Cognizant Gets Enhanced Visibility Into Application Performance, Builds Proactive Approach to Monitoring
3x faster root cause analysis
Over 20% reduction in tickets related to database issues
DevOps teams saved an average of 20 hours a month
Challenges: Unify and leverage data from hundreds of sources, build a proactive approach to APM
Cognizant is a global leader in business and technology services. In 2017, the company drove $14.8 billion in revenue by helping customers transform their businesses with innovative digital experiences. But, like all forward-thinking companies, Cognizant wanted to do more to move the needle, especially with regard to application performance monitoring (APM). With the right APM solution, Cognizant envisioned unifying and leveraging data from over 300 internally facing applications to implement a truly proactive approach to optimizing the end-to-end customer experience.
“While we had a number of tools to manage our infrastructure and application components, we did not have a platform that could measure the end-to-end experience of globally distributed users,” said Devaraj PR, senior vice president and global IT head, technology services and operations.
To improve the productivity and reporting of performance issues for a large IT team, the enterprise architecture team sought a unified solution that could provide end-to-end visibility across 1,000 servers, regardless of each application’s underlying technology.
“While we had a number of tools to manage our infrastructure and application components, we did not have a platform that could measure the end-to-end experience of globally distributed users.”Devaraj PRSenior Vice President and Global IT Head @Technology Services and Operations
Cognizant (Nasdaq-100: CTSH) is one of the world's leading professional services companies, transforming clients' business, operating and technology models for the digital era. Cognizant’s unique industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build and run more innovative and efficient businesses.
As leaders in the digital space, the team at Cognizant developed rigorous criteria for an APM solution, compiling a list of more than 100 top features, including the ability to handle technologies like .NET, Java, IIS, Apache, PHP, Tomcat, WebSphere, WebLogic, etc. Then, on a scale of one to five, they rated four competing solutions. After a successful proof of concept, Cognizant selected AppDynamics.
With AppDynamics, the Cognizant team got the end-to-end visibility they required and could embrace a truly proactive approach to performance that decreased mean time to resolution (MTTR), and ensured an outstanding end-user experience. Instead of wrangling hundreds of data sources and attempting to synthesize meaning on a case-by-case basis, AppDynamics would make it possible to ingest all application environment data, baseline it, and proactively identify issues before they became more serious.
A recent doubling down on cloud migration also meant that the Cognizant team relied heavily on synthetic monitoring functionality from AppDynamics. This allowed the team to run monitoring jobs from cloud-based locations around the world, without any hardware installation.
Synthetic monitoring as a core requirement took on even more importance after the Cognizant team had committed to cloud migration. After researching several APM options, they realized that they needed a tool that could adequately address three key requirements:
Monitoring multiple server locations globally
Comprehensive application monitoring
Full visibility into the end-user experience
These requirements lead Cognizant to AppDynamics for synthetic monitoring.
“Before we implemented synthetic monitoring, we had limited visibility into which geographies had underperforming components. With AppDynamics, we’ve cut the time to address outages. This has had a positive impact on our business,” explained Hariprasad Vijayaraghavan, AVP—Projects, IT application architecture.
Benefits: Elevated IT to strategic business partner, significant gains in productivity
The Cognizant team rigorously evaluated APM solutions that would allow them to unify application environment data in order to deliver uniformly outstanding customer experiences. In AppDynamics, they found a solution that both met technical specifications, and delivered key benefits right way.
“With AppDynamics, we reduced the time required for root cause analysis from three hours per incident to one hour per incident.”Hariprasad VijayaraghavanAVP—Projects @IT Application Architecture
Significant gains in productivity and time-savings
After they deployed AppDynamics, the Cognizant team monitored increases in team productivity. Right away, they noticed that the deeper visibility AppDynamics provided translated into faster root cause analysis.
“With AppDynamics, we reduced the time required for root cause analysis from three hours per incident to one hour per incident,” said Hariprasad.
By enabling proactive alerts for database locks and application slowness, DevOps personnel were able to save 20 hours a month troubleshooting third party applications.
High-level, enterprise-wide view of performance
The insights provided by AppDynamics into the user experience have proven useful to Cognizant’s senior IT leadership. Now, wrapped into a high-level enterprise-wide view is information about important transactions, popular devices and browsers, as well as location of end-users. This level of transparency elevates IT’s status to key business partner within the organization, and allows the team to get ahead of resource planning and activities.
Based on Cognizant’s success with AppDynamics so far, Cognizant’s APM team plans to continue rolling out AppDynamics to applications. They are also looking forward to benefiting as AppDynamics deepens its relationship with Cisco, its parent company. “We are expecting enhanced end-to-end visibility and insight from the network as a result of AppDynamics’ new relationship with Cisco,” Hariprasad said.
Enhanced business efficiency
When implementing AppDynamics, the team at Cognizant was hoping to realize significant gains in efficiency that would benefit the entire business. They weren’t disappointed.
“By using AppDynamics to identify performance bottlenecks and apply the results with performance tuning, we were able to reduce the number of database-related issue tickets by over 20%,” said Hariprasad.
The benefit of having the deep visibility that AppDynamics provides also extends to the analysis of end-user behavior across multiple business processes. This created positive feedback loops from development all the way to production. Nowadays, the development/performance testing team uses the information about the distribution of users— and the actual load on the application— to identify performance glitches at the early stages of development.
“By using AppDynamics to identify performance bottlenecks and apply the results with performance tuning, we were able to reduce the number of database-related issue tickets by over 20%”Hariprasad VijayaraghavanAVP—Projects @IT Application Architecture