AppDynamics vs ELK

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AppDynamics vs ELK: What are the differences?


In this Markdown code, we will explore the key differences between AppDynamics and ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) for website use.

  1. Deployment and Purpose: AppDynamics is an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool that is primarily used for monitoring and managing application performance, infrastructure, and user experience. It offers real-time insight into application health, performance metrics, and code-level diagnostics. On the other hand, ELK is a combination of open-source tools used for log management and analysis. Elasticsearch is a distributed search and analytics engine, Logstash is a data processing pipeline, and Kibana is a visualization tool. ELK is commonly used for centralized logging and log analysis in complex and distributed systems.

  2. Monitoring Scope: AppDynamics focuses on monitoring and managing applications, providing deep visibility into application performance from end-users to the application code. It offers detailed metrics and tracing capabilities across various infrastructure components and has built-in capabilities to identify and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks. In contrast, ELK primarily focuses on log analysis, collecting and processing log data from multiple sources for centralized storage, indexing, and analysis. It assists in identifying system issues, security threats, and understanding application behavior.

  3. Architecture and Scalability: AppDynamics is a commercial tool provided as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or an on-premises solution. It requires installing an agent on the application server to collect runtime metrics. The architecture is centralized, with AppDynamics processing and analyzing data in real-time. ELK, being an open-source stack, can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. It offers scalability and flexibility as Elasticsearch distributes data across multiple nodes for fault tolerance and performance. Logstash can be scaled horizontally to handle higher log volumes, and Kibana provides a customizable visualization interface.

  4. Alerting and Notifications: AppDynamics has a built-in alerting mechanism that allows users to define custom thresholds for metrics and receive real-time notifications via email, SMS, or integrations with popular collaboration tools like Slack. It provides capabilities for root cause analysis and automatic incident creation. ELK's alerting mechanism is not built-in but can be achieved by integrating with third-party tools or using plugins. Notifications can be sent based on certain conditions defined in Logstash or through Elasticsearch's Watcher plugin.

  5. Data Analysis and Insights: AppDynamics provides detailed insights into application performance through various dashboards, charts, and visualizations. It offers transaction analytics, code-level diagnostics, and end-user monitoring capabilities. ELK, with the help of Kibana, offers powerful data visualization and analysis capabilities with interactive dashboards and visualizations. It allows users to explore log data, perform searches, and create custom visualizations based on aggregated log metrics.

  6. Cost and Licensing: AppDynamics is a commercial tool and requires a license for usage. The pricing model is based on the number of application instances or infrastructure components being monitored. ELK, being open-source, does not incur licensing costs. However, implementation and maintenance costs may be involved, especially for scaling and managing the infrastructure required for ELK stack deployment.

In summary, AppDynamics is primarily focused on application performance monitoring and offers real-time insights into application health and performance. ELK, on the other hand, is a combination of open-source tools used for log management and analysis, providing centralized logging and log analysis capabilities. AppDynamics provides deep visibility into application performance, while ELK focuses on log data collection, storage, and analysis for system troubleshooting and security analysis.

Advice on AppDynamics and ELK
Farzeem Diamond Jiwani
Software Engineer at IVP · | 8 upvotes · 1.4M views
Needs advice

Hey there! We are looking at Datadog, Dynatrace, AppDynamics, and New Relic as options for our web application monitoring.

Current Environment: .NET Core Web app hosted on Microsoft IIS

Future Environment: Web app will be hosted on Microsoft Azure

Tech Stacks: IIS, RabbitMQ, Redis, Microsoft SQL Server

Requirement: Infra Monitoring, APM, Real - User Monitoring (User activity monitoring i.e., time spent on a page, most active page, etc.), Service Tracing, Root Cause Analysis, and Centralized Log Management.

Please advise on the above. Thanks!

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Needs advice

Hi Folks,

I am trying to evaluate Site24x7 against AppDynamics, Dynatrace, and New Relic. Has anyone used Site24X7? If so, what are your opinions on the tool? I know that the license costs are very low compared to other tools in the market. Other than that, are there any major issues anyone has encountered using the tool itself?

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Replies (1)
Lucas Rincon

what are the most important things you are looking for the tools to do? each has their strong points... are you looking to monitor new tech like containers, k8s, and microservices?

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Pros of AppDynamics
Pros of ELK
  • 21
    Deep code visibility
  • 13
  • 8
    Real-Time Visibility
  • 7
    Great visualization
  • 6
    Easy Setup
  • 6
    Comprehensive Coverage of Programming Languages
  • 4
    Deep DB Troubleshooting
  • 3
    Excellent Customer Support
  • 13
    Open source
  • 3
    Can run locally
  • 3
    Good for startups with monetary limitations
  • 1
    External Network Goes Down You Aren't Without Logging
  • 1
    Easy to setup
  • 0
    Json log supprt
  • 0
    Live logging

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Cons of AppDynamics
Cons of ELK
  • 5
  • 2
    Poor to non-existent integration with aws services
  • 5
    Elastic Search is a resource hog
  • 3
    Logstash configuration is a pain
  • 1
    Bad for startups with personal limitations

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What is AppDynamics?

AppDynamics develops application performance management (APM) solutions that deliver problem resolution for highly distributed applications through transaction flow monitoring and deep diagnostics.

What is ELK?

It is the acronym for three open source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Elasticsearch is a search and analytics engine. Logstash is a server‑side data processing pipeline that ingests data from multiple sources simultaneously, transforms it, and then sends it to a "stash" like Elasticsearch. Kibana lets users visualize data with charts and graphs in Elasticsearch.

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What companies use AppDynamics?
What companies use ELK?
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What tools integrate with ELK?

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What are some alternatives to AppDynamics and ELK?
Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
New Relic
The world’s best software and DevOps teams rely on New Relic to move faster, make better decisions and create best-in-class digital experiences. If you run software, you need to run New Relic. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 do too.
Nagios is a host/service/network monitoring program written in C and released under the GNU General Public License.
It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
Grafana is a general purpose dashboard and graph composer. It's focused on providing rich ways to visualize time series metrics, mainly though graphs but supports other ways to visualize data through a pluggable panel architecture. It currently has rich support for for Graphite, InfluxDB and OpenTSDB. But supports other data sources via plugins.
See all alternatives