AppDynamics’ expanding partner program empowers customers to drive successful digital transformations

New, innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, mobility and IoT have changed the way business today is structured with its focus on all things digital. For companies to remain relevant and competitive in this new, digital age they need to strategically transform their business to meet the demands of today’s digital consumers. In fact, new research from IDC predicts that enterprises will spend more than $1.1 trillion in 2018 on technologies and services that enable digital transformation, an increase of 16.8% over the $958 billion spent in 2017.

There’s no question that new technologies have also brought new complexities to how today’s enterprises shape their business strategies. Since I joined AppDynamics just over a year ago, we’ve been laser focused on empowering companies around the world to respond to these evolving technologies and achieve digital transformation success by unlocking a collection of solutions through our partner ecosystem.

To support this mission, last August we launched the AppDynamics Titan Partner Program with the goal of reinforcing our most strategic partners with the the tools, support and education needed to enable our customers in common to win in the new world of digital business.

One example of how we are investing in our partners’ success is through our Partner Central portal. Partner Central was recently created to empower our partners by sharing enablement materials like case studies and access to key sales performance metrics. To help our partners even further through Partner Central, today we are launching Lead Generator. Lead Generator gives partners access to marketing assets like webinars and analyst reports to help generate leads and grow their pipeline, as well as track all leads generated.

“As a Titan partner with AppDynamics, we’ve had the opportunity to advance our customers’ business objectives by giving them the tools necessary to navigate the demands of the digital world through strategic business and performance monitoring,” said Joe Wrzosek, practice lead, enterprise monitoring and analytics at AHEAD. “AppDynamics’ continued investment in its partner program is critical to the advancement of our partnership and ability to provide value to customers together.”

Over the last year our customers who have worked with Titans have achieved exceptional outcomes in their digital transformation journeys. This confirms the value in continuing to invest in our partners at every stage, which is why today we are announcing the newest tier of our partner program: Pioneer. Pioneers are Titans in the making. They’re regional partners with existing application practices, possess deep engineering expertise, and have focused their businesses around recurring revenue models in cloud and applications. They are making strategic bets on their partnership and growth with AppDynamics.

“Our creation of the Titan program last year captured the momentum of Cisco’s acquisition,” said Brian Hull, Director of Channel Growth Initiatives at AppDynamics. “The Pioneer Program expands our focus and investment by collaborating with regional partners who hold deep domain expertise in applications. Combined, Titans and Pioneers make up the most innovative and capable partners in the industry.”

Included for Pioneers:

  • Dedicated channel account and sales engineering support: As part of our investment in our partners at every stage, Pioneers will receive support from a dedicated channel account manager and Channel Sales Engineer that will work closely with the Pioneer’s team to develop joint offerings.
  • Selling for business outcomes: Through customized, training and enablement programs we’ll build sales and pre-sales champions within our Pioneer partners and drive a deeper technical understanding of AppDynamics. This customized training will help partners identify the pains AppDynamics solves for and in turn ensure our joint customers receive the most value possible as they undergo their digital transformations.
  • Certifications: Like our Titan and Alliance partner levels, Pioneers are eligible for a training course which will allow key sales engineers to identify customer pain and provide education around the value of using AppDynamics. We will also offer AppDynamics Certified Implementation Practitioner course, which will allow our partners to provide value-added services.
  • Semi-annual business planning: Collaborating and defining a joint business plan sets the foundation for a solid channel sales partnership. Pioneers will be invited to take part in two planning sessions a year with AppDynamics partners to align on the vision and goals for shared success.

 

“AppDynamics’ Pioneer partner program will provide the training, tools and support that will  enable us to deliver even more comprehensive solutions to our customers,” said Vinod Muthuswamy, President at General Datatech. “Our shared mission with AppDynamics is to enable customers to realize their digital ambitions, coupled with our opportunity to grow together – means we can look forward to a successful long-term partnership.”

With this latest investment in the partner community, AppDynamics and its partners will continue to build a foundation for future growth, backing their customers to succeed in today’s digital first world. The launch of the Pioneer partner level comes on the heels of AppDynamics’ 5/5 star overall partner program rating in CRN’s 2018 Partner Program Guide.
Check out our partner page to to learn more about the AppDynamics Partner Program.

AppDynamics Partners with Harness to Help Customers Embrace Continuous Delivery

If you follow a typical playbook for digital transformation in the enterprise it will look something like this:

  1. Migrate from desktop apps to mobile apps

  2. Migrate from data centers to public/hybrid clouds

  3. Migrate from monolith applications to microservices architectures

  4. Migrate from waterfall/agile to continuous delivery

Back in 2014 AppDynamics announced support for native mobile apps and has also had several major announcements around support for AWS, Azure and most recently Pivotal Cloud Foundry.

A few weeks ago we introduced our Kubernetes support which was a significant step to supporting microservices architectures. Today, we’re announcing a new partnership with Harness to help our customers embrace Continuous Delivery.

What is Continuous Delivery?

Continuous Delivery is the ability to get changes of all types—including new features, configuration changes, bug fixes and experiments—into production, or into the hands of users, safely and quickly in a sustainable way.

Who is Harness?

Harness offers Continuous Delivery as-a-Service that allows customers to automate how software is deployed and delivered to end users in production. Harness was recently recognized as a 2018 Cool DevOps vendor by Gartner.

