Compuware boosts app management suite

Compuware boosts app management suite

Compuware this week will bind together its suite of management software with a Web-based user interface while upgrading the individual tools in the suite.

The Vantage 8.0 suite automates the collecting and analysing of application performance data, and the new interface, using technology from the EcoChannel reporting tool, lets network managers view data at a central console and provide remote access to reports via the Internet.

Ronnie Sun, a network consultant at J.P. Morgan Chase, uses Compuware's probe-based network monitor, EcoScope, which is being renamed NetworkVantage for the upgrade. Sun says the tool helps his company quickly determine the source of any application performance degradation. He plans to upgrade to NetworkVantage as soon as it's available because he needs the Web-based interface to consolidate data into reports and post them online for remote access.

"We have clients and remote locations that need access to this data, and this interface will let them see those reports," Sun says.

Before he started using EcoScope nine months ago, Sun says his staff used a protocol analyser and "spent long hours in order to analyse the data to the packet level". Sun also can more quickly determine an offending user or application with Compuware software monitoring the network and Web traffic.

Users may also benefit from the integration Compuware worked to provide with the suite, says Dennis Drogseth, an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates.

"Integration and deployability were in the 'needs improvement' column for Compuware. And they're moving toward addressing those issues with this release, but they're not all the way there yet," he says.

In addition, NetworkVantage now includes jitter-monitoring capabilities and can differentiate Web traffic according to protocol, such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), Simple Object Access Protocol and voice over IP (VoIP).

Compuware's Interval Pro and QARun products now come together as ClientVantage, a component of the suite that monitors application response time from an end-user perspective. Interval Pro monitors applications and captures packets that QARun later analyses to determine application performance trends.

Another tool in the suite, Application Vantage, can work independently as a high-level performance analysis tool - or it can now work with ClientVantage to pinpoint performance issues in real time. Typically, the product would be used to determine the source of "extremely thorny performance problems", but coupling the two products takes Application Vantage from "an ad hoc tool to a full-time performance analyser," Compuware product manager John Williams says.

ServerVantage, formerly EcoTools, monitors servers and databases and collects data on CPU (central processing unit) utilisation, traffic patterns and network response times. Compuware expanded ServerVantage to support Microsoft .Net Servers, along with the major flavours of Unix, all Windows server platforms, Novell and Linux.

The company also upgraded its Predictor software for capacity planning to include reports for three classes of users and create workload definitions by user groups. New to Application Expert is a WAN provisioning module that will tell users what size WAN (wide area network) link will support applications before the applications are deployed.

The Vantage 8.0 suite includes: ClientVantage for $US25,000; ServerVantage for $35,000; NetworkVantage for $26,500; Application Vantage for $35,000; Predictor for $27,500; Application Expert for $20,000; and VantageView, the new Web browser-based interface available with all products. The Vantage 8.0 suite is expected to ship in January.

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