Application Performance Issues? You’re Not Alone…

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Last week we hosted a presentation by AppDynamics customer, Priceline, along with an informative customer roundtable on application performance. During our roundtable, we polled the audience on their challenges with application performance – we asked questions about their architectures, development philosophies, common performance problems, downtime and visibility. Roughly 100 attendees from companies big and small responded.

The results were interesting. Here’s a look at what we found:

When asked about performance challenges, 88% of respondents noted they’ve experienced application performance problems in the last 12 months. The most common performance issues cited were Slow Response, Stalls, Errors and Memory Leaks. (Stay tuned this August for our upcoming blog series on what you should know about the Top 5 App Performance Challenges).

Additionally, 67% of respondents said they struggled to determine the root cause of their application performance problem in a timely manner, and roughly 33% responded that end-users called the helpdesk to complain about poor online experiences. Surprisingly, only 42% of participants admitted that they’ve experienced production downtime.

When asked to share some information about their application environments, participants responded that:

• 73% have a multi-tier, distributed application
• 70% leverage both open source and commercial application infrastructure (i.e. app servers)
• 52% say they follow an agile development philosophy
• 82% said that they lack visibility in key areas of their application

For the most part, we weren’t surprised by these answers. We hear from our customers everyday that they are shifting toward SOA, virtualization and cloud computing infrastructures. These responses also confirmed our experience that many organizations have built JBoss and Tomcat into their application architectures, whereas five years ago most companies would primarily have had WebLogic or WebSphere.

Its also not surprising that such a large number of respondents had experienced issues with performance. Distributed applications, especially those that use a mix of open source and proprietary components, are extremely difficult to monitor and troubleshoot. They often contain blind spots that result in critical performance problems.

Nor was it surprising that the majority of companies lack visibility into their applications. This is the most common refrain we hear when talking to companies for the first time. It doesn’t matter if they are running a $10 billion dollar business or a $10 million dollar business…visibility is always a concern. At the end of the day, “You can’t manage what you can’t see.”

Management really is the kicker. Web-applications have become transaction-oriented and revenue-critical, and it is more important than ever to be able to not only monitor, but quickly diagnose and fix performance issues before they impact your business.