Why did AppDynamics Partner with Harness?

Unlike traditional Application Release Automation (ARA) solutions, Harness takes Continuous Delivery one step further by verifying deployments using APM performance and log data. If performance anomalies or regressions are found post-deployment, Harness can automatically rollback the application to the previous working version.

Harness allows our customers to move fast and not break things using insight from AppDynamics.

More importantly it helps our customers answer the most important question:

“What is the business impact of every production deployment?”

Understanding the Business Impact of Production Deployments

Using AppDynamics APM and Business iQ customers can monitor the performance and revenue of their business processes/transactions for each application and environment.

Harness is able to query this business and performance data within seconds of a new deployment, and use machine learning to build models of what normal performance and revenue looks like.

For example, see the below deployment workflow in Harness which illustrates the deployment of a new application service into production.

You can see once the service was deployed that Harness automatically connected to AppDynamics to perform a verification (aka health check) which failed.

If we click on the red AppDynamics verification icon we see why this specific health check failed:

Harness machine learning detected three high risk transactions, specifically:

  • 2 Performance regressions for the Register and Login transactions

  • 1 Revenue regression for the Checkout transaction

By mousing over each regression you can see the values behind the machine learning verification. In the case of the Checkout transaction, revenue per minute dropped from ~$14k/min to $3,200/min after the new version of the application was deployed.

As a result, Harness automatically initiated a rollback to the previous working version:

Think of this as a safety net when verifications or health checks fail.

Over the coming months we’re looking to deepen our integration with Harness. Stay tuned for more on that!

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: xMatters

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Abbas Haider Ali, CTO of xMatters. 

AppD: What issues was xMatters founded to address?

AHA: The core principles behind our product are built around making the lives of IT teams better by automating collaboration and improving handling time for all manner of events – failed build, incidents, major outages, service disruptions, application performance issues, and more. Our market focus has been on enterprises who have to support both autonomy and velocity for teams leading their company’s digital transformations, while meeting the compliance, governance, and collaboration requirements that come into play when you have tens of thousands of people in your technology organization.

AppD: What are the main three differentiators for xMatters?

AHA: Our primary differentiators stem from the “integration-driven collaboration” philosophy that we deliver in our product. Whether you’re a developer, infrastructure engineer, DBA, ops engineer, SRE, service desk process owner, or any other member of an IT function in an enterprise, you have a core system or two that serve as the focal point of your day. Our goal is to make it really easy to connect any product into xMatters so that when it needs to get a hold of you or someone on your team, it can do so, utilizing either an on-call schedule or other ruleset, or using other systems in your enterprise to figure out who needs the info and can act on it. Three differentiators that stem from this philosophy include:

  • Enriched Notifications: Since xMattters connects your entire IT ecosystem, every notification can become an actual business insight. Our view is that a single system often provides only one piece of the puzzle that’s required to solve complex issues that arise from managing the software delivery lifecycle.

  • Actionable Alerts: Actionable doesn’t entail just a simple acknowledge, escalate, or resolve sort of behavior—it connects the recipient of an xMatters alert to the workflow to get their job done. The actions in xMatters are not only useful for the immediate recipient and the team that they’re on, but also across teams. This means you can get help from teams outside your service, or if needed, move ownership over to other teams with full context using the appropriate task management system (e.g. JIRA or ServiceNow).

  • Multi-step workflow:  xMatters lays the foundation to connect your data, tools, teams, and people. This means that any business process that spans any combination of entities has the ability to do so in an automated, context-driven, and curated fashion. As data moves at unprecedented velocities to support continuous delivery initiatives, xMatters can make sure that required issues get the visibility and efficient resolution they deserve.

AppD: We have several sessions on DevOps at AppD Summit New York – how can xMatters help speed DevOps adoption?

AHA: DevOps teams in enterprises face unique challenges that xMatters is particularly suited to address. Collaboration and automation are key tenets of a DevOps approach to building and running applications. In an enterprise, the tricky thing is that even the newest applications have dependencies on services that may not run with a DevOps approach. That means you have different parts of enterprise tech teams that run at various velocities, with different tools, under different constraints, and somehow they all have to work under a governance and accountability umbrella that is very different than what you’d find at a startup.

Our integration-driven collaboration approach steps in to allow the DevOps team to get their work done at the pace they need, while the job of moving information across tools and teams is handled transparently by xMatters. Systems of record get current state, updates, and activity logs, while operations teams can move alerts between teams as they need to. And if any of them need to work on something together, it’s a breeze to engage just the people you need into collaborative sessions in the enterprise’s platform of choice – conference calls, web meetings, Slack, Hipchat, etc.

AppD: Tell us about the joint xMatters and AppDynamics story; what does it offer?

AHA: There’s no doubt that application performance management systems are at the heart of how enterprises should be managing their IT business. At the end of the day, it’s the information in AppDynamics that tells companies how effectively they are at serving their internal and external customers. And if something goes wrong, or is about to, it’s a great place to see what’s happening and get into resolution mode quickly and in a targeted fashion. That also means that there’s a very natural connection point between our respective products. When AppDynamics sees something starting to go wrong, call it a “yellow alert,” the integration between our products and the larger xMatters integration ecosystem, is to determine who is best suited to take action on the information or what other system in the tech stack needs to be contextually aware. And the better the AppDynamics early detection is, and the better the xMatters resolution process is, the less of a business impact there will be. For “red alerts,” the impact tends to be immediate in which case the joint value proposition is even stronger.

