Magazine / IT Infrastructure Monitoring Nov 11, 2021 11:15:00 AM

Dynatrace: what it is, how it works and why it is needed by IT Operations

Dynatrace is the answer to a specific need of companies: to accelerate the digital transformation path while being able, at the same time, to monitor a complex IT environment. Increasingly complex cloud and multi-cloud platforms are putting a strain on IT departments, with cloud-native applications spread across hundreds or even thousands of microservices hosted on various versions of multi-cloud or hybrid infrastructures. The need to accelerate the digital transformation process, an imperative to stay competitive, often breaks down against the wall of scarce resources available to IT.

To cope with this situation, companies have implemented multiple full-stack monitoring solutions: but the result has been to create an environment that is even more complex and even more difficult to fully manage. Also, much of the IT department's time is still spent on basic activities, which have little added value. Since these are also repetitive, companies are looking for new ways to automate this type of operations, free up human resources to add value to the company's business and, therefore, be able to further accelerate digital transformation.

Dynatrace, therefore, stands as an all-in-one software intelligence platform that simplifies the complexity of the corporate cloud and accelerates digital transformation. At the heart of its offering is Davis AI and full automation to provide clear answers on application performance, their underlying infrastructure and end-user experience. In the Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM) software of 2020, Dynatrace was named by Gartner as a leader for the tenth consecutive year; for the third consecutive year, it was the best company for completeness of vision and also received the highest score in five of the six critical capabilities, IT Operations, DevOps Release, Application Support, Application Development and Cloud Ops.


What is Dynatrace: infrastructure monitoring, APM and AIOps

Dynatrace is a software intelligence platform that natively integrates APM, infrastructure monitoring, digital experience management and digital business analytics with integrated AIOps, all assisted in context by the deterministic Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine that underpins the platform. itself. It is a solution that allows companies to monitor in detail the performance of their cloud environment. Every single event is monitored and recorded: companies can keep track of every dependency and every relationship between the various elements of the infrastructure to identify any anomalies in performance and inefficiencies in the bud.

The implementation of Dynatrace guarantees advanced observability. Companies, for example, can:

check the health of systems by verifying, in real-time and constantly, parameters such as CPU, memory, disk space and network usage;

carefully track performance issues using custom thresholds and get to the detail of the cause programmatically;

• ensure that cloud applications run reliably and consistently;

prevent problems before they have a tangible impact on customer operations.

The Dynatrace platform can be integrated with Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Red Hat OpenShift, Kubernetes, VMWare Tanzu Application Service and multiple operating environments. The benefit of Dynatrace is the ability to analyze the performance of an application even when and if it crosses multiple cloud and hybrid environments.

In addition to the APM offering, Dynatrace includes services for AI Operations, infrastructure monitoring and BizDevOps. Dynatrace partners can, therefore, fully use their resources and experience to build an advanced service offering to drive automation and innovation across the entire enterprise.


Dynatrace mobile: the application for iOS and Android devices

Dynatrace offers various channels to receive alerts on problems found in its IT environment. In addition to using conventional channels, such as email, Dynatrace can be easily integrated with other software such as Slack and OpsGenie. Above all, a practical Dynatrace mobile application is available for iOS and Android through which you can receive a push notification directly on your mobile device. Also, the problems detected in the last 72 hours are available and updated, so that the user can keep track of the most recent service outages and knows how and if they have been resolved even from a mobile device.


How Dynatrace Works

According to a survey by Vanson Bourne of 700 Chief Information Officers of large companies with over a thousand employees and commissioned by Dynatrace, on average, companies use ten monitoring solutions for their technology stacks. Besides, 63% of CIOs surveyed believe that the complexity of their cloud environment has now exceeded the capacity of human management.

Dynatrace is fully automatic; from implementation to discovery and dependency mapping. It is a full-stack solution, which includes understanding and mapping all the relationships and interdependencies from the end-user experience across the entire infrastructure at the code level.


A single agent (called OneAgent) takes care of discovery and instrumentation to collect data relating to the monitoring of any component of the IT infrastructure. Having a single agent is an innovative approach that distinguishes Dynatrace: it saves system administrators time and allows them to focus on other value-added and more critical operations for the success of the business. Starting from the data collected by Dynatrace's OneAgent, a topological map (called Smartscape) of the company's cloud environment is created that dynamically displays the relationships between all application components in an incredibly detailed way. Finally, AI Davis analyzes all of this information to provide answers, not just data. In this way, companies can know when there is a problem, how it is impacting the business and its cause so that they can quickly fix it. Rather than using their time to figure out what is causing the bottleneck or service interruption, thanks to Dynatrace and AI Davis, companies can use that time to resolve the failure or inefficiency and start running again.

