AppDynamics Promises a Twist on AI-Enabled Application Management

Mitch Wagner
1/23/2019
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Cisco AppDynamics is integrating artificial intelligence capabilities into its application performance management stack, as well as adding support for Amazon Web Services Lambda (serverless computing) and Cisco's own Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) networking architecture.

AppDynamics, which is owned by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), isn't the first company to offer AI for IT management -- many other companies have already announced such an offer. But AppDynamics says its implementation, which it calls Cognition Engine, has two distinctions: First, it integrates the AppDynamics' deep knowledge of applications with Cisco's network automation capabilities; and second, the AppDynamics technology doesn't just track network and system events, but correlates that information with application business behaviors, such as how easily customers can access online shopping carts, or how quickly and easily users can log in to applications.

The Cognition Engine's goal is to deliver application performance diagnostics and automated root-cause analysis to reduce resolution time from minutes to seconds. The Cognition Engine extends AIops -- artificial intelligence for IT operations -- to the application layer, says Cisco AppD (which would be a good rapper name).

(Note: This is the first time we're hearing the buzzword AIops, but I expect we'll be tired of it soon.)


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Cognition Engine incorporates technology from Perspica, which Cisco acquired to join AppDynamics in 2017. (See Cisco Racks 200th Acquisition, Nabs Perspica for App Performance.)

Also, AppDynamics is adding support for Amazon Web Services Inc. Lambda, to track performance of serverless applications running on AWS cloud. And the company unveiled support for Cisco's ACI software-defined networking architecture, combining application and network performance.

With this move, Cisco's AppDynamics enters a crowded field of vendors marrying AI with IT.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. revealed a new data center switch this month, the CloudEngine 16800, that uses AI to improve network operations. Additionally, the switch is designed to meet the throughput demands of AI applications. (See Huawei Debuts AI-Powered Data Center Switch for AI Applications.)

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) said in April it is working on artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate network management, and expects to make those tools available to companies building virtual networks on its global cloud platform. (See Google Preps Machine-Learning-as-a-Service for Networks.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is looking to AI to automate its network operations. (See AT&T VP: Using AI to Hyper-Automate Processes.)

However, a Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) executive says vendor AI tools are not ready for the production environment, and the company is instead looking to build machine-learning tools of its own. (See Verizon: Vendor AI Not Ready for Prime Time.)

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