This blog post is a summary of a case study that I conducted with Apartments.com. You can read the full case study HERE.
Every company is becoming a software company
In this post, I would like to discuss a common theme that is beginning to emerge as I speak to our diverse range of customers from so many different business verticals. No matter what your business, it is beginning to become increasingly clear that almost all companies are investing heavily in their software applications. Whether their software serves the needs of a public facing consumer product or automating internal processes, all companies today are becoming software companies in one way or another.
Apartments.com is a national online resource that delivers personalized apartment searches, walk-through video demonstrations and community reviews to potential renters. Their web-based application serves both desktop and mobile devices. On the server side, they are powered by a cluster of .NET applications responsible for serving requests, storing, and aggregating data.
Apartments.com Goals and Challenges
Like any other software company, Apartments.com faced similar challenges about both the development, deployment, and maintenance of their web application. In addition to redesigning their website from the ground up, they also were anticipating almost an 8x increase in traffic due to an aggressive marketing campaign planned around their new website launch. The challenges that Apartments.com outlined for me were:
- Serving the increased visitor traffic with no compromise in performance
- Code and performance insight into their new asynchronous programming methodologies
- Correlating transactions between multiple tiers within their highly distributed application environment
- Using an entry-level APM tool, New Relic, that could not provide the enterprise-level performance capabilities they were in need of
The Apartments.com Measurement of Success
I had a chance to sit down and speak with Jonathan Sieja, the Technical Operations Manager for Apartments.com. Jonathan heads the DevOps team responsible for the successful deployment of their .NET applications. When asked, Jonathan explained that Apartments.com measure application performance success by:
- Website availability
- Low error rates
- Application performance
- The overall end-user experience
Why Apartments.com Adopted AppDynamics
I loved listening to Jonathan explain how quickly they qualified AppDynamics as their APM platform of choice and the key decision criterias that we helped provide. The advantages of AppDynamics, as Jonathan explained, included:
- An easy implementation and roll-out that even included a junior-level development writing a script within an hour to deploy AppDynamics across 60 servers in only one day.
- Immediate auto-discovery of every transaction with automated baselining and key performance metrics necessary for the DevOps team
- Features and capabilities that allowed Apartments.com to implement true enterprise-level monitoring
- An account team that provided the flexibility of providing a custom quote to meet both their performance and budget needs
AppDynamics offers insight for the Enterprise DevOps performance needs
AppDynamics was swift to prove its value to Jonathan and his team. The more the team at Apartments.com use AppDynamics, the more they realize how much of an imperative part of their performance engineering process it is. From solving issues across multiple data center, to providing insight into their cache layers, to helping measure the performance impact of 3rd-party software, to exposing a flawed database plug-in that impacted their SQL calls, AppDynamics has proven its value to the Apartments.com team!