Gartner Report Reveals Why Your APM Strategy Needs AIOps

Is application performance monitoring (APM) without artificial intelligence a waste of resources?

It turns out, the answer may be yes. Gartner’s newly released report, Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations Delivers Improved Business Outcomes, reveals that using artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) in tandem with APM might be the key to optimizing business performance.

So why exactly do AIOps and APM make such a powerful pair and, perhaps more importantly, how can you start applying an AIOps mindset to APM in your own organization?

AIOps and APM: Great Alone, Better Together

Application performance monitoring (APM) is the key to proactively diagnosing and fixing performance issues, but a new study from Gartner reveals the many incremental benefits IT teams can derive from leveraging AIOps in conjunction with APM. Adding artificial intelligence into the mix gives IT and business leaders visibility into the right data at the right time to make decisions that maximize business impact. The power of AI in relation to APM is that most APM environments generate massive quantities of data that humans can’t possibly parse and derive meaning from fast enough to make it useful. Through machine learning, we can ingest that data, and over time, develop intelligence around what matters within an application ecosystem. As Gartner reveals, “AIOps with APM can deliver the actionable insight needed to achieve business outcomes such as improved revenue, cost and risk.”

Consider the process of assessing customer satisfaction based on customer sentiment data and related service desk data. Without using both AIOps and APM, infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders might come to the conclusion that customers are delighted based on fast page load times. But by using AI to also ingest and analyze data from order management and customer service applications, I&O leaders can find correlations between IT metrics and business data such as revenue or customer retention. This level of insight offered by AIOps allows business leaders to make informed decisions and prioritize actions that will quickly improve customer satisfaction and, ultimately, the bottom line.

Applying AIOps to APM

Here are three ways I&O leaders can leverage AIOps together with APM to achieve incremental benefits—the step-by-step technical strategies for which can be found in Gartner’s new report:

1. Map application performance metrics to business objectives by using AIOps to detect unsuspected dependencies.

AIOps can be used to help measure IT’s activities in terms of benefits to the business—such as an increase in orders or improved customer satisfaction. To do this, I&O leaders should start by collaborating with key business stakeholders to identify the mission-critical priorities of the business relative to applications. Next, acquire the data supporting the measurement of these selected objectives by capturing the flow of business transactions such as orders, registrations and renewals. After inspecting their payloads, you can then use AIOps algorithms to detect patterns or clusters in the combined business and IT data, infer relationships, and determine causality.

2. Expand the ability to support prediction by using AIOps to forecast high probability future problems.

“AIOps provides insight into future events using its ability to extrapolate what is likely to happen next, enabling I&O leaders to take action in order to prevent impact,” Gartner states. As such, I&O leaders should take advantage of the many ways machine learning algorithms can provide value: predicting trends, detecting anomalies, determining causality and classifying data. Use AIOps algorithms to predict future values of time-series data such as end-user response time, engage in root-cause analysis of predicted issues to determine the true fault, and take preventative measures to prevent the impact of predicted problems.

3. Improve business outcomes by applying AIOps to customer and transaction data.

The pattern recognition, advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of an AIOps solution can extend APM’s historical insight into application availability and performance to provide business impact. By using AIOps’ machine learning capabilities—including anomaly detection, classification, clustering and extrapolation—you can analyze behavior (e.g., customer actions during the order process) and relate that behavior to events afflicting the underlying IT infrastructure. Use the clustering and extrapolation algorithms contained within AIOps to detect unexpected patterns or groupings in your data and predict future outcomes. From there, you can correlate IT problems with changes in business metrics and establish how changes in application performance and availability impact customer sentiment.

Augmenting APM with Artificial Intelligence

The verdict is in and the evidence is compelling: AIOps is the key to maximizing the business impact of your APM investment.

Using AIOps together with APM can help I&O leaders more effectively align IT and business objectives, expand the ability to support prediction, and improve business performance. Leveraging AIOps can take your APM strategy to the next level, giving IT and business leaders the deep insight they need to make decisions that increase revenue, reduce costs, and lower risk.

Application performance management is already a critical tool that belongs in every IT leader’s toolbox, and AIOps is a game-changing technology set to transform APM and IT operations in a major way. As one analyst recently wrote for Forbes, “AIOps is gearing up to be the next big thing in IT management…When the power of AI is applied to operations, it will redefine the way infrastructure is managed.” In today’s competitive business landscape, companies need an edge to survive and thrive—and it seems APM with AIOps might just be the golden ticket.

