Top 10 Tweets from AppSphere 15

With more than 1500 attendees, 45 speakers and a cherry red Tesla, the second annual AppSphere was a total success. After 5 days in Vegas, you can bet there was probably a little too much poker, a ton of interesting breakout sessions, and a lot of tweets coming from the application intelligence event of the year.

1. Who doesn’t love to start a user conference with a hype video?

2. When you realize you can’t rely on customer complaints to find problems.

3. Day 1 lead to some pretty big revelations.

4. AppSphere theme: “Impossible before AppDynamics”

5. Even if you missed a presentation, you were still covered.

6. Sending your IT Ops to Vegas on Cyber Monday = major trust in application performance.

7. Fry even made an appearance.

8. Software already ate the world, now it’s figuring out new ways to connect itself.

9. Wise words on friendship were imparted.

10. And let’s not forget about that cherry red Tesla.

Concluding Thoughts From AppSphere 2015: A Future Transformed For The Better By Technology

It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate speaker or more relevant message than David Kirkpatrick’s closing general session at AppSphere 2015, “The Techonomic Future of Business.” An esteemed alumnus of Fortune magazine, founder and CEO of Techonomy Media, and author of The Facebook Effect, Kirkpatrick described the technology trends he sees shaping the future not just of business, but of everything — and the future he describes is precisely the one AppDynamics was created to support.

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Smartphones were the start of the tectonic shift toward a world that is fully interconnected and always on. But Kirkpatrick sees those “rectangles of glass” as a “crude technology that we will bypass” as more efficient, more ubiquitous means of interacting with data evolve.

Until then, though, the dominant forces are mobility and the cloud, combining to accelerate the pace of everything, and making user experience and speed the drivers of competitive differentiation. The idea of every company being a software company, a technology company, is no longer debated; it is the reality, and leaders need to figure out how to digitally transform to embrace it, or they simply will not survive.

Kirkpatrick described “the end of industries” as we know them now, with boundaries blurring, entrepreneurship exploding, and smart startups with brilliant ideas able to easily find funding to aim their slingshots at industry behemoths. You can’t have this conversation without mentioning Uber and AirBnB, but there are going to be new examples soon (I hope!); Kirkpatrick throws Tesla in, and Google, too, for good measure.

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“Software is knitting everything together in a new kind of integrated universe,” he said. It is blurring the distinction between our offline and online worlds, simply taking care of things without our intervention. And like it or not, we won’t have the option to opt out. Sensors, cameras, and connected devices are increasingly surrounding us. We have to hope that the algorithms that control them will be guided by a moral compass that reflects the best of our human values.

So to sum up, what are the big game-changers in Kirkpatrick’s view? The Internet of Things, or the Internet of Everything as he calls it. Augmented reality like the Microsoft HoloLens and Google Cardboard. And innovations like Blockchain, a primary enabling technology for Bitcoin. (It will be interesting to see how those latter two play out.)

The common denominator for all of it is software. And that brings us back to AppDynamics. We have the platform that makes sure the software works. And by “works,” we don’t mean just making sure there are no interruptions, slowdowns, or hiccups in performing the functions all these applications are designed to do. It is also leveraging the immensity of data those applications generate every millisecond to derive insights that make the products better, the interactions more meaningful, and the enterprises behind them more successful. And hopefully in the process, make the world a better place.

Because for us, it’s not just about succeeding in the marketplace and becoming the next great software company, though we fully intend to do that. It’s about leveraging technology  to help create the kind of world we want to live in, and a future that exceeds our wildest imaginings.

For these five days of AppSphere, 1,500 technology experts listened and shared their visions. We inspired and got inspired. And while each of us has our own piece that we focus on in our own companies and enterprises, the common threads are obvious. The common direction is obvious. As we scatter back to our homes and businesses in every corner of the world (every continent except Antarctica was represented At AppSphere, though they must use a lot of software in those scientific stations — next year!), we’re all better equipped to build a future that’s not just more convenient and efficient, but more meaningful and compassionate.

To close, I want to extend our thanks to all of our expert presenters, to David Kirkpatrick for a truly inspiring finale, and to everyone who attended. See you in Vegas again next year!

