Achieving Rapid Time-to-Value with AppDynamics

At AppDynamics, we are firm believers in demonstrating the value of our platform as quickly as possible. Many of our customers are able to address critical performance issues within minutes of getting their application instrumented. Below is an example of how we use AppDynamics with a fictional customer, AD-Betting, to analyze and troubleshoot the company’s business environment soon after AppD is up and running.

Getting Started

After allowing AppDynamics to watch the AD-Betting environment for a few hours, we were able to see the company’s environment, how its components were interacting with one another, and user interactions. Here is AD-Betting’s architecture diagram as represented by a close-up view of our Application Flow Map:

First we examined the last hour of AD-Betting’s performance data:

Even without having detailed knowledge of the application, we knew for certain the average response time increase at 3:00 p.m. wasn’t related to a scalability issue, as the load hadn’t increased at the same time.​

To investigate the performance issue further, we reduced the time range to cover only the problematic peak. The resulting flow map showed the HTTP call between the tier (aggregator) and the external service (ad-soccer-games.com) took four seconds on average:

With a single click on the aggregator tier, it was easy to identify the impacted business transaction (/quotes):

With a single drill-down click on View Business Transaction Dashboard, we could see how “/quotes” was impacted by this issue. The scorecard for this transaction (below) uncovered a direct correlation between the spike in application response time and an increase in “Slow” and “Very Slow” transactions:

To find the root cause, we switched to Transaction Snapshots view and filtered for slow and very slow snapshots, which AppDynamics had collected automatically. We then picked one snapshot as an example and looked at the Call Graph, which showed the call for method aggregateWithoutCaching in line 217 took five seconds. The connected HTTP exit call terminated with SocketTimeoutException: Read timed out. We also verified this issue with other snapshots at the same time and—voila!—AppDynamics had uncovered the root cause of the performance issue:

To better understand the issue’s impact, we used AppDynamics’ End User Monitoring to analyze AD-Betting’s most important page requests sorted by end-user response time. We immediately spotted the slow end-user experience for FIFA 2018 – All Games, which was an extremely critical component of the company’s business, particularly with the World Cup underway. This was one issue we needed to analyze further.

Looking at the waterfall diagram of all views for this particular page, we discovered that most of the transaction time was spent on the backend, not on the network or browser side:

We then picked a single browser snapshot for closer examination. Since AppDynamics correlates frontend (browser) and backend (Java) automatically, we were able to get an associated backend snapshot as well. In this case, we diagnosed the Call graph and again found the same performance-impacting issue. As you can see, the problem was impacting one of the company’s most important pages:

We hope this simple walk-through of AppDynamics’ powerful monitoring and diagnostic capabilities helps you analyze and troubleshoot your own business-critical environments. Take the AppDynamics Guided Tour to learn more!

Manpower Group Sees Real Results from End User Monitoring

Some companies talk about monitoring their end user experience and other companies take the bull by the horns and get it done. For those who have successfully implemented EUM (RUM, EUEM, or whatever your favorite acronym is) the technology is rewarding for both the company and the end user alike. I recently had the opportunity to discuss AppDynamics EUM with one of our customers and the information shared with me was exciting and gratifying.

The Environment

ManpowerGroup monitors their intranet and internet applications with AppDynamics. These applications are used for internal operations as well as customer facing websites; in support of their global business and accessed from around the word, 24×7. We’re talking about business critical, revenue generating applications!

I asked Fred Graichen, Manager of Enterprise Application Support, why he thought ManpowerGroup needed EUM.

“One of the key components for EUM is to shed light on what is happening in the “last mile”. Our business involves supporting branch locations. Having an EUM tool allows us to compare performance across all of our branches. This also helps us determine whether any performance issues are localized. Having the insight into the difference in performance by location allows us to make more targeted investments in local hardware and network infrastructure.”

Meaningful Results

Turning on a monitoring tool doesn’t mean you’ll automagically get the results you want. You also need to make sure your tool is integrated with your people, processes, and technologies. That’s exactly what ManpowerGroup has done with AppDynamics EUM. They have alerts based upon EUM metrics that get routed to the proper people. They are then able to correlate the EUM information with data from other (Network) monitoring tools in their root cause analysis. Below is an EUM screen shot from ManpowerGroup’s environment.

MPG EUM

By implementing AppDynamics EUM, ManpowerGroup has been able to:

  • Identify locations that are experiencing the worst performance.
  • Successfully illustrate the difference in performance globally as well. (This is key when studying the impact of latency etc. on an application that is being accessed from other countries but are located in a central datacenter.)
  • Quickly identify when a certain location is seeing performance issues and correlate that with data from other monitoring solutions.

But what does all of this mean to the business? It means that ManpowerGroup has been able to find and resolve problems faster for their customers and employees. Faster application response time combined with happier customers and more productive employees all contribute to a healthier bottom line for ManpowerGroup.

ManpowerGroup is using AppDynamics EUM to bring a higher level of performance to it’s employees, customers, and shareholders. Sign up for a free trial today and begin your journey to a healthier bottom line.