Access the Full Research

For more exclusive insights into Gartner’s research on why—and how—you should apply AIOps to APM, download the report Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations Delivers Improved Business Outcomes.

Gartner, Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations Delivers Improved Business Outcomes, Charley Rich, 12 June 2018

AIOps: A Self-Healing Mentality

The first time I began watching Minority Report back in 2002, the film’s premise made me optimistic: Crime could be prevented with the help of Precogs, a trio of mutant psychics capable of “previsualizing” crimes and enabling police to stop murderers before they act. What a great utopia!

I quickly realized, however, that this “utopia” was in fact a dystopian nightmare. I left the theater feeling confident that key elements of Minority Report’s bleak future—city-wide placement of iris scanners, for instance—would never come to pass. Fast forward to today, however, and ubiquitous iris-scanning doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Don’t believe me? Simply glance at your smartphone and the device unlocks.

This isn’t dystopian stuff, however. Rather, today’s consumer is enjoying the benefits that machine learning and artificial intelligence provide. From Amazon’s product recommendations to Netflix’s show suggestions to Lyft’s passenger predictions, these services—while not foreseeing crime—greatly enhance the user experience.

The systems that run these next-generation features are vastly complex, ingesting a large corpus of data and continually learning and adapting to help drive different decisions. Similarly, a new enterprise movement is underway to combine machine learning and AI to support IT operations. Gartner calls it “AIOps,” while Forrester favors “Cognitive Operations.”

A Hypothesis-Driven World

Hypothesis-driven analysis is not new to the business world. It impacts the average consumer in many ways, such as when a credit card vendor tweaks its credit-scoring rules to determine who should receive a promotional offer (and you get another packet in your mailbox). Or when the TSA decides to expand or contract its TSA PreCheck program.

Of course, systems with AI/ML are not new to the enterprise. Some parts of the stack, such as intrusion detection, have been using artificial intelligence and machine learning for some time.

But with AIOps, we are entering an age where the entire soup-to-nuts of measuring user sentiment—everything from A/B testing to canary deployment—can be automated. And while there’s a sharp increase in the number of systems that can take action—CI/CD, IaaS, and container orchestrators are particularly well-suited to instruction—the harder part is the conclusions process, which is where AIOps systems will come into play.

The ability to make dynamic decisions and test multiple hypotheses without administrative intervention is a huge boon to business. In addition to myriad other skills, AIOps platforms could monitor user sentiment in social collaboration tools like Slack, for instance, to determine if some type of action or deeper introspection is required. This action could be something as simple as redeploying with more verbose logging, or tracing for a limited period of time to tune, heal, or even deploy a new version of an application.

AIOps: Precog, But in a Good Way

AIOps and cognitive operations may sound like two more enterprise software buzzwords to bounce around, but their potential should not be dismissed. According to Google’s Site Reliability Engineering workbook, self-healing and auto-healing infrastructures are critically important to the enterprise. What’s important to remember about AIOps and cognitive operations is that they enable self-healing before a problem occurs.

Of course, this new paradigm is no replacement for good development and operation practices. But more often than not, we take on new projects that may be ill-defined, or find ourselves dropped into the middle of a troubled project (or firestorm). In what I call the “fog of development,” no one person has an unobstructed, 360-degree view of the system.

What if the system could deliver automated insights that you could incorporate into your next software release? Having a systematic record of real-world performance and topology—rather than just tribal knowledge—is a huge plus. Similar to the security world having a runtime application self-protection (RASP) platform, engineers should address underlying issues in future versions of the application. In some ways, AIOps and cognitive operations have much in common with the CAMS Model, the core values of the DevOps Movement: culture, automation, measurement and sharing. Wouldn’t it be nice to automate the healing as well?

Gartner Report: The ‘3B’s’ of Engagement: Business Architecture, Business Process, and Business Outcomes

Today, many IT leaders are missing opportunities to help their business grow, add value, and transform operations because they aren’t aligned with business leadership.

In Gartner’s recent report, The ‘3B’s’ of Engagement: Business Architecture, Business Process, and Business Outcomes, Gartner shares how CIOs can leverage existing competencies to successfully engage with business leaders, enabling strategic planning, innovation, and growth initiatives.

The report gives solutions for fixing communication issues between IT and business teams, and offers insight into how IT leaders can demonstrate relevance and vested interest in delivering desired enterprise performance results.

The report also reveals another stumbling block rarely considered: CIOs are often victims of their own success.

