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Any advice about APM solutions?

Principal Enterprise Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to purchase an APM solution, and looking for some feedback.

I've shortlisted AppDynamics, New Relic, Dynatrace, Datadog, as well as some others like Big Panda and Corelogic that might be used to bolt on as value add. I have experience with AppDynamics, Datadog and Dynatrace but not New Relic - I'm leaning towards New Relic though.

I want to hear how you did your discovery/research, and what were some deciding factors when you finally picked a solution (E.g.: New Relic has xyz but the fact that Datadog gave us 1 and 2 and sort of has xyz made us go with Datadog).

Some background:

I have background in DevOps, Java and Cloud. Theoretically, my group is DevOps but we're still developing in this area. I'm looking to modernize and automate more, and get rid of all the noise. With whatever solution I end up choosing, I want to improve monitoring and do app tracing for developers. I also need predictive analysis. We're currently doing everything on-prem but we have plans to move to the cloud, so the solution needs to support both on-prem and cloud.

I've put together a survey to help me with researching the tools. I'd really appreciate if you could take a few minutes to fill in the survey to help me out: APM tool survey


PeerSpot user
59 Answers

Rony_Sklar - PeerSpot reviewerRony_Sklar
Community Manager

@reviewer1352679 thanks for weighing in with such a detailed answer for @SystemsEngineer234z :)

Tjeerd Saijoen - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5LeaderboardReseller

The key is to have a holistic view over the complete infrastructure, the ones you have listed are great for APM if you need to monitor applications end to end. I have tested them all and have not found one capable to give me solutions they all report you have a problem but you need to figure out what the problems is. So we have decided to develop our own AI and it is not only monitoring OSI layer 1 -3 but layer 1-8 as well it give you a solution what has been wrong based on delays in transactions combined with security. We have deployed this now across healthcare in the USA as well Airports but it is working on every industry and working in a SaaS solution. But if I have a chose between the tools you mentioned, Dynatrace is the best choose it is easy to install and has a great interface. Also it has almost no configuration.

Adrian Antonypillai - PeerSpot reviewer

We are currently going through a paper-based analysis to select an Enterprise APM solution.

Our Contenders are

1. Dynatrace

2. Cisco(AppDynamics)

3. Broadcom DX-APM

Shortlisted based on existing relationships with other products and services they provide.

We discounted New Relic- despite their growing capability - as they are yet to enter the enterprise APM solution scene.

With regards to your response "We eliminated Datadog due to a lack of real user monitoring and AppD based on experience and licensing .." :

Will you be willing to expand on Appd - what was your experience and issues w.r.t licensing. These could help us with our evaluation. Much appreciated. Regards Adrian

reviewer1352679 - PeerSpot reviewerreviewer1352679 (IT Technical Architect at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees)
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

@Adrian Antonypillai There was complexity in implementing AppD and configuring for cloud applications (a private openstack deployment). The team trying to implement the product struggled and was not able to deliver some expected features. This was aside from license issues as we constantly needed to buy new licenses for specific capabilities. The implementation was from 2017 and some things could have changed since then.  
Seeing you listed $.02 stay far away from that. That was our anchor solution as Introscope used to be the market leader but due to ignoring the product for 5-8 years and now trying to catch up, our experience is a lot of ideas but no delivery.

Adrian Antonypillai - PeerSpot reviewerAdrian Antonypillai

@reviewer1352679 Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Especially your thoughts with regards to Broadcom. We are undertaking "paper based evaluation" - but the more we explore the more the need to conduct some type of demo on how it fits it with our infrastructure/technology landscape to really make sure we do due diligence. Key for us is the question around fit for purpose. The challenge is every institution is at varying degrees of maturity levels when it comes to their infrastructure and underlying technology stacks.  Will be good if you could share your thoughts around the following which will be invaluable for us to take into consideration:
Our paper based analysis is to recommend the preferred of the outcomes is to be able to decommission Introscope and transfer to the recommended APM solution. Just like you mentioned we are currently using Introscope solution and for a long time used and unsupported which is a critical risk.
Qn: The preferred APM solution should be able to easily implement Introscope configurations as part of its capability. Could you let us know your experience around decommissioning Introscope? Was it easy to transfer Introscope Configurations (inc alerting)in to Dynatrace Solution. How long did this process take? Your thoughts and any cautions around this will be invaluable. 
Qn: From your response I can see your technology/infrastructure landscape is at high maturity level - the fact you are using open stack :) Our strategy is to get there but I think it will take a long long time - unfortunately.  From technology stack that support critical applications - physical : virtual ratio is 90 : 10. (far from mature!)So we are in a predicament on one side, we need to choose an APM solution that fits with our current landscape and on the other side supports transition to cloud solutions. 
Dynatrace is an excellent fit for mature technology stack and its new technology platform and licensing  is targeted for that. What will be your thoughts around Dynatrace vs AppD in the context of technology stack we have and going forward - without considering cost. 

reviewer1352679 - PeerSpot reviewerreviewer1352679 (IT Technical Architect at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees)
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

@Adrian Antonypillai Easiest deployments?  this is easily Dynatrace.  You deploy the oneagent on the host and much of the rest is taken care of for you.  There is a lot of automation offered by the solution for deployment and maintenance.  For example, you don't need to configure variables in you JVM startup or select which libraries (java vs .net...) need to be loaded.
Decommissioning Introscope?  The biggest transition for your clients/users is navigation in the user interface.  Plan on training for users.  Each product is backed by different "models" and transition from one tool to the other is a learning experience.  Our transition from Introscope was easy as there were so many features not in APM, teams were eager.  After training depends on use case.  If you are just monitoring application instances it's just a matter of removing the references to Introscope in the application startup.  If you pump in data, the API will obviously change and would be a bit more work.  From what you state, I'm assuming it is monitoring of applications and you will be awe struck with the simplicity of Dynatrace vs Introscope.
Transitioning Introscope config?  By default Dynatrace is instrumented with alarms using baselines.  Simply by installing you get a good base of monitoring.  The additional visibility provided out of the box should make you re-evaluate any alarming you had in Introscope.  Because it was in Introscope, don't think you must migrate it.  Beg benefit is Dynatrace comes with AIOps so alarms are handled differently.  You can extend monitoring with JMX and custom alarms as necessary.  Of everything I like about Dynatrace, the alarm configuration lacks some flexibility I would like.  You should think about how your are going to manage processing alarms for each team.  Ideally automate your alarm configuration via the API to handle the configuration as code.
How long does migration take?  To remove Introscope, the middleware team wrote a script to remove from the application start up files.  That took minutes to run.  To deploy Dynatrace, you install the agent on the host and restart the app. So the time to deploy depends on your deployment automation and application restart time.  Again, I would suggest prior to migrating, you have engaged the application developers/support team and they have been introduced prior to a non-production roll out.  Deployment is so easy, training is your bottle-neck.
Physical to virtual to cloud to kubernetes?  We have all of the above plus mainframe, thick client apps and SaaS.  The product is used across all these types of implementations and a big reason Dynatrace was selected.  They have the benefit of existing in the "legacy" physical server world and was re-designed for the cloud.  My $.02.  If you are on-prem only, choice is between Dynatrace and AppD.  If you are cloud only, choice is between Dynatrace and New Relic.  If you are heterogenous, it is only Dynatrace.

Hani Khalil - PeerSpot reviewer
Top 5Real User

Could you please share your requirements ? There are a lot tools can be added to the list. I spent almost 6 months to test and check many tools then I select eG enterprise.

Neryub Khan - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User


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