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David Kirkpatrick counts Mark Zuckerberg as one of the true visionaries of our time. The ideas in this image are from a letter he wrote to his daughter about his hopes for what technology can do for the world.

 

AppDynamics Winter ’16 Release teased at AppSphere with new features

Earlier today at AppDynamics AppSphere™ 2015, we announced the AppDynamics Winter ’16 Release (4.2) that  brings significant enhancements to our Application Intelligence Platform to provide essential support for businesses’ digital transformation initiatives.

The new release extends the capabilities of AppDynamics’ industry-first, application-centric Unified Monitoring solution, providing greater visibility into the user journey with detailed user sessions support, and expanded monitoring with Server and Browser Synthetic Monitoring and support for C/C++ applications. It also brings major upgrades to AppDynamics Application Analytics solution to provide richer, deeper insights into users, applications, and the correlations between application performance and business metrics.

Enhanced Unified Monitoring

AppDynamics Unified Monitoring provides industry-leading, end-to-end visibility from the end-user through all the application layers and their supporting infrastructure, enabling comprehensive management of end-user experience and application health.

In addition to general availability for Server Monitoring and C/C++ language support, the new release also introduces more than two dozen new extensions to expand AppDynamics’ monitoring capabilities to more application and infrastructure components, including many for Amazon Web Services. In addition, the new release brings numerous functional and usability enhancements for Java, .Net, Python, PHP, Node.js and Web Server monitoring solutions.

General availability of application-centric server monitoring

AppDynamics Server Monitoring is an application-centric server monitoring platform that proactively detects and helps quickly resolve server performance issues in context of business transactions. As a key component of the AppDynamics Unified Monitoring solution, server monitoring complements application and database monitoring to provide the end-to-end visibility needed to improve end-user experience and reduce monitoring complexity.

Server Monitoring provides comprehensive CPU, memory, disk, networking, and running processes metrics for Linux and Windows servers. With the new solution, customers can drill down (see figure 1) to detailed server metrics directly from the end-to-end application flow map when troubleshooting application performance issues.

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Fig 1 : Drill down directly from the application flow map to view server details.

We are also announcing the Service Availability Monitoring (SAM) pack, which will be available as an add-on to Server Monitoring to help customers track the availability and basic performance metrics for HTTP services (figure 2)  running on servers not natively monitored via an AppDynamics agent.

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Fig 2: Service Availability Monitoring

General availability of C/C++ monitoring SDK

With the new release, AppDynamics now also supports monitoring of C/C++ applications via a monitoring SDK that enables the same real-time, end-to-end, user-to-database performance visibility as other supported languages, for rapid root-cause analysis and issue resolution.

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Fig 3: C/C++ Application Performance Monitoring

These powerful capabilities are now available for C/C++ applications: automatic discovery and mapping of all tiers that service and interact with the C/C++ applications, automatic dynamic baselining, data collectors, and health rules, as well as managing key metrics including application load and response times, and key system resources including CPU, memory, and disk I/O.

Expanded Amazon Web Services monitoring with new extensions

Concurrent with the Winter ’16 Release, AppDynamics announced the availability of two dozen new extensions, including 19 for monitoring Amazon Web Services (AWS) components. These extensions are now available at the AppDynamics Exchange, joining more than one hundred extensions to enable monitoring application and infrastructure components not natively monitored by AppDynamics.

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Fig 4: Extended coverage of AWS with new extensions

Powerful End-User Experience Monitoring

The Winter ’16 Release adds support for real-user sessions, providing a rich and detailed view into the user journey — what actions users take on a browser or a mobile device, step-by-step, as they move through the funnel, and how application performance impacts their journey. In addition, Browser Synthetic Monitoring becomes generally available. Together, Browser Synthetic Monitoring, and Browser and Mobile Real-User Monitoring with user sessions support, provide the industry’s most comprehensive view of performance from the end-user perspective in a single intuitive dashboard.

Sessions monitoring as part of Browser/Mobile Real-User Monitoring

With the Winter ’16 Release, AppDynamics Browser and Mobile Real-User Monitoring now tracks and captures a user’s entire journey on a website or mobile app from the start until a configurable period of inactivity, or start-to-finish of a transaction sequence. Sessions can be viewed for individual users or a class of users. Sessions data is invaluable for understanding funnel dynamics, tracking conversion and bounce rates, and seeing where in the sequence users had issues or disengaged. Performance issues and health violations and their causes are captured throughout a session, and the correlation with business impact can be captured, especially in conjunction with AppDynamics Application Analytics.

