Interview with a Global E-commerce Company Headquartered in the U.S.: A Case Study Q&A

The interview below shows how AppDynamics’ analytics can deliver critical, real-time, end-to-end application insight across a complex e-commerce business system. 

Could you share some insights about your role and your organization?

“I’m responsible for IT operations, the network operations center, the database team as well as support for customer service applications like Siebel. There are about 125 people in my team in four different global locations. To support our business, on the buy side, we monitor about 40,000 orders a day, or two orders a second. On the sell side we have about five to ten new listings every second. If you include upgrading or lowering prices, it’s probably about ten changes per second.” 

What was the driver for you to adopt AppDynamics in your organization?

“Most of our customer-facing applications are Java-based running on Linux with an Oracle back end, and API calls going internally or externally. It’s a complex application system and we have to manage it in real time with an eye to business impact, credit card fraud, and other parameters. Before AppDynamics we had very little visibility into internal and external API calls. Now we can go in and see exactly how long a call is taking. If a thread inside of a JVM that normally takes about 100 milliseconds jumps to 500 milliseconds we can evaluate why the transaction has slowed down. So a big reason for AppDynamics was the overall visibility it provided into what our application is doing across the entire application ecosystem including endpoints.” 

Can you shed a little light on the deployment?

“AppDynamics was first in use about three years ago when I came on board. They had just a few licenses. I extended it to 100% coverage. So we went from proof of concept to full operational deployment. In terms of administration, I have one person who does most of the AppDynamics administration. In terms of scalability, the application is very lightweight, so using it pervasively has not been an issue at all.” 

We make about 250 changes to our core business application system every year—and with AppDynamics we can see changes as they occur.

Are there any features that especially stand out?

 “One of the best things about AppDynamics is that we can evaluate the third-party issues beyond our own data centers—which is very helpful in isolating problems such as those involving tokenization of the credit card number, fraud at the bank, etc. We can see everything visually. 

“Our performance management team also leverages AppDynamics to evaluate changes to the infrastructure that might improve performance or otherwise produce bottlenecks. These insights can also help in triage and diagnostics when problems arise from changes made. 

“Another strong positive is the currency with which we can understand application interdependencies. We make about 250 changes to our core business application system every year—and with AppDynamics we can see changes as they occur. Moreover, the customer-facing website has about 500 releases a year to keep up with changing customer and marketing priorities. If we depended on weekly reports to stay current, we couldn’t support the business. But with AppDynamics we can manage and optimize with real-time currency.”