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McLaren this year will launch their P1 Supercar, which will turn the average driver into a track day hero. What’s significant about this particular car is that it relies on modern day technology and innovation to transform a drivers ability to accelerate, corner and stop faster than any other car on the planet–because it has:
- 903bhp on tap derived from a combined V8 Twin Turbo and KERS setup, meaning it has a better power/weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron
- Active aerodynamics & DRS to control the airflow so it remains stable under acceleration and braking without incurring drag
- Traction control and brake steer to minimize slip and increase traction in and out of corners
- 600Kg of downforce at 150mph so it can corner on rails up to 2G
- Lightness–everything exists for a purpose so there is less weight to transfer under braking and acceleration
You don’t have to be Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher to drive it fast. The P1 creates enormous amounts of mechanical grip, traction, acceleration and feedback so the driver feels “confident” in their ability to accelerate, corner and stop, without losing control and killing themselves. I’ve been lucky enough to sit in the drivers seat of a McLaren MP4-12C and it’s a special experience – you have a driving wheel, some dials and some pedals – that’s really it, with no bells or whistles that you normally get in a Mercedes or Porsche. It’s “Focused” and “Pure” so the driver has complete visibility to drive as fast as possible, which is ultimately the whole purpose of the car.
How does this relate to Application Performance Monitoring (APM)?
Well, how many APM solutions today allow a novice user to solve complex application performance problems? Erm, not many. You need to be an uber geek with most because they’ve been written for developers by developers. Death by drill-down is a common symptom because novice APM users have no idea how to interpret metrics or what to look for. It would be like McLaren putting their F1 wheel with a thousand buttons in the new P1 road car for us novice drivers to play with.
It’s actually a lot worse than that though, because many APM vendors sell these things called “suites” that are enormously complex to install, configure and use. Imagine if you paid $1.4m and McLaren delivered you a P1 in 5 pieces and you had to assemble the engine, gearbox, chassis, suspension and brakes yourself? You’d have no choice but to pay McLaren for engineers to assemble it for with your own configuration. This is pretty much how most vendors have sold APM over the past decade–hence why they have hundreds of consultants. The majority of customers have spent more time and effort maintaining APM than using it to solve performance issues in their business. It’s kinda like buying a supercar and not driving it.
Fortunately, a few vendors like AppDynamics have succeeded in delivering APM through a single product that combines End User Monitoring, Application Discovery and Mapping, Transaction Profiling, Deep Diagnostics and Analytics. You download it, install it and you solve your performance issues in minutes–it just works out-of-the-box. What’s even great is that you can lease the APM solution through annual subscriptions instead of buying it outright with expensive perpetual licenses and annual maintenance.
If you want an APM solution that lets you manage application performance, then make sure it does just that for you. If you don’t get value from an APM solution in the first 20 minutes, then put it in the trash can because that’s 20 minutes of your time you’ve wasted not managing application performance. Sign up for a free trial of AppDynamics and find out how easy APM can be. If these vendors built their solutions like car manufacturers build supercars, then the world would be a faster place (no pun intended).
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It’s been almost two years since I joined AppDynamics and it’s been one of the best career moves I’ve ever made. I used to work at a competitor, and quickly realized I was working for the wrong company. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut feeling when it comes to technology–you’ve either got a product that’s special or you don’t, and I know what it’s like to experience both feelings.
At AppDynamics the technology is definitely special, but I also joined a group of like-minded people who shared the same passion as I did for application monitoring. The no-compromise approach to figuring out new ways of doing things that couldn’t be done previously, along with a laser-focus on solving real world problems for customers, is pretty inspiring. Things are never perfect at any company but the passion to make our customers successful, and the will to win business professionally, is unique at AppDynamics. We really believe that enterprise software doesn’t have to suck, it should never be shelfware, and it should be affordable by everyone–which is one of the reasons why we created a free product AppDynamics Lite that now has over 100,000 users and our commercial product AppDynamics Pro is reasonably priced.
