Jonah Kowall is the VP of Market Development and Insights at AppDynamics, driving the company’s product roadmap and vision, entry into new markets and providing technology and business insights.
Previously 15 years as a practitioner at several startups and larger enterprises focused on infrastructure and operations, security, and performance engineering. In 2011 Jonah changed careers, moving to Gartner to focus on availability and performance monitoring and IT operations management (ITOM).
Stuck in Vegas for two weeks, longing to be back home, it was a trial of might and perseverance. The first week was spent at AppDynamics AppSphere, and the second at the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference. (Look for a post next week on the Gartner conference.)
The second annual AppSphere drew 1500+ attendees, doubling the 2014 attendance. There was lots of passion and wonderful user engagement, but most importantly lots of exciting product announcements. The change from 2014 to 2015 was noticeable and impressive.
Having spoken at the first AppSphere on behalf of Gartner and feeling the energy at the conference, the momentum and acceleration one year later was apparent in the content, scale, and depth of the conference. In 2015, AppSphere expanded from one track to four tracks, and there was a large increase in customer and partner speakers. Product announcements included Browser Synthetic Monitoring, Server Infrastructure Monitoring, and new enhancements for session management, the C/C++ SDK, and many new AWS extensions. The most surprising feature customers were excited about was the ability to tie log messages automatically to the transactions that generate them, providing context that has been missing in the ITOA industry.
On the sessions side, there was a highly engaging customer presentation from HBO (must watch if you are a Game of Thrones fan). John Feiler, senior staff engineer, provided insight on the challenges of video streaming at scale. AppDynamics was used to correct issues before the season five premiere, and is used through the application development and operations lifecycle. This ensures a high quality viewing experience for all customers (including me).
Other great sessions included Pearson’s Mike Jackson and Tim Boberg. Pearson is a global leader in learning, and they use AppDynamics across the enterprise, serving over 1.3 million daily logins via over one billion page views every two months. Pearson was challenged in providing a standard way to see and monitor across many different technology stacks. Their tool of choice is AppDynamics.
BarclayCard’s Peter Gott explained how they were able to remove silos and get the organization to modernize and share data effectively using AppDynamics technologies, working across a highly variable technology stack and ultimately greatly improving user experience and uptime. Barclaycard has many more digital initiatives, including wearables and new mobile payment technologies, where AppDynamics plays a key role.
There were many other compelling and informative sessions. I wish I could have attended more of these — the audience loved hearing from customers, as did I!
There were also two great panels. I was honored to chair the microservices panel, featuring product managers from Red Hat, Microsoft, Google, and a heavy microservices user, DreamWorks studios. My colleague Prathap Dendi led a panel on IoT, which was particularly interesting, featuring customers from Garmin, Tesla, and SmartThings. Our partner Red Hat also participated in the IoT panel.
Partner participation included RedHat, Microsoft, Trace3, Bigpanda, Apica, ExtraHop, Capgemini, Scicom, Column Technologies, Moogsoft, xMatters, Electric Cloud, Neotys, Orasi, and mainframe partner DG Technology Consulting. We thank them and look forward to working with all of our existing and new partners throughout 2016.
We are looking forward to another record breaking AppSphere conference in November 14-17th 2016, we expect to once again double attendance, fingers crossed.