This page describes the AppDynamics Application Performance Management (APM) Platform cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment.

AppDynamics APM Platform Overview

The AppDynamics APM Platform enables management and monitoring of your application delivery ecosystem, ranging from mobile/browser client network requests to backend databases/servers and more. This global view across your application landscape allows you to quickly navigate through the distributed application into the call graphs and exception reports that individual hosts generate. 

User Interface 

Appdynamics provides a Controller Tenant to collect, store, analyze, and baseline the performance data collected by agents and a Controller Tenant UI to view and manage the information. You access the AppDynamics Controller Tenant UI through a URL that uses your Account name. Each Controller Tenant has a distinct set of users, reporting agents, and application monitoring configuration.

AppDynamics can host one or more accounts, where each account represents one Controller Tenant. AppDynamics SaaS deployment is a multi-tenant environment that allows you to access multiple Controller Tenants independently. 

Application Performance Monitoring

At the tier level, AppDynamics provides a view of the runtime operation of your code via an AppDynamics App Server Agent. The agent detects calls to a service entry point at the tier and follows the execution path for the call through the call stack. It sends data about usage metrics, code exceptions, exit calls to backend systems, and error conditions to your Controller Tenant. See Install App Server Agents.

Application Performance Monitoring

Most application environments contain more than one application server. They may contain distributed, interconnected servers and processes that participate in fulfilling a given user request. In this context, AppDynamics tracks transactions across distributed, heterogeneous services.  

Infrastructure Visibility with Database Visibility

For greater visibility into your application delivery environment, you can add AppDynamics Database Visibility to the SaaS deployment.

Application Agents provide information about calls to backend databases, including errors and call counts. The Database Visibility module extends your visibility into the workings of the database server itself by providing you with information about query execution and performance with an agent-less profile.

AppDynamics Infrastructure Visibility contributes to your view of the data center by adding valuable information on the performance of the machines and networks in your environment.

Infrastructure Visibility with Database Visibility

In this deployment, the Database Agent collects information from the database servers and sends it to the Controller Tenant. Some of this information persists in the Events Service. The Events Service is the document storage component optimized for searching and storing high volumes of information. Database Analytics features may use the Events Service.

End User Monitoring for Client Experience

Server-side monitoring provides visibility into the end user's experience with application performance and suggests performance improvements to the server. End-user monitoring (EUM) extends those insights from the initial client request to the client device response. AppDynamics End User Monitoring allows you to collect information about where requests are coming from, what devices/channels users are using, and code performance once deployed on their devices. You have the visibility you need to investigate mobile crashes by displaying stack traces and other contextual data at the time of the crash and tying that to the Business Transaction data from the server.

Business iQ and Analytics for Business Impact

AppDynamics Analytics provides Business iQ to help you understand how the performance of your application environment and end-user applications relates to the business data of the transactions. It lets you sort, order, and understand the data that composes the Business Transactions. You can drill into the log data that your environment generates. See Using Analytics Data

Use Metrics

A metric is a particular class of measurement, state, or event in the monitored environment. Many defaults relate to the overall performance of the application or business transaction, such as request load, average response time, or error rate. Others describe the state of the server infrastructure, such as percentage CPU busy or percentage of memory used.

Agents register the metrics they detect with the Controller Tenant. They then report measurements or occurrences of the metrics at regular intervals. You can view metrics using the Metric Browser in the Controller Tenant UI.

Information points are a type of metric that enables you to report on how your business (as opposed to your application) is performing. For example, you could set up an information point to total the revenue from the purchase on your website of a specific product or set of products. You can also use information points to report on how your code is performing, for example, how many times a specific method is called and how long it is taking to execute.

You can create extensions that use the machine agent to report custom metrics that you define. Just like the built-in AppDynamics metrics, these metrics incur a baseline that reports to the Controller Tenant.

As an alternative to using the Controller Tenant UI, you can access metrics programmatically with the AppDynamics APIs.

