The art of solving performance problems

Enterprise Application Performance

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I have now written a six part series on software community blogs. This has included some of our larger partners such as Oracle, TIBCO, and Software AG who maintain multiple blogs with a community. I also covered the Agile Commons blog by our partner, Rally. We have some other partners who have excellent individual blogs, or in the case of Infosys, a great collection of blogs. A list can be found in the right side of this blog. Here are three more of them. dynaTrace is a leader in lifecycle application performance management. The dynaTrace blog covers issues related to performance, scalability, and architecture. The authors are Alois Reitbauer and Andreas Grabner. The most recent post when I looked was on Error Analysis Process: The Weak Spot in Manual and Functional Testing. It resulted from Andreas Grabner’s participation in the recent QAI Quest Testing Show in To... (more)

The days of IP-based management are numbered

The focus of cloud and virtualization discussions today revolve primarily around hypervisors, virtual machines, automation, network and application network infrastructure; on the dynamic infrastructure necessary to enable a truly dynamic data center. In all the hype we’ve lost sight of the impact these changes will have on other critical IT systems such as network systems management (NSM) and application performance management (APM). You know their names: IBM, CA, Compuware, BMC, HP. There are likely one or more of their systems monitoring and managing applications and systems in your data center right now. They provide alerts, notifications, and the reports IT managers demand on a monthly or weekly basis to prove IT is meeting the service-level agreements around performance and availability made with business stakeholders. In a truly dynamic data center, one in wh... (more)

First Time with AJAX.NET

In a former life, I was a web developer. Back in the late '90s, I vividly remember being told by more than one of my computer science professors that in 10 years, everything would run in a web browser. Even the operating system (it was claimed at the time) would be browser based. On startup, the machine would load the thinnest of all possible operating systems, and everything else - applications, data, you name it - would be stored on the network and accessed via a hyper-dynamic web browser. At the risk of stating the obvious...this hasn't happened. Part of the reason for this, I'm sure, is that the explosion of bandwidth that seemed so likely at the end of the last century simply hasn't panned out. Coming from the opposite direction, the cost of hardware - both up-front purchase costs and ongoing maintenance - have fallen enough that there is really not much advan... (more)

.NET Rocks! on Data Access Options

Recently .NET Rocks! talked to Stephen Forte and covered a topic I have been interested in for a a couple of years: Data Access Options.  Clearly this has been a space of a lot of innovation in the last few years.  Stephen does a good job of explaining the benefits customers are getting out of that innovation but he also gives us at Microsoft a few points to consider on the technology options. Of course one of my favorite parts starts right at the end when Richard asks Stephen about .NET RIA Services. It is about at minute 47 if you want to skip ahead to it ;-).    Stephen clearly sees RIA Services as more than Silverlight as it hooks into ASP.NET… he also sees how it shields the developer from the unnecessarily complex code.  Enjoy! ... (more)

Adobe ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder Public Betas Now Available

ColdFusion Developer's Journal Adobe announced the public betas of Adobe ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder software. ColdFusion 9, a powerful development technology for building dynamic Web sites and Internet applications, increases developer productivity, integrates with complex enterprise environments and delivers rich and interactive experiences for users. ColdFusion Builder is a new Eclipse based integrated development environment (IDE) used for rapidly developing ColdFusion applications. ColdFusion developers can now utilize greater integration with the Adobe Flash Platform, a complete system of integrated tools, frameworks, clients and servers for the development of Web applications, content and video that runs consistently across operating systems and devices. As a result, developers and IT professionals have an easier path for creating rich user interfac... (more)

