TAG | IT operations
A few months ago I saw an interesting partnership announcement from Foursquare and OpenTable. Users can now make OpenTable reservations at participating restaurants from directly within the Foursquare mobile app. My first thought was, “What the hell took you guys so long?” That integration makes sense on so many levels, I’m surprised it hadn’t already been done.
So when AppDynamics recently announced a partnership with Splunk, I viewed that as another no-brainer. Two companies with complementary solutions making it easier for customers to use their products together – makes sense right? It does to me, and I’m not alone.
I’ve been demoing a prototype of the integration for a few months now at different events across the country, and at the conclusion of each walk-through I’d get some variation of the same question, “How do I get my hands on this?” Well, I’m glad to say the wait is over – the integration is available today as an App download on Splunkbase. You’ll need a Splunk and AppDynamics license to get started – if you don’t already have one, you can sign up for free trials of Splunk and AppDynamics online.
San Francisco’s QCon was expecting a smaller crowd, but ended up bursting at the seams: the event sold out weeks ahead of time and in many sessions it was standing room only.
Targeted at architects and operations folks as much as developers, QCon was heavy on the hot topics of the day: SOA, agile, and DevOps. But if there was a consistent trend throughout the three days, it was “No more theory. Show us the practice.”
At Jesper Boeg’s talk for example—“Raising the Bar: Using Kanban and Lean to Super Optimize Your Agile Implementation”—the talk was peppered with some good sound bites (“If it hurts, do it more often and bring the pain forward”). But it also stressed the meat: Boeg demonstrated a “deployment pipeline” that represented an automated implementation of the build, deploy, test, and release process—a way to find and eliminate bottlenecks in agile delivery.
Similarly, John Allspaw started high in his talk—sharing his ideas on the areas of ownership and specialization between Ops and Dev, a typical DevOps presentation—but backs up the theory with code-level discussions of how logging, metrics, and monitoring works at Etsy. (His blog entry on the subject and complete Qcon slides can be found on his blog, Kitchen Soap.)
Adrian Cockroft, who is leading a trailblazing public cloud deployment of production-level applications at Netflix, also wrapped theory around juicy substance. He “showed the code” and the screenshots of his company’s app scaling and monitoring tools (you can find his complete slide presentation here).
Not everyone took the time to drill down, though. Tweets from QCon attendees showed that the natives got restless in talks that stayed too high level:
“OK, just because you can draw a block diagram out of something doesn’t mean it makes sense.”
“Ok, we get it. Your company is very interesting, now get to the nerd stuff.”
“These sessions are high-level narratives. Show me the code, guys! Devil’s in the details.”
At the same time, they would shower plaudits and congratulations on speakers who gave them what they wanted: something new to learn.
When the Twitter stream started to compare QCon’s activities with an event happening concurrently in the city, Cloud Expo, the nature of the attendees was draw into sharp relief:
When it comes to agile, SOA, DevOps, and other problems of the day, people are ready for answers.
Link to this post:
AppDynamics is founded on a set of deeply held beliefs regarding our industry and how it’s changed over the last several years. But it’s never good to let deeply held beliefs stay unchallenged. So every now and then, we do a reality check.
Our most recent reality check was during our webinar presentation of AppDynamics 3.0. We attracted hundreds of IT ops and dev professionals who wanted to learn both about our solution as well as the specific features of our new release—so we took the opportunity to poll them and ask them a few questions. First, we asked if they operated in a SOA environment:
AppDynamics believes that applications are increasingly moving to SOA, turning monolithic web architectures from the early 2000s into obsolete antiques. As you can see, that belief was confirmed; the vast majority of our webinar attendees have already entered that world.
Then we asked if they followed an agile development approach:
Again, the vast majority of attendees have embraced agile—in fact, nearly 50% release new features or capabilities at least monthly! Only 8% report that they follow the traditional, waterfall approach to development. With those kinds of tumultuous deadlines, AppDynamics remains impressed that these hardy souls were actually able to take enough time out of their schedule to watch our presentation.
Finally, we wanted to know the punch line: what’s the effect of all this change on their ability to manage application performance?
Over half were really feeling the crunch, and only a scant few had escaped unscathed.
It’s not that AppDynamics enjoys the pain of others. (We don’t. Really.) But having our fundamental beliefs confirmed—that the world of applications has changed, and application management solutions need to change with them—simply lets us know that we exist for the right reasons.
Take the example of one of our most recent customers, TiVo. Operating in a highly distributed environment, TiVo has hundreds of individual Java and proprietary applications, designed to work together to deliver service to its customers.
“We used to spend hours troubleshooting issues,” Richard Rothschild, Senior Director of IT, told us. “If a service was running slowly and we didn’t know the cause, finding that root cause was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
He continued, “We used to spend up to 6 hours on root cause. AppDynamics brought that time down to ten minutes. We’ve already seen a big improvement in the reliability and uptime of our services—anything that simplifies our job in this complex environment makes us feel much more confident about taking on new business projects.”
It’s complicated out there, and with the advent of cloud and virtual environments, it’s not getting any easier. But we went into this business in order to simplify application performance management and support application teams in their quest for both performance and availability. So far, it looks like we chose the right reasons to exist.Link to this post: