Accelerate Your Digital Business with AppDynamics Winter ‘17 Product Release

Last month at AppD Summit New York, we unveiled the latest innovations in our Business iQ and App iQ platforms, paving the way for a new era of the CIO and digital business. Delivering on this vision, we’re excited to announce the general availability of AppDynamics’ Winter ‘17 Release for our customers.

As application and business success become indistinguishable, enterprises are increasing their investment in digital initiatives. According to Gartner, 71% of enterprises are actively implementing digital strategies, and IDC predicts that companies will spend $1.2 trillion on their digital transformation in 2017 alone.

But without effective tools to correlate application and business performance – and lack of end-to-end visibility across customer touchpoints, application code, infrastructure, and network – customer experiences and employee productivity are degraded, and executives can’t analyze or justify technology investments. In fact, according to McKinsey, the digital promise still seems more of a hope than a reality, with only 12% of technology and C-level executives confident that IT organizations have been effective in this shift.

Winter ‘17 Release is Here

Business iQ just got better. Bridging the gap between the app and the business, BiQ capabilities have expanded to include:

Business Journeys

With AppDynamics Business Journeys, application teams can link multiple, distributed business events into a single process that reflects the way customers interact with the business. Business events can include transaction, log, mobile, browser, synthetics, or custom events and are long-running, from hours to days.

Application teams can create performance thresholds and quickly visualize where performance issues are impacting the customer experience. KPIs for each Business Journey inform technology investments and effectively prioritize code development and release.

In the two figures below, you can see how easy it is to set up a new Business Journey for loan approvals and visualize the impact of delays through the lens of the business.

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Fig 1: Author an end-to-end Business Journey by joining multiple distributed events.

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Fig 2: Quickly and easily create custom dashboards visualizing business performance.

Experience Level Management (XLM)

With XLM, enterprises can establish custom service-level thresholds by customer segment, location, or device. For example, the CIO of a major retailer may deliver tailored experiences to its top customers by setting performance thresholds across its customer channels — including website, mobile apps, in-store wireless, and in-store checkout. XLM also provides an immutable audit for service-level agreements with your customers or internal business units. The product images below show the service levels setup for a connected streaming device, giving an instant view on how services are performing against set SLAs.

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Fig 3: Service levels setup for a connected streaming device.

Network Visibility

Application developers, IT Ops  and network teams often work in silos using a myriad of different monitoring tools. To troubleshoot application performance issues, war rooms are created, and the lack of a common language and visibility across different tools results in finger pointing, endless debates, and slower Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR).

With the introduction of AppDynamics Network Visibility, a capability AppDynamics is uniquely positioned to address now as part of Cisco, enterprises will be able to understand the impact that the network is having on application and business performance. Network performance measurements are automatically correlated with application performance in the context of the Business Transaction. IT teams will be able to triage network issues with one single pane of glass and provide the right information to network teams before there is an impact on the end-user experience. Finally, an answer to end-to-end visibility from customer, to code, to network is here.

AppDynamics automatically discovers network devices such as reverse proxy load balancers deployed on-premises and in cloud environments and eliminates the need to use expensive network tools such as SPAN/TAP to capture and analyze network traffic.

The animation below shows out-of-box visibility into network flow maps, network metrics such as latency, throughput, retransmission rates, and critical errors, enabling IT Ops to quickly identify and isolate root cause without the need to engage network teams.

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Fig 4: Correlated and out-of-box view of network performance in context of application performance.

AppDynamics IoT

IoT devices create another channel to engage with customers, and if properly measured and optimized, can create game-changing business benefits. With new IoT visibility, businesses can convert rich and invaluable insights into consumer behavior, buying patterns, and business impacts. IoT visibility includes:

Device analytics  — Together with Business iQ, IoT visibility provides an unprecedented insight into how IoT devices are driving business impact. And because these insights are delivered through a single platform, IoT visibility is the first and only solution that maps and correlates entire customer journeys — from the device to customer touchpoint, to business conversions.

Device application visibility and troubleshooting — AppDynamics’ new IoT visibility provides an aggregated view into device uptime, version status, and performance, enabling drill-down views into the device to simplify the troubleshooting of IoT applications. The screenshot below shows a list view of all active devices. A simple double-click on a specific device takes you to the device details.

Custom dashboards — Every company measures success differently. With custom dashboards in IoT visibility, companies from any vertical can quickly build new visualizations to measure the business impact of IoT devices — from the revenue impact of a slow checkout for a brick and mortar retailer, to the customer impact of a software change in a connected car.

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Fig 5: Consolidated list view of all active smart-shelf  IoT devices and key KPIs.

