Hallmark UK's technical team was on a tight deadline. A very large business transformation project was underway, and as so often happens, the technical team was tasked with accomplishing much in little time. Chris Tranter, Technical Lead at Hallmark UK, knew there wasn't much room for error. "We had to move fast to deliver an enterprise solution," Tranter explained. "I was nervous about hitting stalling points that are common with development, because there was very little contingency time built into the project plan."Anybody who has worked in software development knows that tight deadlines tend to be the norm. And Tranter knew that it was all too likely that problems would crop up that would make meeting those deadlines problematical. He was particularly concerned about slowdowns revolving around debugging and troubleshooting issues. "I knew from experience that troubleshooting issues could take time, sometimes days," Tranter said. "I needed something to help in this area, so I started to search for system monitoring tools on the Internet."
Tranter's team had a collection of tools on hand that they were using for tasks such as monitoring resource usage and memory analysis. But he knew that these tools were not scalable enough to be suitable for a project of this size and complexity. "I needed something that could oversee a .NET/SQL-based development environment, with the ability to monitor many different components."
Tranter was hoping to replace his current underperforming tool set with a more capable tool set. But in the end, he expected that he would still be saddled with the problems of juggling a collection of different tools. He's glad to have been proven wrong on that prognostication.
"I came upon some promotional literature about AppDynamics" Tranter explained."After reading the literature and doing some additional investigating, I was happy to see I'd found a solution which met all my requirements. AppDynamics' APM is capable of replacing the entire toolkit that I otherwise would have assembled from a number of vendors."
Once the AppDynamics' APM was installed and running, troubleshooting and debugging became a very different game for the Hallmark team. "AppDynamics is constantly monitoring and alerting," said Tranter, "and we don't have to do much to capture the information needed for tracing errors."
And the ability to look back in time and see what was happening when an error occurred helps to eliminate the lengthy processes often involved in trying to replicate problems. "I've basically been able to receive a priority one issue, drill into the data and immediately tell a developer where to look. It's taken a large amount of stress and time delay out of all of our debugging," Tranter noted.Looking back on his experience to date with AppDynamics, Tranter confirms that the APM has already helped his team stay on schedule on multiple occasions. "I know that there have been significant issues which would have caused long stalls in the project," Tranter explained. "Since we have very tight timelines, the impact of these stalls could have severely impacted the project plan. But those issues came and went because we were able to easily pinpoint the causes of the problems in seconds. AppDynamics really is that good."