In the era of digital transformation and cloud-based applications, delivering excellent customer experience is the primary focus of organizations. Keeping a tab of simple metrics like uptime, downtime, CPU, and memory utilization is no longer enough, and organizations are now leveraging application performance monitoring (APM) tools. A robust application performance monitoring tool helps organizations deliver a seamless user experience by offering uninterrupted application services. It also helps IT teams increase their operational efficiency.
While choosing an application performance monitoring tool, users should keep a few features in mind. These key features of an APM solution include live code profiling, exception tracking, intelligent alerting, host detail views, support for multiple frameworks and libraries, and security and scalability, amongst others.
As there are many application performance tools in the market, it becomes challenging to choose any one with appropriate features and functionalities apt for business requirements. Let’s compare Dynatrace and SolarWinds® AppOptics™, two tools with advanced application performance monitoring capabilities.
Dynatrace is an application monitoring tool with a broad range of advanced monitoring features. It works with a single agent for multiple microservices, creates a real-time topology, and auto-discovers microservices and containers beyond the infrastructure metrics. It offers advanced observability across cloud and hybrid environments. Dynatrace captures every transaction, and its pre-configured dashboard lets users view relevant parameters. It also provides garbage collection metrics, Apdex score, CPU and memory utilization, failure rate, and the root cause of errors. With the help of service pages, users can easily look over response time hotspots to find time-consuming activities. Its service backtrace feature helps users understand the impact of methods and database statements on user experience. It also offers instant insights into database problems in a single view.
AppOptics offers application performance monitoring for custom hybrid and cloud-native applications. It provides visibility, helps reduce the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), and offers integrations and plugins such as AWS, MongoDB, MySQL, Apache, and others. AppOptics provides monitoring capabilities for multiple cloud platforms including AWS, Microsoft, and Google Cloud. Users can communicate and collaborate across teams via the shared dashboard feature. It also offers integrations with team solutions like Slack, PagerDuty, and custom webhooks.
Dynatrace vs. AppOptics
Let’s take a deep dive into some standard features of both these tools.
Dynatrace detects databases and helps reduce overhead expenses. Users deep dive into each SQL statement level and gain an in-depth analysis. It also lets users find expensive statements (statements capable of reading a lot of data) and understand the cause of slow performing statements. It automatically discovers databases called using Java, PHP, Node.js, and .Net and eliminates the need for configuring new or old database instances. Dynatrace classifies database activity to provide insights into how a database is used. Its live view capability gives a real-time view of a database classified as Sessions, Wait states, Slow queries, and Locks.
AppOptics offers a wide range of host agents capable of collecting data from Cassandra, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and others. This solution provides a way to instantly see the most time-consuming queries on a single page along with tracing app performance to databases. Users can also visualize the response times in the form of outliers and percentiles.
Dynatrace users can position the dashboard tiles as per needs. It also offers many prebuilt tiles and custom-made tiles to visualize essential metrics relevant to IT teams in an organization. Users can view of monitored entities by clicking a dashboard tile. They can also filter multiple dashboards on parameters like name or favorite dashboards. Dashboards can be classified into groups via tags.
AppOptics offers an elegant view of data through its grid-based dashboards. Users can place or resize individual charts, and the dashboard page displays the available, recently used, and favorite dashboards. The AppOptics dashboard also helps create charts and allows saving profiles and switching dashboards between light and dark themes. It also offers an ability to copy dashboards along with export-import features. Its share dashboard feature allows users to share dashboards with stakeholders and teams. This feature helps users share curated visualizations more broadly and is useful when users wish to load a dashboard on public wall-mounted displays.
Dynatrace custom charts enable users to analyze combinations of monitoring metrics directly on dashboards. These custom charts support 5000 entities per chart and are available as Time Series charts and pie charts. The Time Series charts support a maximum of five metrics in a single chart and are further divided into line charts, stacked area charts, and stacked bar charts. Dynatrace pie charts offer a limited view as it supports only one metric in a single chart.
AppOptics provides more formats of charts, namely the line, stacked area, and big numbers charts. Users can also add the desired number of metrics to charts. AppOptics also lets users copy a chart to help IT teams save time. It also lets you embed charts into applications and sites.
Both AppOptics and Dynatrace are powerful infrastructure monitoring tools with robust capabilities and advanced features. Choosing any one monitoring tool can be challenging. Organizations can decide based on their specific infrastructure monitoring needs, feature requirements, and budget limitations. AppOptics offers modern hybrid infrastructure monitoring with visibility into containers, on-premises and cloud servers, cloud services, and VMs, with 150+ out-of-the-box plugins and integrations. The tool includes all these infrastructure monitoring features at a budget-friendly price of $9 USD per month. In contrast, Dynatrace offers unlimited container, network process monitoring, and ad-hoc analysis of log entries for $21 USD per month.
*As of June 2020