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Fig 5: Detailed user sessions tracking as part of Browser and Mobile Real-User Monitoring

General Availability of Browser Synthetic Monitoring

Browser Synthetic Monitoring enables enterprises to ensure availability and performance of their websites even in the absence of real user load. Incorporating the highly regarded, open-source WebPageTest technology, Browser Synthetic Monitoring eliminates the variability inherent in real-user monitoring, and provides accurate measurements for baselining performance, competitive benchmarking, and management of third-party content performance. In addition to reporting on availability, Browser Synthetic Monitoring can be scripted to measure a sequence of transactions simulating an actual user’s workflow, including entering forms data, log-in credentials, and actions to test and ensure application logic.

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Fig 6: Browser Synthetic Monitoring of  US presidential candidates

Because it is a cloud-based solution, enterprises can scale their synthetic monitoring up or down as needed, schedule measurement jobs flexibly anytime 24/7, and choose which of more than two dozen points of presence around the globe they want to measure, and with which browsers. Measurements can also be set up to automatically re-test immediately on error, failure, or timeout to reduce or eliminate false positives for more intelligent alerting. There’s no need to wait for the next available testing window, by which time conditions may have changed. Browser Synthetic data can be viewed side-by-side with Browser and Mobile Real-User data in a single dashboard; Browser Synthetic Monitoring snapshots are also correlated with AppDynamics’ server-side APM for end-to-end traceability of issues.

Enhanced Application Analytics

AppDynamics Application Analytics is a rich, highly extensible, real-time analytics solution that gives IT and business teams deep insights into customer behaviors, and illuminates the correlations between application performance and business metrics. The updated Application Analytics provides support for more data sets, including all of AppDynamics APM data, log data, and APIs for importing/exporting external data sets; a custom SQL-based query language that enables unified search and log correlation with business transactions; a number of user interface enhancements and new out-of-the-box data widgets; and role-based access control.

These improvements allow enterprise users to immediately access rich customer profiles and behavioral data, and to quickly and conveniently perform customized queries to get the insights they need to more effectively engage their customers and make decisions that optimize business outcomes.

Advanced Query Language – AppDynamics Query Language (ADQL)

Application Analytics makes data accessible via the SQL-like, dynamic AppDynamics Query Language (ADQL), which enables advanced, fast, and nested data searches across multiple datasets, and supports rapid ad hoc analyses in real time.

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Fig 7: AppDynamics Query Language, ADQL

Event Correlation between transactions and logs

Business, marketing and performance data is typically siloed and in many different formats. Application Analytics auto-correlates business transactions data from APM and log data from machine agent to provide unprecedented end-to-end analytics into the digital user journey, and the corresponding impact on business metrics.

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Fig 8: Log records during last 15 minutes

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Fig 9: Correlation with Log and business transaction

Out-of-the-box visualization

This release introduces many new out-of-the-box visualization widgets to create interactive custom dashboards to provide actionable data. New out-of-the-box widgets include funnel widget to track drop off; user conversion widget; and widgets to do ad hoc analysis (multiple X and Y). Analytics widgets can be saved to custom dashboards, and reports can be scheduled for users and senior management.

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Fig 10: Out-of-the box analytics visualization widgets

Role-based access control

In addition, role-based access control is added to AppDynamics Application Analytics, enhancing security for sensitive business and customer data, while at the same time simplifying access for users within the context of their permissions. It now enforces strict access control to analytics data by job function and supports flexible data access control by data type. It also unifies multiple logins thereby improving user experience and adoption inside organization.

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Fig 11: Role based access control

An enhanced platform that is an essential pillar of digital transformation

As the world becomes increasingly defined by software, enterprises of every description are pursuing digital transformation to satisfy user expectations for always-on, always effective engagement, and to realize the competitive efficiencies and advantages of digital delivery. The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform, with the far-reaching enhancements of the Winter ’16 Release, is designed to provide the next-generation application support needed to help enterprises achieve the user experience and operational success that is at the heart of effective digital transformation.