Take Five With Tom Fenton
Take Five: Dynatrace Perform 2022
Perform, Dynatrace's annual user conference, was held Feb. 7-10 as a virtual event with many of the presenters being located in Las Vegas. This format was a little bit different from what I have seen before, but seemed to work well and made the best out of the restrictions that are currently in place. I have always enjoyed tightly-focused nature of Perform as it is all about a single technology.
Dynatrace, for those unfamiliar, is one of the leading application performance monitoring (APM) companies and a pioneer in autonomous cloud management (ACM). After going public in 2019, the influx of capital has allowed the company to expand the scope and depth of their offering.
The verticals that tend to use ACM and APM products the most are companies that are heavily dependent on web services, such as financial institutions, online travel brokers and online merchants. If you use any of these services, the chances are good that they use Dynatrace. If you need to monitor your web applications and their performance, as well as understand the larger scope of how users interact with them, having an APM tool like Dynatrace is absolutely essential.
Below is an overview of the major announcements made at Perform this year. Note: Although all these announcements were made at the conference, not all of them will be immediately available.
- Take 1 -- Complete Observability for Multi-Cloud Serverless Architectures: Multi-cloud has been in the news a lot lately, and rightfully so as the ability to run code on the cloud of your choosing has many benefits. However, it does have many pitfalls due to each cloud's idiosyncrasies. Dynatrace announced that they will support all major serverless architectures, including AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions and Google Cloud Functions, as well as managed Kubernetes environments. Dynatrace's Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) will be available for services from these cloud providers.
- Take 2 -- Software Intelligence as Code: The first big announcement from Perform was that Dynatrace will be delivering software intelligence as code. Dynatrace has always been a forward-thinking company and embraced artificial intelligence (AI) early on. With this latest offering, it will include "broad and deep observability, application security, and advanced AIOps capabilities, as code." Developers will now be able to automate and orchestrate all the resources needed for software development, which will lead to a faster, more secure development.
- Take 3 -- Launch of DevSecOps Automation Partner Program: Security has always been a major pain point for organizations. To help alleviate these threats, Dynatrace has launched DevSecOps Automation Partner Program, which will allow their partners to integrate their products with Dynatrace. The companies mentioned include Azure DevOps, GitLab, PagerDuty, Slack, as well as others. This is a smart move on Dynatrace's part as the more eyes -- and companies -- that focus on this problem, the more likely threats can be spotted and remediated.
- Take 4 -- Enhancements to AppSec Module: Somewhat tied to the above announcement, Dynatrace's Application Security (AppSec) module now includes real-time attack protection. Through code-level insights and transaction analysis, attacks can be detected and blocked without configuration. By doing this, Dynatrace is claiming a perfect Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) benchmark score for injection attacks with 100 percent accuracy and zero false positives.
- Take 5 -- Hands on Training (H.O.T.) Days: The first three days of the conference were dedicated to training and certifications. This is a fantastic idea as it allows participants at the conference to gain new skills or to extend their existing skill set. Other conferences have training and certification available during the conference, which typically forces the participants to choose between either attending sessions or partaking in training offerings. At Perform, however, you don't need to choose between the two with the way the conference agenda is designed.
Dynatrace has made the conference available online and free to view, but you will need to complete a registration form to view the sessions. There are some excellent sessions that you will want to watch, but you will not want to miss Dynatrace CTO Bernd Greifeneder's session as he is one of the smartest people in the industry, a visionary, and sets the tone for what the company will be working on in the future. Oftentimes the guest speakers that conferences bring in are interesting but are only tangentially related to the subject of the conference. However the folks at Perform knocked it out of the park as the guest speaker not only was fascinating but also directly related to the conference. My other must-see session was by Professor Max Tegmark, AI & physics researcher at MIT, entitled, "On being human in the age of Artificial Intelligence." In his presentation, Max delved into what the future with AI could be, and it was both entertaining and insightful.
As always, Dynatrace Perform was well done, and provided not only excellent information on Dynatrace but also insight into where the industry is headed. The one thing that I would have loved to see was a joint session with Bern and Max as the conversation between these two thought leaders no doubt would have been fascinating.
Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 25 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 15 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware as a Senior Course Developer, Solutions Engineer, and in the Competitive Marketing group. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.