Announcing AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform

AppDynamics is excited to unveil details behind our new Application Intelligence Platform which is the technology foundation for the AppDynamics portfolio of performance monitoring, automation and analytics solutions (transaction analytics was also announced today).

Today’s software defined businesses need the ability to see everything in their application environment, act with certainty, and know faster. See, Act, & Know, the three core pillars of Application Intelligence.

See Act Know

Making sense of all the data, transactions, events and user interactions in these environments is increasingly difficult as the volume, variety and velocity of data grows. Traditional approaches to solving this problem are typically silo’d in their view providing limited business correlation and only present static data. In order to keep up with todays complexity, what’s needed is a platform that can collect, understand, and act on the data and translate that into actionable information about your business.

platform page - application intelligence platform graphic2

The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform is uniquely able to deliver rich performance data, learning, and analytics, combined with the flexibility to adapt to virtually any infrastructure or software environment. The platform was designed for the modern day application, including SOA architectures, frequent agile releases, cloud deployments, big data technologies and mobile delivery – and maintains a unique low-overhead architecture. This gives you the ability to instantly see the impact of production changes as you work, and adapt to optimize performance and minimize bottlenecks while ensuring the revenues are maximized.

Today’s consumer-driven world moves faster than ever. Everything from your customer experience to revenue depends on your business-critical applications performing at their highest level. AppDynamics delivers real-time access to every aspect of your performance, so you can anticipate problems, resolve them automatically, and make smarter, more certain business decisions.  This includes detailed understanding of the user experience, business data such as real time revenue metrics, deep application performance and infrastructure data. All collected within context of business & operational transactions.

Platform Design Principles:

The Application Intelligence Platform is the underlying architecture that we use to deliver all of the capabilities a modern business needs to keep their business running at peak performance and use application intelligence as a competitive advantage.

The core design principles behind the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform include:

Scalability:

The interactions customers have with the business are highly dynamic, environments are larger and more hybrid and organizations are demanding IT transform the business faster than ever. AppDynamics monitors many of the largest, most complex enterprise application environments in the world, supporting environments up to 10,000 nodes on a single management server. This is critical for customers who do not want to manage and maintain a farm of servers.

Lightweight:

Our platform was designed to be a production tool from the very beginning, giving it a unique low-overhead architecture. Intelligent data collection to ensure the lowest production overhead in the market. AppDynamics correlates end user business transaction details with completion status (success, error, exception), response times, and all other data points measured at any given time. It automatically analyzes the entire data set to provide information from which to draw conclusions and take the appropriate action.

Self-learning:

Auto-instrumentation, and minimal configuration enables simple and intuitive operation for any size business. AppDynamics has a unique ability to instrument your application, learning its transactions, code execution behavior, and normal performance patterns. It can adapt and adjust instrumentation automatically when you change your application-no manual configuration needed.

Open and Extensible:

The AppDynamics platform is open, extensible, and interoperable to fit any business need. Through the AppDynamics Exchange our community comes together to share knowledge and contribute back over 100 extensions that provide deep integrations to the tools you already use like Splunk, Apica, PagerDuty, and Amazon Web Services. From monitoring Amazon Web Services costs to MEAS mainframes our extensions allow you to leverage the tools you already have in place. We believe you own your data and it should be easy to consume and analyze which is why we provide REST APIs and SDKs available on GitHub that make it as easy as possible to get started.

Flexible:

The platform can be deployed in any operating model, including on-premise, SaaS, private cloud, or a hybrid combination. It’s always the exact same platform and there are no cost implications associated regardless of deployment model.

Secure:

Provides enterprise grade security with Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), LDAP, and SaaS certifications that guarantee security and compliance.

What services are delivered on the Application Intelligence Platform?

The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform gives companies the foundation they need to monitor performance and extract meaningful analytics from their business applications. Software-defined businesses must be certain that their most complex, business-critical applications are performing at the highest level; and be certain that the data and information generated by these applications can be harnessed for ongoing business advantage and impact. AppDynamics’ Application Intelligence platform enables customers to monitor, respond, and analyze their application environment.

Monitor

Application Performance Management

Mobile Application Monitoring

End User Experience Management

Database/NoSQL/BigData Monitoring

Infrastructure Monitoring

Respond

Run Book Automation

Cloud Auto-Scaling

Alerting

Analyze

Transaction Analytics (Beta)

analytics

Real-Time Business Metrics

analytics page - real-time business metrics graphic2

Operational Analytics

scalability analysis

The Application Intelligence Platform delivers this functionality by collecting data from across the application environment, processing & correlating it, and converting that data into knowledge for customers.

Collecting Data:

  • Instrumentation allows us to watch every line of code.
  • Distributed transaction tracing follows the business transaction across all tiers of the application, not just limited to a single node.

  • Transaction auto-learning engine inspects execution code, payload, libraries and methods so you are not left in the dark.

  • Real-time service discovery renders architecture topology to clearly and automatically map critical relationships and dependencies..

  • The smart agent filters and transfers data to the management server securely and in real-time.

Processing & Correlating Data

  • Real-time stream processing allows for complex event processing of metric and event streams.
  • Time series clustering and analytics provides the ability to index and manage time series by auto rolling up, purging or clustering data sets by time increments.

  • Behavioral learning is an engine that continuously adjusts dynamic baselines for an automated manageable data set.

  • Unstructured and structured big data indexing creates a data warehouse for different types of application data which is seamlessly correlated and processed.

  • Event correlation shows the relationship of performance, change, and business events.

