Opnet - finger pointing raised to high art

Although I'm sure that they are going to cringe when I say this, Opnet clearly has raised the art of finger pointing to a high art. That is, their products are designed to live in a highly disbursed, perhaps virtualized computing environment and quickly put the finger on application performance problems without also causing finger pointing among support groups and suppliers.

Opnet's Susan S. Cole, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, and her colleagues Russ Elsner and Michelle Duffy, introduced the company's application performance management products, ACE Live, Panorama and ACE Analyst. The goals of their application performance management products are to monitor the environment, perform an automated triage to aid efforts to localize the problem and then to perform a root cause analysis (they call this "Forensics") allowing administrators to quickly make the world bright and sunny once again.

Although I'm sure that they are going to cringe when I say this, Opnet clearly has raised the art of finger pointing to a high art. That is, their products are designed to live in a highly disbursed, perhaps virtualized computing environment and quickly put the finger on application performance problems without also causing finger pointing among support groups and suppliers.

Here's what Opnet has to say about their products

OPNET delivers the industry’s most powerful integrated suite of Application Performance Management solutions for:

End-User Experience Monitoring
Application Component Monitoring
End-to-End Transaction Analysis
These solutions leverage best-in-class analytics for real-time monitoring, advanced application troubleshooting, and pre-deployment testing and planning. OPNET’s full life-cycle approach:
  • Ensures compliance with SLAs for end-to-end performance with 24x7 monitoring and alerting
  • Accelerates problem remediation with real-time analytics and automatic diagnosis
  • Reduces the risk of deployment delays or failure by certifying application network readiness prior to deployment
  • Avoids inefficient and costly infrastructure investments with predictive planning
  • Eliminates “finger-pointing” among various teams responsible for application performance

Snapshot Analysis

At one time, applications were architected as monolythic blocks of code that were to be hosted on a mainframe or midrange system. At that point, it was straightforward to detect a problem, isolate the cause and then do something to fix it. In order to take advantage of powerful, cost-effective industry standard servers, today's applications are built differently.

Now, it is likely that what appears to be a single application is really multiple tiers of services that are hosted on a number of distributed systems. Each tier may actually be composed of multiple systems, each deployed in a different dataceter somewhere in the world. Add virtual servers, virtualized applications, virtual storage and virtual networking into the picture and one faces a complex mess.

If an organization only used one application, it could be difficult to detect issues and fix them before they become problems. Add the fact that all organizations use quite a number of applications. A large organization may rely on hundreds of different applications.

Opnet, among others, has developed and deployed a series of products designed the tame the environment and bring things down to a dull roar. The company must be doing something right because their list of parters and customers reads like the who's who of industry.

If you're not familar with them, it might be worth your time to visit their website and see what they're doing.