“A solid reputation as a great utility service provider has become an Achilles heel for many CIOs,” notes the Garter report. “Their success in infrastructure, operations, and back-office automation precludes them from being invited to participate in discussions about front-office opportunities for growth, new value and transforming business.”

Another challenge that CIOs face is an inability to clearly communicate and demonstrate IT’s impact on the business.

“Even when [IT and business] teams work well together and have strong competencies in business architecture, business process and business outcomes, CIOs struggle to link their teams’ contributions to the aspects of business operations (aka the actual business artifacts) they represent.”

Gartner identifies these as key challenges for companies, as CIOs already have immense competency in three areas – business architecture, business processes, and business outcomes – which are crucial for spotting opportunities for growth.

So, how can CIOs communicate with business leaders to ensure they’re at the table for growth and innovation initiatives?

The solution, according to Gartner, is to use those three Bs – business architecture, business processes, and business outcomes – as a hub for communication, or a translator device, if you will.

Gartner suggests that using business-oriented terms will help CIOs “demonstrate relevance and vested interest in delivering desired enterprise performance results by explicitly linking competencies in business architecture, business process, and business outcomes to the actual business designs, processes, and outcomes they enable.”

The report also lays out multiple tactics for clear communication with business owners, including:

– Establishing a lingua franca

– Examples of visualization

– Creating a Level 0 diagram

– And more

For additional details and insights, download Gartner’s full report now: The ‘3B’s’ of Engagement: Business Architecture, Business Process, and Business Outcomes now.

Gartner The ‘3B’s’ of Engagement: Business Architecture, Business Process and Business Outcomes, Janelle B. Hill, Patrick Meehan, 16 March 2016.

Gartner Report: Business Outcomes are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap

As the enterprise world continues to move from multiple store locations to multiple clouds, the call for IT leadership and application owners to work more closely with business owners has become critical. After all, at a digital-first enterprise, those responsible for building and maintaining the digital part of the company need to be involved in strategies for driving business success. And in turn, business leaders need to be involved when application strategies are created.

Naturally, the realization of these two powerhouses meshing perfectly like the cogs of a machine has been slow to come. One of the major stumbling blocks is a general language barrier.

The Gartner report, Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap, now available for download, describes it this way: “Application leaders struggle to communicate with business leaders about application strategies because they talk about them in terms of arcane application acronyms and technology implementations.”

Gartner goes on to explain that the disconnect, unfortunately, is even more complicated than just the words we use. There’s a gap in understanding by application leaders on how their implementation impacts the business.

“Application leaders don’t understand how the various IT requests relate to the business strategy.” They also “can’t define in a business sense what capabilities need to be delivered.”

Success is hard to find when there’s not even a mutually-understood definition of success.

And the issues continue even if an IT initiative does get implemented. As Gartner puts it, “Application leaders don’t have measurable performance goals of the capabilities being delivered to determine if the effort was a success.”

And when IT can’t show success, it puts a lot on the line, including funding for future initiatives.

It’s On Us

According to Gartner, to solve the issue, application leaders need to adopt and fully understand new, business-centric metrics. We believe that will get business leaders nodding with familiarity and excitement. Gartner calls these essential metrics business outcomes —a specific and measurable target action that is taken in response to a business direction or disruption. Simply put, the business benefits that will result from a particular IT initiative. These business-centric leading indicators can come in the form of cost-benefits, increased revenue, or improvements in customer experience. The bottom line is pretty much the bottom line. But it can’t stop there. Application leaders need to then be able to prove that the desired outcome was (or was not) attained using these same business outcomes.

For more insights on how IT and business leaders can improve collaboration and communication, download the Gartner report now.

Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap is available for download now, and gives clear steps, strategies, and examples to get you on your way to a more productive collaboration with business leaders.

Gartner Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Roadmap, Bill Swanton, 7 February 2017.

5 Reasons To Visit AppDynamics at the 2017 Gartner Symposium in Barcelona

What an incredible year it has been so far at AppDynamics. From our almost-IPO to our $3.7 billion acquisition by Cisco, and most recently – the unveiling of our vision to enable CIOs to drive business strategy and growth (read more here). It has been the most exciting year of my career.

And the excitement continues this upcoming week as the AppDynamics team and I will be at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo from November 5th-9th in Barcelona, Spain. If you’re attending, we would love to have a conversation around your IT and digital business initiatives.

