextually aware. And the better the AppDynamics early detection is, and the better the xMatters resolution process is, the less of a business impact there will be. For “red alerts,” the impact tends to be immediate in which case the joint value proposition is even stronger.

AppD: Can you share your favorite xMatters customer success story?

AHA: One of my favorite xMatters and AppDynamics joint customer stories is FamilySearch. FamilySearch is the world’s largest, free genealogy organization. They are running 20+ petabytes of data, have 15 million page hits per day and have over 800 new names added to family trees every minute. In 2011, the site had performance issues and their ability to deliver new features was trumped by their need to respond to incidents and fix existing stability issues. Today their team is broad but nimble, and includes a DevOps organization consisting of 300+ engineers split into 45 teams, with each team having responsibility over their specific area. They also have several hundred volunteers who help index and archive assets (photographs, digital documentation, metadata, etc.).

Their event management system was built in-house. For monitoring and operational tools, they use AppDynamics, Splunk, Apica and Jira, which all feed into their event management system. They also integrated xMatters with Slack, giving software developers yet another means of getting events, as well as the ability to collaborate on the solution to problems. Monitoring also occurs at every stage of the application life-cycle. They gather the results of unit testing, acceptance testing, regression testing, and deployment. They gather metrics related to application, server, and network performance. AppDynamics is used as their primary application performance monitoring tool with Apica, and CloudWatch and Splunk as supplementary tools. The organization redefined the architecture, automated everything, and now can continuously deliver features and fixes – on a common platform, and measure for improvement. Uptime is now in the three-9’s range for most components with some in two-9’s.

AppD: Why should delegates come and visit the xMatters booth?

AHA: The xMatters booth is a great place to swing by and talk to one of our engineers who can help map out a delegate’s immediate and cross team toolchain, and walk them through how our product can help them get things done more quickly, minimizing the bombarding of alerts that turn out not to be useful or actionable.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the xMatters team there.

Abbas Haider Ali brings over 16 years of experience in networking, cloud services, software, and cloud communications. As CTO of xMatters, he is responsible for evangelizing the adoption of communications-enabled business processes, and has worked closely with more than 400 global enterprises and IT organizations to create a vision for adopting intelligent communication strategies across business scenarios. Abbas holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.

See the Evolution of AppDynamics at AppD Summit New York

AppD Summit New York is in just three short days on October 19th and we couldn’t be more excited for the largest and most influential AppD Summit yet. If you haven’t registered, time is running short for a full day of learning, networking and fun.

We’ll kick things off with our morning keynote where we’ll be joined by industry leaders from Cisco, AWS, Carhartt and others, who will share how you and the company you work for can capitalize on the tremendous opportunities in our digitally transformed world. You’ll also get a glimpse of our vision for the future of APM and how advances in machine learning and automation will get us there. And of course, we’ll share news of the latest advances to the AppDynamics platform.

While there will be a number of exciting announcements taking place at Summit, there’s one thing I’m getting most excited for. At AppD Summit NYC, we’re unveiling the latest evolution of our visual identity for the first time. I can’t wait for attendees to experience it and to hear their feedback. AppDynamics’ technology and vision has evolved and grown over the last 9 years. And so it’s important that the visual expression of our product and authentic brand reflects who we are today and our vision for tomorrow.

I’m so passionate about our new brand identity that I can’t resist showing a bit of a sneak peak:

Want to see more? Then you need to register here to attend our one day event on October 19th at Pier 36 in New York City. We can’t wait to see you there and hear what you think of the new AppD.

Ryan Kam is a VP and Chief Creative Officer at AppDynamics.

Announcing IBM Z APM Connect for AppDynamics

Today’s enterprises, built upon legacy systems, continue to innovate.

During their Symposium last week (October 1st-5th), the most significant gathering of CIOs in the world, Gartner said that legacy systems will continue to underpin the digital transformation in the enterprise. As a result, these systems must be improved, with Gartner’s Tina Nunno saying it’s time to stop thinking of legacy applications as a “dirty word.” She added that by 2023, 90 percent of current applications will still be in use.

