Today’s post features a guest article by Anand Akela, Director of Product Marketing for APM at AppDynamics.
Not long ago at AppDynamics AppSphere™ 2015, we announced the AppDynamics Winter ’16 Release (4.2) that brings significant enhancements to our Application Intelligence Platform to provide essential support for businesses’ digital transformation initiatives.
The new release extends the capabilities of AppDynamics’ application-centric Unified Monitoring solution, providing greater visibility into the user journey with detailed user sessions support, and expanded monitoring with Server and Browser Synthetic Monitoring and support for C/C++ applications. It also brings major upgrades to AppDynamics Application Analytics solution to provide richer, deeper insights into users, applications, and the correlations between application performance and business metrics.
Enhanced Unified Monitoring
AppDynamics Unified Monitoring provides end-to-end visibility from the end-user through all the application layers and their supporting infrastructure, enabling comprehensive management of end-user experience and application health.
In addition to general availability for Server Monitoring and C/C++ language support, the new release also introduces more than two dozen new extensions to expand AppDynamics’ monitoring capabilities to more application and infrastructure components, including many for Amazon Web Services. In addition, the new release brings numerous functional and usability enhancements for Java, .Net, Python, PHP, Node.js and Web Server monitoring solutions.
General availability of application-centric server monitoring
AppDynamics Server Monitoring is an application-centric server monitoring platform that proactively detects and helps quickly resolve server performance issues in context of business transactions. As a key component of the AppDynamics Unified Monitoring solution, server monitoring complements application and database monitoring to provide the end-to-end visibility needed to improve end-user experience and reduce monitoring complexity.
Server Monitoring provides comprehensive CPU, memory, disk, networking, and running processes metrics for Linux and Windows servers. With the new solution, customers can drill down (see figure 1) to detailed server metrics directly from the end-to-end application flow map when troubleshooting application performance issues.
Fig 1 : Drill down directly from the application flow map to view server details.
We are also announcing the Service Availability Monitoring (SAM) pack, which will be available as an add-on to Server Monitoring to help customers track the availability and basic performance metrics for HTTP services running on servers not natively monitored via an AppDynamics agent.
Fig 2: Service Availability Monitoring
General availability of C/C++ monitoring SDK
With the new release, AppDynamics now also supports monitoring of C/C++ applications via a monitoring SDK that enables the same real-time, end-to-end, user-to-database performance visibility as other supported languages, for rapid root-cause analysis and issue resolution.
Fig 3: C/C++ Application Performance Monitoring
These powerful capabilities are now available for C/C++ applications: automatic discovery and mapping of all tiers that service and interact with the C/C++ applications, automatic dynamic baselining, data collectors, and health rules, as well as managing key metrics including application load and response times, and key system resources including CPU, memory, and disk I/O.
Expanded Amazon Web Services monitoring with new extensions
Concurrent with the Winter ’16 Release, AppDynamics announced the availability of two dozen new extensions, including 19 for monitoring Amazon Web Services (AWS) components. These extensions are now available at the AppDynamics Exchange, joining more than one hundred extensions to enable monitoring application and infrastructure components not natively monitored by AppDynamics.
Fig 4: Extended coverage of AWS with new extensions
Powerful End-User Experience Monitoring
The Winter ’16 Release adds support for real-user sessions, providing a rich and detailed view into the user journey — what actions users take on a browser or a mobile device, step-by-step, as they move through the funnel, and how application performance impacts their journey. In addition, Browser Synthetic Monitoring becomes generally available. Together, Browser Synthetic Monitoring, and Browser and Mobile Real-User Monitoring with user sessions support, provide a comprehensive view of performance from the end-user perspective in a single intuitive dashboard.
