IBM Think 2019: Enterprise Software’s Big Event

With over a century of innovation, IBM has led some of the greatest technological advancements in computing history. This tradition continues today with Big Blue’s ambitious efforts in quantum computing. And with its pending acquisition of Red Hat, IBM is positioning itself to be the premier enterprise IT provider.

IBM last year merged several of its technical conferences, bringing the full force of Big Blue under one figurative roof with IBM Think, which takes place February 12-15 in San Francisco. Well established as a hub of tech innovation, San Francisco also happens to be the headquarters of AppDynamics. So we’re very excited to participate in this major tech event in our own backyard.

On and Off the Mainframe

IBM has been a prominent big iron vendor since the heyday of the mainframe. (Tech historians and old-timers will no doubt recall IBM and the Seven Dwarfs and the BUNCH acronym.) We mustn’t forget, however, that the mainframe is far from dead—it processes 90% of global credit card transactions, more than 30 billion transactions per day. And mainframes are essential to modern airlines, whose real-time systems couldn’t function without big iron’s staggering transaction rates.

Mainframes remain very relevant due to their stability and scale. But for us to build artificial intelligence into applications with greater ease, these systems must be augmented with recent innovations such as modern cloud services. Looking to the next generation of computing, I’m thrilled to learn more about the newest quantum computer advances at IBM Think.

Soup to Nuts with IBM

Very few vendors have the depth and breadth of IBM, which no doubt will extend further with the Red Hat acquisition. (Amazon Web Services is catching up, though, with AWS moving aggressively to cannibalize the development stack for builders.) A user journey today could easily cut across multiple IBM technologies. For example, when I go (an IBM company) to check the San Francisco forecast, the following flow could occur:

Wow, my request and response almost never left the IBM ecosystem. And then there’s the developer experience, with developer and DevOps tooling provided by IBM and Red Hat, such as Urbancode and Ansible, respectively. The example above shows the good amount of choice in both the IBM and Red Hat stacks. And there are steps where the two firms could have swapped places, too.

Too Many Choices Bring Fog Delays

Building systems is never an easy task. And with the massive scale required today, the fog of system development is a real problem. The good news is that software engineers today are in a great place. High-level open source software tools and platforms are bountiful, and access to projects is greater than ever.

But this presents another problem: with all these choices, how do we validate our technical decisions? Keen observers will note there is a lot of overlap with application development products at IBM and Red Hat. For example, compare application servers WebSphere Liberty vs. Red Hat Enterprise Application Platform, or messaging platforms IBM MQ vs. Red Hat AMQ. As the two firms integrate, there will be more opportunity to cross-pollinate and mix infrastructure to deliver the best business value and customer experience. And for measuring business impact and the customer journey across multiple platforms and devices, AppDynamics is the premier choice.

AppD and IBM: Your User Journey

AppDynamics can capture the entire user journey—from end user device to the mainframe—with our deep insights and the power of artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps). As shown in our weather forecast example, a variety of technologies and infrastructure play a vital role in fulfilling an end user’s request. With so many steps involved, it’s difficult to gain end-to-end visibility of the user journey. AppDynamics is positioned to partner with you to track this journey across multiple devices and infrastructures. In December 2018, AppDynamics and IBM launched a mainframe agent, IBM Z APM Connect, an innovative monitoring solution that’s quickly gaining popularity with many of our customers. At IBM Think, we are eager to discuss how we can continue to provide a superior user journey in 2019 and beyond.

See you at Think 2019

AppDynamics has a strong relationship with both IBM and Red Hat, and we’re looking forward to strengthening these bonds as the two companies join forces to develop great new technologies and products. We’re also excited that our very own Jonah Kowall will be presenting with IBM on the “Mobile-to-Mainframe” visibility journey (Thursday, February 14th at 3:30 p.m.). Stop by booth 313 to engage with AppDynamics. We’re excited to meet you!

AppSphere Speaker Panel: Cloudy With A Chance Of Innovation

AppSphere Day One general sessions ended with a panel of cloud experts led in discussion by Jonah Kowall, research vice president – IT operations at Gartner, with questions prepared by Jonah and also submitted by the audience. The course of the discussion indicated that — like so many things in this time of transformation and generational shift — there’s still a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the vague but huge concept of “the cloud,” and at the same time, great opportunity.
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Some misconceptions dispelled, guiding principles, and best practices offered by the panel:

  • The cloud can be a cost-efficient option, but innovation should be a bigger driver than any anticipated cost savings.
  • Speed, flexibility, faster time to market, speed of innovation, and efficient utilization of resources are all good drivers for cloud adoption.
  • You can’t just lift a chunk of infrastructure and drop it into the cloud. It doesn’t work that way. Assumptions about how things interact, latency, storage, etc. are no longer true. Things have to be re-architected.
  • You have to have a plan and a strategy; otherwise, don’t even start.
  • The network, and network latency, are critical factors for performance in the cloud.
  • The hour-long discussion took a number of paths: the challenges and opportunities of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS; containers in general and Docker in particular; OpenStack; and others. The discussion ended with a five-year crystal ball look and not much agreement on which aspects of cloud will become commoditized and what services or layers will be the differentiators. But there was no disagreement that the cloud is where we’re moving, and that it will power amazing possibilities for business, and great benefits for consumers.

    The esteemed panel of cloud experts included:

    Mark Quigley, Vice President, Strategy, SoftLayer, an IBM Company
    Krishnan Subramanian, Director, OpenShift Strategy, Red Hat
    Matt Stine, Platform Engineer, Cloud Foundry, Pivotal
    Vibhor Kapoor, Director of Product Marketing, Microsoft Azure
    Allan Naim, Global Product Lead, Google Compute Engine, Google

    Stay up to date with AppDynamics AppSphere on Twitter using the hashtag #AppSphere14

    AppDynamics Partners with OpenShift by Red Hat to Empower DevOps

    We’re proud to partner with OpenShift by Red Hat to help monitor their open-source platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Together we make it easier to scale into the cloud. The integration helps foster DevOps by increasing the visibility and collaboration between the typically fragmented development and operations teams throughout the product lifecycle. We caught up with Chris Morgan, Technical Director of Partner Ecosystem at Red Hat, to discuss all the ways Agile and rapid-release cycles have changed development and sped up innovation.

    Morgan refers to these new DevOps tools as driving innovation and empowering developers by cultivating a constant feedback loop and proving end-to-end visibility while help scale applications.


    “We have a great partner that’s able to provide [APM] to enhance the platform and make it more desirable to developers and for our customers. Ease of use and deployment is what everyone wants.”

    “Using AppDynamics, we can monitor the existing application and understand how best it’s performing and then re-architect it so it can take advantage of the things that platform-as-a-service has to offer and you move to OpenShift.”

    AppDynamics is excited to announce we are available in the OpenShift marketplace to make it easier than ever to add application performance monitoring to OpenShift based applications.

    AppDynamics in the OpenShift Marketplace

    AppDynamics in the OpenShift Marketplace