Challenge: Poor adoption of a tool with negative performance impact
DIRECTV began questioning the value of its previous application performance monitoring (APM) solution. “There were two major issues,” recalls Trattner.
“First, we couldn’t validate whether our previous APM solution was having a positive performance impact or effect on our applications.” At least in part, this was due to the operations team using a myriad of tools and utilities to detect and investigate problems—a process Trattner describes as “after-the-fact investigation.”
In addition, DIRECTV wasn’t getting significant adoption of its previous APM tool outside of its core operations team. “We wanted our developers to dive into the tool and analyze the performance of their applications to help troubleshoot issues,” states Trattner. “The developers never really adopted the previous tools. Instead, it would be us sending screenshots or showing them data and asking them to look into a lot of things, which was time consuming for my team. It’s difficult to give an exact count, but we now have several development teams of key applications such as directv.com, our main Direct Sales application, and our middleware using AppDynamics on a regular basis without prompting from operations.”
Trattner’s team began looking for a better solution. Ease of use, was essential for broader acceptance. In addition, DIRECTV insisted on ease of deployment and a lightweight solution with low performance overhead on the monitored applications. Based on these requirements, Trace3, DIRECTV’s IT consultancy partner, recommended that Trattner look into AppDynamics APM. “Trace3 had experience with the product and a good relationship with the team at AppDynamics. They made introductions and we began to explore the AppDynamics solution,” informs Trattner.