How Cisco ACI and AppDynamics Deliver a Great End-User Experience

More enterprises today are distributing applications across datacenters and multiple clouds, creating a rapidly expanding—and increasingly complex—application footprint. And as companies demand better end-to-end performance for business success, highly distributed and scalable applications must be more reliable than ever.

Despite the vast complexities of these distributed environments, however, application and network teams too often operate in silos. This disconnect can lead to application slowdowns and longer outage-resolution times that negatively impact users—and the business. The costs of downtime continue to rise, too, with business losses ranging from $100,000 to more than $500,000 per hour, according to studies from Gartner and IDC. And a recent AppDynamics survey of 6,000 global IT leaders found the average outage in the United States and United Kingdom costs $402,542 USD and $212,254 USD, respectively. (For an in-depth look at the pain points associated with the lack of application and network correlation, read our blog on the benefits of correlating APM with underlying network visibility and monitoring.)

The solution is to build an environment that integrates two powerful technologies: Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to simplify network policy management, and AppDynamics to monitor application and business performance at a code level. Together, Cisco ACI and AppDynamics enable teams to quickly identify application services impacted by network issues. In addition to providing faster root cause analysis and remediation, this solution gives teams a shared understanding of the dependencies between applications and connections to network endpoints, which helps reduce unexpected outages when changes to the network are made.

Deep Insights into Complex Environments

Cisco ACI and AppDynamics provide an integrated application-to-network view—from code to underlying infrastructure—of business applications running across multiple clouds and datacenters. This seamless integration enables both AppOps and NetOps admins to have comprehensive visibility of the environment.

Let’s take a closer look at how this integration works in the datacenter, enabling admins to gain this end-to-end view.

In AppDynamics, an application consists of one or more nodes, while nodes with a similar logical function are classified as a tier. The logical topology of the application within the Cisco ACI Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) consists of an app profile, endpoint groups within this app profile, and contracts associated between them.

This application-to-network construct enables teams to quickly triage and troubleshoot issues. It also gives the NetOps admin visibility into the application and associated metrics running on ACI—a level of insight previously unavailable.

To demonstrate how this integration enables the fastest RCA, we’ll use a simple ecommerce web app, one with several tiers running in an infrastructure on top of the ACI fabric and APIC controller. (Go here for a video version of this demo.)

The AppDynamics Dashboard (below) shows a map of the application topology. With a quick glance, an AppOps admin can see if the application is healthy:

Below, the AppDynamics Network Dashboard shows the network connectivity between these services is healthy as well:

This view is reinforced for the NetOps admin, who can visualize the application services and their health mapped to the relevant ACI constructs—in this case, endpoints, endpoint groups, and application profiles, along with the contract.

Let’s say the NetOps admin makes a scheduled contract change on the Order EPG. Soon after this change, the admin sees new errors on the application dashboard. The nodes and tiers are now in red:

To triage this issue before it impacts end users, the AppOps admin must first determine if the issue is rooted in the application or the network. By viewing the AppDynamics Network Dashboard, the admin can see if any network-related errors are impacting the app.

The links between application services running on the ACI fabric have turned red. This insight gives the admin sufficient information to determine that something at the network level is impacting the performance of the Order Tier-to-Payment Tier connection:

The AppOps admin then cross-launches into the ACI Troubleshooting Wizard for details on  the relevant endpoints and associated network faults, metrics and errors. This level of visibility creates a seamless handoff between the application and network teams for faster remediation.

On the network side, the admin can see the degraded application health on APIC. Armed with the right information, she quickly identifies that  the problem is due to the recent contract change. The NetOps admin reverts the contract changes, which should fix the application issue.

In the ACI dashboard, the NetOps admin confirms the application’s health is back to normal, and can inform the  AppOps admin that the issue was due to the contract change state, which has been fixed.

The faults and errors are now gone from the AppDynamics Network Dashboard. Similarly on the Application Dashboard, the nodes and tiers look healthy again:

AppDynamics for Cisco ACI  unlocks additional value by helping applications run flawlessly. By providing deep visibility and seamless collaboration across across the application and network, teams can deliver a positive end user experience with the greatest business impact.

AppDynamics and Cisco To Host Virtual Event on AIOps and APM


To mark the two year anniversary of Cisco’s intent to acquire AppDynamics, the worldwide leader in IT, networking, and cybersecurity solutions will join AppDynamics for a one-of-a-kind virtual launch event on January 23, 2019. At AppDynamics Transform: AIOps and the Future of Performance Monitoring, David Wadhwani, CEO of AppDynamics, will share what’s next for the two companies, and lead a lively discussion with Cisco executives, Okta’s Chief Information Officer, Mark Settle, and Nancy Gohring, Senior Analyst at 451 Research. At the event, we’ll talk through what challenges leaders face and how they’re preparing for the future of performance monitoring.