Sessions monitoring as part of Browser/Mobile Real-User Monitoring
With the Winter ’16 Release, AppDynamics Browser and Mobile Real-User Monitoring now tracks and captures a user’s entire journey on a website or mobile app from the start until a configurable period of inactivity, or start-to-finish of a transaction sequence. Sessions can be viewed for individual users or a class of users. Sessions data is important for understanding funnel dynamics, tracking conversion and bounce rates, and seeing where in the sequence users had issues or disengaged. Performance issues and health violations and their causes are captured throughout a session, and the correlation with business impact can be captured, especially in conjunction with AppDynamics Application Analytics.
General Availability of Browser Synthetic Monitoring
Browser Synthetic Monitoring enables enterprises to ensure availability and performance of their websites even in the absence of real user load. Incorporating the highly regarded, open-source WebPageTest technology, Browser Synthetic Monitoring eliminates the variability inherent in real-user monitoring, and provides accurate measurements for baselining performance, competitive benchmarking, and management of third-party content performance. In addition to reporting on availability, Browser Synthetic Monitoring can be scripted to measure a sequence of transactions simulating an actual user’s workflow, including entering forms data, log-in credentials, and actions to test and ensure application logic.
Because it is a cloud-based solution, enterprises can scale their synthetic monitoring up or down as needed, schedule measurement jobs flexibly anytime 24/7, and choose which of more than two dozen points of presence around the globe they want to measure, and with which browsers. Measurements can also be set up to automatically re-test immediately on error, failure, or timeout to reduce or eliminate false positives for more intelligent alerting. There’s no need to wait for the next available testing window, by which time conditions may have changed. Browser Synthetic data can be viewed side-by-side with Browser and Mobile Real-User data in a single dashboard; Browser Synthetic Monitoring snapshots are also correlated with AppDynamics’ server-side APM for end-to-end traceability of issues.
Enhanced Application Analytics
AppDynamics Application Analytics is a rich, highly extensible, real-time analytics solution that gives IT and business teams deep insights into customer behaviors, and illuminates the correlations between application performance and business metrics. The updated Application Analytics provides support for more data sets, including all of AppDynamics APM data, log data, and APIs for importing/exporting external data sets; a custom SQL-based query language that enables unified search and log correlation with business transactions; a number of user interface enhancements and new out-of-the-box data widgets; and role-based access control.
These improvements allow enterprise users to immediately access rich customer profiles and behavioral data, and to quickly and conveniently perform customized queries to get the insights they need to more effectively engage their customers and make decisions that optimize business outcomes.
Advanced Query Language – AppDynamics Query Language (ADQL)
Application Analytics makes data accessible via the SQL-like, dynamic AppDynamics Query Language (ADQL), which enables advanced, fast, and nested data searches across multiple datasets, and supports rapid ad hoc analyses in real time.
Event Correlation between transactions and logs
Business, marketing and performance data is typically siloed and in many different formats. Application Analytics auto-correlates business transactions data from APM and log data from machine agent to provide unprecedented end-to-end analytics into the digital user journey, and the corresponding impact on business metrics.
This release introduces many new out-of-the-box visualization widgets to create interactive custom dashboards to provide actionable data. New out-of-the-box widgets include funnel widget to track drop off; user conversion widget; and widgets to do ad hoc analysis (multiple X and Y). Analytics widgets can be saved to custom dashboards, and reports can be scheduled for users and senior management.
Role-based access control
In addition, role-based access control is added to AppDynamics Application Analytics, enhancing security for sensitive business and customer data, while at the same time simplifying access for users within the context of their permissions. It now enforces strict access control to analytics data by job function and supports flexible data access control by data type. It also unifies multiple logins thereby improving user experience and adoption inside organization.
An enhanced platform that is an essential pillar of digital transformation
As the world becomes increasingly defined by software, enterprises of every description are pursuing digital transformation to satisfy user expectations for always-on, always effective engagement, and to realize the competitive efficiencies and advantages of digital delivery. The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform, with the far-reaching enhancements of the Winter ’16 Release, is designed to provide the next-generation application support needed to help enterprises achieve the user experience and operational success that is at the heart of effective digital transformation.