The success of a monitoring strategy depends on four datasets, as explained in my blog item on IT Operations Analytics. The agent set is an important dataset. Agents for various systems are able to provide a great deal of information about the various components included in the IT infrastructure of today.

Within the agent dataset I have opted for AppDynamics as the solution.

What is AppDynamics?


Digital performance defines the success of the Software Defined Business. The AppDynamics Application Intelligence platform enables companies to monitor, manage and optimise complex software environments with powerful tools.

AppDynamics starts out from the user interaction rather than the infrastructure. The platform is able to gather millions of performance metrics from applications, servers, databases and other critical systems. This context-rich data makes it possible for AppDynamics to identify performance patterns and non-conformities, which yields a clearer impression of the end-user experience. If problems arise the platform is able to execute preconfigured fixes and send alerts if further investigation is required.

AppDynamics is made for production and focuses on Enterprise-size organisations. The platform is available in an Saas or On-Premises variant.

Application Topology Discovery

The AppDynamics agents automatically build up a topology based on the actions identified in the application and all communication generated by the agents to the hinterland.


That way the topology is always updated if changes are made, which is one of my 6 principles for selecting the right IT Management Software.

Business Transactions and Snapshots

Business Transactions (BTs) are actions taken by users in the application, such as logging in and out or making payment. Out of the box these are recognised as the URLs that are called, but AppDynamics can operate smart rules to show recognisable names so that the whole organisation understands the magnitude of the problems and if Payment goes into the red.

All metrics, including the BTs, are automatically baselined. A deviation from the baseline automatically leads to a Transaction Snapshot being made, as shown in the image above. AppDynamics indicates which topology was involved in this specific action. You are also given information about the precise error message or about the classes, methods or external calls that are causing the poor performance.


Other useful features

AppDynamics continues to develop, but the core of the product is described above. Other very useful features include:

  • Data Collectors – save the data called by the various codes and use it as business data. A method that shows the total value of a shopping basket, for instance. You can then use this to build dashboards and reports.
  • Real User Monitoring – a web-based and mobile way of obtaining information about the response times of the user’s devices. This too is baselined, and deviations are linked to the BTs of the application agents so that you gain full end-2-end insight.
  • Database Monitoring – an integrated solution for viewing the status of the database (server) from the Transaction Snapshot, in order to see whether aspects of this can be optimised or repaired.

Would you like a demo?

No problem. I can give demos of AppDynamics either by remote or at your location so that you can see the added value of the product for yourself.

Contact me via the website, by phone or send me a Tweet!