AppD: Can you share your favorite xMatters customer success story?

AHA: One of my favorite xMatters and AppDynamics joint customer stories is FamilySearch. FamilySearch is the world’s largest, free genealogy organization. They are running 20+ petabytes of data, have 15 million page hits per day and have over 800 new names added to family trees every minute. In 2011, the site had performance issues and their ability to deliver new features was trumped by their need to respond to incidents and fix existing stability issues. Today their team is broad but nimble, and includes a DevOps organization consisting of 300+ engineers split into 45 teams, with each team having responsibility over their specific area. They also have several hundred volunteers who help index and archive assets (photographs, digital documentation, metadata, etc.).

Their event management system was built in-house. For monitoring and operational tools, they use AppDynamics, Splunk, Apica and Jira, which all feed into their event management system. They also integrated xMatters with Slack, giving software developers yet another means of getting events, as well as the ability to collaborate on the solution to problems. Monitoring also occurs at every stage of the application life-cycle. They gather the results of unit testing, acceptance testing, regression testing, and deployment. They gather metrics related to application, server, and network performance. AppDynamics is used as their primary application performance monitoring tool with Apica, and CloudWatch and Splunk as supplementary tools. The organization redefined the architecture, automated everything, and now can continuously deliver features and fixes – on a common platform, and measure for improvement. Uptime is now in the three-9’s range for most components with some in two-9’s.

AppD: Why should delegates come and visit the xMatters booth?

AHA: The xMatters booth is a great place to swing by and talk to one of our engineers who can help map out a delegate’s immediate and cross team toolchain, and walk them through how our product can help them get things done more quickly, minimizing the bombarding of alerts that turn out not to be useful or actionable.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the xMatters team there.

Abbas Haider Ali brings over 16 years of experience in networking, cloud services, software, and cloud communications. As CTO of xMatters, he is responsible for evangelizing the adoption of communications-enabled business processes, and has worked closely with more than 400 global enterprises and IT organizations to create a vision for adopting intelligent communication strategies across business scenarios. Abbas holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Announcing IBM Z APM Connect for AppDynamics

Today’s enterprises, built upon legacy systems, continue to innovate.

During their Symposium last week (October 1st-5th), the most significant gathering of CIOs in the world, Gartner said that legacy systems will continue to underpin the digital transformation in the enterprise. As a result, these systems must be improved, with Gartner’s Tina Nunno saying it’s time to stop thinking of legacy applications as a “dirty word.” She added that by 2023, 90 percent of current applications will still be in use.

Our customers who are transforming – but doing so on top of existing systems – echo similar sentiments, asking for improvement and visibility into their legacy systems.

Similarly, Gartner suggests that “CIOs should build on their legacy systems. They should combine their modernized legacy applications and their digital platform for massive integration complexity on a massive scale,” notes a recent press release.

Visibility into existing legacy systems is critical when measuring the digital enterprise, precisely what AppDynamics does today for countless businesses. This visibility has become a reality as AppDynamics now has an answer for the Mainframe (thanks to our partnership with IBM), and it’s just what customers have been asking for. Our goal with this solution is not to create something which goes deep into Mainframe subsystems themselves, but one which eliminates the painful and lengthy triage process by getting teams on the same page. It also reduces unnecessary escalations.

The typical Mainframe z/OS team includes many specialists for each subsystem, including specialists for MQ, IIB, CICS, IMS, and DB2. These groups have specialists with their tooling and processes to handle issues. Our solution is not to replace or change those tools. In fact, the IBM team who built this new capability creates those diagnostic tools (IBM OMEGAMON). Instead, the goal is to provide an additional transactional layer of visibility which is missing within the Mainframe and across distributed systems that call the Mainframe.

This new solution, IBM Z APM Connect, is designed to give the end-to-end picture, allowing for unified monitoring and business measurement all the way back to the mysterious system of record – the Mainframe. Plus, there is no requirement to have IBM OMEGAMON tooling installed.

Mainframes are among the most reliable, secure, and available systems on the planet. Many customers report years of uptime, with 100% availability. What’s more, these technological marvels transact vast amounts of information and business logic with a high degree of efficiency compared to their distributed brethren. This means that attention to overhead when monitoring is critical. IBM has created an incredibly efficient way of tracking these transactions while keeping the additional resource utilization very low. Low overhead aligns with what makes AppDynamics unique in production environments for the world’s biggest enterprise production systems.

Learn more about this new offering from IBM along with more detailed information in the IBM announcement letter which slates this solution for general availability on December 8th, 2017.

You can also see a demo of the new solution at AppD Summit NYC. Register here to attend the session and the entire day’s conference free of charge.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: Column Technologies

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Blaine Pryce, Vice President of Sales, Column Technologies.

AppD: Why do customers choose Column? What makes Column so unique?

BP: There are a several reasons why our customers value us. We partner with the leading best-of-breed companies in service management, DevOps and infosecurity spaces, such as AppDynamics.

