ZipReality

ZipRealty manages data-rich applications with AppDynamics

ZipRealty is a leading national real estate brokerage and provider of proprietary technology and comprehensive online marketing tools for the residential real estate brokerage industry. For home buyers and sellers, ZipRealty offers Internet-enabled, state-of-the-art technology and complete access to accurate, timely information via website and mobile applications. For real estate professionals, ZipRealty provides technology and online marketing tools. ZipRealty's products serve its full-service, owned-and-operated residential real estate brokerage business in 19 markets nationwide, as well as its Powered by Zip network of leading third-party local brokerages in 20 markets.

Needed visibility into database and third-party transactions

Clay Graham, Director of Enterprise Architecture at ZipRealty, was responsible for maintaining and managing the Java environments at ZipRealty, making sure they were highly available and provided a great user experience.

“We face a number of challenges at ZipRealty around having such a high-traffic, popular real estate destination,” said Graham. “We have a very data-rich application, so database transactions and database availability are key factors to our success.”

In addition to managing its own performance, ZipRealty relied on data from third-parties whose impact on the site could be unpredictable. “We do a lot of integration with third parties and third-party web services?a lot of times it's very difficult to understand how they impact the user experience in the application.”
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AppDynamics established a performance baseline and identified outliers

ZipRealty deployed the AppDynamics platform in its production environment to better understand system performance. “We've found that it really has minimal performance overhead, and we find a lot of value in being able to drill right into the transaction to understand the nuts and bolts of what's going on,” said Graham.


With a lot of monitoring tools you have to set thresholds manually, or put rules in place. The AppDynamics platform did all that automatically.

“One of the great things about the AppDynamics solution is it's given us the ability to have a baseline, and to understand what's normal relative to the baseline,” said Graham. “With a lot of monitoring tools you have to set thresholds manually, or put rules in place. The AppDynamics platform did all that automatically.”

Improved site performance and third-party accountability

Now that ZipRealty had a better understanding of “normal” site performance, Graham and his team could work to optimize it. “If we find there's latency or something that we think is a little bit out of line, we can drill right into the transaction and get the SQL, then bring that back to product development and our database team to iterate and make it better,” said Graham.

Within one hour of installing the AppDynamics platform we understood all the web service collaborators that were involved in our application and how they affected user experience.

To hold third-party content providers to the same level of accountability, Graham examined the data the AppDynamics solution provided. “Within one hour of installing the AppDynamics platform we understood all the web service collaborators that were involved in our application and how they affected user experience,” remarked Graham. “It really allowed us to go back to those services and make sure they were consistent with our level of quality.”

Graham concluded, “Overall, the AppDynamics platform has been a really helpful tool in both improving how we iterate within our own organization as well as improving our end-user experience.”

Overall, the AppDynamics platform has been a really helpful tool in both improving how we iterate within our own organization as well as improving our end-user experience.