DevOps: The Importance of Monitoring Containers

AppDynamics provides visibility into applications and business transactions made out of multiple smaller decoupled (micro) services deployed in a Docker environment using the Docker monitoring solution. The AppDynamics Docker Monitoring Extension monitors and reports on various metrics, such as: total number of containers, running containers, images, CPU usage, memory usage, network traffic, etc.

The AppDynamics Docker monitoring extension gathers metrics from the Docker Remote API, either using Unix Socket or TCP giving you the choice for data collection protocol.

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Understanding the needs and benefits around implementing the right monitoring solution for a growing containerized market to gain the best visibility into an organization’s container platform technology.

It’s no secret that containers are becoming more utilized in the software-driven world. With its success, it’s becoming more important to ensure they are set up for optimal performance, and traditional IT monitoring applications don’t provide the right capabilities to support them. Any innovation-driven organization must be able to foresee these operational blind spots in their workflows to progress through their DevOps journey.

The container Achilles heel

As the containerization market skyrockets, with DevOps and continuous delivery as its jet fuel, organizations are trading one set of problems for another. With container platform technology like Docker, they gain a lightweight, immutable vessel for applications that is a snap to provision.

But on the other hand, they can stand to lose a lot of visibility into what occurs within these containers. Most traditional IT monitoring applications still fail to offer a good way to track metrics related to containers or the applications they hold within. As a result, innovative organizations that depend on containers to move through their DevOps journeys tend to develop huge operational blind spots in their 2 test, dev and demo environments.


Why container visibility matters

This container visibility gap will not only grow in scope but also in importance in the coming years, for one obvious reason. Containers are rapidly shifting from a fringe technology to mainstream IT tool.

And Docker is leading the charge in this transition. The de facto standard in container runtime and image format, Docker has experienced off-the-charts growth since its emergence in 2013—so much so that the numbers almost seem fake. But the Docker-related chatter at DevOps, developer and IT conferences these days can tell you how real they are.

Docker Downside

Clearly, the more that container sprawl takes hold of IT environments, the bigger the monitoring black hole organizations will start to face. If Docker users fail to address this issue, they’ll find themselves engaged in a game of diminishing returns with containers. Most organizations bring on Docker to aid efforts in continuous delivery and to ultimately achieve better application performance and customer experience. But a lack of effective container monitoring may actually produce the opposite end results.

AppDynamics working with Docker

The AppDynamics Docker Monitoring Extension builds off of the momentum App Dynamics has already built through its unified monitoring approach. Working through the Docker Remote API, the AppDynamics Docker Monitoring Extension offers visibility into important Docker container metrics and delivers them through an out-of-the-box dashboard:

  • Total number of containers
  • CPU usage
  • Memory usage
  • Network traffic

More importantly, these metrics are correlated with the metrics from the applications running in the container to get a view of overall performance metrics as compared to Docker performance metrics. When paired with the AppDynamics core functionalities such as dynamic baselining, health rules, policies and actions, the platform delivers a cohesive view that fully accounts for the newly Dockerized world.

AppDynamics is offering a FREE eBook demonstrating the importance of monitoring containers. Read more to see the capabilities and benefits your organization has to gain with implementing the right application monitoring solution for your container platform technology.



AppDynamics delivers real-time access to every aspect of your business and operational performance, so you can anticipate problems, resolve them automatically, and make smarter, more certain business decisions. Application Intelligence provides the business and operational insights into application performance, user experience and business impact of your software applications.
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