Application performance management hot, hot, hot      

OpTier latest vendor to roll out enhanced APM wares

Pity the enterprise IT managers who know users are experiencing poor application performance but can't figure out why. It's a gruesome experience, some would no doubt say -- and that's without also contending with heavily virtualized infrastructure and cloud-based services.

Pity the enterprise IT managers who know users are experiencing poor application performance but can't figure out why. It's a gruesome experience, some would no doubt say -- and that's without also contending with heavily virtualized infrastructure and cloud-based services.

Enter the new world of IT had application performance management (APM) gets ever the more daunting. Problem isolation in highly virtualized, dynamic and cloud-enabled environments promises to be nightmarish indeed, agrees Mary Johnston Turner, research director, system management software, at IDC.

"Certainly as we move into dynamic, virtualized cloud environments, it becomes more and more important that IT gets an interconnected understanding of not just whether the pieces up or down but what's really going on, even in terms of business services," she says.

A variety of performance management companies are rising to that challenge, crafting products aimed at providing an end-to-end view of application performance. Compuware, with its recently released Gomez First Mile software-as-a-service appliance-based offering, is but one example. OpTier, a prominent business transaction management (BTM) provider, is another.

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For its part, OpTier offers BTM software that provides end-user experience management, application transaction profiling and diagnostics, auto-discovery of transaction dependencies and complex event processing. Version 4, just released, adds new capabilities such as role-, activity- and process-based dashboards and reports and an online analytic processing engine that enables users to manipulate rich data and pull out business-centric information, says Linh Ho, director of product marketing at the company.

Among other new features, OpTier even now offers an Apple iPhone and iPad application so users can access and manage applications and business transaction performance data from anywhere, Ho adds.

Whether enterprise IT managers want their end-to-end application view from a single vendor's integrated solution or through best-of-breed products is largely up in the air right now, Johnston Turner says. But have it, they must.

"When some pieces of a business service get served up inside and others from outside the firewall, things get very complex. Yet, IT is still on the line to deliver whatever SLAs businesses are expecting, and an end-to-end view and being able to get fairly fine-grained about what's going on and to do diagnostics and root cause is really valuable," she says.

APM is a hot space right now, Johnston Turner says. "You can expect it to be very interesting for the next couple of years."

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