As organizational application portfolios become ever more complex and interdependent, it can be quite a challenge for IT administrators to keep current on what applications work with what other applications, what data sources are used by what applications, and, of course, where various IT resources reside at the moment. Tideway Systems just launched a virtual applications to take on that task.
What does application dependency mapping mean?
Application dependency mapping is an approach to keeping up with dynamically changing computing environments by watching how applications and their underlying components interact with one another. With this data in hand, it become much easier to understand that impacts a change in one application or application component will have. It would also become a bit easier to determine what is happening when an application either slows down or stops and then take the necessary steps to resolve the problem.
Why deploy a virtual appliance?
One of the bigger areas of cost in any IT environment is the staff-related costs of administration, installation, updating software and the like. Being able to "drop" an application, application component or tool into an environment by merely copying and running a virtual machine is a way to simplify the installation, use and updating of an entire function.
In the past, I've mentioned virtual appliances that addressed a number of functions including Catbird's security appliance, InBoxer's Email archiving appliance, Vyatta's routing/network management appliance and one or two more. Each encapsulates a different function but, the underlying concept is the same.
Although this approach is not a panacea, it is a useful tool in the right place at the right time.
Several of the management software suppliers offer tools that allow an organization to discover virtual clients and servers and control how they opperate. I've not seen a tool that does exactly what Tideway's products does. While not an all-encompassing management tool, it could be very useful for organizations who've built an extremely complex operational environment.