Technology Leaders to Weigh In On the Impact of AI and the Future of Performance Monitoring

Today, application infrastructure is increasingly complex. Organizations are building and monitoring public, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructure alongside microservices and third party integrations. And while these developments have made it easier for businesses to scale quickly, they’ve introduced a deluge of data into the IT environment, making it challenging to identify issues and resolve them quickly.

APM solutions like AppDynamics continue to lead the way when it comes to providing real-time business insights to power mission critical business decisions. However, recent research has revealed a potential blind spot for IT teams: A massive 91% of global IT leaders say that monitoring tools only provide data on the performance of their own area of responsibility. For IT teams that want to mitigate risk as a result of performance problems, and business leaders who want to protect their bottom line, this blind spot represents a huge opportunity for improvement.

The Next Chapter in the AppDynamics and Cisco Story

As application environments continue to grow in complexity, so does the need for more comprehensive insight into performance. But technology infrastructure is simply too large and too dynamic for IT operations teams to manage manually. Automation for remediation and optimization is key–and that’s where innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to make a huge difference in monitoring activities.

So, what does the future of performance monitoring look like?

Join us at the virtual event on January 23, 2019, to find out. David Wadhwani, alongside Cisco executives, will make an exciting announcement about our next chapter together. During the broadcast, we’ll also feature industry analysts and customers as we engage in a lively conversation about the emerging “AIOps” category, and what impact it will have on the performance monitoring space.

You won’t want to miss this unique virtual event.

Register now for AppDynamics Transform

 

Five Reasons to Meet AppDynamics at Cisco Live in Barcelona

Over 12,500 people attended Cisco Live in Europe last year, and we expect even more to make the journey to the show this year at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain between January 29th and February 2nd. Cisco Live is a huge event with a wealth of booths, sessions, and tracks to choose from.

So, why should you make the effort to attend Cisco Live? For starters, you’ll get to learn why AppDynamics is an application performance management (APM) market leader. You’ll also want to attend if your business priorities in 2018 align with any of the following:

Delivering Leading Application Performance and IT Services

For many – if not all enterprises going digital – the application is the business. The two-headed beast of increasing complexity and release velocity presents many challenges. Managing microservices, cloud in its various versions, containers, and APIs all at increasing speeds is no simple ask. This is where AppDynamics comes in. We enable you to understand how code, networks, servers, databases and more all contribute to the end user experience and transactions.

We’ve scheduled the ideal orientation session that explains all the essentials, delivered by ex-Forrester Research analyst and now our Senior Director of Product Marketing, John Rakowski. A seasoned APM expert, John’s session, “The Essentials of Application Performance in the Digital Enterprise” will outline some thought-provoking research data and a great case study. Don’t miss this session on Thursday, February 1st at 1:15pm.

Moving to the Cloud 

Most enterprises have migrated a portion of their workloads to the cloud and are almost certainly considering their next migration candidates. IDC data suggests that by this year, at least 40% of enterprise IT spending will be cloud-based, reaching more than half of all IT infrastructure, software, services, and technology spending by 2020. Yet migration remains a challenging task, given increasing dependencies, distributed architectures, and fast release cycles. AppDynamics helps you at three key stages:

– Plan and identify: Understand the existing application landscape, plan correctly, and right size

– Compare: Monitor before/after to prove migration success / benefits (i.e. compare/contrast)

– Monitor and optimize: Once in the cloud, ensure ongoing improvement (stability/throughput/right sizing to minimize costs)

If you’re an AWS customer, you might like to hear my short talk, “Achieving Confidence, Clarity, and Control with your AWS Cloud Migration” in the Education Zone, on Tuesday, January 30th from 1:40-1:50pm. I’ll also be at our booth later to take delegates through our multicloud monitoring demo. AppDynamics is part of the AWS Partner Network, an AWS Marketplace Premier Partner, and works closely with AWS to help mutual customers move to the cloud both rapidly and successfully.

Starting an IoT Initiative

For some, 2017 was IoT’s inflection point, when what has been seen by some as just talk became more very evident in both the consumer and business worlds. IDC research estimated that consumer IoT spending would be the fourth largest market segment in 2017 at $62 billion, jumping to the third largest by 2021.

To kick off your IoT initiative, join us at our dedicated booth at the IoT and Industry District where you can meet with our IoT Product Manager, Anupam Jindal. Judging by the crowds at last year’s AWS re:Invent for the AWS Greengrass and AppDynamics integration story, the IoT demo station will be in high demand.