Two thirds of our employees are consultants and they are focused on making their software successful, with a service-based approach. We have established methodologies that encompass process evaluation, requirements analysis, architecture, implementation, and managed services.

AppD: What do you see as the three most significant ways in which enterprise IT Operations will change over the next 24 months?

BP: I’d have to say…

1. Adopting DevOps, and the need to take an agile approach to building software. Legacy tools and point solutions won’t allow you to succeed within a DevOps framework. Retooling needs to occur to survive in business, and this in turn requires a high degree of automation.

2. More and more apps coming downstream, which means increased complexity, release velocity, and monitoring challenges.

3. The business is now taking a more collaborative approach, and working in less silos. The increasing take-up of Business iQ is evidence of IT and the business working closer together and needing a consolidated view.

AppD: Why has DevOps adoption within the enterprise accelerated? And what needs to be done to continue adoption?

BP: Enterprises need to adopt DevOps or face the market consequences. How badly do you want to Keep your customers or go after new markets? Companies need to be competitive and e.g. optimize their eCommerce capabilities, or go out of business.

My tips for continuing the adoption momentum include undertaking an automation tool assessment, addressing bottlenecks, and working on core issues without getting hung up on the DevOps philosophy. Lastly, don’t be too pre-occupied with rework.

AppD: How do you see APM supporting DevOps as an approach?

BP: APM is critical to DevOps. It helps by improving the customer experience, identifying issues early, reducing MTTR, facilitating feedback, enabling A/B testing, and reducing dev rework and release time, whilst acting as part of an agile automation process.

AppD: What typical challenges do your customers come to you with?

BP: They usually have a huge range of disparate monitoring tools, with over 10 not being an unusual number. Automation gaps are another issue, with too many manual activities and processes that a machine can complete faster and better. Velocity of development is also a huge hurdle, and there is a strong move towards reducing sprint cycles to keep up with business demands.

AppD: Tell us about your partnership with AppDynamics. What does the partnership mean for joint customers?

BP: Column was awarded “AppDynamics 2016 Implementation Partner of the Year,” which was an honor to win. With Column, joint customers benefit from one of the leading technologies, delivered by a world class services organization. We can then help customers as they expand their usage, show them how they can do more with the tool, and achieve a better job overall.

AppD: Why should Summit delegates visit the Column booth?

BP: There are two main reasons: to accelerate their DevOps journey, and automate as much as possible.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the Column team there.

Blaine Pryce has more than 30 years’ experience in enterprise sales and professional services within the Information Technology sector. Currently he serves as VP of DevOps Sales for Column Technologies. He and his team are chartered with developing solutions for their clients via a consultative approach based on business and technology requirements.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: NodeSource

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Joe McCann, CEO, NodeSource.

AppD: Where do you think node.js is currently in the hype cycle?

JM: We are at the tail end of phase 4, the slope of enlightenment, as there are a number of success stories and case studies as well as NodeSource’s enterprise-grade offerings shoring up the standardization of Node.js workloads for Fortune 500 enterprises.

AppD: What does your runtime do that the core node.js runtime cannot?

N|Solid is a fully-compatible enhanced Node.js runtime built for mission-critical applications. N|Solid enables organizations to develop, deploy, manage, secure, and analyze Node.js applications.

N|Solid gathers detailed metrics with minimal performance overhead, giving you unparalleled visibility into application performance, with some valuable features:

  • Installation is painless. Simply install the N|Solid runtime in place of open source Node.js; no changes to application code are necessary.
  • Real-time event loop delay alerts with detailed stack trace information can help you immediately expose and resolve issues that are otherwise tricky to detect. N|Solid is the only commercial product which offers this type of alert.
  • Notifications based on CPU and heap thresholds provide an early warning when application behavior changes, helping you resolve problems before they lead to an outage.

Additionally, N|Solid offers enhanced security through real-time vulnerability scanning and configurable security policies to help protect data and services.

AppD: What are your thoughts on ChakraCore? Is this a trend we may see more of?

JM: ChakraCore is Microsoft’s JavaScript Virtual Machine (VM) that runs in their Edge browser. It is a high-performance JavaScript VM with some interesting debugging capabilities that are currently not possible with V8, Google Chrome’s JavaScript VM, which is the VM Node.js uses.

For the past few years, NodeSource has been working alongside Microsoft, IBM and a few other companies to get Node.js in a technical position where we can “swap out” the underlying JavaScript VM, thus creating competition among JavaScript VM vendors which the users of Node.js ultimately benefit from. We saw this exact thing play out in 2009 with the “browser wars,” and now, web browsers across the board are much better for end users.

AppD: What are some of the major changes we can expect to see in the node.js project over the next few coming horizons?

JM: So far, Node.js likely won’t see a substantial amount of change – and this is a good thing. The engine in a Tesla doesn’t really change that much, as it is only 17 moving parts, and Node.js is similar in that it only has a small set of core APIs. All of the benefits and updates to a Tesla automobile are in other areas – such as software to make it faster and/or safer, but the engine doesn’t change that much, if at all. For Node.js, the majority of the innovation and changes we can expect to see will be on the periphery of the Node.js core runtime, particularly around Node modules, which is one of the reasons NodeSource created Certified Modules to bring some trust to the wild, wild west of the NPM ecosystem.