Our customers who are transforming – but doing so on top of existing systems – echo similar sentiments, asking for improvement and visibility into their legacy systems.

Similarly, Gartner suggests that “CIOs should build on their legacy systems. They should combine their modernized legacy applications and their digital platform for massive integration complexity on a massive scale,” notes a recent press release.

Visibility into existing legacy systems is critical when measuring the digital enterprise, precisely what AppDynamics does today for countless businesses. This visibility has become a reality as AppDynamics now has an answer for the Mainframe (thanks to our partnership with IBM), and it’s just what customers have been asking for. Our goal with this solution is not to create something which goes deep into Mainframe subsystems themselves, but one which eliminates the painful and lengthy triage process by getting teams on the same page. It also reduces unnecessary escalations.

The typical Mainframe z/OS team includes many specialists for each subsystem, including specialists for MQ, IIB, CICS, IMS, and DB2. These groups have specialists with their tooling and processes to handle issues. Our solution is not to replace or change those tools. In fact, the IBM team who built this new capability creates those diagnostic tools (IBM OMEGAMON). Instead, the goal is to provide an additional transactional layer of visibility which is missing within the Mainframe and across distributed systems that call the Mainframe.

This new solution, IBM Z APM Connect, is designed to give the end-to-end picture, allowing for unified monitoring and business measurement all the way back to the mysterious system of record – the Mainframe. Plus, there is no requirement to have IBM OMEGAMON tooling installed.

Mainframes are among the most reliable, secure, and available systems on the planet. Many customers report years of uptime, with 100% availability. What’s more, these technological marvels transact vast amounts of information and business logic with a high degree of efficiency compared to their distributed brethren. This means that attention to overhead when monitoring is critical. IBM has created an incredibly efficient way of tracking these transactions while keeping the additional resource utilization very low. Low overhead aligns with what makes AppDynamics unique in production environments for the world’s biggest enterprise production systems.

Learn more about this new offering from IBM along with more detailed information in the IBM announcement letter which slates this solution for general availability on December 8th, 2017.

You can also see a demo of the new solution at AppD Summit NYC. Register here to attend the session and the entire day’s conference free of charge.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: Column Technologies

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Blaine Pryce, Vice President of Sales, Column Technologies.

AppD: Why do customers choose Column? What makes Column so unique?

BP: There are a several reasons why our customers value us. We partner with the leading best-of-breed companies in service management, DevOps and infosecurity spaces, such as AppDynamics.

Two thirds of our employees are consultants and they are focused on making their software successful, with a service-based approach. We have established methodologies that encompass process evaluation, requirements analysis, architecture, implementation, and managed services.

AppD: What do you see as the three most significant ways in which enterprise IT Operations will change over the next 24 months?

BP: I’d have to say…

1. Adopting DevOps, and the need to take an agile approach to building software. Legacy tools and point solutions won’t allow you to succeed within a DevOps framework. Retooling needs to occur to survive in business, and this in turn requires a high degree of automation.

2. More and more apps coming downstream, which means increased complexity, release velocity, and monitoring challenges.

3. The business is now taking a more collaborative approach, and working in less silos. The increasing take-up of Business iQ is evidence of IT and the business working closer together and needing a consolidated view.

AppD: Why has DevOps adoption within the enterprise accelerated? And what needs to be done to continue adoption?

BP: Enterprises need to adopt DevOps or face the market consequences. How badly do you want to Keep your customers or go after new markets? Companies need to be competitive and e.g. optimize their eCommerce capabilities, or go out of business.

My tips for continuing the adoption momentum include undertaking an automation tool assessment, addressing bottlenecks, and working on core issues without getting hung up on the DevOps philosophy. Lastly, don’t be too pre-occupied with rework.

AppD: How do you see APM supporting DevOps as an approach?

BP: APM is critical to DevOps. It helps by improving the customer experience, identifying issues early, reducing MTTR, facilitating feedback, enabling A/B testing, and reducing dev rework and release time, whilst acting as part of an agile automation process.

