Solving intermittent problems with Foglight APM

Intermittent problems can be among the most maddening of all problems to solve. Last week, I heard a story from a customer about how Foglight APM helped them solve one of those problems.


It seems that their load balancer decided to issue new jsessionid’s in the middle of customer sessions. As you can imagine, when their customers had that happen, they experienced some really goofy things—wrong baskets, wrong order histories, wrong accounts!!! Yikes.


Of course, the application support team did not know that the load balancer was misbehaving. They only started hearing vague stories of random behavior that happened to the occasional customer trying to buy on their site. Fortunately, the application support team uses Foglight APM, which is the only APM solution on the market to provide end-user replay capabilities. So, for them, this was an easy problem to investigate. With Foglight, they were able find and replay the specific user sessions, all while watching the parameters (like jsessionid) change right before their eyes. In fact, exported session replays were used to illustrate what was happening to the load balancing vendor. When it was all said and done, they addressed the problem and even updated their synthetic monitoring to do content validation to ensure that the problem is caught automatically if it happens again.


While I don’t mind telling people what is great about our APM product, it is so much cooler when our customers do it for us. So, here is what this customer had to say about the end user capabilities in Foglight APM: “If we ever lost it, I think it would be a witch hunt for me. It is one of those things that once you see it, you can’t live without it”.


John Spirko recently posted a video about the top features in Foglight 5.9 APM. That is a great place to start if you are trying to understand what makes Foglight APM special.


Until next time, happy intermittent problem hunting to you!




PS: I'll be at Velocity in New York in Mid-October. If you happen to be there, come say hi to me in the Foglight booth.