We are intrigued by a new application performance management service offered by Appnomic Systems, a startup from Bangalore. The underlying service concept is to: determine "normal" performance for key applications; keep an "automated eye' on application behavior; automatically sound the alarm when performance degrades below response time and availability thresholds; and provide information that helps zero in on performance problem causes. In contrast to services offered by the likes of AT&T, Verizon and BT, which use off-the-shelf Fluke or Compuware products that often require installation in the customer data center, Appnomic's Application Performance Management service uses its own monitoring platform that leverages existing infrastructure instrumentation. This approach avoids the need to install any new hardware or server software in the data center.
Appnomic's automated service is designed for medium-sized businesses lacking the personnel and/or budgets needed to purchase and operate application monitoring product solutions. The service comes in silver and gold variants--with silver encompassing application performance visibility and performance degradation alerts, and gold adding fault isolation and root cause analysis reporting to the mix. The service currently measures data center response times--and Appnomic tells us they plan to enhance it to include end-user response time measurement in the next release.
At service kick-off, customers fill out questionnaires about application architecture and transaction flows. Staff members in Appnomic's operation centers (of which there are two) use this information to perform traffic modeling to determine baseline performance. They then configure the service platform to monitor performance metrics from the collectors, perform correlation and analytics, and generate reports and alerts. Because the service is software based, it does not require hardware to be located at customer sites, and thus can be deployed remotely (given proper remote access).
Once the service is activated, the Appnomic platform "learns" what performance is "normal", and automatically generates alerts when performance degrades below what is considered normal. Manisha Arora, Appnomic's Vice President of Product Marketing, claims the Appnomic service platform speeds root cause analysis because it is uniquely able to correlate load and performance information. In her view other correlation approaches fall short because they rely on event and/or alert information from diverse sources, requiring more human involvement to interpret and thus slowing problem resolution.
Appnomic has offered the service for eight months, and tells us they have seven pilot implementations in the works. They expect to sell the service in the US directly as well as white labeling it through service providers.