In just two years we’ve disrupted an application monitoring market that was previously dominated by expensive complex solutions that quite frankly sucked. This disruption was one of the reasons why Gartner recognized AppDynamics as a Leader in their 2012 APM Magic Quadrant, and we’ve only been selling our product for two years! This speaks volumes for what we’ve achieved in such a short period of time. What’s also great is that our customers are very vocal about their success; our case study page is packed with customer success stories, with several customers willing to publish actual ROI results from their AppDynamics deployments. How many real customer ROI stories have you read recently from any vendor? My guess is not many.
One online community that provides an accurate inside look at companies is Glassdoor.com. It basically lets employees rate different aspects of the company they work for, from compensation all the way through to culture and leadership. If you search for all the APM companies on Glassdoor.com that are currently recognized in the Gartner’s APM Magic Quadrant, here is what the top 10 looks like:
*Glassdoor ratings correct as of 1/10/2013
I’m pretty proud to work for a company where employees are very satisfied and give their CEO 100% approval. That says a lot about the success and leadership of the company–happy employees also means a happy place to work and trust me, this is pretty important when you spend most of your life at work!
One company that didn’t score well was Compuware. Only 38% of employees would recommend a friend and only 68% approve of their CEO. Not particularly encouraging when you need your employees to innovate, run through walls, and beat the competition. A hedge fund recently put an offer on the table to take Compuware private–let’s hope those guys can get the employees jazzed.
If you’re looking for the next challenge, cool technology and a great place to work, you should consider joining AppDynamics. We’ve got 21 positions currently open and we need great people to help scale the great company we’re building!
With customers like Netflix, Orbitz, Fox News, Vodafone and Yahoo you’ll experience the ins and outs of monitoring some of the largest applications in the world.
Oh, and you get to work with a superhero like me!
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NEWS FLASH: People love news, and they love to have it fast. So when their favorite newsfeed or website doesn’t load fast enough—it can be seriously frustrating.
Fox News, renowned news outlet with up to a billion page views per month – well over 32 million page views per day – takes its news access seriously. Ryan Jairam, System Administrator at Fox News, opened up about his experiences managing application performance and the role AppDynamics has played in his success.
For two years, the Fox News “system was a complete disaster,” said Jairam. Sometimes transactions were taking up to 5 minutes, and having to troubleshoot such issues continuously wasted weeks of engineering time. As issues multiplied, “solutions” were used—which were actually last resorts such as system reboots or excessive caching. These sleight-of-hand maneuvers only masked serious underlying problems.
Jairam admitted they spent too much time firefighting—“We should have been doing other things instead, such as focusing on innovation.” Fed up with the firefighting, Jairam explored several application management tools (such as OPNET Panorama). However, these legacy tools proved unsuitable for their environment: “The overhead was so much it was killing me.”
MTTR Slashed With AppDynamics
He then discovered AppDynamics, which he found was a fit for a high-volume production environments. Deploying the solution, Jairam’s team immediately identified and resolved some of Fox News’ long-standing performance problems.
The ROI has been considerable as well. Fox News is pleased to have saved over $235K annually in productivity since using AppDynamics. Jairam said, “It’s been a complete night and day difference here with AppDynamics. Now we have time to focus on new things and not just fight fires all day.”
Specific benefits include providing visibility into Fox News’ application infrastructure, as well as external service providers, which has reduced their Mean-Time-To-Resolution (MTTR) in production to minutes. This alone translates to over $165K/year in productivity savings, not to mention an additional $70K/year savings in labor costs associated with a 90% reduction in support tickets.
“We used to have six or seven support tickets a day about our application–now we only have one or two per week,” Jairam said.
AppDynamics not only saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, but freed up valuable time so IT dev and ops teams could focusing on other areas of the infrastructure. In fact, with things working so well, Jairam now has big plans for the future use of AppDynamics at Fox News—some include utilizing the solution to optimize code and test database changes, along with workflow automation to remediate infrastructure issues.
In the meantime, saving $235K/year for Fox News by purchasing AppDynamics isn’t too shabby.
You can read the full ROI Case Study HERE.
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