AutoTrader

AutoTrader replaces multiple complex monitoring tools with the AppDynamics unified monitoring platform

Founded in 1997, AutoTrader.com is one of the major online marketplaces for buying and selling cars. With thousands of dealerships and millions of vehicles, AutoTrader.com provides tools and services to equip car buyers with the knowledge necessary to find the perfect vehicles. AutoTrader is powered by a complex environment of distributed Java applications, with multiple databases serving information to millions of active visitors per month. By using AppDynamics to ensure the critical performance of their software applications, Autotrader provides an optimal experience for all their customers.

Challenge: Legacy monitoring products prove to be complex and difficult to use

Before AppDynamics, the team at AutoTrader had a suite of various monitoring tools to measure and monitor the health of their application environments. Unfortunately, as their software began to grow in scale, their monitoring tools also grew in complexity. The team was overwhelmed with large amounts of data for basic performance issues; application performance problems were taking almost an entire day to diagnose. "Our existing legacy tools were becoming too cumbersome to use and very complex. This led us to begin looking for a new tool like AppDynamics," says Morgan White, Application Engineer at Autotrader.
The AutoTrader team was tasked with the challenge of finding a monitoring solution that could support their rapid growth and yet would be easy to use for both the operation and development teams. "Because we have a distributed system, we need a tool that can provide insight into which component in the SOA is causing an issue," says White. Consolidating all necessary tools for monitoring the health of their applications into a single interface proved to be essential. "Now that we have AppDynamics, we have one place to turn to for accurately diagnosing performance issues," says Morgan.

Now that we have AppDynamics, we have one place to turn to for accurately diagnosing performance issues.

Solution: Pinpoint previously unknown production errors

AppDynamics removes the need for additional monitoring solutions by providing the essential tools necessary to monitor application health in all environments including production. AppDynamics continues to offer more features, provide deeper performance insight, and handle more scale while maintaining a simple and optimal user experience. "AppDynamics is more powerful than the competition and yet easier to use, so we get much better adoption internally," says White.
Immediately upon using AppDynamics, the AutoTrader team began to find various production problems in a fraction of the time. Morgan recalls that with AppDynamics, his team was able to pinpoint productions errors unknown previously. "We had excessive 400 errors being thrown by the web servers and AppDynamics helped find which business transactions were causing those errors. Using AppDynamics, we were able to immediately pinpoint the business transactions that were causing the 400 HTTP errors and quickly publish the fixes to production."

AppDynamics is more powerful than the competition and yet easier to use, so we get much better adoption internally.

Benefits: AppDynamic offers accurate alerts, an optimized user experience, and extraordinary support

By using the AppDynamics health rules feature, the AutoTrader team customizes their policies for more accurate alerting thresholds. The AutoTrader team is assured that the health of their application is being monitored 24/7. Using AppDynamics to compare releases, the AutoTrader team can measure the health between two timeframes to validate healthy performance between deployments. "I love the ability to compare releases. We can select a specific time frame and validate that our overall metrics has remained healthy," says Brian at AutoTrader.

Brian recommends AppDynamics for any team looking to unify their monitoring needs with deeper insight. "AppDynamics provides power to diagnose and come to root-cause-analysis very quickly. For companies of all sizes, this is an excellent tool," says Brian.
In addition to providing a powerful platform, the AutoTrader team glows about the support they've received from AppDynamics. "Our AppDynamics account team has been a total lifesaver - both their responsiveness and their ability to enable us with the platform has been awesome," says Brian. "They have definitely gone above and beyond their duties."

Our AppDynamics account team has been a total lifesaver - both their responsiveness and their ability to enable us with the platform has been awesome.