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AppDynamics Extends APM Solution to Include End User Monitoring

by Fabian Lange on Mar 09, 2012 |

Application Performance Management Vendor AppDynamics announced End User Monitoring Support on Tuesday, March 7th. The capability to measure browser rendering times and network latency is added as an integral part to the solution at no extra cost. It seamlessly integrates into existing business transactions and the traffic shows also up on the flow map.

End User Monitoring (EUM) is considered as an essential dimension for APM products by customers and analysts, but whilst other vendors such as New Relic and dynaTrace already have these capabilities in their products AppDynamics was only able to monitor Java and .NET application servers until now. All three products use their agents to modify the generated HTML sent back from the monitored systems. The modified HTML includes JavaScript which records page load and render times and sends it back to the APM system. This allows them to monitor the performance perceived by the end user and possibly to fix issues that occur only in specific regions or browsers.

Older products on the market, like BMC Coradiant, or Tivoli ETEWatch, used network sniffing technologies to measure network times, but none of them was including the time spent in the browser, which is increasing in importance with dynamic scripting on the browser side. Additionally, those technologies cannot be used to monitor applications hosted in the cloud, like on IaaS or PaaS, as they required addition of a network appliance.

According to AppDynamics, the major differentiators of their approach are their dynamic baselining technique, which is extended to include browser metrics and network latency, and the way the collected data is transferred back to the server. Data is collected by a piece of JavaScript, which is inserted by the agent running in the application server. It collects the data and sends it back with the next regular request, instead of creating an additional request, like the way web bugs usually transfer data. The dynamic baselining feature then finds out normal response times for the individual steps, so it can learn and alert on abnormal behavior in realtime, without requiring manual configuration of thresholds.

Additionally AppDynamics EUM provides basic analytic features, similar to what Google Analytics provides. They allow visualizing the number of calls and response times per browser or geographic region.

The EUM feature is part of AppDynamics Pro and is available for SaaS customers right now. It is expected to be available for on-premise deployments with the release of version 3.4, currently scheduled for end of March.

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