I am often asked about the tradeoffs between point products and frameworks. Which is better? Which makes more sense? I usually say that "suites" are where the action is, as frameworks become more modular and point products evolve to capture more meaningful and complex interdependencies.None of the "framework" vendors view themselves as embodying the same, cumbersome, build-your-own grand philosophies that went along with the concept of centralized control in the mid- to late 1990s. And while there are still focused "best-of-class" products emerging that don't attempt to be comprehensive, they are not much like the element-centric point products back in the '90s, either.JaalaM's AppareNet is one of the best examples of a focused, "best-of-class" approach to infrastructure management.AppareNet 1.5 was introduced in September and\u00a0like prior versions focuses on monitoring application performance over large, complex networks, including the Internet - and then troubleshooting the network. It does not require agents and so is easily deployed and administered. It's packaged for use primarily by enterprise network technicians, consultants and service providers seeking to monitor application services for their customers. AppareNet 1.5's chief enhancements of scheduled testing and more automated reporting are especially appealing to application service providers seeking to measure service quality for themselves and their customers, and to enterprises seeking to monitor and assess external service providers.AppareNet follows the IP network path of an application from the client computer's application to the server computer and back again - or what JaalaM calls from "API to API" (its definition of "end-to-end"). By looking at a specific application service path, AppareNet can quickly find bottlenecks, problems with packet loss, over-subscription and design flaws.JaalaM's concept of "maximum achievable bandwidth" recognizes the duplex nature of most network traffic and uses the premise that the maximum capacity across the application's path is equal to the link of least capacity. AppareNet can measure application response (using ICMP pings to the workstations), and test for problems such as latency-bound applications, high-latency links, half-duplex\/full-duplex mismatches, the mixing of TCP and legacy protocols, and poorly performing NICs and routers, just to mention a few.Users should view an investment in AppareNet as a solid answer to a specific and difficult problem. Our discussions with users have been so far consistently positive. Buyers should also be encouraged by the fact that Vancouver-based JaalaM Technologies received $7 million in funding last December. It's still a difficult time for sealing investments, and JaalaM has been able to prove itself to both investors and customers over the course of a very difficult few years. Pricing for AppareNet starts at $20,000.