Synthetic Private Agent

AppDynamics Winter ‘17 Release brings Browser Synthetic Monitoring to your internal network. By running Synthetic Private Agent on-premises, you can monitor the availability and performance of internal websites and services that aren’t accessible from the public Internet. You can also test specific locations within your company and set alerts when performance issues occur and fix them before end-user experience is impacted.

Cross-Controller Federation

As application teams start using microservices architecture, the scalability requirements have exploded, necessitating APM scale. With Cross-Controller Federation, AppDynamics is taking unified monitoring to the next level. Our customers can achieve limitless scalability and flexibility to deploy application components across multiple public and private clouds.

Only with AppDynamics, customers get complete correlated visibility and quick drill-down into the line of code, irrespective of where the application components and controllers are deployed, because controllers can participate in a federation. Another important use case is keeping APM data isolated by deploying multiple controllers yet maintaining correlated visibility for compliance, architecture, and business reasons.

KPI Analyzer

KPI Analyzer applies machine learning to automate root cause analysis. With the KPI analyzer, customers can isolate the metrics that are the most likely contributors to poor performance, and identify the likely degree of impact on the KPI for each metric, automatically. The KPI analyzer makes troubleshooting root cause as simple as clicking a prompt to surface the underlying issue most likely to be the root cause of degraded performance.

The following figure shows KPI Analyzer in action. KPIs such as average response time are displayed with metrics that are automatically identified as the root cause and scored in ranked order for quick resolution.

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Fig 6: Key application KPIs and automatically-detected root causes in ranked order.

Learn More

AppDynamics’ Winter ‘17 Release is rich with other important features such as Universal Agent to simplify agent installation and configuration, Enterprise Console for streamlined controller lifecycle management, and Node.js flame graph for deeper visibility, among several other features.

Join us for a webinar on November 16th to get an in-depth look into the latest innovations and features in our Winter ‘17 Release. You can also get started with the free trial of AppDynamics Winter ‘17 today!

A Look Back Before Leaping Forward: How We Got Here and Where We’re Heading

Blackberries, Blockbusters and AS400s ruled supreme back when we were building the company nine years ago. At this time, most phones didn’t have GPS, most shopping was in person and most computing happened in one place. It seemed like much simpler times, right? Yet massive disruption was on the horizon that would completely shake up how people used and thought about technology.

Brace yourself – SaaS is coming. This radical movement proved that abstracting complexity can not only free businesses from fretting over the nuts and bolts of infrastructure, but it can also free them to think bigger about what they can accomplish through technology. This was a huge wake up call for our entire industry, and became my obsession, and our inspiration for AppDynamics.

What if the principles of SaaS were applied to monitoring solutions? What if stripping away complexities of reporting and alerting about applications could free businesses in a similar way?

After many late nights working out how software can be more of a business enabler and less of a management burden, came the invention of our machine-learning powered Business Transaction, the foundation of AppDynamics.

It’s hard enough for businesses to stay on top of the latest trends and shifting needs of consumers, managing applications should come secondary to hitting business goals. So, we engineered our product with business performance as the top priority. By pairing the right business metrics with the noise-cancelling abilities of machine learning, the root cause of business-impacting problems are brought to the forefront and many intricacies of related symptoms are collapsed underneath. As a result, enterprises get a straightforward, dynamic baseline that intelligently evolves with the business. And, for the first time, the world’s most complex systems can transform into real competitive advantages.

As time went on, digital strategies became synonymous with business strategies and consumer expectations rose to a point where “next-day” isn’t fast enough. To keep up with the pace set by titans like Apple, Google and Amazon, enterprises entered uncharted territories in cloud, DevOps and IoT causing new levels of strain on technical teams. On top of that, these developers, IT pros and CIOs were challenged to defend these changes to business colleagues who are asking if it’s worth their time and money.

The evolution of enterprises’ needs have always been the fire for our innovations and today’s announcement is no exception. With systems continuing to sprawl, businesses need a way to make sense of it all – from the depths of networking to the edge of multi-cloud. So we’re widening our scope to capture exactly how devices and the network impact the business. Another side effect of distributed systems are blind spots in customer interactions, which make it harder for CIOs to map customer journeys. To help provide a more complete view, our vision for the next generation of Business iQ is to link various distributed business events for a fuller picture that can boost opportunities to stay competitive in customer experience.

With the unrelenting rush of data coming in from countless sources, we see machine learning as the next big disruptor on the horizon. Machine learning, which sounded like science fiction not too long ago, has reached critical mass in its abilities to spot patterns for predictive analytics and automation. It can also be found in our latest announcement simplifying troubleshooting to a click. With new devices coming out daily, we don’t see data slowing down anytime soon, so expect to see more developments in machine learning from us that will help enterprises achieve the scale and speed needed to take on whatever is next in this on-demand, data-driven world.