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PureStack spots drooping apps

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Compuware has developed an app monitoring tech to help admins with performance anxiety spot problems in their infrastructure.

The "PureStack" technology was announced by Compuware on Tuesday and sees the application performance management (APM) company try to tackle app monitoring with an agent-based technology that works across varied tech environments.

PureStack catalogues the apps running on an organization's IT stack, as well as the infrastructure supporting them. It does this by collecting host and process information using operating system-specific API calls to get CPU, memory, disk, and network utilization data to help admins spot app performance going wonky.

PureStack supports Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, and HPUX OS's, along with the ESX and Xen hypervisors, and the Amazon and Windows Azure clouds. Support for Hyper-V and KVM is lacking, but both should come in the next release.

It works via a 2MB agent which admins need to copy over to the server they want to monitor. Compuware has specific agents for Java, .net, PHP, and the Apache and Oracle Application Server (iAS), which can capture health within native processes. For everything else there's a generic agent that will capture host metrics regarding hardware utilization, but not be able to peer inside the running software.

The agent-generated data is pulled into PureStack via a slew of customizable dashboards, charts, and reports, which admins can then massage and fiddle with at their pleasure.

All this intelligence comes at a price, though, with some Compuware customers reporting a response time and CPU overhead of one to three percent for widely deployed monitoring. This pales in comparison to Google's proprietary application performance monitoring CPI2 tech, which has an overhead of 0.1 per cent. However, you can buy Compuware's stuff, and Google isn't selling CPI2 - yet.

The company claims that by being able to gather both app and infrastructure data, PureStack represents one of the first truly comprehensive APM technologies.

Though it may be comprehensive, it lags behind some of the more specific monitoring competition. Boundary, for example, can give admins faster information on application instability through its network-centric approach, but the tradeoff is companies will need to user partner technologies to look inside the apps as well. ®

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