Benefits: Dramatic improvement in application performance management across the board
Mohegan Sun’s timing for selecting and installing the AppDynamics APM solution couldn’t have been better. The company had just completed a system-of-records upgrade and a loyalty program migration. Lee and his team were also releasing 40 applications into production. So, they were in the midst of a testing marathon. As any developer knows, you can’t catch everything right out of the gate. However, the AppDynamics APM enabled the team to quickly identify critical code-level issues. “On day one, within an hour of going live with AppDynamics, we were able to track and fix problems before customers even noticed them,” Lee explains.
As to day-to-day operations, the AppDynamics APM solution has had a big impact as well, helping to tune Mohegan Sun’s WebSphere application server environment. Lee says that, even with IBM tools and best practices, it's still difficult to get all the statistics needed to optimize WebSphere. But with the perspective provided by AppDynamics monitoring, he can see what's going on with the servers, find out how quickly garbage collection is running, and appropriately size and tune the environment.
Speaking of garbage collection and slow transactions, JVM (Java virtual machine) pauses are one of Lee’s pet peeves. For Mohegan Sun, AppDynamics APM minimized them in a couple of hours. “That compares to what probably would have taken a week without it. Conservatively, slow transactions have increased in performance by 90%,” says Lee. Additionally, the team can reduce logging by 70%, as AppDynamics provides the data they need without wasting time in logs.
One more way that AppDynamics APM helps Mohegan Sun manage applications and business transaction speeds is by enabling IT to easily trace and troubleshoot transaction slowdowns or failures that originate with third-party vendors. With agents installed on vendor servers, the Mohegan Sun team gains insights into its performance through the snapshot execution waterfall view in AppDynamics to see where any trouble spots are located. AppDynamics automatically discovers and monitors application code running on Tomcat and provides deep visibility into how it executes through the JVM in production, as well as real-time alerting.
“If I had to choose one benefit as ‘the big one,’” says Lee, “I’d say it’s being able to look at all of the business transactions and their associated issues on one screen, one dashboard, because you're able to look at your whole environment holistically. Having a bird's-eye view that lets you see the errors in your environment—there’s nothing better.”