3 dashboards for a complete view
1) It is necessary to share service health and performance with the Support team and management, who don’t typically have access to the AppDynamics console.
While the console has everything you need to manage and monitor your application, it is not suitable for sharing directly with various stakeholders because the huge amount of information would lead to data overload. What these stakeholders need is to be able to easily see at-a-glance how the application is serving your end users and whether there is an actual problem impacting users via an AppDynamics dashboard.
2) The DevOps team, SRE team and Support team all need visibility over the application states and performance in AppDynamics.
The application gets its code deployed from CircleCI so the DevOps team monitor the pipelines and correlate that data with the app response time and events. The SRE team have a complete view of the application from various angles: infrastructure, end user service. But no single team has access to every tool’s console (CircleCI, AppDynamics, etc) which is a problem during incident response when it is necessary to quickly identify the root cause of a problem. Knowing where to start is critical, plus having to look around various tools to get started is inefficient. It prolongs the negative impact on end users who might be experiencing a critical outage.
By enabling monitors on a few key metrics for the application (response time), servers (availability) and end-user experience (response time), it is now easy to roll-up the status of the applications to higher-level AppDynamics dashboards. This makes it easy to cut through the noise and deliver only key information to the business stakeholders.
These shareable AppDynamics dashboards also allow every team to have the high-level visibility they need over the application states and performance – regardless of whether or not they have access to AppDynamics. For example, it becomes easy for the Support team to quickly correlate a surge of tickets to a problem that potentially lies with the application or its underlying infrastructure – despite not having access to AppDynamics.
On the flip side, the teams can also use these dashboards to facilitate effective incident response. Once the Support team detect a surge, they can immediately drilldown to check the state of the application – and this will help them quickly decide whether it should be escalated to the application owner, or perhaps the infrastructure team if the problem is at a lower level. Bringing all of the knowledge from these various tools in one place is essential to a prompt reaction during an outage.
The first tile in the User Experience dashboard shows the response time from the point of view of the end-user, using AppDynamics synthetic checks. This is the most critical metric, so we have added a monitor to indicate that it’s healthy when below 500ms.
The average response time tile in the Applications dashboard is the same as above, but measured from the point of view of the application, not the end-user. It is valuable to confirm whether a degrading end-user experience is also happening on the application side. This tile is also crucial, and so it has a monitor enabled too.
All other tiles across the 3 dashboards are meant to add more contextual metrics, so that if the response times go over the threshold, there is more data to look at to paint a fuller picture:
- List of Events on the application, and grouped by type
- Application errors per minute
- End user experience overtime
Note that during an incident, it is possible to change the dashboard timeframe to narrow down and or zoom out from these metrics.
Get the dashboard
These dashboards are available as out of the box dashboards, so you can be up and running in minutes.
- Create a free SquaredUp account.
- Add the AppDynamics data source.
- Just hit the toggle to automatically add out of the box dashboards to your workspace, and instantly view your live data
To see what other dashboards you can create, check out our Dashboard Gallery.