The goal of application performance management (APM) products is to monitor how applications work and alert IT if things start to go awry. AppDynamics says its new release will automatically fix many of those problems without human intervention — a tall order.
“We need to handle apps more dynamically and expand more into operational management. We started with monitoring and now we’re expanding into automating the fixing of problems as well. We have to move more work into the machine itself instead of doing it all manually,” said Jyoti Bansal, CEO and founder of the San Francisco-based company.
“I use the analogy ot flying Boeing 757. You have to be trained and need instrumentation and dashboards to fly it but you also have autopilot,” he added. And the product, which previously handled Java and .NET applications — arguably comprising 90 percent of corporate workloads — is adding PHP apps to the mix with this release as well.
AppDynamics, which raised $50 million in Series D funding in January, competes with New Relic in APM, although Bansal would argue that New Relic targets startups and smaller companies while AppDynamics takes on big, enterprise clients and claims noteworthy customers including Netflix, Time Warner Cable, Orbitz, Stubhub, and Fox News as customers. New Relic also manages .NET, Java, Ruby PHP and Python applications.
The new capabilities run both as Software as a Service but can also be run on premises if the company desires.
When companies trust more of their workloads to outside cloud providers, the importance of dashboards, the Boeing instrumentation Bansal mentioned. The metrics provided must be reliable and factual. If users cannot believe what they are seeing, as happened in the recent Rap Genius-Heroku case, the consequences could be huge.