AppD: What typical challenges do your customers come to you with?

BP: They usually have a huge range of disparate monitoring tools, with over 10 not being an unusual number. Automation gaps are another issue, with too many manual activities and processes that a machine can complete faster and better. Velocity of development is also a huge hurdle, and there is a strong move towards reducing sprint cycles to keep up with business demands.

AppD: Tell us about your partnership with AppDynamics. What does the partnership mean for joint customers?

BP: Column was awarded “AppDynamics 2016 Implementation Partner of the Year,” which was an honor to win. With Column, joint customers benefit from one of the leading technologies, delivered by a world class services organization. We can then help customers as they expand their usage, show them how they can do more with the tool, and achieve a better job overall.

AppD: Why should Summit delegates visit the Column booth?

BP: There are two main reasons: to accelerate their DevOps journey, and automate as much as possible.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the Column team there.

Blaine Pryce has more than 30 years’ experience in enterprise sales and professional services within the Information Technology sector. Currently he serves as VP of DevOps Sales for Column Technologies. He and his team are chartered with developing solutions for their clients via a consultative approach based on business and technology requirements.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: NodeSource

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Joe McCann, CEO, NodeSource.

AppD: Where do you think node.js is currently in the hype cycle?

JM: We are at the tail end of phase 4, the slope of enlightenment, as there are a number of success stories and case studies as well as NodeSource’s enterprise-grade offerings shoring up the standardization of Node.js workloads for Fortune 500 enterprises.

AppD: What does your runtime do that the core node.js runtime cannot?

N|Solid is a fully-compatible enhanced Node.js runtime built for mission-critical applications. N|Solid enables organizations to develop, deploy, manage, secure, and analyze Node.js applications.

N|Solid gathers detailed metrics with minimal performance overhead, giving you unparalleled visibility into application performance, with some valuable features:

  • Installation is painless. Simply install the N|Solid runtime in place of open source Node.js; no changes to application code are necessary.
  • Real-time event loop delay alerts with detailed stack trace information can help you immediately expose and resolve issues that are otherwise tricky to detect. N|Solid is the only commercial product which offers this type of alert.
  • Notifications based on CPU and heap thresholds provide an early warning when application behavior changes, helping you resolve problems before they lead to an outage.

Additionally, N|Solid offers enhanced security through real-time vulnerability scanning and configurable security policies to help protect data and services.

AppD: What are your thoughts on ChakraCore? Is this a trend we may see more of?

JM: ChakraCore is Microsoft’s JavaScript Virtual Machine (VM) that runs in their Edge browser. It is a high-performance JavaScript VM with some interesting debugging capabilities that are currently not possible with V8, Google Chrome’s JavaScript VM, which is the VM Node.js uses.

For the past few years, NodeSource has been working alongside Microsoft, IBM and a few other companies to get Node.js in a technical position where we can “swap out” the underlying JavaScript VM, thus creating competition among JavaScript VM vendors which the users of Node.js ultimately benefit from. We saw this exact thing play out in 2009 with the “browser wars,” and now, web browsers across the board are much better for end users.

AppD: What are some of the major changes we can expect to see in the node.js project over the next few coming horizons?

JM: So far, Node.js likely won’t see a substantial amount of change – and this is a good thing. The engine in a Tesla doesn’t really change that much, as it is only 17 moving parts, and Node.js is similar in that it only has a small set of core APIs. All of the benefits and updates to a Tesla automobile are in other areas – such as software to make it faster and/or safer, but the engine doesn’t change that much, if at all. For Node.js, the majority of the innovation and changes we can expect to see will be on the periphery of the Node.js core runtime, particularly around Node modules, which is one of the reasons NodeSource created Certified Modules to bring some trust to the wild, wild west of the NPM ecosystem.

AppD: What are performance challenges that enterprise node.js users are facing that we haven’t seen in the past?

