What Dynatrace doesn’t want you to know about Cisco Full-Stack Observability and AppDynamics

March 28 2024

Cisco Full-Stack Observability is a strategic investment that outshines Dynatrace by incorporating AI-driven insights, full-stack visibility, and a future-proof design that adapts to your evolving business needs.

Application experience is the heart of your digital business, so choosing the right observability platform is not just a technical decision — it’s strategic.

Dynatrace would have you believe that comparing their latest features with Cisco AppDynamics application performance monitoring (APM) functionality from several years ago makes their observability solution look better. But we know you know better.

Businesses now require the ability to “observe everything” and have the intelligence and insights to know how, when, and where to act. But there are two approaches to achieving this lofty goal of “observability” — haphazardly or properly.

Doing observability haphazardly leads to vendor and tool sprawl, disconnected point solutions, and the continuation of domain silos across the business. Good luck trying to traverse tools to find the root cause so you can fix it. Is it the database or the application or the network or something else? Is one performance issue causing the errors in separate areas of your IT topology? Honestly, do you really like alert storms?

Doing observability properly means leveraging an observability platform that evolves quickly, offers a broad portfolio of unified solutions, has capabilities that embrace existing and emerging use cases, is based on vendor-agnostic data standards, and allows businesses to future-proof solutions, all within a single platform. This is Cisco Full-Stack Observability (FSO).

Telemetry data exists across all layers of the IT stack, from applications to databases to networks to all types of infrastructures (containers, hybrid, cloud, and on-prem), each impacting or being impacted by security and business transactions. Full-stack observability transforms transactions from mere data into actionable insights with business risk context.

Only Cisco delivers true full-stack observability based on deep domain knowledge and the capabilities of a modern platform that:

  • Optimizes application experience and cost.
  • Mitigates business risk by providing business context into what issues matter most.
  • Empowers IT teams with AI-driven insights to identify and fix issues before they impact your bottom line.
  • Has a Cisco and Partner-driven ecosystem that continually grows to meet your specific requirements now and forever, even as your infrastructure and business evolve.

Only Cisco has the completeness of vision and products across the IT stack – cloud, containers, on-prem, SAP, networks, infrastructure, security, and, of course, applications.

Correlate data with business context

Business context enables teams to see where to focus. Imagine a global financial institution with unexplained latency in transaction processing. The root cause of an issue could reside in any layer of the IT stack, wherever it is (multi-cloud, hybrid, on-prem, etc.). Cisco FSO allows IT teams to quickly ascertain whether the issue originates from the application, database, network, security protocols, or elsewhere while also providing business-level insights for decision-makers.

Comprehensive cross-domain correlation provides clarity to diagnose and resolve issues faster, which reduces mean-time-to-innocence (MTTI) and mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), and fosters a culture of proactive problem-solving. The ability to drill down to the line of code across any layer of the IT stack makes sense and saves time.

Only Cisco provides this level of deep, integrated observability that natively unifies:

  • Application performance monitoring.
  • Infrastructure insights.
  • Network visibility.
  • Security posture awareness.
  • Business and security risk assessments.

By mapping dependencies across all technology domains, we connect the dots that others miss. Now, network specialists, application developers, security analysts, and operations managers can all access a shared source of truth and collaborate across silos.

Remember that haphazard approach to observability? Dynatrace forces you to pivot between multiple disconnected data streams all bolted onto an old platform, which can lead to a disjointed and protracted resolution process due to reliance on third-party monitoring services. Sure, it may appear “unified” on the surface — but a fresh coat of paint can make anything old look better.

While such services can provide valuable insights, you must hunt for insights. The resulting fragmented view of system health can delay the identification of problems and slow down swift resolutions. This fragmentation can also lead to increased overhead and complexity, further impacting end user experience.

Strengthen security posture

Application and infrastructure vulnerabilities can expose enterprises to devastating data breaches, compliance failures, and brand damage.

With Cisco Secure Application, on the Cisco Observability Platform, organizations have robust, context-aware security features that provide:

  • Real-time insights aligned with business risks.
  • Runtime application security scoring.
  • Proactive data security posture management (DSPM).

By integrating application security scoring, based on risk potential, Cisco allows teams to immediately see and prioritize the vulnerabilities most likely to impact the business.

Dynatrace lacks depth of security telemetry and analytics to deliver contextual risk awareness. Without a complete picture of application behavior and attack surfaces mapped to business risk factors, vulnerabilities can easily go unnoticed until it’s too late.

Future-proof digital experiences

For large enterprises (and even those that aren’t so large yet), observability must scale with business growth. Cisco’s quest to provide the most robust, best-of-breed, full-stack observability solution possible began many years ago through acquisitions and integrations such as AppDynamics, ThousandEyes, Opsani, Epsagon, replex, Smartlook and, most recently — Splunk. But we haven’t stopped there.

Cisco’s growing global ecosystem of technology partners contribute solutions to the Cisco Observability Platform. This expanding ecosystem of solutions is not only transformative, it’s a game-changer.

As your IT systems evolve, there’s more to observe and correlate, so it’s critical that your observability solution can ingest data from all sources, regardless of vendor. AppDynamics and Splunk, now part of Cisco, are top contributors to OpenTelemetry™, thus helping to shape the industry’s shift towards vendor-agnostic telemetry standards. Our collaboration with leading systems integrators, cloud providers, and other vendors ensures the Cisco Observability Platform remains extensible and future-proof.

In comparison, Dynatrace’s proprietary architecture, bolted-on development, and lack of open approach places them at a disadvantage. While Dynatrace has added OpenTelemetry support, it’s an “add-on” rather than a native design principle. Their ability to keep pace with emerging technologies, use cases, and customer requirements depends on their own development efforts. It’s haphazard, and they simply can’t and won’t be able to keep up.

Trust the market leader

Why settle for a haphazard solution like Dynatrace when you can embrace and leverage observability the way it should be used?

Cisco Full-Stack Observability isn’t just monitoring — it’s about driving successful business outcomes. It’s about observing, securing, and optimizing what really matters to your business. It’s strategic.

Get a deeper dive into the true differentiators of Cisco Full-Stack Observability versus competitors like Dynatrace in our webinar.

Keith is a CTO advisor at Cisco AppDynamics. He is an experienced and innovative leader with 15+ years of experience in pioneering and delivering major technology and operational services. Keith has bridged technical capability and operational service gaps through many different assignments and business areas while driving out expenses via the integration of technology and process.

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