Stop troubleshooting based on hunches and intuition – ITOA use case #2

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In the first installment of this series, I talked about why analytics matters for IT Operations teams and drilled into the first of five ITOA use cases — visualizing your environments. I described our flow map feature at length, which automatically maps the topology of the application environment so customers can understand the dependencies between application components.

In this post I’m going to focus on the second common ITOA use case, rapid troubleshooting.

Rapid troubleshooting

Once you can visualize the inter-dependencies inside your environment, the second common ITOA use case involves leveraging this visibility to solve operational problems. Being able to pinpoint root cause of an issue using data generated from your application environment is of the utmost importance for businesses whose livelihood depends on these types of applications. Typically Operations teams troubleshoot issues that arise using their instincts and knowledge of past events, however with AppDynamics’ unified monitoring approach, Operations teams can triage and isolate issues faster than ever before using a common view of application performance. Quickly knowing what an issue ISN’T is almost as valuable as knowing what it IS in these situations where every second counts.

AppDynamics offers multiple ways for customers to isolate and identify the root-cause of application performance issues in real-time. I’ll walk through some examples of how customers can discover root cause using several different views inside the Application Intelligence Platform starting the investigation on the front end, going through to the server side, and wrapping things up with the database backends.

Real-User Monitoring (RUM):

Customers can view the high-level real-user load and health by geography:
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By clicking on a geo, one can filter the data associated with just that geography.
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When viewing Browser RUM data, one can right click and view all browser snapshots from a particular region:
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These browser snapshots provide a wealth of information including the performance of the different components of the browser (like pages, AJAX requests, and iFrames), associated business transactions, and resource timing for the snapshot.
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.10.23 AM
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When looking at Mobile RUM data, you can view network request snapshots to analyze what happened when the device called out to the application over the network…
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…and you can also view the crash dashboard to analyze crash trends…
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…and crash snapshots to see what was happening on the device at this particular point in time.
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If the issue doesn’t appear to be related to the browser or device, AppDynamics gives users the ability to automatically drill downstream into the associated server side business transaction snapshots.
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By drilling down into the call graph, one can isolate the exact class, method, or web service that is a performance bottleneck for a particular user request:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.11.51 AM
We also isolate the hot spots of this particular snapshot:
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And show things like top SQL calls that could potentially be slowing down the application from a database perspective:
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What was going on in the hardware and memory during this time? We automatically correlate and show those metrics too:
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.12.18 AM

Database Monitoring:

What if all signs point to an issue in the database as the root cause? AppDynamics also offers a database monitoring product module that provides granular visibility inside your database environment.

With our database monitoring product module, ops teams can now drill into the databases themselves to gain information about:

Detailed query analysis:
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Top query analysis:
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As you can see, the Application Intelligence Platform provides multiple ways for customers to leverage operational analytics to isolate issues and drill down to root cause from multiple dimensions. No matter where you start in the troubleshooting process, AppDynamics provides the flexibility to iterate quickly and drill up, down, and across the application environment, with all data automatically correlated, so Operations teams can find the root-cause as fast as possible.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at the third common ITOA use case — prioritizing issues and opportunities. If you’d like to try out the powerful troubleshooting capabilities of the Application Intelligence Platform, sign up for your free trial today and get started in minutes.

Marcus Sarmento

Marcus Sarmento

Marcus has over 6 years of B2B marketing experience and is currently a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at AppDynamics. Prior to joining AppDynamics in 2011, Marcus worked at Clearwell Systems (acquired by Symantec) and NETGEAR.