JM: Node.js is unlike any other application runtime or framework given its asynchronous, non-blocking architecture. This means that all of the tools and many best practices that applied to every other application runtime prior to Node.js do not work with Node.js. This is one of the reasons NodeSource’s N|Solid exists today. Many users of Node.js will attempt to find performance bottlenecks with traditional tools that don’t work with Node.js’ event loop. The event loop itself can be the root cause of many performance issues, and the only tool that can notify you of this is N|Solid. N|Solid coupled with AppDynamics can give you the most complete view into your Node.js performance issues, but, without both, enterprises will struggle to improve their apps’ performance.

AppD: If you could go back to 2009 when node.js was first created, what would you have done differently?

JM: I wouldn’t change much, as the success of Node.js has been its focus on broadening the community to reach as many people around the world as possible; however, the only thing that comes to mind is perhaps focusing on migration paths for developers from other programming languages. In the early days, there wasn’t a big focus on getting Java and .Net developers to come join the Node.js revolution.  I think if there was a bigger focus on migrating from Java to Node.js, for example, we would have seen a faster acceleration of enterprise adoption of Node.js.

AppD: Why should Summit delegates pay a visit to the Nodesource booth?

JM: In July, NodeSource and AppDynamics announced a new native integration. Users can now capture, view, and analyze the most comprehensive set of Node.js performance metrics available, directly in the AppDynamics controller.

Visit our booth during Summit to see a demo of this integration and to learn more about how N|Solid and AppDynamics together can offer you unparalleled visibility into the system health and behavior of your Node.js applications.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the Nodesource team there.

Joe McCann is the Founder and CEO of NodeSource and is a self-taught hacker, programmer and designer with more than seventeen years of web, mobile and software development experience. Prior to NodeSource, Joe was the CTO of the award-winning ad agency, Mother. 

Sneak Peek: AppD Summit New York

We’re less than two weeks away from our October 19th AppD Summit event in New York City. From renowned IT thought leaders and innovative breakout sessions — not to mention the unique and scenic venue at Pier 36 — attendees are in for a day full of cutting edge information and exciting announcements.

If you haven’t registered for the free event yet, but intend to, the clock is ticking. If you’re on the fence, or weren’t aware of AppD Summit New York at all, here’s a peek at some of the valuable sessions, discussions, and announcements we’ve got in store. It’s all designed to help you drive the velocity of your enterprise and stay ahead of the competition.

Keynote

The morning kicks off with our keynote, The Convergence of IT and Business, where we’ll be joined by industry leaders like Cisco and Amazon Web Services, as well as our customer, Carhartt. You’ll learn innovative ways to deliver application performance that impacts business outcomes and how to capitalize on new opportunities using the AppDynamics and Cisco partnership. You’ll also get a glimpse at the future of APM and how we’re leveraging machine learning and automation to predict and fix application performance before issues arise.

Breakout Sessions

We’ve got 16 exciting sessions covering everything from AWS migrations, mutlicloud success, APM adoption, and more. Seats for all sessions are starting to fill up – but there’s still time (and space available) to register.

Here are a few of our most popular sessions:

Machine Learning: The Enterprise Pandora’s Box

With a topic that’s on the top of everyone’s mind, Charles Araujo, Principal Analyst at Intellyx LLC, and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change, covers the many reasons to be excited and positive about machine learning’s growing impact.

The Enterprise DevOps Framework

The potential benefits of DevOps are well-documented and exciting. But organizational and cultural factors often slow adoption, and success can be hard to measure. Hear from Ryan Lockard, Account Principal at Contino, on KPIs to track, how to benchmark achievements, and adoption best practices.

The Future of Application and Business Performance

Senior AppDynamics product leads, including Bhaskar Sunkara, AppDynamics Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product, will reveal the projects they’re most excited to be working on — and how these initiatives will help you drive the velocity of your enterprise and stay ahead of the competition.

Customers and Partners

As a customer-obsessed company, our proudest moments are when AppDynamics users share how we’re helping them succeed. Customers from companies like Carhartt, Nasdaq, CarMax, and The World Bank Group will be on hand to tell their adoption stories and share how AppDynamics can help you thrive in the digital-first world.

