When Peter Friedwagner and his team transformed their environment using Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift, they needed to upshift their approach to cloud monitoring to track dependencies and resolve issues for every component across the full stack.
Like every industry, the automotive sector is under pressure to digitally transform in response to rising customer expectations. To gain greater agility, Porsche Informatik migrated to a containerized, hybrid cloud environment. But this approach introduced new complexity and a need for more advanced cloud monitoring capabilities.
At Perform 2021, we were joined by Peter Friedwagner, Head of Infrastructure and Cloud Services at Porsche Informatik. Dynatrace’s cloud monitoring capabilities are helping Porsche Informatik to simplify complexity and drive improved digital experiences for customers. Friedwagner explained how.
Curbed by complexity
“We are Europe’s largest automotive trading company with 30,000 employees and 22 billion revenue,” Friedwagner said. “We are responsible for the smooth operation of IT applications and we operate 160 solutions for millions of users in 30 countries.”
Before partnering with Dynatrace, Friedwagner and his team faced challenges tracking dependencies and resolving issues in their dynamic environment using legacy tools. “We were coming from a VM-based environment and started the transformation to a modernized environment based on Kubernetes, primarily running Red Hat OpenShift,” he noted. “However, this created a challenge in terms of the highly dynamic environment, as distributed applications across microservices have dependencies which really cut across different teams, and this led to challenges to resolve issues quickly.”
But customers’ expectations for around-the-clock availability meant Porsche Informatik needed to understand the root causes of problems before customers felt the impact. “We needed integrated monitoring of every component of our estate across the full stack,” he explained. “One example is the car configurator, an application used by customers to configure the equipment of a new car. There are complex issues, so we needed a solution which introduces business KPIs, such as conversion goals, and allowed us to define alerts based on these metrics.”
Simplifying complexity with cloud monitoring
The ability to support autonomous application development teams is one of the unique benefits Dynatrace offers, according to Friedwagner. He described how, with Dynatrace, teams can independently customize their cloud monitoring environment according to their individual needs. “They can define alerting, they can define their own business KPIs, they can run A/B deployments, and they can set the thresholds for anomaly detection,” Friedwagner said.
Dynatrace’s cloud monitoring capabilities enable Porsche Informatik’s infrastructure teams to understand what’s going on in their environment. “The crucial question of whether an issue is within an application or the infrastructure,” Friedwagner said, “can now be easily answered with an integrated view across the source code, the web services, the database, the network both for infrastructure engineers, as well as for application developers in one common pool.”
“Dynatrace’s intelligent monitoring really provides an understanding of the user experience before users face any issue,” Friedwagner added. “We are able to identify the root cause and fix it quickly.”
The key value of Dynatrace
Dynatrace’s automated instrumentation across a wide array of technologies has allowed teams to “concentrate on what they really need to do, which is to develop and deliver the best possible applications,” Friedwagner said. “We can enable our development teams to focus on the task they have, which is to develop the best possible software.”
Elaborating on the cloud monitoring benefits of Dynatrace, he added, “we are able to detect issues faster, we are able to identify the root cause faster, it gives application teams a tool which really helps them on a day-to-day basis.”
Looking to the future
Offering his insight into what comes next, Friedwagner explained that Porsche Informatik intends to integrate Dynatrace further into the deployment process. He outlined how his team plans to use Dynatrace to monitor the impact of A/B deployments so new innovations are rolled out to customers only after conversion-goal KPIs have been met.
Automation is a central goal of their AIOps strategy. “Ultimately, what we want to achieve is the deployment issues automatically detected and rolled back without human intervention to make sure our applications are as close as possible to 100 percent available,” he said.
The cloud monitoring journey
“For infrastructure teams, my advice would be to define developer productivity as one of your primary goals and integrate the application teams into the monitoring journey to enable them to facilitate the power of Dynatrace by themselves,” Friedwagner concluded. “And finally, run Dynatrace like a platform and allow developers as much as freedom as possible. My final, maybe most important question to ask yourself, and ask your developers: what is slowing you down and how can I help you?”
To hear more about how Porsche Informatik uses Dynatrace’s cloud monitoring capabilities to simplify its complex environment, watch the interview using the local links below, and find the full list of Perform 2021 sessions here.