Bouygues Telecom Dials in Performance with AppDynamics
Fixed Provisioning Management is an application that the customer does not interact with directly, but is very much the key to a quality customer experience. It intervenes at three levels: during the sales process, to determine eligibility of a home or office for service activation (TV, telephones, internet, answering machine, phone lines, transfer of calls from mobile to fixed, etc.), but also at usage level (automatic identification of the connected customers/ association of the subscribed services).
“Our service translates commercial orders into technical orders in order to deliver the desired services to the customers,” explains Philippe Holleville, head of operations and tests, Network Department/ Mobile & Fixed Provisioning Department. “This requires a high availability of our servers, in order to respond synchronously and 24/7 to the requests. The performance of our platforms is the special key for delivering the expected quality of service.”
AppDynamics was chosen in early 2013, and AppDynamics technical experts worked with the Bouygues Telecom teams to install and set up the solution. The deployment was fast and simple, and then over the next four months or so, the team was able to dig into the solution’s rich feature set.
AppDynamics helps to accurately identify and understand the root cause of complex incidents. For example, memory leaks are among the most difficult issues to detect and analyze. The AppDynamics tool identifies how long the problem existed, and performs drill-down in the Java application to reveal the underlying cause. Previously, the teams were circumventing these recurring incidents.
The APM tool has also shown excellent results in proactively addressing issues affecting application performance, for example, capacity planning. At certain times of the year, such as December and March, Bouygues Telecom experiences sales peaks. The AppDynamics tool helps detect when the system is close to saturation, in real time, then adjusts to accommodate peak loads.
“With AppDynamics, we have truly gained expertise, but we have become more proactive as well,” Holleville says. “We have moved from ‘black box’ status to ‘white box’ status. We know exactly which applications can create problems. With the AppDynamics solution, we are even able to calculate our partners’ response time, and contact them to improve the quality of our combined services.”
Currently there are about thirty people who use AppDynamics daily. A connector has been specially designed between the centralized monitoring system, Nagios, and AppDynamics, in order to benefit from an automatic increase of the alerts in Nagios (e.g. exceeding memory usage). Bouygues Telecom is the first company deploying this connector.
“AppDynamics is truly intuitive in its operation, and the self-learning system of the tool is very effective — it creates its own baselines based on past performance,” Holleville concludes.