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.