AppD: What are performance challenges that enterprise node.js users are facing that we haven’t seen in the past?

JM: Node.js is unlike any other application runtime or framework given its asynchronous, non-blocking architecture. This means that all of the tools and many best practices that applied to every other application runtime prior to Node.js do not work with Node.js. This is one of the reasons NodeSource’s N|Solid exists today. Many users of Node.js will attempt to find performance bottlenecks with traditional tools that don’t work with Node.js’ event loop. The event loop itself can be the root cause of many performance issues, and the only tool that can notify you of this is N|Solid. N|Solid coupled with AppDynamics can give you the most complete view into your Node.js performance issues, but, without both, enterprises will struggle to improve their apps’ performance.

AppD: If you could go back to 2009 when node.js was first created, what would you have done differently?

JM: I wouldn’t change much, as the success of Node.js has been its focus on broadening the community to reach as many people around the world as possible; however, the only thing that comes to mind is perhaps focusing on migration paths for developers from other programming languages. In the early days, there wasn’t a big focus on getting Java and .Net developers to come join the Node.js revolution.  I think if there was a bigger focus on migrating from Java to Node.js, for example, we would have seen a faster acceleration of enterprise adoption of Node.js.

AppD: Why should Summit delegates pay a visit to the Nodesource booth?

JM: In July, NodeSource and AppDynamics announced a new native integration. Users can now capture, view, and analyze the most comprehensive set of Node.js performance metrics available, directly in the AppDynamics controller.

Visit our booth during Summit to see a demo of this integration and to learn more about how N|Solid and AppDynamics together can offer you unparalleled visibility into the system health and behavior of your Node.js applications.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the Nodesource team there.

Joe McCann is the Founder and CEO of NodeSource and is a self-taught hacker, programmer and designer with more than seventeen years of web, mobile and software development experience. Prior to NodeSource, Joe was the CTO of the award-winning ad agency, Mother. 

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: BigPanda

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Assaf Resnick, CEO of BigPanda.

AppD: For visitors who don’t know BigPanda ahead of the Summit, what do you do?

AR: BigPanda is a machine learning platform for automating IT Service Operations at large enterprises. Our customers include Intel, Workday, Autodesk and Cisco. Service Operations teams – sometimes referred to as NOCs, DevOps or SREs – are the folks within IT charged with keeping mission-critical software, services and infrastructure running. BigPanda automates the ability of these teams to keep the business running in the face of an IT stack that’s exploded in scale, fragmentation, and complexity over the last 15 years.

Data center transformation in recent years has been driven by, among others, cloud, microservices, CI/CD, and DevOps. This transformation has allowed IT to become an enabler of agility and speed, which is great. But for the folks in the NOC, it’s left them with a flood of machine data coming out of the data center that they struggle to manage in order to keep critical business services running. This tsunami of monitoring data is heterogeneous, unstructured, constantly changing and moving faster than ever before. Legacy platforms that used to help make sense of this data – like IBM Netcool or HP OMI – weren’t built for today’s modern, dynamic IT environments.

That’s why BigPanda employs machine learning to separate the signal from this tsunami of IT noise. Our platform automates incident correlation – meaning we do the heavy lifting of parsing all this complex event data, normalizing and correlating it, and turning it into insight for the NOC.

AppD: In what ways do you believe the ITOM and ITSM markets have evolved over the past few years?

AR: BigPanda exists because of the earthquake that has occurred along these two tectonic plates called ITOM and ITSM. These used to fit together neatly, but no longer do. The tool fragmentation in ITOM has bumped up against the inherent scalability limitations of ITSM. BigPanda is the layer in the middle that cushions IT organizations against these tremors.

The traditional ITOM stack was fairly monolithic and slow moving. It was sourced largely from a single legacy vendor like BMC or HP. Code and infrastructure changes occurred in an orderly and infrequent fashion. That synced well with ITSM tools that were built to handle a finite amount of incidents, and to manage the human workflows of resolving those incidents.

However, today’s typical ITOM stack consists of multiple global clouds, thousands of VMs and containers, and dozens of best-of-breed technology vendors. Code and infrastructure changes no longer occur once or twice per quarter, but several times a day. The more things move; the more things break. As a result, the volume of alerts and incidents coming out of the data center has grown by orders of magnitude. This tsunami of machine data coming out of the ITOM stack has overwhelmed ITSM tools, which are designed to manage manual processes – not machine data at scale. BigPanda’s platform intelligently correlates all this machine data, turning it back into insights and workflows at that human scale.

AppD: How have the challenges faced by IT Operations changed as a result?

AR: The job of IT Service Operations has become a lot harder. There are a lot more moving parts to keep track of. Problems used to occur in slow, predictable cycles. Today’s IT incidents are explosive and fast moving.

The pace of IT service delivery has radically increased. With the rise of digital services, the pressure is on to meet customer SLAs within strictly defined parameters. For the NOC operator, life has become an unmitigated nightmare. For IT executives, the situation is just as challenging. Their current response to the growing flood of machine data is to throw more people at the problem, which has led to bloated headcount, out of control costs, and increased business risk.

AppD: In what ways can BigPanda address the new challenges?