Our stand is number 919, located in the Data Centre and Operations area. Come visit our stand and we promise that in 5 minutes you and your team will:

#1 – Learn how we help the largest enterprises in Europe with their digital strategy

Enterprises such as ABN AMRO, Tesco, Nasdaq, UBS and easyJet are all using the AppDynamics App iQ platform to help them drive innovation, as well as improve application reliability and customer experience. As Paul McEwen, CIO, Technology Services at UBS stated:

“AppDynamics platform helps us achieve some of our strategic IT goals – updating our platforms, increasing stability, boosting operational efficiency and agility, and creating a consistent user experience across all of our services.”

One of the guiding principles of our platform has always been to make sure that adoption is easy and that we provide fast return on investment. In order to this, we start by taking the time to listen to your priorities to figure out how we can help.

#2 – Know why milliseconds matter when it comes to app performance in production

No one likes to wait, right? We live in an increasingly time-poor society and our tolerance for delays continues to diminish. When it comes to the speed of web or mobile applications, it is often stated that the sweet spot for transaction response times should be between 2 to 3 seconds. But it’s not that easy. Our perception about performance is formed by those digital services that we use everyday. In fact, Google found that 250 milliseconds is the magic number for competitive advantage on the Web.

One of the unique abilities of AppDynamics is that we monitor every user and all of their actions. We combine this data into a consistent unit of measurement – the Business Transaction, and this means that you always have clear visibility of how application performance aligns to user expectations.

#3 – See how easy it is to visualize digital metrics that your business will care about

One of the primary and critically important metrics for the digital business is Mean Time To Repair (MTTR). Simply put, if your applications are down, you are closed for business.

We have numerous stories to share about how we have helped enterprises around the world reduce MTTR from hours to minutes. But as a digital leader, you have to think more broadly than this. It’s not just about metrics that show how well you’re supporting the business, but also how you’re driving it. This means you need to be able to easily show how applications are driving business outcomes such as revenue, how every release is increasing user engagement, etc. With Business iQ, we make this easy and provide you and your team with the ability to report these metrics in real-time, and to make insights that drive further innovation.

#4 – Understand how to improve collaboration between Business, Dev, and IT Ops teams

One of the keys to digital business success is to move fast and fail fast – and this is a major driver of DevOps initiatives. This doesn’t mean breaking things in production, but making sure DevOps teams can spot emerging application issues quickly before they have widespread impact on user experience or business performance.

Our App iQ platform has rich diagnostic capabilities that pinpoint the root cause of performance problems down to the code level. We make this easy to achieve within 3 clicks, and we can show you exactly how!

What’s also important is that we provide context as to how the emerging issue is impacting business performance (e.g. revenue, types of users impacted, location, etc.). We also make it simple to create dashboards that display information for different audiences within the enterprise, allowing for seamless collaboration so that the next appropriate action can be taken.

#5 – View one single source of truth to digital performance in the enterprise

“Now every company is a software company” is a much used, famous, and true statement. The rapid pace of technology innovation over the past decade has resulted in simpler, more convenient access to services via applications (e.g. mobile, IoT) but conversely the back-end application architecture has become more complex with cloud platforms, container technologies, and microservices.

The result is that the smallest performance issue originating from back-end architecture can have the most dramatic impact on your business. In the digital enterprise, having multiple monitoring and management tools only serve to compound this issue. However, with AppDynamics, we provide real-time, unified application and business performance monitoring through one UI. This includes the monitoring and performance visibility of microservices, containers, databases, public/private cloud and with our latest release, IoT services.

So please stop by our stand – we look forward to chatting with you. If you’re an existing AppDynamics customer and are attending, we’d love to catch up and hear how you’re using our platform and share recent product updates. We’re at stand number 919 in the Data Centre and Operations area of the Expo. 

Why Gartner Identified Application Owners as a Key Use Case for Application Performance Monitoring Suites

Even from a business perspective, application performance management (APM) has become a critical tool in turning business, user, and performance data into relevant insights. Application owners, line-of-business (LOB) managers, and service delivery stakeholders are all investing in APM tools to gain business metrics. In the past, application owners were provided infrastructure metrics and health data from IT operations teams, but realizing that this information was not enough to make business decisions has enabled APM tools to be bought and driven by the LOB buyer, who has limited technical capabilities. In terms of what these users seek, there are major differences. The primary focus is on business metrics, but also end-user experience data, as SLAs may be in place.

In Gartner’s Critical Capabilities research report on APM, the research firm takes a deep dive into certain products in different industries and constructs the features that are of best use certain personas. We took a look into their emphasis on Application Development as one critical capability alongside DevOps, Application Support, IT Ops teams, and Application Development for application performance monitoring suites.

If you haven’t read the full report on the critical capabilities of APM, download a copy of the report right here.

