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Crittercism co-founder eyes AWS’ Germany center, mobile app trends

Crittercism Inc. is on the verge of spinning out instances of its mobile application performance management (mAPM) solution to the new AWS data center in Frankfurt, Germany, according to co-founder Andrew Levy. In our recent conversation, Levy credited AWS with providing the backbone for Crittercism’s rapid growth from its 2010 start-up days. He also talked about trends in enterprise mobile application usage and development.

Expanding to the new AWS data center in Germany will help Critercism attract European customers, which have security and disaster recovery concerns about using apps based in U.S. data centers. “You can imagine the cost, expense and time we’d have to put into building a data center in Europe,” Levy said. “Working with Amazon from day one has helped us scale quickly without incurring those costs.”

AWS’ global compute power provides the room for growth and transaction volume coverage needed for mAPM, which must deliver real-time data and transaction information for centers with many platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Hybrid and HTML5 apps. AWS’ many, and geographically-dispersed, data centers helps Crittercism handle about three billion requests a day from one billion users.

Crittercism uses the AWS IaaS platform and a slew of other services, including RedShift for data warehousing. On the database side, Crittercism uses’s DynamoDB NoSQL database store. To find out how and why, check out TechTarget reporter Jack Vaughan’s article on NoSQL databases.

Crittercism and DevOps

“We give CIOs and DevOps teams the necessary data to do root cause analysis across their own and their service providers’ applications,” Levy said. At the end of the day, companies need to understand if the performance problem is on their end or with the service provider’s. “If it’s an internal bottleneck, be it a code defect or something else, DevOps get the info they need to make a fix quickly.” (For in-depth info, read about how a major telecom uses Critercism’s mAPM products on SearchSOA.)

As recently as a year ago, Levy observed that many enterprises’ internal DevOps staffs did not have the skills needed to handle mobile application issues. Today, he and his colleagues find that DevOps pros know much more about mobile technologies. So do business executives, who see how these apps are affecting businesses. “

More companies are creating mobile centers of excellence and eliminating divisions between IT, development and businesses,” Levy said. Just a couple of years ago, developers mainly spurred their companies to evaluate Critercism’s mAPW products. Now, inquiries are coming in from people in new roles, such as Chief Digital Officers, Mobile Strategists and Mobile Architects.

Mobile computing has fostered other trends, such as the rising importance of an excellent user experience. “Consumers have high expectations around user experience,” Levy said. He cited a recent App Attention Span study that showed the majority of mobile app users deleting poorly-performing mobile apps. He sees great career opportunities for developers with strong user interface design skills.

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