How Kraft is able to scale using AppDynamics

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This blog post is a summary of a case study that I conducted with Kraft. You can see the full case study HERE.

Have you ever come across When it comes to receiving large amounts of traffic, is definitely no exception. A collection of excellent recipes for all sorts of meal ideas, receives over 40,000,000 hits within a single month during their peak season! That is a lot of traffic, and with that much demand they’re going to have to be sure to have their performance checklist marked off – and you can be sure that part of that list includes AppDynamics.

The Challenges with rebuilding

In an effort to rebuild the website, the team at Kraft already anticipated the amount of traffic they could expect. The hurdles of their website redesign included:

  • The right tool for performance monitoring
  • Meeting the traffic demands of their website
  • Reaching their targeted site performance KPIs
  • Serving 2,600 requests per second

What I also found interesting is that the website team included several vendors. This isn’t unheard of, especially with larger organizations that contract various bits of their applications to specialized contractors. The challenge that this poses, however, is a potential disconnect with regard to performance monitoring. Luckily, one of the vendors is an existing user of AppDynamics, and highly recommended us to the team at Kraft.

How did AppDynamics immediately help?

Once the agents are installed, the auto-discovery goes into effect immediately. In Kraft’s case, the AppDynamics agents discovered:

  • Code issues exposed by snapshots with full call graphs
  • Database queries, specifically stored procedures
  • Latency and bottlenecks within the infrastructure itself

Once Kraft logged in for the first time, they were immediately presented with their application topology map, also known as the flowmap. The flowmap is essentially one of the key visuals within AppDynamics, in that you’re immediately presented with a visual map of the architecture of your entire application environment. All requests and traffic flow are auto-discovered and displayed in the same view.

Scalability concerns were confirmed by AppDynamics

The team at Kraft spent an entire weekend performing scalability and performance load testing. They had an intended target of successfully serving 2,600 requests per second. What they discovered by the end of the weekend is that their existing infrastructure was not able to meet that demand. How did they confirm that? They used AppDynamics to monitor their app while conducting their load tests. More importantly, AppDynamics was able to help the performance teams pinpoint the exact cause of their performance slowdowns.

Once AppDynamics pointed out the bottlenecks, Kraft was able to fix the problem code and also work with Rackspace to scale out their environment to handle the traffic that was hitting the site. The fixes were in place by the end of the day, so Kraft was able to handle the traffic on Thanksgiving day and maintain high availability through the Christmas season.

How AppDynamics became a part of

Today, benefits from the visibility provided by AppDynamics to ensure it is running at optimal performance. The team at Kraft has integrated AppDynamics into their deployment workflow, including the ability to communicate with external vendors by using the Virtual War Room feature by:

  • Chatting among their multi-vendor networks
  • Making system changes in real time
  • Viewing and annotating events on the second interval charts
  • Consolidating workflow into a single collaborative view

This is why customers such as Kraft depend on AppDynamics to do what they do best: build amazing consumer applications for their visitors.

Hannah Current

Hannah Current

Hannah Current is the Customer Marketing Manager at AppDynamics. After graduating from Santa Clara University, she joined AppDynamics in 2012. Her goal is to visit 50 countries before her 50th birthday (currently at 26 countries and counting). Reach out to her on Twitter at @HannahHaleyC