Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Test Factory Gives AppDynamics an A+ For Managing Performance of Cloud Apps

Posted by Steve Green on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

New Relic Dropped for AppDynamics; Test Factory gains substantial performance improvements, real-time issue resolution, and significant cost savings

The Test Factory, the UK-based online assessment solution provider has achieved significant performance improvements across its application infrastructure following deployment of the AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform. In both its production and staging environments, The Test Factory is able to identify bottlenecks, bugs, and performance issues with AppDynamics that eluded its prior performance monitoring solution, and is able to achieve “unbelievably faster” fixes.

“There are some issues we would spend weeks and weeks trying to solve using all sorts of logs we had,” says Paul Fleming, solutions architect at The Test Factory. “AppDynamics gives us a direct picture of where the problem is happening straight away.”

The Test Factory runs a number of websites to deliver its customized online assessments to the education and corporate entities, and it relies heavily on Microsoft Azure for its cloud application infrastructure. Debugging and diagnostics in the Azure environment was “very, very tricky” according to Fleming, until AppDynamics was deployed. Setting up AppDynamics for Azure was virtually effortless, with minimal configuration. And with AppDynamics in place, those cloud monitoring problems have largely been eliminated.

The Test Factory has been surprised at the number of issues AppDynamics is able to solve, including issues that had not yet surfaced for users. In one instance, AppDynamics was able to help identify a process that was taking 90 seconds to complete, and reduce response time to less than five seconds. And in other cases, AppDynamics identified errors happening in the background that The Test Factory team was able to fix before they impacted users.

“AppDynamics has provided us with the ability to debug software issues that previously we couldn’t,” Fleming says. “It’s delivered great value in the number of fixes that we’ve been able to make, and the costs savings that we’ve made on the back of that, because of the reduced effort put into finding and solving the issue.”

David Duke, infrastructure manager for The Test Factory, adds, “The turnaround time on those types of issues is unbelievably faster in comparison to what it would have been before AppDynamics came in.”

AppDynamics displaced New Relic as the application performance monitoring solution for The Test Factory. The inability to get actionable diagnostic information to fix bugs in production, and the difficulty in reproducing intermittent issues that made debugging them nearly impossible, were both cited as reasons for changing APM partners. AppDynamics’ line-by-line monitoring of code solved these problems.

“The Test Factory is the archetype software-defined business,” says Jyoti Bansal, AppDynamics founder and CEO. “Its applications are the very core of its business, and this is the kind of business AppDynamics is designed for. So we’re very pleased that we’ve been able to deliver such positive results for The Test Factory. It’s especially important to note that problems were solved before they reached the users — because in today’s world, user experience makes or breaks the success of every business.”

The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform is a comprehensive software solution enabling companies to maximize business performance. The platform is designed and architected to give business users the certainty that their business is running at its best, to give IT the operational visibility and control it needs, and to give end users the great experiences they’ve come to expect and demand.

Topics: APM, Case Story