AR: We help our enterprise customers automate their way out of this mess. Our data scientists have applied machine learning to connect the dots between all these monitoring, change management and incident management tools. BigPanda helps customers understand in real time the health of their critical business services and how to resolve issues quickly. This improves MTTR, service availability and most importantly, customer experience.

Some the largest enterprises with the most complex IT environments in the world depend on BigPanda to power their Service Operations. For example, Cisco uses BigPanda to improve the accuracy of root cause analysis and productivity of their tier 1 NOC engineers. In fact, Cisco was able to reduce monthly incident ticket volume by 98 percent using BigPanda!

AppD: Can you elaborate on “Algorithmic Service Operations” and what that means?

AR: Sure. We exist to automate the mission-critical functions of the Service Operations team. Now automation in Service Ops has been around for a long time. But the previous generation of solutions, such as IBM Netcool and HP OMI, were all rules-based. Deploying such solutions require an army of professional services and 18 months to write a large set of rules to automate manual, predictable actions. In today’s dynamic environment, this approach just won’t work any longer.

Enterprises instead need to take an “algorithmic” approach, which means applying machine learning to automatically interpret your ever-changing dynamic applications, microservices, cloud infrastructure, et cetera. We get customers up and running in a handful of weeks instead of the months it used to take. Moreover, our platform learns and adapts to our customers changing IT stack.

AppD: How does the partnership of BigPanda with AppDynamics help IT Operations teams?

BP: We share a common mission to increase visibility and availability of modern enterprise services. BigPanda has helped a lot of AppDynamics customers such as Shutterfly, Cisco and Caesars Interactive to automate their Service Ops.  

AppDynamics provides critical information about application performance. We feature open integration with the automated Alert & Respond capabilities in AppDynamics – from metric thresholds defined in Dynamic Baselines to Health Rules and Policy definitions. Any predefined action automated in a runbook can trigger an alert in BigPanda. It’s seamless and fully configurable.

These insights can be further enriched by events and information from other layers in the IT stack. We help our mutual customers understand event data coming from AppDynamics in the context of a broader set of ITOM data — log monitoring, system monitoring, network monitoring — in order to determine the overall health of a business service or the root cause of an outage incident.  We give AppDynamics users a holistic view into what’s going on across their IT stack, how it’s affecting the business, and what they should do about it.

AppD: Why should delegates come and visit the BigPanda booth?

AR: If conference delegates have the kind of problems we’ve outlined, they should come and see us. We’re happy to help AppDynamics’ large enterprise customers achieve their individual strategic objectives around modernizing apps and infrastructure. With BigPanda, they can automate and scale their Service Operations to better support and de-risk these modernization initiatives.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the BigPanda team there.

Assaf Resnick is the founder & CEO of BigPanda. He began his career at Moody’s Investors Services before becoming a principal at Sequoia Capital. At Sequoia he focused on public and early stage technology, internet, energy and mobile ventures. Assaf received a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School at University of California at Berkeley.

AppDynamics Summit NYC: Strategic Partnerships Get Tighter

Watching the registration numbers grow for AppDynamics Summit New York City is exciting.

Summit NYC will be the largest event we’ve hosted to date, packed into a single day – October 19th, with a smaller number of tracks. The venue looks unique, and we are excited to announce and deliver high-quality content and facilitate networking conversations around the next generation of Enterprise IT challenges.

I am fortunate enough to have been working on several new products co-developed with our strategic partners. The two sessions I will be participating in include an in-depth look and demo of two key innovations, driven by partners.

Below is brief overview of what you can expect from the partner integration sessions:

IBM Z APM Connect for AppDynamics

The new Mainframe capabilities recently announced, IBM Z APM Connect, is a compelling product offering developed by none other than the IBM team who builds the software that runs Mainframes.

We could not ask for a better partner than IBM, with their deep expertise and passion for Mainframe technology. The result of the last year of work is that AppDynamics now has a scalable agent for Mainframe with significantly lower overhead than other alternatives. Overhead is a major concern in the world of Mainframe where processing and cost are linked, making efficiency paramount.

Did you know that Mainframes power most credit card swipes, which equates to over $7 trillion per year? They also process over 30 billion business transactions per day. As new ways of accessing information are introduced, including the use of new application types like IoT, wearables, and augmented reality – there will be an additional workload for Mainframes.

Assuring performance and troubleshooting end-to-end transactions is a critical problem for IT Operations teams which could be far more efficient with the right tooling and workflows. AppDynamics and IBM look to solve these problems, or if anything, make it much easier than it is today. Innovation is alive and well on Mainframe contrary to popular belief.

The IBM Z APM Connect gateway for AppDynamics has been running in public beta since May, and we’ve already seen success in mutual customer deployments. We look forward to continuing to drive Mainframe APM innovation with IBM.

Come to the session from 3:30PM to 4:30PM on Thursday October 19th, where I will be joined on stage by Nathan Brice, Senior Offering Manager with IBM and Senior Software Engineer and the Lead Architect Aaron Young.

ServiceNow Integration

The second strategic partner session we are having is with ServiceNow. AppDynamics and ServiceNow share a large number of mutual customers who are driven to get work done more efficiently.