How AppDynamics supports the Application Owner

Unified Analytics

AppDynamics provides a unique capability with application analytics. Unified Analytics bridges the gap between application performance, users and business outcomes in real time. Application owners and LOB managers are able to utilize auto-correlated and integrated data in order to better understand a customer’s experiences and lead the way to optimize business results. With the next generation of Unified Analytics solution, application owners can quickly answer more meaningful questions than ever before, all in real-time, and gain insight into how, when and where end users use applications and engage with their business. The unified analytics solution allows them to quickly query customer usage information to enhance persona knowledge and leverage the data to drive customer enablement and prioritize product development efforts

Within AppDynamics’ extensive analytics solution, application owners have access to customizable dashboards that rapidly analyze and visualize large data sets. They can leverage pre-built widgets or build their own charts with the ability to analyze multiple fields in x- and y-axis and quickly build interactive custom analytics dashboards to get insights, monitor trends and influence business outcomes. Integrated reporting capabilities make it fast and easy to share insights with team members and senior management, and easily enforced privacy and access control through role based access control features available with each module maintain security on a micro-level. 

A key factor of visibility is being able to visualize your entire back-end environment, as transactions occur. Application owners must be able to have that visibility at all times, in order to proactively optimize their application’s performance. AppDynamics also implements a dynamic flowmap of your application and infrastructure along with third-party extensions. Any performance issue is intuitively flagged by a corresponding node and indicate it for the user. AppDynamics delivers standard key metrics through intuitive dashboard, along with features to allow you to create your own customized dashboards so cross-functional teams can see the metrics that matter to them.

Understanding performance in real time is essential to ensure that applications are meeting customers performance expectations. Along with having the ability to quickly create dashboards that show the performance of key business transactions, application owners can also correlate customer demand with application capacity to make sure that applications continue to perform during peak periods of usage in order to optimize application performance. AppDynamics allows you to delve deeper with insights into your machine data from multiple sources, and visualize and analyze logs to get forensic insights. Users also have the ability to set up metrics alerts to proactively manage user experience. Application owners can pinpoint errors, dig deeper into the root cause of issues, and gain complete visibility into infrastructure issues that go beyond code fixes. 

Summary

Application owners need to be able to have the insight to gain real-time information of how their customers are using mobile and web applications while understanding how their applications drive revenue and create brand loyalty. With features like Unified Analytics, customizable dashboards, and alerting, AppDynamics creates a flexible environment for cross-functional teams, like application or line of business stakeholders to utilize the data most important to them. 

Interested in learning the latest insights and best practices around the Gartner Critical Capabilities report? Will Capelli, the analyst and author of the report, will be hosting a free webinar on August 11th to go over key trends around APM, the current market, and the future of APM. Reserve your seat before it’s too late!

Interested in reading the full Gartner report? Click here for your complimentary copy.

Why Gartner Identified Application Development as a Key Use Case for Application Performance Monitoring Suites

With the the rise in SaaS-based products and mobile applications, application development teams are becoming a critical stakeholder in application performance. Real-time visibility is critical into seeing how applications work in test, pre-production and production environments to ensure that your code delivers the performance and functionality that your end users expect. Without the right monitoring solution, application performance takes additional resources and time that may not lead you to the most efficient solution. That’s why Gartner identifies Application Development as a vital use case for application performance monitoring (APM) tools.

Application development also means consistent testing throughout an application lifecycle. When faced with the buying decision, application developers need to focus on code-level visibility, including the ability to compare different environments. There is also a need to understand the importance of multi-channel applications, and how they impact a developer’s insight into visibility and application performance.

In Gartner’s latest Critical Capabilities research report on APM, the research firm takes a deep dive into certain products in different industries and constructs the features that are of best use certain personas. We took a look into their emphasis on Application Development as one critical capability alongside DevOps, Application Support, IT Ops teams, and Application Owners for application performance monitoring suites.

To read the full report on the critical capabilities of APM, download a copy of the report right here.

How AppDynamics supports Application Development

End-to-end performance visibility

A rise in innovation, infrastructure technology, and market development has created a more complex application architecture than ever before. That complexity requires a more in-depth visibility into application framework to constantly monitor, test, and troubleshoot to maintain a seamless performance and ideal user experience.

With AppDynamics’ Unified Monitoring, Application Development teams have an easy to deploy solution that ensures applications perform exactly as expected in various environments (test, pre-production, and production). Immediately identify the root cause of any application performance issue and get down to the code in three clicks. Unified Monitoring also comes with a specific development monitoring mode to remove bugs and tune performance before the application even goes live.

