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Compuware Expands Application Performance Monitoring

Compuware has unveiled new products and enhancements to its suite of application performance management (APM) tools and services, all designed to help organizations better understand and improve the performance of applications in the data center and for end users. The Gomez First Mile is a monitoring appliance that's part of Compuware's Gomez software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolio for monitoring the performance of Web applications. It extends visibility from an end user's browser, across the Internet and any third-party networks and into the data center.

Compuware already offers performance monitoring for the so-called "last mile," which is directly related to how end users experience Web applications. The First Mile, which is designed to be used in conjunction with the other tools and services in the Gomez portfolio, can help organizations understand the overall impact of a Web performance problem:  how big the problem is, how many users are impacted, whether it is hurting business and what's causing the problem.

The self-configuring appliance gets plugged into the network, typically near any load balancers and Web servers on the network, and it works in conjunction with existing data and information compiled by the Gomez services already running. Compuware has built into the appliance technology from its Vantage software line for monitoring end user experience within the data center and transactions across the corporate network. That data is correlated with metrics culled from Gomez's monitoring services and synthetic tests running outside the corporate network and firewall. It correlates traffic volume and data center and end user response time.

The metrics collected by the SaaS-based appliance, as well as the other information collected by the Gomez SaaS and information gleaned from the Vantage line of monitoring software, are fed into a new Gomez Operational Dashboard. The dashboard provides end-to-end visibility, showing alert statuses, root causes and even test summaries. Organizations can use the dashboard to determine where performance problems occur, such as in the browser. The dashboard can also show whether a problem is related to a third-party ad server, or the ISP, or an issue within the internal data center. Organizations can also determine which groups of users, and how many users, are affected.

In a brief on Compuware's announcement, consulting and research firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) says the Gomez First Mile provides a comprehensive view of application performance "inside and outside of the firewall with cross-domain awareness - at a price point and time to deployment that should make it hugely attractive." EMA quotes initial pricing for the Gomez First Mile at $20,000, with implementations typically ranging from $60,000 to $70,000. "This is a very compelling package," says Dennis Drogseth, VP at EMA. "Everyone wants to find the magic wand to get end-to-end visibility, and of course there is no magic wand. But a lot of vendors are making progress, and this offering is really intriguing."

Drogseth says the SaaS-based appliance is ideal for smaller organizations but isn't upwardly limited--that it is also appealing to larger organizations and existing Compuware Vantage or Gomez customers with large distributed environments in which Internet awareness and a growing need to manage service provider dependencies across geographies--has become critical.

Other Gomez announcements include a new Web Cross Browser Testing service that combines automated testing of Web, mobile, and Rich Internet Applications (RIA) with real-time remote access to a virtual Quality Assurance (QA) test bed. In addition, the Gomez multi-browser agent family has been expanded to include support for the Firefox agent across the Last Mile network and Gomez load testing. The Gomez Recorder can now be used to record scripts for active monitoring, mobile monitoring, and load testing.

Compuware also announced the Compuware Vantage 11.5 release, which includes support for monitoring VMware environments, as well as WAN optimization tools from Riverbed and Cisco. It also lets IT manage Java and .NET applications in context of the end-user experience, as opposed to other solutions that start from the JVM/CLR perspective and rely on limited integration points between separate analysis and reporting products.