I regularly hear stories about the change ServiceNow customers accomplish by leveraging a consistent platform across the Enterprise. Just two weeks ago, ServiceNow was kind enough to host a joint webinar, where we spoke about our mutual solutions, and how our integration is used by a large number of customers. We have also seen an acceleration in adoption of the integration as we continually improve and work in close collaboration with ServiceNow.

During Summit NYC, I will be joined onstage by Zaki Bajwa,Sr. Director at ServiceNow, where we’ll discuss our mutual strategies and how we will continue to drive innovation and use cases.

We will also demo the joint integration and solution. You’ll hear more about how AppDynamics is becoming the platform for Systems of Intelligence, and ServiceNow is becoming the platform of choice for Systems of Action. These two worlds must be intrinsically linked. Come and listen. Hopefully, it applies well your strategy. The session is scheduled for 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 19th.

We look forward to seeing you! Click here for a full agenda at AppDynamics Summit New York City.

Space is still available for this free event. Register here.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: Turbonomic

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Charles Crouchman, Chief Technology Officer of Turbonomic. 

AppD: What was the impetus behind Turbonomic being founded?

CC: Turbonomic was founded on the premise that software can manage virtualized IT systems better than human beings to assure performance while maximizing efficiency. Turbonomic’s algorithm applies microeconomic theory and the principles of supply and demand to resource management in the data center and cloud stack.

This concept of applying economics to shared compute resources was originally discussed in a series of papers by co-founder, Yechiam Yemini, in the 1980s. The fundamental concept is that workloads choose the infrastructure on which they run and consume only the resources they need to perform, in the same way that shoppers look for the best overall price for a basket of goods, buying only what they need, when they need it.

AppD: Why does overprovisioning in the cloud occur, and why is it such an issue?

CC: Overprovisioning in the cloud occurs for two primary reasons. First, virtually every workload residing in a private data center today is overprovisioned because there is no cost-efficiency penalty for doing so.

Second, cloud providers actually encourage enterprises to overprovision their workloads for performance reasons. Combined, migrated workloads are migrated into oversized templates and net-new public cloud workloads are oversized from inception. The problem lies in the fact that overprovisioned resources are now rented, not owned, and the cost overruns can be significant. For example, if a customer over-sizes just 100 workloads by one template in Amazon Web Services, it equates to $1.2M in annual unnecessary spend.

AppD: How does Turbonomic reduce 30% or so of typical cloud provider costs?

CC: Turbonomic continuously observes workload demand, also known as consumption, and matches that demand to the cheapest available supply. The platform understands the actual resource consumption of each of your public cloud instances. It then matches that consumption to the best available template—the one with just the right amount of compute and storage—resulting in specific actions to resize templates, scale applications, or shift storage tiers. These actions bring supply and demand into alignment.

Where does the 30% come from, you ask? Well this is typically the average amount of resource and dollars by which customers overprovision. With Turbonomic at work, that waste can be safely eliminated.

AppD: What makes Turbonomic so different to other cloud-related vendors?

CC: Turbonomic bears several key differentiators, but the standout point is that Turbonomic is the only real-time management platform that bridges on-premises and cloud infrastructure for performance, cost and compliance management. We integrate with multiple providers up and down the stack, are entirely API-driven, and leverage the aforementioned economic abstraction, which empowers our agnostic approach.

At the end of the day however, it is the fact that Turbonomic is the only platform on the market that can assure your workloads are running performant, at the lowest possible cost, within compliance, regardless of where they reside – all in real-time. Nobody else can offer that, or anything close to it today.

AppD: Tell us about your decision engine that helps determine where a workload should run and when.

CC: The fundamental idea is that the workloads choose the infrastructure on which they run. If you have ever purchased a stock, or bought something on eBay, or spent money on anything, the item you purchased and the amount you paid presumably represented your demand for that item at the time. Turbonomic works in much the same way. Our decision engine exposes the realm of possible residences for each workload… On-prem VMware, Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure… All zone, regions and clusters.

It then prices access to those entities as a function of their real-time utilization and the real-time utilization of their constituent resources (thread pools, heap, database connections, network throughput, storage latency, etc.). This pricing mechanism is a virtual currency, not a real one, but the net result is that workloads shop for the best deal, based on their resource requirements at the time. When a workload identifies a need for X, Y and Z compute, storage and network resources, Turbonomic brokers the purchase, so to speak, and the action to migrate and/or scale the workload takes place.

AppD: How does Turbonomic work with Cisco and AppDynamics to benefit enterprises?

CC: Customers are recognizing that applications are the lifeblood of today’s business. With Cisco and AppDynamics, Turbonomic is bringing our core value props—performance, efficiency, and compliance—to Cisco’s intent-based data center and enabling IT to focus on applications. With these partnerships, every decision our platform makes is about matching real-time application demand to the underlying compute, storage, and network.

The added benefit for UCS customers is that the Turbonomic integration enables demand-based elasticity in the UCS environment, turning blades on or off based on the resource needs of the applications running on UCS. For AppDynamics customers, Turbonomic can discover the application topology and OS metrics through AppDynamics and maps it to the data center stack. Using that information, the decision engine ensures that application components and workloads across the stack get the resources they need when they need them. With Cisco and AppDynamics, we’re stitching application performance directly to self-managing, elastic infrastructure.

AppD: Why should delegates at the NYC Summit visit the Turbonomic booth?

