Quest Software Inc., a provider of application management solutions, announced its application performance management (APM) strategy for business-critical applications. The strategy provides IT managers, regardless of their area of expertise, with a complete set of integrated solutions that map service level agreements to performance information, across every tier of the application stack. Quest's APM solutions combine business-centric views of applications with deep domain expertise to both measure and improve the performance of packaged and custom applications.

"Application performance has a direct impact on business revenues," said Ray Paquet, research vice president, Gartner Inc. "However, today's IT executives are faced with an increasingly complex environment to manage with fewer resources. To maintain optimum service levels, IT organizations need solutions that provide an end-to-end business view of all critical applications which will quickly isolate the root cause of performance degradations and initiate expert domain-centric tools for fast problem diagnosis and resolution."

Typical IT departments are organized into "silos" based on specific domain expertise. These silos may include database servers (managed by DBAs), application servers (managed by application administrators), Web servers (managed by Web administrators), and network and infrastructure components (managed by network and system administrators). When an end user experiences application or transaction response time degradation or failure, isolating the specific problem domain can be a painstaking task, requiring anywhere from several hours to several days to complete. This commonly results in fruitless finger-pointing sessions between database, application, Web and network administrators as they attempt to isolate the source of the problem.

Traditional monitoring solutions tackle this challenge with a systems- level, or a "bottoms-up" view of performance, but they lack the ability to pinpoint and resolve problems once they occur. Newer performance monitoring solutions that focus primarily on a higher-level view typically don't provide the deep domain expertise to effectively diagnose and resolve the issues they identify. What's more, they may actually impose a "performance penalty" on the application because they haven't been architected with consideration for their overhead in a production environment.

Quest Software's strategic approach to APM transcends the silo boundaries and views the application infrastructure from the top down without any performance impact on the monitored application. If an issue arises, the Quest solution not only determines when it occurs but also identifies which underlying system, resource or application component is truly responsible for the performance degradation or failure. This means that only the domain expert responsible for the problem area needs to be involved in the resolution, eliminating unnecessary fire drills and finger-pointing and, ultimately speeding time to resolution.

At the core of the Quest APM solution's value is its integrated process for stepping the domain expert from problem detection through to resolution. Once an issue has been isolated, a Quest APM domain workbench invokes sophisticated real-time diagnostics, analysis, tuning, and administration tools, as required, to quickly resolve issues before they impact the end user.

The Quest Software strategy for APM is comprised of three integrated product areas that detect, diagnose and resolve application performance issues in major packaged applications including Siebel, PeopleSoft, Oracle e-Business Suite and SAP; major database platforms including Oracle, DB2, SQL Server and Sybase; as well as IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and other custom Web-based or J2EE applications. The integrated Quest APM solution enables IT managers to:

  1. Detect with Quest Foglight. Quest's end-to-end application performance management console provides real-time, correlated views of the entire technology stack influencing application performance.
  2. Diagnose with Quest Spotlight and Quest PerformaSure. Quest's real-time diagnostics and resolution tools, enable administrators to anticipate and correct performance issues prior to negative impact on business process.
  3. Resolve with Quest Central. Quest's domain-specific workbench, Quest Central, delivers the deep expertise and powerful tools needed to speed time to resolution. Quest's first Quest Central workbench is a complete DBA workbench for heterogeneous database environments, including Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server. Future Quest Central workbenches will focus on meeting the domain-specific needs of application administrators, Web administrators, network administrators and systems administrators. It is Quest's vision to deliver each domain administrator with a complete workbench to detect, diagnose and resolve issues in their unique environment with integration into the Foglight console to correlate information across all the domains within their IT organization.

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