Glassdoor is the leading jobs and career community, designed to help people make more informed decisions about their work. Glassdoor collects company reviews, salary reports, interview questions, and reviews from employees as well as recent job candidates.
As is the case with any consumer-facing website, Glassdoor risks losing visitor traffic and facing brand damage if performance suffers. CTO Ryan Aylward was aware of this fact, and decided it was time to do something about it.
The Before Picture – Not So Clear
Before his team began evaluating application performance management (APM) tools, Aylward had very little visibility into how his application performed and where application bottlenecks were. “We knew some areas of our site were slower than others, but that was mostly based on hunches. It wasn’t a very scientific approach. And even if we knew the location of the bottlenecks, we didn’t know what was causing them or how to fix them. That’s the kind of visibility we wanted from an APM tool.”
Aylward decided that purchasing APM was the best way to ensure that their applications continued to perform well as they grew and scaled. “Any consumer- facing company should know that their users have a lot of options in what websites they use, and that performance is a big part of what informs consumer loyalty,” said Aylward. “We needed a tool to ensure that our website is always operating at peak performance.”
Finding an Intuitive and Powerful Solution
To begin, Aylward’s team looked at a dozen different APM solutions. But many of the tools he found tools did not provide the full visibility that Aylward wanted, or they required too much custom instrumentation and maintenance to be easily deployed and used by his engineering team.
AppDynamics was different: it was able to deliver maximum visibility with minimal effort. “We really appreciated AppDynamics’ ease-of-use,” said Aylward. “With other tools, it was necessary to perform a lot of customization. But AppDynamics automatically instrumented our code and gave us complete visibility. That was very important to us.”
Ultimately, Aylward went with AppDynamics for three reasons:
- Ease of use: “AppDynamics is very easy for us to use and maintain. It has a SaaS solution, so we don’t have to host anything. And it tunes itself, so it understands where bottlenecks are without any hard wiring.
- Rich functionality: “AppDynamics easily identifies application bottlenecks, and provides all the data we need to make good decisions.”
- Low overhead: “AppDynamics is a production-ready system out-of-the-box. It’s something you can run on all your servers without adding a lot of overhead. And you don’t have to pay for a lot of extra infrastructure to make it work.”
When Aylward put AppDynamics in Glassdoor’s production environment for the Proof-of-Concept, he immediately discovered the bottlenecks he expected to see – and a few more, besides. “With AppDynamics we could easily identify the root cause of performance problems. We could also tell what action was required in order to resolve them.”
“The engineers that build the application are the ones using it,” said Aylward. “It’s a powerful tool for them. It’s tremendously helpful for them to see how a feature is performing in production, and where the opportunities are to fix and improve it.”