We’re also honored to be joined by some of our valuable technology partners from leading enterprises like IBM and ServiceNow, discussing the benefits that product integrations with AppDynamics can bring to your company.

See You There

Those events are just a taste of what we have in store. Don’t wait to reserve your seat at AppDynamics Summit New York on October 19th. Register now.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: BigPanda

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Assaf Resnick, CEO of BigPanda.

AppD: For visitors who don’t know BigPanda ahead of the Summit, what do you do?

AR: BigPanda is a machine learning platform for automating IT Service Operations at large enterprises. Our customers include Intel, Workday, Autodesk and Cisco. Service Operations teams – sometimes referred to as NOCs, DevOps or SREs – are the folks within IT charged with keeping mission-critical software, services and infrastructure running. BigPanda automates the ability of these teams to keep the business running in the face of an IT stack that’s exploded in scale, fragmentation, and complexity over the last 15 years.

Data center transformation in recent years has been driven by, among others, cloud, microservices, CI/CD, and DevOps. This transformation has allowed IT to become an enabler of agility and speed, which is great. But for the folks in the NOC, it’s left them with a flood of machine data coming out of the data center that they struggle to manage in order to keep critical business services running. This tsunami of monitoring data is heterogeneous, unstructured, constantly changing and moving faster than ever before. Legacy platforms that used to help make sense of this data – like IBM Netcool or HP OMI – weren’t built for today’s modern, dynamic IT environments.

That’s why BigPanda employs machine learning to separate the signal from this tsunami of IT noise. Our platform automates incident correlation – meaning we do the heavy lifting of parsing all this complex event data, normalizing and correlating it, and turning it into insight for the NOC.

AppD: In what ways do you believe the ITOM and ITSM markets have evolved over the past few years?

AR: BigPanda exists because of the earthquake that has occurred along these two tectonic plates called ITOM and ITSM. These used to fit together neatly, but no longer do. The tool fragmentation in ITOM has bumped up against the inherent scalability limitations of ITSM. BigPanda is the layer in the middle that cushions IT organizations against these tremors.

The traditional ITOM stack was fairly monolithic and slow moving. It was sourced largely from a single legacy vendor like BMC or HP. Code and infrastructure changes occurred in an orderly and infrequent fashion. That synced well with ITSM tools that were built to handle a finite amount of incidents, and to manage the human workflows of resolving those incidents.

However, today’s typical ITOM stack consists of multiple global clouds, thousands of VMs and containers, and dozens of best-of-breed technology vendors. Code and infrastructure changes no longer occur once or twice per quarter, but several times a day. The more things move; the more things break. As a result, the volume of alerts and incidents coming out of the data center has grown by orders of magnitude. This tsunami of machine data coming out of the ITOM stack has overwhelmed ITSM tools, which are designed to manage manual processes – not machine data at scale. BigPanda’s platform intelligently correlates all this machine data, turning it back into insights and workflows at that human scale.

AppD: How have the challenges faced by IT Operations changed as a result?

AR: The job of IT Service Operations has become a lot harder. There are a lot more moving parts to keep track of. Problems used to occur in slow, predictable cycles. Today’s IT incidents are explosive and fast moving.

The pace of IT service delivery has radically increased. With the rise of digital services, the pressure is on to meet customer SLAs within strictly defined parameters. For the NOC operator, life has become an unmitigated nightmare. For IT executives, the situation is just as challenging. Their current response to the growing flood of machine data is to throw more people at the problem, which has led to bloated headcount, out of control costs, and increased business risk.

AppD: In what ways can BigPanda address the new challenges?

AR: We help our enterprise customers automate their way out of this mess. Our data scientists have applied machine learning to connect the dots between all these monitoring, change management and incident management tools. BigPanda helps customers understand in real time the health of their critical business services and how to resolve issues quickly. This improves MTTR, service availability and most importantly, customer experience.