Whatever Was Meg Thinking

When former eBay CEO Meg Whitman - who now wants to be elected governor of California next year - bought Skype four years ago for $3.1 billion, that lavish price didn't buy her the code that actually runs the thing. Fancy that. As amazing as it sounds eBay actually licenses the all-important P2P widgetry, called Global Index, from Joltid Ltd, a Swedish company started by the smooth-talking Kazaa hustlers, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who sold Skype to eBay and are re-using the software as the engine underneath their new venture into TV. Well, of course, as everyone knows the Skype-eBay marriage hasn't been a happy one. eBay wrote off $1.7 billion of the Skype purchase price and - after failing to find a buyer that would pay its estimated $1.7 billion asking price - it's contemplating divorce by way of an IPO next year. Only trouble is Joltid pulled the Global ... (more)

Middleware on Demand: Kaavo to Speak at 4th Cloud Computing Expo

While cloud computing offers tremendous promise, it takes significant effort to deploy, run, and manage custom applications in the clouds (public or private). To achieve the full benefits of cloud computing - according to Jamal Mazhar, Founder & CEO of Kaavo - what's needed is on-demand middleware, automatic deployment, and run-time management of custom applications in the clouds. "Contrary to the bottom-up approach of traditional tools," says Mazhar, "taking a top-down application-centric approach to managing infrastructure and middleware makes it easy to fully automate the application lifecycle management from procuring infrastructure to configuring middleware, deploying applications, and proactively managing service levels for individual applications." He will be giving a breakout session at SYS-CON's 4th International Cloud Computing Expo being held November 2... (more)

Combining the Cloud with the Computing: Application Delivery Networks

IT executives are being asked to increasingly evaluate new cloud-based services to improve business agility while lowering operating and capital costs within the enterprise. Yet often very little is known about the “cloud” itself. How does it work? What new challenges does it present for the enterprise? While cloud vendors continue to roll-out new technology to capture the imagination of application development and IT organizations – one area continues to remain noticeably cloudy and overlooked – the cloud itself. The first of the two words in cloud computing is often not well understood. It’s almost always drawn very minuscule in pictures while dwarfed by the virtualized server farms providing on-demand computing power. Implying as if the cloud is secondary and works in a simple way – something goes in one side of the cloud and then shows up instantaneously on the o... (more)

The Year in Review: Monitis in 2009

  As we start the New Year, I want to take a quick look back to review some of the incredible milestones we’ve witnessed and orchestrated here at Monitis. We’ve watched the cloud industry expand and grow – with new cloud providers launching their platforms and a variety of new service providers bringing their brands and tools to the cloud. Last year was an incredibly successful year for Monitis, as more and more companies making the move to the cloud relied upon our monitoring services (such as external monitoring, back-end monitoring, web traffic monitoring, transaction monitoring and EC2/S3 cloud monitoring. We grew our customer base by 400% and our revenue by 500% last year. As you might guess, I’m ecstatic about those numbers, not just because it means we’re doing better, but because it represents growth for the whole industry, too. And I think it proves growin... (more)

Microsoft to Discontinue EBS

Microsoft Session at Cloud Expo Microsoft is killing off its Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS) effective June 30 to "streamline" its server portfolio. It figures mid-sized businesses can virtualize and get to the cloud using Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. EBS packaged up Windows Server, System Center Essentials, Exchange and Forefront and priced it to appeal to SMBs with less than 300 computers. Register Today and Save $550 ! Explore Sponsorship Opportunities ! Microsoft will continue to support users for five years or migrate them. To make it up to customers Microsoft says they can get EBS' components for free from June 30-December 31. Microsoft's Small Business Server is not affected. ... (more)

AppDynamics Puts the Management in Application Performance Management

For a very long time now APM (Application Performance Management) has been a misnomer. It’s always really been application performance monitoring, with very little management occurring outside of triggering manual processes requiring the attention of operators and developers. APM solutions have always been great at generating eye-candy reports about response time and components and, in later implementations, dependencies on application and even network infrastructure. But it has rarely been the case that APM solutions have really been about, well, managing application performance. Certainly they’ve attempted to provide the data necessary to manually manage applications and do an excellent job of correlation and even in some cases deep trouble-shooting of root-cause performance problems. But real-time, dynamic, on-demand performance management? Not so much. AppDynam... (more)