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Compuware Launches Free Outage Detection Service, New Mainframe Apps

Compuware this week announced two new products. Outage Analyzer, currently in beta, provides real-time alerts of downtime for Web services such as content delivery networks and ad servers. Companies can use the service to help them determine whether an outage at a third-party service is affecting their own site performance. The company also announced Compuware APM for Mainframe, which aims to help IT fix mainframe performance problems more quickly.

Today's Web applications are a complex blend of systems and services. In particular, many public-facing Web applications aren't just assembling content and images from the company's own Web servers and databases. They may be pulling in video from a content delivery system, ads from ad servers, and links from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to Compuware, the average Web transaction has 10 different sources. Disruption or outages at a third-party site can affect the performance of a company's own application.

Slowdowns and outages annoy users and customers (or potential customers). According to an InformationWeek survey on application performance management, IT pros cited user frustration as the most significant issue that arises from application outages or poor performance. That result topped other issues, including productivity loss and revenue loss. The survey also found 31% of respondents experience performance problems daily or weekly in their organizations.

Compuware's Outage Analyzer is a free service that helps organizations investigate whether Web performance problems are being caused by a third-party service. The Outage Analyzer tracks performance data in real time via its Gomez Performance Monitoring Network, a SaaS performance and troubleshooting offering for Web, mobile and cloud applications. Compuware says its network has 150,000 test locations.

Outage Analyzer lets users see the source of the outage and the geographical locations affected by it. It also attempts to identify the root cause, and gives a probability score of its analysis. Companies can set up custom alerts to be notified of outages from specific services (registration is required) or follow the service via Twitter or RSS.

Outage Analyzer is currently in beta and is free. Compuware says a paid version will be rolled into its Gomez service in the spring of 2013. The paid service will let customers drill down for greater detail and see analysis in context with their own Web transactions. Compuware also promises to maintain a free version of Outage Analyzer.

The company also announced Compuware APM for Mainframes, which targets IBM's z/OS platform. The product comes in two versions: PurePath for z/OS CICS and PurePath for z/OS Java. The company says these products let it trace transaction performance from the mainframe through all the components in between, including Web servers, database servers, message brokers, even down to a user's mobile device. This transaction monitoring requires agents for each component, including Javascript that's injected onto the end user device.