Maintaining application uptime is imperative to the seamless functioning of business processes. Even a small glitch can be detrimental and lead to costly consequences. For example, dealing with a slow infrastructure can negatively impact a company’s conversion and damage brand value and revenue.
With organizations dealing with large, distributed, and modern asynchronous applications, practical application performance management (APM) is a necessity. Elaborate infrastructures, which may be hosted on a public cloud, a private cloud, or a hybrid setup, are often vulnerable to downtime and failures and require holistic health and availability maintenance.
Why Do We Need Application Performance Monitoring?
Application performance monitoring has gained importance in ensuring the performance and availability of software applications through monitoring and management. A thorough monitoring process helps ensure a high-quality experience. As our applications evolve to be more complex, dynamic, robust, and distributed, application performance management becomes more indispensable. Application performance management and monitoring used to be limited to the development phase to ensure applications effectively met deployment demands. However, companies now need to make their apps available anytime, from anywhere, and on any device. This has paved the way for real-time performance and efficiency monitoring.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why APM has grown in significance:
Device and Platform Diversity: Because applications are being accessed from various devices—such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops—applications are tested on different operating systems, software/hardware platforms, and security setups.
Business Continuity Assurance: Most businesses are now online. Therefore, business continuity and application performance have become synonymous. Any disruption in app performance can lead to a loss in revenue.
Ease Development Complexities: Development is a complex process requiring constant monitoring to guarantee performance and availability.
APM Tools Showdown: AppOptics vs. AppDynamics
Application performance monitoring must be an ongoing process to help ensure uptime seamlessly across platforms. APM tools and processes help businesses collect reports on applications to aid real-time analysis of performance metrics. This data allows administrators to identify and solve application problems and ensure optimum performance.
Let consider two advanced application performance management tools, SolarWinds® AppOptics™ and AppDynamics, and compare them so you can make an informed decision.
AppOptics is a fully featured, converged APM tool designed to provide end-to-end solutions for web applications. It brings together application and infrastructure monitoring along with server performance monitoring, root cause diagnosis, individual transaction tracing, resource management, and performance control on one standard dashboard. This availability of information helps you more quickly identify problems and get to the root cause of issues. AppOptics is known for its out-of-the-box dashboards, metrics, and analytics, and it enables continuous visibility into hosts, containers, and serverless environments. This tool is designed to help minimize mean time to resolution if a problem arises.
AppDynamics is a leading APM solution offered by Cisco, and it’s designed to deliver problem resolution for highly distributed applications through transaction flow monitoring and in-depth diagnostics. This tool is capable of monitoring your application infrastructure and helping you get code-level visibility and problem resolution for highly distributed applications through a transaction flow. It supports major technologies installed on-premises or as software as a service (SaaS) solutions to offer monitoring and deep diagnostics.
The Key Differentiators
Troubleshooting and Performance Monitoring: With AppOptics, you can derive insightful visualizations in the form of an application service map, simplified services, and trace-level root cause summaries. This allows you to more easily understand services and their dependencies to determine application performance issues for legacy and modern applications. The application service map is an auto-instrumented feature designed to show you how a dependency can impact end-user performance through detailed performance metrics. Additionally, AppOptics gives you service and trace-level summaries, highlighting service metrics with latency details. AppDynamics leverages baseline performance and automates remediation through a cognition mechanism. Additionally, AppDynamics uses machine learning to automate anomaly detection. This helps drastically reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR) by instantly diagnosing the root cause of issues so you can correlate software and business performance metrics and quickly identify application performance problems. The artificial intelligence–powered insights offer broad visibility into every facet of your application environment.
Code-Level Diagnostics: AppOptics features live code profiling to isolate performance issues and identify whether they were caused by the framework, a third-party library, or the code during the production and development stage. Additionally, it helps you recognize bottlenecks through a combination of tracing and profiling to single out slow functionalities or issues. Doing so speeds up the troubleshooting process and reduces turnaround time. The deep code insights offered by AppDynamics facilitate software debugging by providing extensive visibility into the running code without disrupting application performance at the end-user level. It can give critical data on application performance irrespective of monolithic or highly distributed microservices infrastructure, enabling quick problem identification. This eliminates work in code writing, helping you save significant time.
Transaction Tracing: With AppOptics, you can map the path of an entire request into a trace. The trace enables you to track the exact link between bottlenecks and their subsequent impact, even when adding internal services or APIs. AppOptics allows you to see the end-to-end behavior of individual requests in production in real time so you can inspect request states and debug performance impacts with trace timelines. You can use AppOptics traces in combination with SolarWinds® Loggly® or SolarWinds Papertrail™ in a single click to track the logs associated with a specific transaction or request and identify relevant bottlenecks. AppDynamics has a similar feature designed to automatically discover business transactions and construct a topology map of how traffic flows within your application. This brings the impact of bottlenecks on user behavior to the forefront. AppDynamics instinctively triggers powerful diagnostic actions at the code level to isolate the root cause of any issue.
Dashboards and Frameworks: With its auto-instrumentation, AppOptics allows you to easily monitor application performance across many different programming languages, including Java, PHP, .NET, Ruby, Python, and many more. However, what sets AppOptics apart is its unified dashboards, alerting, and management for application performance and infrastructure monitoring. It combines multiple panels, allowing you to cross-reference APM, server, and infrastructure metrics side by side. AppDynamics also has seamless compatibility with almost all programming languages. It employs plug-ins called agents to monitor the performance of your application code, runtime, and behavior in a custom dashboard. With custom dashboards, you can display a specific set of metrics and data points on your screen. You can choose to display application, server, and database metrics reported by AppDynamics agents or leverage the built-in dashboards for your monitoring purposes.
Application performance management starts with anomaly detection and localization by tracking performance metrics and availability across all tiers and components, including servers, operating systems, services, integration components, third-party APIs, and databases. Although both APM tools are perfect for application monitoring needs, the features AppOptics offers go a little further. Besides application monitoring, it offers infrastructure monitoring to collect, analyze, and leverage data to improve business results and drive value creation for the organization. To make a better decision based on the features and functionalities of both tools, try out a free demo of AppOptics and AppDynamics.
*As of June 2020