Additionally, AppDynamics supports application developers by optimizing an end-user’s experience of mobile apps in real-time, with end-to-end performance monitoring. With automatic detection of mobile app crashes, application developers gain code-level insight to resolve those crashes more efficiently than before, and without impacting a user’s experience. Developers can also understand a mobile application usage patterns, and gain detailed visibility into usage across devices, networks, operating systems, and more, all in real-time in optimize future development.



A key factor of visibility is being able to visualize your entire back-end environment, as transactions occur. AppDynamics implements a dynamic flowmap of your application and infrastructure along with third-party extensions. Any performance issue is intuitively flagged by a corresponding node and indicate it for the user.

We also know how important it is to monitor and collaborate based on your application health to your internal network. AppDynamics can deliver standard key metrics via its intuitive dashboard, along with features to allow you to create your own customized dashboards so cross-functional teams can see the metrics that matter to them.

Ensuring application performance with Business Transactions

Application developers are constantly working on the next release to drive a stellar experience to their end users. However, those releases require more than just updates to ensure they will perform in the app store.

AppDynamics allows development teams to easily compare releases to ensure that applications perform in production as you intended them to perform. They own the ability to compare applications to learn about how changes and new releases will impact response times and overall performance. Understand how each new release impacts the value provided to the user and your business by comparing Business Transaction performance. Business Transactions are the aggregate of all the required software functions and components called upon to deliver an application response to a device or user initiated request. They allow users to automatically discover and tag a business transaction’s performance with tagging. That visualization prioritizes the end-to-end business transactions performance, not just the health of the application and infrastructure nodes.

While you’re able to track performance issues through benchmarking in production environments, it’s also critical to be able to capture potential issues in pre-production usage as well. The key to that is being proactive, and avoiding performance issues before going live in production. AppDynamics integrates with load testing processes and technologies, like LoadRunner, to gain deep application-level visibility to answer why a problem occurs, rapidly pinpoint bottlenecks in their environment, and compare results across releases and performance tests It also improves performance by measuring the end-to-end performance from the end-user perspective and increases scalability of the application by optimizing software and avoiding unnecessary hardware investments.

Cross-functional collaboration to resolve application performance issues

In a software-defined business, application performance becomes everyone’s responsibility. Application development teams have the ability to build and utilize virtual, real-time war rooms that allow cross-function teams to troubleshoot issues proactively before long lasting business impact. Teams can then easily compare and correlate different metrics to understand the root cause of performance issues.

Summary

Application development teams need to be able to build better web and mobile applications with deep performance visibility in test, pre-production and production environments. With features like Unified Monitoring, Business Transactions, and virtual war room support, AppDynamics provides some of the key capabilities needed to succeed in application performance.

Want to learn the latest insights and best practices around the Gartner Critical Capabilities report? The analyst and author of the report, Will Capelli, will be hosting a free webinar on August 11th to go over the current market, the future of APM, and key trends. Reserve your seat before it’s too late!

Interested in reading the full Gartner report? Click here for your complimentary copy.

Why Gartner identified IT Ops as a key use case for application performance monitoring suites

As application and infrastructure complexity continues to increase, caused by increased abstraction and dynamism creates challenges when monitoring your environment. End-to-end transaction tracing becomes not just ideal, but essential. Without this visibility, application performance issues become like trying to find a needle in a very expansive haystack. This is just one of the reasons Gartner has identified IT Operations teams as an important use case for application performance monitoring (APM) tools.

If you’re unfamiliar, Garter evaluates various solutions in a given industry and maps their features to specific use cases in this research they are persona. In their latest Critical Capabilities Report for APM, they’ve highlighted IT Ops as one of these vital use cases along with DevOps teams, application support, application development, and application owners.

If you’re interested in reading the full report, please check out this complimentary copy.

How AppDynamics supports IT Ops

Anomaly detection, health rules, and alerting

Finding and responding to instances that fall outside of the norm in terms of application performance is indispensable for IT Ops. These anomalies need to be resolved in a timely manner to have a minimal effect on end-users.

However, there’s a careful balance that needs to play out. Setting static response time thresholds too low and your team will be inundated with alerts. On the inverse, setting them too high and your team will miss a lot of issues and as a result will anger a lot of users.

AppDynamics, on the other hand, has dynamic baselining — self-learning thresholds that understand your application load times fluctuate and acceptable response times change depending on overall usage. By capturing users’ business transactions, AppDynamics times specific users’ response times through their contact with the application. Viewing these times in aggregate help develop the standard and anything falling outside of this will be flagged.