Some the largest enterprises with the most complex IT environments in the world depend on BigPanda to power their Service Operations. For example, Cisco uses BigPanda to improve the accuracy of root cause analysis and productivity of their tier 1 NOC engineers. In fact, Cisco was able to reduce monthly incident ticket volume by 98 percent using BigPanda!

AppD: Can you elaborate on “Algorithmic Service Operations” and what that means?

AR: Sure. We exist to automate the mission-critical functions of the Service Operations team. Now automation in Service Ops has been around for a long time. But the previous generation of solutions, such as IBM Netcool and HP OMI, were all rules-based. Deploying such solutions require an army of professional services and 18 months to write a large set of rules to automate manual, predictable actions. In today’s dynamic environment, this approach just won’t work any longer.

Enterprises instead need to take an “algorithmic” approach, which means applying machine learning to automatically interpret your ever-changing dynamic applications, microservices, cloud infrastructure, et cetera. We get customers up and running in a handful of weeks instead of the months it used to take. Moreover, our platform learns and adapts to our customers changing IT stack.

AppD: How does the partnership of BigPanda with AppDynamics help IT Operations teams?

BP: We share a common mission to increase visibility and availability of modern enterprise services. BigPanda has helped a lot of AppDynamics customers such as Shutterfly, Cisco and Caesars Interactive to automate their Service Ops.  

AppDynamics provides critical information about application performance. We feature open integration with the automated Alert & Respond capabilities in AppDynamics – from metric thresholds defined in Dynamic Baselines to Health Rules and Policy definitions. Any predefined action automated in a runbook can trigger an alert in BigPanda. It’s seamless and fully configurable.

These insights can be further enriched by events and information from other layers in the IT stack. We help our mutual customers understand event data coming from AppDynamics in the context of a broader set of ITOM data — log monitoring, system monitoring, network monitoring — in order to determine the overall health of a business service or the root cause of an outage incident.  We give AppDynamics users a holistic view into what’s going on across their IT stack, how it’s affecting the business, and what they should do about it.

AppD: Why should delegates come and visit the BigPanda booth?

AR: If conference delegates have the kind of problems we’ve outlined, they should come and see us. We’re happy to help AppDynamics’ large enterprise customers achieve their individual strategic objectives around modernizing apps and infrastructure. With BigPanda, they can automate and scale their Service Operations to better support and de-risk these modernization initiatives.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the BigPanda team there.

Assaf Resnick is the founder & CEO of BigPanda. He began his career at Moody’s Investors Services before becoming a principal at Sequoia Capital. At Sequoia he focused on public and early stage technology, internet, energy and mobile ventures. Assaf received a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School at University of California at Berkeley.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: Turbonomic

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Charles Crouchman, Chief Technology Officer of Turbonomic. 

AppD: What was the impetus behind Turbonomic being founded?

CC: Turbonomic was founded on the premise that software can manage virtualized IT systems better than human beings to assure performance while maximizing efficiency. Turbonomic’s algorithm applies microeconomic theory and the principles of supply and demand to resource management in the data center and cloud stack.

This concept of applying economics to shared compute resources was originally discussed in a series of papers by co-founder, Yechiam Yemini, in the 1980s. The fundamental concept is that workloads choose the infrastructure on which they run and consume only the resources they need to perform, in the same way that shoppers look for the best overall price for a basket of goods, buying only what they need, when they need it.

AppD: Why does overprovisioning in the cloud occur, and why is it such an issue?

CC: Overprovisioning in the cloud occurs for two primary reasons. First, virtually every workload residing in a private data center today is overprovisioned because there is no cost-efficiency penalty for doing so.

Second, cloud providers actually encourage enterprises to overprovision their workloads for performance reasons. Combined, migrated workloads are migrated into oversized templates and net-new public cloud workloads are oversized from inception. The problem lies in the fact that overprovisioned resources are now rented, not owned, and the cost overruns can be significant. For example, if a customer over-sizes just 100 workloads by one template in Amazon Web Services, it equates to $1.2M in annual unnecessary spend.

AppD: How does Turbonomic reduce 30% or so of typical cloud provider costs?

