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Trying AppDynamix – monitoring application from user to database

By Franck Pachot

I like to come upon new monitoring software that help to go quickly from user response time to root cause. And I love applications that can be installed easily and at which I can give a try without reading pages of manual.

At DOAG 3rd floor I’ve visited the AppDynamics booth and immediately wanted to install the trial version and give it a try.


Download and install

From the AppDynamics website, there is a 15 days trial version that you can download. I’ve downloaded the Linux version ( because I want to try it on our Oracle Tuning workshop VM. It’s 500MB and when you unzip you get two files:

oracle@vmoratun201:/tmp/appdynamics/ [DB1] unzip
inflating: license.lic
oracle@vmoratun201:/tmp/appdynamics/ [DB1] ls -l
total 1084416
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 559790650 Nov 20 21:33
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 550634894 Nov 23 20:35
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 1997 Nov 22 12:43 license.lic

Yes… a 500MB ‘.sh’ to run as a shell script. If you look at it, it embeds some binary code at the end of the script.
Funny isn’t it? I like this idea…

Then just run it

oracle@vmoratun201:/tmp/appdynamics/ [DB1] sh
Unpacking JRE ...
Preparing JRE ...
Starting Installer ...

You have a graphical wizard and after a few next-next-next you can connect to the server with a browser:

Monitoring database

Then it’s very easy. Look at what you can monitor:

And I choose ‘database’.

I have to set database type (Oracle) and the url of my controller.

The wizard ask you download the database agent ( I just get the url from there and download it in my VM with wget:

oracle@vmoratun201:/tmp/appdynamics/ [DB1] wget
--2015-11-23 21:30:12--
Connecting to||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 39230821 (37M) [application/zip] Saving to: “”
36% [=======================> ] 14,253,827 191K/s eta 2m 4s

Then follow the instructions:

java -jar db-agent.jar

The agent knows where is the controller (probably from the download url) and connects to it once started.
I am still in the wizard, waiting to receive that connection:
and a few minutes later:

I really like those simple easy things… It tells you to wait 3 minutes and 3 minutes later you get it.

The wizard asks connection information to my database (host, port, service, user, password) and it’s ready to monitor:


Not very exiting yet? I’ve run SwingBench for few minutes.
Let’s click on ‘Metrics Browser’ and choose some statistics to monitor:


  • On the left, I can choose any of the statistics we know from V$SYSSTAT
  • I can put them on the graph with lot of graphical options
  • On the top, ‘baselines’ gives the possibility to get a good performance baseline and raise alerts when it deviates from it

appdynamics000And that’s only a small part of the product, after only one hour installing it and running it without reading any documentation.
It can do lot more.
I’m running SwingBench here and it’s Java. I can monitor Java, from main calls to JDBC calls, and match it with the database time.

This is the point: you drill down from the user response time through the profiling of the java methods, and when you are in a jdbc call, then you drill down to the database time. But that’s for future blog posts.

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