Converting Data Into Knowledge

  • Intuitive user interface (UI) allows for a simple and easy-to-use platform for business users, developers and operations teams.

  • Dynamic flow maps create a clear and understandable visual representation of the application topology, so organizations understand what is happening in the big picture.

  • Cross-correlated drill down from anywhere in the UI, enabling pin-point accuracy across multiple nodes and machines.

  • Real-time correlation of performance metrics and business metrics create a business understanding of data never before delivered.

  • Compare and analyze the side-by side performance of different versions of an application.

  • Custom drag and drop HTML5 dashboards can be configured to any specification to deliver clear actionable results.

  • Query language allows easy, targeted data discovery.

In today’s competitive and demanding environment, organizations need to leverage Application Intelligence for ongoing business advantage. The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform enables customers to see everything across all front and back-end interactions: business transaction and code-level visibility with no blind spots.

Maximize digital business performance through an open, integrated solution that delivers real-time monitoring, actionable business and operational insights, and automated issue resolution across applications, infrastructure, and user experience. Take five minutes to get complete visibility and control into the applications that power your software-defined business. Get started with the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform today.

Crabs and IT Operations – Different but the Same

I recently had the luxury of sitting on a beach for a while to unwind, de-stress, and recharge my batteries. Even though I really shouldn’t have been thinking about work, the IT performance geek inside of me is always lurking. He can’t be switched off so I allow him to enter the picture, run away with my thoughts for a while, and then lock him away until the next time he breaks out into the wild. This blog post is about one interesting observation the IT performance geek made while I was watching crabs go about their business on the beach.

Background

On my first day of vacation I saw a bunch of holes in the beach with mounds of sand piled up outside of each hole. I thought this to be quite interesting and wondered what sort of creature was the excavating genius. After some time passed by I noticed some suspiciously crabby eyes peering out of the holes at me. If I made any moves the crabs would dart back deep into their burrows and let some time pass until they peered outside again.

Later that day the tide came in and washed away the sand piles covering up the holes that the crabs had made. I wondered what happened to them while the tide was up. Did they stay under the sand and water? Did they go somewhere else? Did they rebuild their holes every single day after the tide subsided? I needed to pay attention during the rest of my vacation to figure this out.

Tides of Change

IT Operations Automation

The tides brought serious problems to the crab burrows. My inner IT performance geek immediately likened the tidal damage to the problems brought about by an onslaught of user activity to a web application. As the tide built the sand pile outside of the burrow washed away. In my head I was imagining a swell of user generated workload eroding away business critical application performance. Only after enough pounding did the sand pile completely give way and the crab burrow collapsed under the stress of the ocean.

This is how I’ve seen most IT performance problems develop as well. It’s usually not an immediate collapse (system crash), but a degradation over a period of time that leads to a failure of the application.

Where Have All the Good Crabs Gone?

How did the crabs respond to all of this? At first I didn’t know where the crabs were while their burrows were under water. After some observation I realized that some had retreated to the tropical woods at the edge of the beach and that others had found shelter on, in, and around a rock wall that ran from the beach into the water. This isn’t really relevant to my story but I thought you’d be interested in finding out. The interesting part to me is what happened when the tide subsided. As the day wore on and the tide became compliant with crab low tide regulations I noticed a massive crab undertaking. Most of the crabs returned at nearly the same time and started re-digging their burrows.

I was amazed at how much sand these little crustaceans could move with a single scoop of their crabby claws. These crabs knew exactly how to fix the problem that the tide had burdened them with and within 30 minutes their burrows were completely restored.

SandPiles

Crabs and IT Operations

This entire process reminded me of my days in IT operations when an alert would fire, we would figure out what the problem was, and soon after problem isolation we would have service restored. That is all fine and good but here is the big problem. The crabs did the same thing every single day of my vacation. They built a burrow, the tide washed it away, and they rebuilt their burrow when the tide subsided. Day after day after day forever.

Many of us did the same thing in IT operations. After the problem was fixed and service restored we congratulated each other and enjoyed our burrows instead of taking the extra time to figure out automated detection and remediation strategies for problems we had seen before. As IT practitioners we usually have more on our plates than we can possibly handle. We live in an age of “do more with less”. The problem is that if we don’t take the extra time to automate our detection and remediation of application issues we will endlessly repeat the cycle of the crabs.

Crabs can’t use complex tools, but thankfully we can. AppDynamics application runbook automation is the cure for the crab cycle. It detects problems and remediates them automatically (you choose if you want to authorize the action or not). We’ve written a couple of other posts that describe the functionality in detail, so please read through them and get familiar with this amazing set of features…

Don’t be an “Also-Ran” – Application Runbook Automation for World Class IT

Application Runbook Automation – A Detailed Walk Through

If you’re tired of the crab cycle do yourself a favor and fix it for good. Click here to get started with your free trial of AppDynamics Pro and see how powerful, easy to use software can make your life better today.

Application Runbook Automation – A Detailed Walk Through

On Monday AppDynamics announced a new feature called Application Runbook Automation (RBA). The response to this announcement has been great and many people want to see the details on how we implement RBA within AppDynamics. If you attended one of our customer webinars for AppDynamics 3.7 Sneak Peek then you got to see RBA in action during a live demo. Here is a link to the webinar recording in case you want to see for yourself. After all, a video is worth a million words. Otherwise, I’m going to walk you through it step by step in this blog post.

If you don’t already know WHY we built Application RBA please read “Don’t Be An “Also-Ran” – Application Runbook Automation for World Class IT”

Let’s jump right in…