CC: Turbonomic continuously observes workload demand, also known as consumption, and matches that demand to the cheapest available supply. The platform understands the actual resource consumption of each of your public cloud instances. It then matches that consumption to the best available template—the one with just the right amount of compute and storage—resulting in specific actions to resize templates, scale applications, or shift storage tiers. These actions bring supply and demand into alignment.

Where does the 30% come from, you ask? Well this is typically the average amount of resource and dollars by which customers overprovision. With Turbonomic at work, that waste can be safely eliminated.

AppD: What makes Turbonomic so different to other cloud-related vendors?

CC: Turbonomic bears several key differentiators, but the standout point is that Turbonomic is the only real-time management platform that bridges on-premises and cloud infrastructure for performance, cost and compliance management. We integrate with multiple providers up and down the stack, are entirely API-driven, and leverage the aforementioned economic abstraction, which empowers our agnostic approach.

At the end of the day however, it is the fact that Turbonomic is the only platform on the market that can assure your workloads are running performant, at the lowest possible cost, within compliance, regardless of where they reside – all in real-time. Nobody else can offer that, or anything close to it today.

AppD: Tell us about your decision engine that helps determine where a workload should run and when.

CC: The fundamental idea is that the workloads choose the infrastructure on which they run. If you have ever purchased a stock, or bought something on eBay, or spent money on anything, the item you purchased and the amount you paid presumably represented your demand for that item at the time. Turbonomic works in much the same way. Our decision engine exposes the realm of possible residences for each workload… On-prem VMware, Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure… All zone, regions and clusters.

It then prices access to those entities as a function of their real-time utilization and the real-time utilization of their constituent resources (thread pools, heap, database connections, network throughput, storage latency, etc.). This pricing mechanism is a virtual currency, not a real one, but the net result is that workloads shop for the best deal, based on their resource requirements at the time. When a workload identifies a need for X, Y and Z compute, storage and network resources, Turbonomic brokers the purchase, so to speak, and the action to migrate and/or scale the workload takes place.

AppD: How does Turbonomic work with Cisco and AppDynamics to benefit enterprises?

CC: Customers are recognizing that applications are the lifeblood of today’s business. With Cisco and AppDynamics, Turbonomic is bringing our core value props—performance, efficiency, and compliance—to Cisco’s intent-based data center and enabling IT to focus on applications. With these partnerships, every decision our platform makes is about matching real-time application demand to the underlying compute, storage, and network.

The added benefit for UCS customers is that the Turbonomic integration enables demand-based elasticity in the UCS environment, turning blades on or off based on the resource needs of the applications running on UCS. For AppDynamics customers, Turbonomic can discover the application topology and OS metrics through AppDynamics and maps it to the data center stack. Using that information, the decision engine ensures that application components and workloads across the stack get the resources they need when they need them. With Cisco and AppDynamics, we’re stitching application performance directly to self-managing, elastic infrastructure.

AppD: Why should delegates at the NYC Summit visit the Turbonomic booth?

CC: Do you want to see how self-managing infrastructure directly impacts application performance? Come to the booth. We’ll have a demo showing how Turbonomic pulls in application topology and metrics from AppDynamics and then uses that information to drive the right sizing, placement, and capacity decisions that improve performance.

Applications and infrastructure have traditionally been siloed. With this integration, the finger pointing and guessing games are over—this is a whole new ball game for IT—one that every CEO, CRO, CMO, and, yes, every CIO will care about.  Because, again, today’s organizations rely on applications and the business outcomes they drive. Only software can assure their performance in real time, all the time.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the Turbonomic team there.

Charles is Chief Technology Officer of Turbonomic. In this role he contributes to product strategy, evangelizes our technology, supports our strategic sales and business development efforts, and leads product management. Prior to joining Turbonomic, Charles held senior executive positions at several technology startups including Cirba, Mformation Technologies, Opalis Software, and Cybermation.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: IBM Z Systems

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Nathan Brice, Senior Offering Manager, Z Systems Monitoring & APM at IBM. 

