Application performance monitoring software from AppDynamics has saved the Reserve Bank thousands of dollars by reducing the time developers have to spend on support activities.
“Our ability to deliver enhancements had been greatly affected by support,” says Reserve Bank software architect Greg Perrott. “It was quite frustrating. There were occasional periods of a week or more when no development progressed because of support issues.”
Among the ongoing issues that Perrott’s team faced were long-running transactions and stalls related to their .NET services. Because time series data was calculated on the fly in application logic and memory, rather than using stored procedures in the database, some requests took a long time to complete.
The team found they had to extend the time-out period in order to reduce the number of failed transactions. “It wasn’t ideal because the end user still had to wait, but at least that way it would eventually return data,” Perrott says.
He had become aware of the AppDynamics product through a Gartner seminar and asked to be notified once a .NET version was available.
The software is being applied to two of the Reserve Bank’s most complex applications.
Targeting longer-running transactions had been an ongoing project but had posed difficulties because there wasn’t adequate visibility into the production application.
“Without access to production data, we simply couldn’t find which areas we needed to redesign in order to improve the slowest services and scale the applications,” Perrott says.
After putting AppDynamics into the production environment, the team found the issue and the root cause.
“Now we can solve the problems without help from the support or infrastructure teams, and we simply tell them what to fix.
“Before we got AppDynamics, we would spend about a third of our time on support, and 20 percent on quality assurance. This didn’t leave much time for enhancements and other development projects. We now spend about a quarter of the time that we used to do finding and fixing things.”
He says AppDynamics has delivered an almost immediate payback.
“I started finding things that clearly were impacting end users but either they hadn’t reported them or had reported them in such a way that we were unable to identify the problem,” says Perrott. “Now we’re able to fix those things and we’re more effective in our optimisation.”