Application Performance Management at Swisscom - codecentric AG Blog

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This blog entry is something new for our blog, as it is the first time that the entry is not written by a codecentric employee. The author is Stefan Zoltai from SysPerform our Swiss partner for performance solutions.

So enjoy the report of Stefan about his experience with AppDynamics at SwissCom:

Swisscom is the leading telecommunications company in Switzerland wih about 5.7 million mobile customers and 1.8 million broadband connections. Swisscom is present on the Swiss market with the full portfolio of wireless, wire- and ip-bound data and voice based communication services.

Swisscom’s Internet division Bluewin has engaged SysPerform to assist with the Analysis of their Java 1.6 based WebMail application. WebMail has been under scrutiny for about a year now, since the manifestation of both Performance as well as stability problems. Prior analysis efforts, conducted with a number of available tools, did not lead to the determination of the actual root cause(s) since the aforementioned problems only occurred in production and could not be reproduced in other environments.

We realized immediately that without a deep, detailed view into the application’s runtime, in production and under load we would not be able to determine the actual root cause.

For us it was the first time to go with Appdynamics’ APM solution. Since it has been developed specifically for high throughput production environments we were able to obtain a both a high level overview of the application and conduct a deep root cause analysis down to code level execution without generating measurable overhead. At 300 transactions per second, I might add.

Thanks to automated  features and dynamic baselining we were able to isolate the major bottlenecks on the first day and discuss a solution with the developers.  With Appdynamics we were able to quickly learn the application’s performance and stability characteristics and after only 5 days of development a specific major fix addressed the main issue and massively improved performance. At the moment we are continuing our analysis efforts since stability and performance are the focus of an ongoing quality process.

This example once more shows how operating a modern, distributed application without an adequate monitoring solution effectively equates to “flying blind”. 60%-80% of all Performance Problems are caused by the application itself and need to be analyzed from the inside out. We can confirm these numbers from countless engagements with customers. External causes become increasingly rare. Intelligent Performance Management however is not a means to itself, but must abide to economical considerations as well. Our experience shows that an APM solution shows an ROI of just a few months. Among the reasons is the aforementioned extremely fast root cause analysis.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further inquiries

Stefan Zoltai, Founder, SysPerform GmbH