Companies can, for example, configure parameters such as the response time of an application or the latency of application transactions to create customized thresholds. When this threshold is exceeded - for example, an application is taking longer than expected to perform an operation and therefore is creating disruption to customers - Davis automatically sends a notification to the mobile app or via email so that IT staff can immediately take care of the problem: reaction times are significantly reduced, and customer satisfaction increases while they get real assistance.


How Dynatrace Helps DevOps

The DevOps approach to application development and operation is changing the way enterprise software is monitored and created. The goal is simple: the silo approach must be abandoned; development must think about operations as much as the latter must provide the development department with useful feedback to understand what the priorities are. The new approach is that of a CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) pipeline: applications are continuously evolving by implementing new functions regularly.

Dynatrace is the element that maximizes the approach to DevOps: companies believe that advanced observability is an essential element already in the pre-production phase because it maximizes the analysis of application performance, the availability of services and well-being general infrastructure. Besides, the inclusion of the Davis AI, a Dynatrace trademark, provides developers with a tangible contribution to problem detection already during application development, accelerating deployment and improving business results. The identification of the causes of the problem at the code level, then, is crucial to speed up the correction. Finally, it ensures constant monitoring to ensure that the release of a new version of the software would not have a negative impact on performance.


Dynatrace and ServiceNow: how they work together

Dynatrace and ServiceNow integrate natively. The two solutions allow you to automate the process of detecting an alert in Dynatrace by opening a ticket in ServiceNow. The work process can then be performed manually or automatically.

The benefits of integrating Dynatrace with ServiceNow are many:

• Dynatrace's Service Graph Connector enriches ServiceNow's Configuration Management Database (CMDB) with real-time topology and detailed telemetry.

ServiceNow uses data collected by Dynatrace, including correlation identifiers for the involved hosts, to provide real-time observability across the full IT stack.

• Dynatrace's Davis AI automatically detects IT health and performance incidents. The Incident Integration app then synchronizes these incidents with the ServiceNow Event Management Dashboard: within the latter, it is also possible to indicate the priorities of the criticalities of the impacted services.

Because Dynatrace sends event alert data to ServiceNow, companies have complete observability, including tracking and code-level metrics, to proactively eliminate service outages.


Dynatrace User Experience Management: benefits

Dynatrace exploits both real-user monitoring and synthetic monitoring to guarantee companies the widest offer for User Experience Management. Capturing the transactions of each user's visits with the real-user monitoring solution allows you to easily identify who has had a problem and understand what was the context that gave rise to this problem to assess the impact on the business. Among the parameters evaluated is the correct arrangement of the user interface elements, the performance analysis of third-party content providers and of all the underlying infrastructure whether the user comes from a browser or is using a native mobile application.


Synthetic monitoring, on the other hand, offers the tools to carry out tests scattered from within the company's IT infrastructure: in this way, for example, companies can have valuable insights even before a web application is active by replicating experiences. of users and leveraging multiple agents or evaluate performance in geographic areas where traffic is still low. Dynatrace's synthetic monitoring solution emulates the world's leading desktop and mobile browsers to simulate a real customer journey from all over the world. Synthetic monitoring, therefore, ensures that the main user transactions always work at their best, even when, for example, there is no traffic from a particular site or application.

The union of these two solutions is summarized in a flexible, complete and versatile digital User Experience Management platform for cross use cases: e-commerce, banking, omnichannel, DevOps, real-time business analytics and more. Through the Session Replay function, companies can review what actions (clicks, touches on the screen, swipe, etc.) the user has performed during their browsing session, both from desktop and mobile. Knowing how users actually surf allows businesses to improve the customer journey and increase conversions. Also, they can understand how the improvements of the interface affect the user experience of the site and the mobile application. All in compliance with the General Regulations for the Protection of Personal Data (GDPR): Session Replay is developed according to the "privacy by design" approach.


Dynatrace SaaS and Managed: the differences

Dynatrace can be implemented as a SaaS solution, with the possibility of keeping data in the cloud, or on-premise: in this case, we speak of Dynatrace Managed. In both cases, the advantages of Dynatrace are the same and the software is automatically updated.

In the case of Dynatrace SaaS, no investment in infrastructure is required, the data is securely stored in the Dynatrace cloud and the platform can be up and running in minutes. Dynatrace Mission Control automatically updates the software.

The on-premise version of Dynatrace is designed for those companies that have internal security and privacy policies that require data to be kept within the company. The benefits of this edition are therefore all across-the-board: it allows these companies to be fully compliant with internal policies, the data is stored in local infrastructure and Dynatrace can be scaled horizontally even while it is running. Even in the case of an on-premise implementation of Dynatrace, the software update is automatic.

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