Our booth offers great opportunities to learn how insights from connected devices can be obtained, and the user experience optimized. See the dashboards that can be created to ensure there are no “blind spots” in application performance insights, user experience, and business impact visibility. Discover how we follow a transaction at each stage, starting from a connected device to a data center, network equipment, and all the way to the database.

Overcome and Master Digital Disruption

Want to hear how your business can overcome and master digital disruption?

Firaas Rashid, former Director of Production for International Wealth Management at Credit Suisse and now AppDynamics’ EMEA CTO, will be sharing his industry experience in two sessions. Firaas will be sharing the stage on Tuesday, January 30th at 12:20pm with Cisco’s Tom Edsall, CTO and SVP of Data Center Switching. Their session, “Unlock the power of data,” will showcase two complementary solutions – AppDynamics for application, user, and business outcome management, and Tetration for security.

Firaas and Tom will look at how we work in high-velocity environments, where intuitive networks can dramatically simplify operations. In parallel, they’ll dive into intent-based networking and an application centric infrastructures (ACI), as well as explore operational visibility and dependency mapping. They will outline an enterprise vision in which end-to-end visibility and intelligence – from the network right through to the application – can be both obtained and utilized to better serve customers and maximize business outcomes.

On Wednesday, January 31st at 3:00pm, Firaas’ session, “Use data to disrupt and transform your business,” will explore how today’s enterprises face imperatives to transform faster than ever before, driven by rapid technology changes. Yet this transformation has to be based on real-time insights that reflect rapidly changing conditions. Firaas also dive into how tech and business teams are often misaligned and identify the two key pillars of “agility” and “centricity” as key to remedying this situation.

The Impact of Cisco and AppDynamics for Your Business

Cisco acquired AppDynamics in March 2017, and nearly a year later, there are many Cisco customers keen to learning what this means for them. One of Cisco’s key strategic goals is its transformation into a software company, whilst building on its strong heritage within networking, security, and the data center. AppDynamics is spearheading this strategy.

To learn more, check out the session, “The Future of IT Intelligence: Better Together with Cisco and AppDynamics,” which will be delivered by VP Product & Tech Strategy, Tejaswi Redkar, on Wednesday, January 31st at 1:00pm. Get insights into our future and joint vision, and take the opportunity to quiz Tejaswi after the session!

3 days, 6 stations, 20 AppDynamos

Whether this is your first time at Cisco Live or you are a NetVet, we’d love to see you between Tuesday and Thursday when the World of Solutions Expo is open. There are six demo stations covering application, multicloud, business, and IoT monitoring, plus network visibility. Twenty AppDynamics representatives will be on hand to give you an introduction, product tour, or answer your questions.

You’ll find us sharing space with Cisco colleagues in the World of Solutions area (Hall 7), just by the main entrance so you can’t miss us. Hope to see you there!

AppDynamics Welcomes Perspica to Cisco

Changing the Way People Think about Business Performance from the Packet Flow to the Customer Experience

This morning, Cisco announced the intent to acquire Perspica. First and foremost, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Perspica’s employees joining the Cisco and the AppDynamics team.

It’s crazy to think that our last talk around acquisitions was when Cisco announced its intent to acquire AppDynamics earlier this year. And now, just months later, we’re in the process of bringing Perspica’s world-class team of data scientists and machine learning pioneers on board.

Cisco has accelerated many areas of what we do at AppDynamics – from boosting R&D resources to accelerating our product releases and giving us additional support for our go to market strategy. And now we see Cisco underline its commitment once more with the addition of Perspica.

From a technology perspective, Perspica brings a lot to the table. Perspica is known for its stream-based processing with the unique ability to apply machine learning to data as it comes in instead of waiting until it’s neatly stored. They also have expertise in domain-specific machine learning at scale, which means they can ingest and process enormous volumes of data. Couple these characteristics with AppDynamics’ core data model for Business Transactions and it opens up a world of possibilities for the scale and speed of our product. Ultimately, it will enable us to deliver our vision for the future of performance that is infinitely scalable and ridiculously fast to keep pace with developments in the enterprise.

If we hold a mirror to the state of enterprise technology today, you’ll see programs running in multiple clouds and servers and on countless containers and devices. Fast forward into the not-so-distant future and the complexity of everything grows exponentially as businesses continue to fight to differentiate themselves in digital. However, the highly distributed nature of modern technology makes it incredibly difficult for any company to make sense of what is actually helping or hurting them in this fight.