Along with dynamic baselines, AppDynamics has integrations with all the key alerting tools you already use. Whether your team is standardized on PagerDuty, ServiceNow, VictorOps, or another tool, your team will only be alerting when there’s an actual issue.

Dynamic flowmap and dashboards

A key component to the visibility issue laid out earlier, is the ability to visualize your entire application environment. After all, how can you truly know which application interact with others unless you can see it in real-time?

Out of the box, AppDynamics creates a dynamic flowmap depicting your application, infrastructure, and other third-party interactions. If there’s a performance issue, the corresponding node will intuitively flag the problem and illustrate the affected nodes.

Along with your application flowmap, we know it’s important to monitor and communicate your applications’ health to a wider internal audience. Out of the box, AppDynamics delivers key performance metrics in a helpful sharable dashboard, however, you can also create customized dashboards so various teams can see the metrics that matter most to them.

Summary

IT Ops teams have more responsibility today than ever before. Instead of simply being employed to “keep the lights on”, maintaining optimal application performance is a large and daunting task as more and more businesses become software-defined. Tools that help resolve issues quickly and gain visibility into a complex environment can become a key partner in overcoming this obstacle.

The analyst and author of the Gartner Critical Capabilities report, Will Capelli, will be hosting a free webinar on August 11th to go over best practices and key APM trends. Make sure to reserve your seat now.

Interested in reading the full Gartner report? Click here for your complimentary copy.

Why Gartner Identified DevOps as a Key Persona for Application Performance Monitoring Suites

Research firm, Gartner, conducts two important research projects yearly in the application performance monitoring space. The first is the well known Magic Quadrant. The Magic Quadrant compares the vision and execution of vendors in a specific market. In 2014, Gartner also began requiring a second research report with each Magic Quadrant called a Critical Capabilities Report. This report ranks products, or vendor solutions capabilities for specific use cases.

For application performance monitoring (APM), Gartner identified DevOps release as a persona. For Agile DevOps teams who often have a rapid release cycle, diagnosing and resolving application issues, while gaining code-level visibility are among the requirements. To address these needs, common APM solutions provide features such as anomaly detection, distributed profiling, workload planning, and much more.

How AppDynamics supports DevOps teams

AppDynamics was built to support modern-day infrastructure. That means having the capabilities to be flexible and scalable for Agile releases and the holistic view to support both Dev and Ops.

Continuous delivery

One tenant of DevOps is to release new software in rapid, quick delivery timelines. By closely aligning development, testing, and operations, these DevOps teams can ship product faster.

AppDynamics provides a “compare application releases” capability to help DevOps teams plan and validate releases.

Agile organizations with rapid release cycles often encounter tremendous challenges managing application performance in the face of a continually changing environment. AppDynamics enables IT teams to immediately correlate the impact of an agile release upon application performance, providing visual cues of significant events. This “before and after” view offers tremendous peace-of-mind for application teams that constantly release new code into their production environment   and ensures that the application performance is trending (from a quality and effectiveness perspective) in the right direction from release to release.

Virtual War Room

In AppDynamics 4.0, we launched our Virtual War Room feature. With any major outage, a war room scenario is inevitable — where business leaders, database admins, developers, IT leaders, and more huddle together to figure out what went wrong and how can they fix it.

With the Virtual War Room, all these various stakeholders can collaborate in real time as they analyze data, performance metrics, and ultimately resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Plan release and change processes

DevOps is built (and reliant) on maintaining a constant feedback loop between two typically separate teams. Having the ability to gain end-to-end visibility of your entire application environment and third-party dependencies along with gaining real-time data is incredibly helpful to support your application lifecycle.

Quantify the value of your DevOps team by ensuring frequent application change and releases processes bring actual business benefits. By understanding your user behavior and their interactions with your application, teams can better plan their release cycles and feature roll-outs.

Summary

Using a modern APM solution, DevOps teams are able to gain insight, actionable data, and visibility that will support their entire application lifecycle. The need to innovate quickly and maintain quality releases has never been more paramount, so make sure you check out the right feature sets to support your use cases.

To see how Gartner analyzed APM vendors and their support for DevOps teams, read the full complimentary report.

