ThousandEyes and AppDynamics, Happy Together
In this article
The impact of the digital experience is considered the most important outcome in the entire IT industry. The digital experience is an interaction between a user (customer, partner or employee) and an organization that is possible only because of digital technologies. It's so important that Gartner has classified a new category to monitor and address user experience called Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM). It's defined as: "an availability and performance monitoring discipline that supports the optimization of the operational experience and behavior of a digital agent, human or machine, as it interacts with enterprise applications and services." DEM is an emerging discipline that is an essential element of one of three functional dimensions of APM.
Why is this so important? The digital experience requires providing users access to your business application, which is dependent on a number of external networks and services. These external networks and services, which comprise the Internet, are outside of your control. How can an application owner maintain an application suite that provides an ongoing positive digital experience? ThousandEyes and AppDynamics together can provide the necessary insight and visibility.
We already know that AppDynamics is the market leader in application and network performance management and monitoring. It provides real-time monitoring of applications to detect anomalies, monitor application environment performance, and collect and analyze metrics. That sounds great, well here's the catch: Most APM solutions, including AppDynamics, lack the ability to monitor outside your controlled application environment. Enter ThousandEyes.
Combining AppDynamics and ThousandEyes allows you to see beyond your standard application environment by providing visibility into any cloud and hybrid-cloud services your application path takes across the internet.
What this means is that when your application makes an external request to any cloud or SaaS hosted service, it runs across the Internet. AppDynamics will capture data along an application request path as it travels inside your environment and then pass the torch on to ThousandEyes to capture the rest of the request data as it travels through the Internet.
Because of this end-to-end visibility, ThousandEyes solves problems related to:
- Poor user experience from dependencies outside the application owner's control.
- Users blaming the application for issues outside the application owner's control.
- Latency caused by multiple layers of connectivity through third-party networks and service providers.
- Cloud services comprise some or most of the important parts of your application landscape, with no ability to manage or monitor it.
- Frequent application outages related to the Internet Service Provider (ISP), but unable to provide any proof to them.
- Not being able to see the complete interaction between your applications and any external calls.
How does ThousandEyes monitor across the Internet? With little pieces of magic called Agents. Agents are lightweight, Linux-based, software installations. This should sound familiar to AppDynamics users — no wonder they go together so well. ThousandEyes uses three major types of agents to orchestrate your expanded application landscape: Cloud, Enterprise, and Endpoint. They act similarly in what they accomplish but differ where they are installed.
All of the data gathered from these Agents is used to build a visual representation of the network path from user to service. Now, when a complaint comes in about your application being slow, there is a data set that can be used to determine if the issue is in the network path or is a third-party service. This speeds up the mean time to identify (MTTI) the root cause and mean time to repair (MTTR), while also providing evidence for discussion with the network or third-party service provider.
As the rise of multicloud architectures and SaaS applications has accelerated, the role of the Internet has become critical. But how do we know if the Internet is performing as expected? Legacy tools cannot provide visibility into something that is out of our control, not to mention its vastness and complexity. Enter Internet Insights from ThousandEyes.
As explained above, ThousandEyes performs tests against your critical application components and third-party services supporting them, capturing data about the flow of traffic through the Internet. Internet Insights uses the data collected from all their customer tests to crowdsource a macro-level view of Internet health. This allows an answer to the question, "Is this a problem with my application or am I impacted by an Internet outage?"
End-to-end tests monitor an application target for availability, but when that target is no longer reachable, it is not able to determine if there is a network issue and if other traffic is affected. By watching all traffic crossing service provider networks, Internet Insights can determine if there is a provider issue impacting your service.
Real data can now be used to support issue reporting to the provider and allows you to have an answer when those trouble tickets for your service start arriving. You can now hold your third-party services accountable to their service-level agreements.
The Internet is now an extension of the data center. It's no longer the unknown entity because of this new visibility provided through Internet Insights from ThousandEyes.
AppDynamics integrates with ThousandEyes in a number of awesome ways. When an alert is raised or cleared in ThousandEyes, it can be sent to AppDynamics for a specific application, tier or node. The alert details will be posted as a custom event which allows for correlating trigger or clear events. These events received by AppDynamics can be used to create Policies based on their specific properties. ThousandEyes dashboard widgets can be embedded into AppDynamics dashboards via URL.
Snapshots are an incredible tool within the AppDynamics suite, and integration with ThousandEyes allows you to automate synthetic testing snapshots to discover metrics like page load, HTTP/web and network testing scenarios on the edge of your environment. AppDynamics health rule violations can trigger ThousandEyes to save a test snapshot using the HTTP request action. Additionally, ThousandEyes can add a unique GUID header to test traffic, allowing AppDynamics to perform more detailed tracing and filtering and for better data correlation between the two.
Now that you've read about how awesome AppDynamics and ThousandEyes can be together, see AppDynamics and ThousandEyes combine forces in a demo performed by our AIOPS team.