In order to bolster our technology for the highly complex, data-drenched enterprise of the not-so-distant future, Perspica will further our leading capabilities in application intelligence through:

  • Collaboration with Perspica’s engineering talent who specialize in data science and highly scalable data platforms. Our teams will work side by side to transform enterprises’ complex systems into their biggest competitive advantages.
  • Stream-based processing that can derive inferences from data and find anomalies without needing to wait until data is stored, which will enable our customers to accelerate their paths to business-driving insights; and
  • Domain-specific machine learning that will strengthen our root cause analysis capabilities and core APM solution by allowing our agents to massively increase the amount of data points we can ingest;

And we believe this is only the tip of the iceberg of possibilities.

I’m personally very excited to see the strides we’ll make toward a new era of computing, one that is business aware and free from any limitations.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2018. So, keep a look out for big things to come…

Celebrating the Future of Cisco and AppDynamics

Celebrating the Future of Cisco and AppDynamics” originally appeared on http://blogs.cisco.com.

Today, I had the sincere honor to stand with leaders of AppDynamics to ring the Nasdaq opening bell. I can now say that AppDynamics and Cisco are one team. In ringing the bell, we celebrated the amazing company that the founders and leaders of AppDynamics created as well as a new era of innovation that Cisco and AppDynamics will create together. The talented team at AppDynamics, along with their industry-leading software technology, provides an amazing extension to Cisco’s strategy and transformation.

AppDynamics is helping solve numerous challenges for companies by providing real-time visibility into the performance of applications as well as business analytics that are increasingly critical in the digitizing enterprise. No other player in the industry is delivering these insights more effectively than AppDynamics.

The acquisition of AppDynamics is part of Cisco’s broader strategy to drive growth for the company, our customers and our partners. Through acquisitions, strategic partnerships, investments, co-development and internal R&D, Cisco is better able to anticipate, capture and lead market transitions. AppDynamics is special for a number of reasons. It is the largest acquisition we’ve announced since Cisco’s new leadership team was announced 22 months ago. At the time of the IPO, AppDynamics was on track to be the fastest growing publicly traded company in the enterprise software space. AppDynamics represents a great step forward in both our digital transformation and that of our customers and partners. Combining AppDyanmics’ unparalleled analytics with Cisco’s incredible global reach will enable us to accelerate AppDynamics’ success and broaden Cisco’s software offerings, a key area of investment and growth for us.

AppDynamics accelerates Cisco’s push to bring further software and network relevance in Hybrid Cloud, as well as drive our transformation to greater percentage revenue from recurring revenue and subscription models. With AppDynamics, Cisco will provide unprecedented visibility into the performance of customers’ applications as they move them from private cloud to public cloud and multicloud environments. This, together with Cisco’s analytics at the network and datacenter layers, provides market leading differentiation for Cisco. I am excited about the value that this acquisition will deliver to Cisco’s customers, partners and investors. We are proud to welcome AppDynamics to the Cisco team.

Thank You, AppDynamics Customers and Partners

Today is a big day for all of us associated with AppDynamics. It’s been a short nine years since Jyoti Bansal started the company and brought Bhaskar Sunkara on board. Together they saw a clear opportunity to bring greater performance and reliability to software and applications in a world increasingly defined by digital experiences. Since then, the hard work of nearly 1,250 employees around the world has propelled AppDynamics to one of the most important enterprise software companies in the market.

And today, it brings me great pleasure to share that AppDynamics is taking the next step in our journey — and formally joining forces with Cisco.

Cisco is committed to providing AppDynamics with the autonomy we need to run the business as we always have. Together, we’re investing further in our widely-recognized culture of innovation, our obsession with customer success, and our remarkable account and sales teams.  This combination has made us one of the fastest growing software companies around and we couldn’t be more excited about our ability to accelerate our growth even further given Cisco’s reputation and reach.

Our joint vision remains the same — we believe the success of our customers’ technology and the success of their business are inextricably tied. We remain fully committed to helping our customers build and run digital first companies by bringing together developers, IT ops, and business owners. Our enterprise customers will be able to transform their products into dependable connected services, creating new business models and generating new sources of ongoing revenue.

In fact, this vision is even more relevant now than it was in 2008, when AppDynamics was founded. User expectations are continuing to rise, IT environments are becoming more dynamic and complex, and competitive digital experiences are rapidly improving. We’re here to help our customers navigate all this. We know that we exist to help them stay ahead of these challenges and empower them to realize the benefits of these opportunities.

With that said, I’d like to personally thank our customers and our partners: Thank you for betting on us!  Without your support, vision, and evangelism, we would not be here today. We’re incredibly proud to work side by side with you and couldn’t be happier to have you along with us for the journey ahead. You have my commitment that we will work every bit as hard over the next decade as we did over the last nine years. I look forward to many more amazing years doing everything we can to make you successful.

David