Appendix: Terminology

AppDynamics (AppD)

An application performance monitoring (APM) tool that Rackspace Application Services uses.

AppDynamics alert action

The action AppDynamics takes when an AppDynamics health rule violation occurs. An alert action can create tickets, notify your team, collect thread dumps, or execute remediation scripts.

AppDynamics alert policy

Links AppDynamics health rules or other triggers to the desired AppDynamics alert action.

AppDynamics health rule

Monitors that compare current application metrics, such as response time or error rates, to thresholds. Thresholds can be statically defined based on business needs, baselines automatically generated using past data, or a combination of the two.

Application Performance Management (APM)

APM tools take raw data from your application and transform them into useful information about how smoothly your application runs and where potential bottlenecks might be. Rackspace uses either AppDynamics or New Relic as your APM tooling.

Application Support Engineer (ASE)

ASEs are staffed 24x7 and have a broad set of knowledge across all the named apps that RAS Digital Experience supports.

ARIC

A logic system that directs the actions of the Rackspace RBA automation tool.

AWX

A central server and user interface used to run Ansible automation tasks within a customer environment. Rackspace ASEs use AWX to install and maintain RAS software and supported applications.

Business transaction

A logical grouping of related URLs that allows your APM tool to consolidate metrics for multiple related pages, such as all checkout-related pages.

Deployment

In the context of working with Rackspace Application Services, deployment is the process by which RAS pushes updated code or software components to the application. A deployment enables new features or fixes bugs.

Jenkins

An automation tool used primarily for Oracle Web Commerce code deployments.

Machine agent

A lightweight, standalone APM agent that reports operating system metrics such as CPU usage, network traffic, and so on.

Named app

An application in which specific Rackspace engineers and architects specialize. Named apps engineers work regular US business hours but are available 24x7 to address production-down emergencies. The ASE team handles escalation to named apps engineers.

The Linux named apps are ATG/Oracle Web Commerce, Adobe AEM, and SAP Hybris. The Windows named app is Sitecore.

New Relic

A common APM tool used by Rackspace Application Services.

New Relic alert condition

The New Relic implementation of a monitor. Alert policies compare current application metrics, such as response time or error rates, to thresholds. You can define alert thresholds based on business needs.

New Relic alert policy

A group of one or more alert conditions linked to a New Relic Notification Channel.

New Relic Notification Channel

New Relic uses a notification channel to create tickets or notify your team when an alert condition violation occurs.

Runbook Automation (RBA)

Rackspace uses an RBA as the primary automation tool to create alert tickets and perform automated tasks in response to an alert.

Synthetic monitor

Runs from remote pollers and mimics user actions on your website. Synthetic monitors test functionality similar to how your end users interact with the site.

Thread dump

A saved snapshot of the execution stack for each JVM thread. Thread dumps enable Rackspace to see what each thread was doing at the time of the snapshot. You should take thread dumps when the issue or condition that you want to debug is active.

Transaction snapshot

Provides detailed page load data, including a list of the slowest methods to execute and errors encountered during page load. Use transaction snapshots for troubleshooting.