CC: Do you want to see how self-managing infrastructure directly impacts application performance? Come to the booth. We’ll have a demo showing how Turbonomic pulls in application topology and metrics from AppDynamics and then uses that information to drive the right sizing, placement, and capacity decisions that improve performance.

Applications and infrastructure have traditionally been siloed. With this integration, the finger pointing and guessing games are over—this is a whole new ball game for IT—one that every CEO, CRO, CMO, and, yes, every CIO will care about.  Because, again, today’s organizations rely on applications and the business outcomes they drive. Only software can assure their performance in real time, all the time.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the Turbonomic team there.

Charles is Chief Technology Officer of Turbonomic. In this role he contributes to product strategy, evangelizes our technology, supports our strategic sales and business development efforts, and leads product management. Prior to joining Turbonomic, Charles held senior executive positions at several technology startups including Cirba, Mformation Technologies, Opalis Software, and Cybermation.

NYC Summit Exhibitor Focus: IBM Z Systems

In anticipation of our New York City Summit Event on October 19th, we’re highlighting some of the great partners who will be in attendance in this Exhibitor Series. We’re excited to share our latest Q&A with Nathan Brice, Senior Offering Manager, Z Systems Monitoring & APM at IBM. 

AppD: Can you share some details of the partnership between IBM and AppDynamics so far?

NB: In my role, I’m very focused on the tools required to manage our clients’ mainframes. Many of our clients have systems that have been running without any unplanned outage for decades, and the tools to manage these systems are critical.

It seemed to me that the rapid rise of APM software, looking at the entire end-to-end application, hasn’t to-date been able to deliver meaningful visibility into the mainframe. For many of the largest enterprises in the world, it’s often the most critical application components that are running on the mainframe.

I thought there was a tremendous opportunity to partner with AppDynamics, bringing together your market-leading APM product, together with our expertise on the mainframe, to deliver true end-to-end visibility for large enterprises with mainframes.

AppD: The integration extends the visibility of AppDynamics’ Map iQ and Diagnostic iQ into mainframe subsystems such as CICS and DB2. Can you explain this in more detail?

NB: With our planned IBM offering, you’ll install new agent code on the mainframe to track transactions in key mainframe z/OS subsystem. We’ve focused on CICS Transaction Server for the initial release as it’s one of the most commonly used subsystems. We support MQ, http & SOAP as entry points into CICS and Db2 and IMS DB backend databases. So now, in the AppDynamics flow map you’ll see additional nodes for MQ, CICS, Db2, IMS DB that are running on the mainframe.

AppD: What are the main benefits of the integration for IBM Z and AppDynamics customers?

NB: The key benefit is going to be faster isolation of problems. When transactions are slowing down somewhere in the mainframe, clients today might start by investigating the entry point, then the transaction server and then finally the database. Sometime all in parallel. Being able to clearly isolate which component is causing the slowdown is going to significantly speed problem determination and help get directly to the right mainframe engineer who can debug root cause.

There is also a huge benefit in understanding the true structure of the application. Being able to visualize where the transactions really flow, and which systems they interact with is very important when some of the back-end services have been enhanced, modified and tweaked over many, many years.

AppD: How can the integration support collaboration between two traditionally siloed teams?

NB: Typically, mainframe teams are still siloed away from other teams. The mainframe is often perceived as old, difficult, complicated and unless you work on an IBM Z System today, then this is probably what you believe too. I believe the integration of mainframe components into APM dashboards is going help application teams realize that the mainframe is just like another platform and foster greater collaboration between the teams. They will be able to understand the topology – and see just how quickly the transactions are processed!

AppD: More than $6 trillion in card payments are processed annually by mainframes. What other evidence do you have that having insights into mainframe performance is still very relevant to applications today?

NB: Most people don’t realize it, but you interact with mainframes every day. When you take cash out of an ATM, book a flight or a hotel room, or pay for something with a credit card, typically the back-end system of record that processes that transaction is going to be running on a mainframe. The latest IBM Z14 machines can process 12 billion encrypted transactions every single day. That’s the sort of scale you now need as a large retailer on a busy Black Friday.

In today’s digital world, the total volume of transactions is exploding as end-users’ expectations are rapidly evolving. How many more times to do you check your balance using a smart phone banking app compared to when you had to visit a physical bank branch? These systems of record running on the mainframe are the backbone to the modern economy.

AppD: One beta customer has said, “Before this integration, the mainframe was just a black box and we couldn’t truly manage our applications end-to-end.” Is this typical of the feedback you have received to date?

NB: Yes, that’s a very common response. In fact, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this project has been working closely with many clients as we designed the product. In my 20 years with IBM, I’ve never worked on a project that has had so much positive feedback. There is a clear demand for this capability and I’m really excited about working closely with our beta clients and sponsor users as we continue to design and develop additional capability.

AppD: Why should delegates come to the IBM booth and attend the breakout session at the NYC Summit?

NB: If you work in an enterprise that uses a mainframe and you either already have, or are considering purchasing AppDynamics, then come along and learn more about what we’ve been doing in this space. I’ll be there in person as will our project architect, Aaron Young. We’ll be able to show you a demo, talk about our future plans and answer any question you may have. Come along and find us at our booth.

Register here to book your free place at the NYC Summit on October 19th and meet the IBM team there.