Identified suspected bottlenecks quickly
Gained visibility into application performance
Server response time 75% faster%
Challenge: Not so clear picture
"We knew some areas of our site were slower than others, but that was mostly based on hunches - it wasn't a very scientific approach,” confessed Aylward.
“And even if we knew the location of the bottlenecks, we didn't know what was causing them or how to fix them. That's the kind of visibility we wanted from an APM tool.”
Aylward decided that purchasing an APM solution was the best way to ensure that Glassdoor's applications continued to perform well as they grew. “Any consumer-facing company should know that users have a lot of options in what websites they use, and that performance is a big part of what informs consumer loyalty,” said Aylward. “We needed a tool to ensure that our website is always operating at peak performance.”
Aylward's team looked at a dozen different APM solutions, but many of the tools did not provide the full visibility Glassdoor needed, or they required too much custom instrumentation and maintenance to be easily deployed and used by its engineering team.
“It's important that we have a tool that helps ensure the performance of our website, and AppDynamics is really good at that.”Ryan AylwardChief Technology Officer @Glassdoor
Glassdoor is the world's most transparent career community, changing the way people find jobs, and companies recruit top talent. It holds a growing database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview questions, office photos and more. If Glassdoor's site performance suffered, so could its business—risking a loss of visitor traffic and brand damage.
Maximum visibility with minimal effort
Glassdoor selected the AppDynamics APM solution for three reasons: ease-of-use, rich functionality and low overhead.
“AppDynamics is very easy for us to use and maintain,” said Aylward. “It is a SaaS solution, so we don't have to host anything. And it tunes itself, so it understands where bottlenecks are without any hard wiring.”
Aylward appreciated that the AppDynamics platform was a production-ready system out-of-the-box. “It's something you can run on all your servers without adding a lot of overhead,” he said. “And you don't have to pay for a lot of extra infrastructure to make it work.”
“With other tools, it was necessary to perform a lot of customization,” Aylward added. “But AppDynamics automatically instrumented our code and gave us complete visibility. That was very important to us.
“We chose AppDynamics for its ease-of-use. No custom instrumentation or configuration was required.”Ryan AylwardChief Technology Officer @Glassdoor
When Glassdoor installed the AppDynamics platform in its production environment for the proof of concept, Aylward immediately discovered the bottlenecks he expected to see?and a few more. “With AppDynamics we could easily identify the root cause of performance problems. We could also tell what action was required in order to resolve them.”
“AppDynamics easily identifies application bottlenecks and provides all the data we need to make good decisions,” said Aylward. He found that the engineers that build Glassdoor applications are the ones that use the solution most. “It's a powerful tool for them,” he continued. “It's tremendously helpful for them to see how a feature is performing in production, and where the opportunities are to fix and improve it.”
“With AppDynamics we could easily identify the root cause of performance problems. We could also tell what action was required in order to resolve them.”
Ryan Aylward, Chief Technology Officer, Glassdoor