Why Gartner Identified Application Support as a Key User for Application Performance Management

Esteemed analyst firm, Gartner, conducts an annual research report to compliment their popular Magic Quadrants. While the Magic Quadrants focus on plotting vendors, not products, in any given industry along x- and y-axis based on their vision and execution. The idea of the Magic Quadrant is to understand the vendor and the strategy of the vendor in a specific market. As of 2014 Gartner required a companion document with each Magic Quadrant be published. This companion document is the Critical Capabilities. The intention of this document is to rank products (vendor solutions) for specific use cases and capabilities for those use cases.

For application performance monitoring (APM), Gartner identified application support as a use case for APM solutions.
For Application Support teams who usually have to manage a wide range of tasks from triage support and root cause analysis to developing scripting and other code to hold application infrastructure together, the use cases for this team include detection, isolation, and remediation is critical. Gartner specifically called out are Business Analysis, Service Monitoring, Anomaly Detection, Distributed Profiling, Application Debugging, Workload Planning.

How AppDynamics supports Application Support teams

Application support is a critical buyer persona, which is usually comprised of a team of subject matter experts with deep knowledge of the application, and lighter knowledge of the  infrastructure. These teams handle a wide range of tasks, from assisting with triage and root cause analysis to developing scripting and other code that holds the application and infrastructure together. Due to application support’s need for APM, the focus on problem detection, isolation and remediation is critical. In addition, EUEM is one of the best early-warning indicators that there’s an issue, which could be outside the application hosting environment, such as third-party services, including social media, network providers and payment processors. Mobile APM is increasingly important, because much of the user traffic is moving to native mobile applications. Code-level visibility can also help triage issues and hand them off to developers.

AppDynamics was built to support modern applications, which means providing the flexible, wide-ranged support required to maintain the performance of those applications.

Extensibility

The AppDynamics platform is open, extensible, and interoperable to fit any business need. The AppDynamics Exchange comes together to contribute knowledge through over 100 extensions that provide deep integrations into existing tools like Splunk, Apica, PagerDuty, and Amazon Web Services. From monitoring Amazon Web Services costs to MEAS mainframes, AppDynamics extensions allow you to leverage the tools you already have in place.

AppDynamics enables application support on its Application Intelligence Platform through multiple extension capabilities:

  • Monitoring Extensions: Integrating metrics from other monitoring systems and services including databases, LDAP servers, web servers and more.
  • Alerting Extensions: Creating custom notifications to integrate AppDynamics health rule violations and events with your alerting or ticketing system.
  • Big Data Extensions: Capturing and integrating metrics from servers with specific Big Data sources installed.
  • Cloud Connector Extensions: Integrating cloud orchestration and elasticity functionality such as creating, destroying, restarting, configuring, and validating machine and image instances.
  • Performance Testing Extensions: Combining the power of AppDynamics with your existing performance testing tools.
  • REST API Extensions: Retrieving data from your AppDynamics system, including application and infrastructure metadata, metrics, events, and transaction snapshots.

Real-User Monitoring

AppDynamics supports Application Support teams with the capability of monitoring and optimizing both your browser and mobile applications to ensure an ideal user experience with every user journey.

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Using browser real-user monitoring (RUM) follow their journey and optimize their experience with powerful end-to-end performance management that rapidly identifies application issues and relevant business transactions, and dramatically reduces Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR). Browser RUM enables Application Support teams to understand ever end-user experience on a global scale, in real time. It’s able to quickly examine and resolve bottlenecks with end-to-end visibility and gain accurate user insights to optimize web user experiences.

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Application Support teams gain the ability to drill down into individual user experience to respond quickly and resolve web application performance issues. Through the AppDynamics platform, they are also able to set up alerts to dynamically baseline website metrics.

In addition to Browser Real-User Monitoring, AppDynamics provides the capability of optimizing your native mobile application’s end user experience through Mobile Real-User Monitoring. As most of a consumer’s needs are met through devices rather than desktop, mobile APM is becoming critical to provide an ideal experience for end users. Mobile RUM allows Application Support teams to track an end user’s journey and optimize their experience with powerful end-to-end performance management that rapidly identifies application issues and relevant business transactions —  from device to data center — and dramatically reduces MTTR at the same time.

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Mobile RUM enables you to track mobile user sessions in real-time and understand the business impact of mobile app performance on your KPIs. It gains deep, code-level visibility to identify and resolve crashes, and retrieves detailed visibility into all your network requests right from your mobile app, allowing Application Support teams to pass on critical information more efficiently, without interrupting service.

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Summary

With a modern, holistic application performance management solution, Application Support teams are able to gain and apply insight, actionable data, and visibility that will support their entire application infrastructure. To see how Gartner analyzed APM vendors and their support for Application Support teams, read the full complimentary report.