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What’s new in the Summer ‘14 release for the Ops Team

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AppDynamics recently announced our summer release that builds upon our history of delivering game changing functionality and innovations in application performance management.  In our latest version, we’ve added many features that cater to operations-focused professionals, let’s take a closer look at some of those features.

Percentile metrics

AppDynamics has always had robust behavior learning capabilities that automatically baseline the metrics that we collect.  Instead of having to tell our platform what’s normal behavior, AppDynamics continually collects data and adjusts the dynamic baselines in real-time.  Percentile metrics give customers the added ability to analyze metrics based on percentiles like 90%, 95%, or 99% to get a better understanding of the distribution of metrics.  Basically, it allows operations teams to exclude outlier data to get a better understanding of what ‘normal’ application behavior is. You’re in full control with the ability to set 5 different percentile levels across the entire application or even down to the individual transaction level.

Configure percentile metrics and easily apply to specific business transactions or all existing business transactions:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.41.51 PM

This feature allows operations teams to improve problem detection with fewer false positives for long-tail distribution profiles.  Having to dig through less noise to find the problems that matter is always a good thing.

Smart dashboards

Building meaningful dashboards takes time and effort. AppDynamics has added dashboard template functionality that allows you to build once and deploy as many times as needed to new applications without any configuration changes. Just build a new dashboard and associate it to the proper application(s) or component(s). It’s that easy.

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Business transaction discovery tools

AppDynamics has always automatically discovered business transactions out of the box for customers.  This capability has saved our enterprise customers countless hours defining and configuring dozens or even hundreds of different business transactions.  However, sometimes customers have unusual circumstances that require some configuration rules for getting their business transactions defined to align with their unique business needs. Well, we’ve created another time saving feature that allows AppDynamics administrators to model business transaction configurations in real time and only commit the configuration when you’re getting the exact results you intended.

This feature is purely intended to make life as easy as possible for the operations staff that manages AppDynamics. It’s another improvement that further reduces total cost of ownership ensuring AppDynamics offers the best possible ROI.

Step 1: Pick a node

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Step 2: Edit Discovery Configuration

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Step 3: Wait for load (real-time) & validate results

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Step 4: Apply config

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Windows Machine snapshots

Oftentimes operations teams can narrow the root-cause of application issues to the infrastructure, but can’t automatically correlate performance of the machine back to the application issue.  This results in manual correlation efforts that increase the amount of time needed to isolate and fix these types of issues.  AppDynamics now has a feature called machine snapshots that enables operations teams to get visibility into the status of machine resources and associate that with application health.

This feature has been released first for .NET. Let’s face it, it’s rare to have features released for .NET applications before Java apps get the feature but we thought it was about time to even the score a bit. Java folks, you’ll have to wait a little while longer for this feature.

View health metrics like CPU and memory consumption per process on the machine:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.42.47 PM

Monitor the state of IIS app pools queues:

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Correlate physical machine health with business transaction performance using snapshots:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.43.03 PM

.NET: Object Instance Tracking

Memory leaks happen. When they happen in production it’s operations responsibility to assist the development team with collecting the data that leads to the fix. Object Instance Tracking from AppDynamics adds this critical capability to it’s ever growing arsenal of .NET monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities.

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.NET: CLR Crash alerts and information for IIS Server

When CLR’s crash it is the job of the operations team to know that it happened and to figure out why. AppDynamics now has the ability to alert on your CLR crashes and automatically pulls the details from the windows event viewer so that you don’t even have to login to the Windows server to see what went wrong. This is another time saving feature that is ideal for operations teams that support .NET applications.

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EUEM resource timing waterfall view

Today, many operations teams have difficulty understanding how long load times for static resources impact the end user experience.  For example, your team might wonder how a social media widget, banner ad, or a set of images impacts the web application’s response time from the end user perspective.  AppDynamics now provides support for resource timing for web applications that provides the details you need to understand why end users are experiencing sub-optimal performance.

View resource timing details by type, domains requested, and waterfall breakdown:

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By gaining visibility into how static resources are performing, operations teams can quickly identify performance issues affecting end users and enforce SLAs with 3rd parties.

EUEM Analyze

Customers want to combine multiple metrics to drive the best insights into end user experience. The traditional hierarchical metric model doesn’t scale too the exponential number of possible combinations customers might want. Thanks to the new analytics platform the EUEM team has created a new page called Analyze that will allow customers to perform a multi-faceted search on their end user data, uncovering answers to questions like “how was End User Experience for a specific page, in California, using the IE browser?”

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Mobile EUEM: Unique Crash Dashboard and Reports

Crashes on mobile applications aren’t usually unique. Now customers can see how many crashes of a particular type have occurred and how many users where impacted allowing them to better prioritize and focus their work. We also provide supporting details like typical environments and stack traces for each.

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EUEM on-premise

AppDynamics has always had secure data transmission and storage protocols, however some enterprise customers have company policies that prevent them from utilizing our hosted EUEM cloud.  Now, customers can host their own AppDynamics EUEM cloud on-premise so they can take advantage of our granular end user experience metrics and snapshots.

C/C++, Analytics, and Database monitoring beta programs

The last major point to make in this announcement is the fact that we have also released 3 new major feature sets into beta.

C/C++(beta):

  • SDK – Use the AppDynamics SDK to instrument any C/C++ process where you have access to the source code. The SDK extends AppDynamics breadth of monitoring capabilities to all of those C/C++ programs that you wish you had visibility into.
  • Dynamic instrumentation agent –  Use this agent to instrument C/C++ programs where you have no access to the source code. You won’t get the same depth of instrumentation as if you had used the SDK but you’ll still gain tremendous insight into the performance of your C/C++ process.

Analytics (beta):

Our Analytics module is layered upon the underlying data collection capabilities of AppDynamics. In this beta release of analytics we have done major architecture and feature work culminating in the ability to search and analyze business data collected in real-time from Java applications as well as from logs. The key to this rich analytics capability lies in our new horizontally scalable events service that will power exciting new analytics & search use cases for EUEM, APM and database monitoring in our upcoming releases.

Our new infinitely scalable event service is major part of our new Platform architecture. It is built on ElasticSearch and Kafka and will become the core foundation of event storage, processing and analytics for all our products. It went live in 3.9 with the EUEM, database monitoring and Analytics modules already using the new event service data platform. When we say that AppDynamics is an Application Intelligence Platform we mean business.

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Fully integrated database monitoring (beta):

The same UI, the same Installer, and the same Intelligence Platform as the rest of AppDynamics product ecosystem available for both SaaS and On-premise.

Our new fully integrated database monitoring (beta) product brings a whole new level of database information into the familiar AppDynamics UI. It’s fast, scalable, and 100% SaaS-ready. The new architecture allows us to build a very tight integration between APM and database monitoring, bridging the gaps between DBA, dev, and ops. Database monitoring now gains the added benefit of our behavioral learning engine, automatically creating baselines of “normal” behavior to compare current data against. It’s a major step forward for the database monitoring world.

Detailed query analysis:

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Main database dashboard:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.44.04 PM

Top queries analysis:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.44.11 PM

To try these features out today, sign up for a free trial here.

The post What’s new in the Summer ‘14 release for the Ops Team written by appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog from AppDynamics.

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More Stories By Jyoti Bansal

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

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