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How Gannett Scaled the Digital Newsroom with AppDynamics


Read more about Gannett’s work with AppDynamics in the full case study here.

We’re always learning about new verticals and industries that implement AppDynamics into their frameworks, creating a better enterprise, and a better experience for their end users. One of those stories lands at the crossroads of media and technology, as the modern day newsroom evolves to target communities through rich data and unite readers through dynamic media. This week, I got the opportunity to learn (and finally put a Media Studies degree to use) how a global publisher was able to focus on driving innovation to the digital newsroom with the support of AppDynamics

Gannett is one of the leaders in creating the next generation of media. It’s quickly developing itself around the new opportunities within media and technology to bridge the gap between the newsroom, and it’s digital mirror. Gannett impacts nearly 100 million readers monthly through trusted, compelling content and unmatched local-to-national reach. With over 110 markets internationally, it is known for Pulitzer Prize-winning newsrooms, and brands we grew up with, like USA TODAY, as well as its specialized media properties. Powered by over 600 Python applications and over 250 micro-services, Gannett’s Platform-as-a-Service team handles both the availability and critical performance of their software deployments. Gannett uses a broad range of technology stacks, including Java, .NET, PHP, Python, and Node.js. It publishes over 200 native iOS and Android applications and browser-based front-ends for their various publications and has implemented over 3,000 AppDynamics agents across their entire application ecosystem for complete end-to-end visibility into their application performance.

To maintain its focus on technology, Gannett needed a solution that spanned across the broad languages and stacks that built the publisher’s framework. There was only so much that could be monitored and diagnosed manually, and with over 75% of their architecture running on Python, it was more than necessary for their APM solution to be able to support Python application deployments as well. After an evaluation of numerous solutions, Gannett’s PaaS team landed at AppDynamics for its ease of use and support for a large coverage of languages, visibility into large and distributed environments, and the ability to provide insight into root problems. 

AppDynamics provided the necessary visibility to support the various internal application teams at Gannett, allowing them to deploy and execute faster with confidence. “Knowing that AppDynamics provides us the performance insights into our products helps us deploy faster with confidence that our teams that can deliver their applications with availability and performance in mind,” said VP of PaaS, Erik Bursch. Gannett also played a critical role in the AppDynamics beta program for Python when it helped test the Python agent in their environment and provided the expert feedback necessary to iterate a more stable solution throughout the beta phase of the Python agent.

Along with meeting Gannett’s broad set of needs in a consolidated product, AppDynamics provided a level of support, allowing it to stand out further in the crowd. “While we spent a considerable amount of time comparing the features among different products, our outstanding account team is something that put AppDynamics over the edge,” said Principal Engineer, Al Kemner. He further added that “the support we received, and continue to get, from the Python team at AppDynamics was perhaps one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in working with any of our vendors.”

One of the most compelling takeaways I had while studying the influence of media was it’s transformation in the digital economy, and how it shaped every aspect of a consumer and publisher’s goals. Gannett Company transformed its capabilities to focus its strategy on the digital transformation. Without ensuring exceptional application performance and end-to-end visibility across their framework, Gannett wasn’t able to drive its organization and implement innovation and strategy to the crossroads of media and technology.


The post How Gannett Scaled the Digital Newsroom with AppDynamics appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

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