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Review: Real-Time Monitoring Products

Real-Time User Monitoring Product Features

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designed to monitor the user experience without employing synthetic or robotic transactions. Synthetic transactions can be useful, especially when there isn't any real user traffic, but they provide only best guesses of what users do. We also evaluated implementation, administration, usability, third-party integration and price. To our as-tested pricing we added maintenance/support costs.

IBM and TeaLeaf Technology didn't respond to our invitation. BMC Software, Cove Light Systems and Mercury Interactive declined. The products sent by Network General, Network Physics and WildPackets analyze protocols and track TCP sessions but don't track HTTP user session statistics, so we didn't include them in our review. Only Compuware, Coradiant and Quest Software sent qualified entries. All three products came to us preloaded on rack-mount servers. Both Coradiant's 2U TrueSight and Quest's 1U User Experience Monitor (UEM) are sold as appliances that comprise data-collection capabilities and database and management interfaces. Compuware's Vantage entry was two software products that typically would run on different servers on a single 1U i86 box.

We tested the products in our Syracuse University Real-World Labs® using a mix of the university's live traffic and our generated traffic as a background and load source. We set up an IBM WebSphere server, which served two applications from the same IP-port combo, forcing each RTUM product to parse the URL to follow app-, transaction- and user-specific traffic. We used the Gomez Performance Network (GPN) service to create transactions originating from "end users" located around the world with varied access speeds, from dial-up to broadband.

Real-Time User Monitoring Vendors

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