Baselines and Thresholds

The AppDynamics Platform uses both self-learned baselines and configurable thresholds to identify application issues. A complex distributed application has a large number of performance metrics, and each metric is important in one or more contexts. It can be difficult to:

  • Determine the values or ranges that are normal for a particular metric.
  • Set meaningful thresholds on which to base and receive relevant alerts.
  • Determine what is a 'normal' metric when the application or infrastructure undergoes change.

For these reasons, we provide anomaly detection based on dynamic baselines or thresholds.

The AppDynamics platform automatically calculates dynamic baselines for your metrics, defining what is 'normal' for each metric according to actual usage. The platform uses these baselines to identify subsequent metric values that fall out of range. You no longer need to set up static thresholds in rapidly changing, error-prone application environments.

You can create health rules with conditions that use baselines to trigger alerts or other actions when performance problems are occurring or about to happen. See Alert and Respond and Health Rules and Dynamic Baselines.

AppDynamics thresholds help you to maintain service level agreements (SLAs) and ensure optimum performance levels by detecting slow, very slow, and stalled transactions. Thresholds provide a way to associate the right business context with a slow request to isolate the root cause. See Transaction Thresholds.

Health Rules, Policies, and Actions

AppDynamics uses dynamic baselining to establish typical behavior for your application automatically. You can set up health rules according to those standard baselines (or use other health indicators) to track non-optimal conditions.

Policies that allow you to connect such problematic events (such as the health rule critical event) with actions that can trigger alerts/remedial behavior addresses the system's issues long before your users will be affected. 

AppDynamics supplies default health rules. You can customize the default health rules and create new rules specific to your environment. See Alert and Respond.

The out-of-the-box health rules test business transaction performance as follows:

Business Transaction response time is much higher than normal

  • Defines a critical condition as the combination of an average response time higher than the default baseline by three standard deviations and a load greater than 50 calls per minute.
  • This rule defines a warning condition as the combination of an average response time higher than the default baseline by two standard deviations and a load greater than 100 calls per minute.

Business Transaction error rate is much higher than normal

  • Defines a critical condition as the combination of an error rate greater than the default baseline by three standard deviations and an error rate higher than ten errors per minute and a load greater than 50 calls per minute.
  • This rule defines a warning condition as the combination of an error rate greater than the default baseline by two standard deviations and an error rate greater than five errors per minute and a load greater than 50 calls per minute.

Infrastructure Monitoring

Monitoring infrastructure performance can add insight into underlying factors about performance. AppDynamics can alert you of the problem at the Business Transaction and infrastructure level. 

AppDynamics provides preconfigured application infrastructure metrics and default health rules to enable you to discover and correct infrastructure problems. You can configure additional persistent metrics to implement a monitoring strategy specific to your business needs and application architecture.

You can view infrastructure metrics in the Metric Browser. In this context, the Correlation Analysis and Scalability Analysis graphs are useful to understand how infrastructure metrics can correlate or relate to Business Transaction performance. 

Integrate and Extend AppDynamics

The AppDynamics Exchange contains many extensions that you can download and if you cannot find what you need, you can develop your own.

 AppDynamics extensions are available in the following categories:

  • Monitoring Extensions add metrics to the existing set of metrics that AppDynamics agents collect and report to the Tenant. These can include metrics that you obtain from other monitoring systems. They can also include metrics that your system extracts from services that are not instrumented by AppDynamics, such as databases, LDAP servers, web servers, or C programs. See Extensions and Custom Metrics.
  • Alerting Extensions enable you to integrate AppDynamics with external alerting or ticketing systems and create custom notification actions. See Email Templates and HTTP Request Actions and Templates
  • Performance testing extensions consist of performance-testing extensions.
  • Built-in integration extensions that you must enable or configure. These include:

Review AppDynamics APIs to create custom extensions and integration components.