AppD: Can you share some details of the partnership between IBM and AppDynamics so far?

NB: In my role, I’m very focused on the tools required to manage our clients’ mainframes. Many of our clients have systems that have been running without any unplanned outage for decades, and the tools to manage these systems are critical.

It seemed to me that the rapid rise of APM software, looking at the entire end-to-end application, hasn’t to-date been able to deliver meaningful visibility into the mainframe. For many of the largest enterprises in the world, it’s often the most critical application components that are running on the mainframe.

I thought there was a tremendous opportunity to partner with AppDynamics, bringing together your market-leading APM product, together with our expertise on the mainframe, to deliver true end-to-end visibility for large enterprises with mainframes.

AppD: The integration extends the visibility of AppDynamics’ Map iQ and Diagnostic iQ into mainframe subsystems such as CICS and DB2. Can you explain this in more detail?

NB: With our planned IBM offering, you’ll install new agent code on the mainframe to track transactions in key mainframe z/OS subsystem. We’ve focused on CICS Transaction Server for the initial release as it’s one of the most commonly used subsystems. We support MQ, http & SOAP as entry points into CICS and Db2 and IMS DB backend databases. So now, in the AppDynamics flow map you’ll see additional nodes for MQ, CICS, Db2, IMS DB that are running on the mainframe.

AppD: What are the main benefits of the integration for IBM Z and AppDynamics customers?

NB: The key benefit is going to be faster isolation of problems. When transactions are slowing down somewhere in the mainframe, clients today might start by investigating the entry point, then the transaction server and then finally the database. Sometime all in parallel. Being able to clearly isolate which component is causing the slowdown is going to significantly speed problem determination and help get directly to the right mainframe engineer who can debug root cause.

There is also a huge benefit in understanding the true structure of the application. Being able to visualize where the transactions really flow, and which systems they interact with is very important when some of the back-end services have been enhanced, modified and tweaked over many, many years.

AppD: How can the integration support collaboration between two traditionally siloed teams?

NB: Typically, mainframe teams are still siloed away from other teams. The mainframe is often perceived as old, difficult, complicated and unless you work on an IBM Z System today, then this is probably what you believe too. I believe the integration of mainframe components into APM dashboards is going help application teams realize that the mainframe is just like another platform and foster greater collaboration between the teams. They will be able to understand the topology – and see just how quickly the transactions are processed!

AppD: More than $6 trillion in card payments are processed annually by mainframes. What other evidence do you have that having insights into mainframe performance is still very relevant to applications today?

NB: Most people don’t realize it, but you interact with mainframes every day. When you take cash out of an ATM, book a flight or a hotel room, or pay for something with a credit card, typically the back-end system of record that processes that transaction is going to be running on a mainframe. The latest IBM Z14 machines can process 12 billion encrypted transactions every single day. That’s the sort of scale you now need as a large retailer on a busy Black Friday.

In today’s digital world, the total volume of transactions is exploding as end-users’ expectations are rapidly evolving. How many more times to do you check your balance using a smart phone banking app compared to when you had to visit a physical bank branch? These systems of record running on the mainframe are the backbone to the modern economy.

AppD: One beta customer has said, “Before this integration, the mainframe was just a black box and we couldn’t truly manage our applications end-to-end.” Is this typical of the feedback you have received to date?

NB: Yes, that’s a very common response. In fact, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this project has been working closely with many clients as we designed the product. In my 20 years with IBM, I’ve never worked on a project that has had so much positive feedback. There is a clear demand for this capability and I’m really excited about working closely with our beta clients and sponsor users as we continue to design and develop additional capability.

AppD: Why should delegates come to the IBM booth and attend the breakout session at the NYC Summit?

NB: If you work in an enterprise that uses a mainframe and you either already have, or are considering purchasing AppDynamics, then come along and learn more about what we’ve been doing in this space. I’ll be there in person as will our project architect, Aaron Young. We’ll be able to show you a demo, talk about our future plans and answer any question you may have. Come along and find us at our booth.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the IBM team there.