If Your App Had a Facebook Status It’d Be, “It’s Complicated”

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AppDynamics is founded on a set of deeply held beliefs regarding our industry and how it’s changed over the last several years.  But it’s never good to let deeply held beliefs stay unchallenged.  So every now and then, we do a reality check.

Our most recent reality check was during our webinar presentation of AppDynamics 3.0. We attracted hundreds of IT ops and dev professionals who wanted to learn both about our solution as well as the specific features of our new release—so we took the opportunity to poll them and ask them a few questions. First, we asked if they operated in a SOA environment:

AppDynamics believes that applications are increasingly moving to SOA, turning monolithic web architectures from the early 2000s into obsolete antiques.  As you can see, that belief was confirmed; the vast majority of our webinar attendees have already entered that world.

Then we asked if they followed an agile development approach:

Again, the vast majority of attendees have embraced agile—in fact, nearly 50% release new features or capabilities at least monthly!  Only 8% report that they follow the traditional, waterfall approach to development. With those kinds of tumultuous deadlines, AppDynamics remains impressed that these hardy souls were actually able to take enough time out of their schedule to watch our presentation.

Finally, we wanted to know the punch line: what’s the effect of all this change on their ability to manage application performance?

Over half were really feeling the crunch, and only a scant few had escaped unscathed.

It’s not that AppDynamics enjoys the pain of others. (We don’t. Really.)  But having our fundamental beliefs confirmed—that the world of applications has changed, and application management solutions need to change with them—simply lets us know that we exist for the right reasons.

Take the example of one of our most recent customers, TiVo.  Operating in a highly distributed environment, TiVo has hundreds of individual Java and proprietary applications, designed to work together to deliver service to its customers.

“We used to spend hours troubleshooting issues,” Richard Rothschild, Senior Director of IT, told us.  “If a service was running slowly and we didn’t know the cause, finding that root cause was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

He continued, “We used to spend up to 6 hours on root cause. AppDynamics brought that time down to ten minutes.  We’ve already seen a big improvement in the reliability and uptime of our services—anything that simplifies our job in this complex environment makes us feel much more confident about taking on new business projects.”

It’s complicated out there, and with the advent of cloud and virtual environments, it’s not getting any easier. But we went into this business in order to simplify application performance management and support application teams in their quest for both performance and availability.  So far, it looks like we chose the right reasons to exist.