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October 16, 2012

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What Does Operations-Centric vs Developer-Centric APM Mean to You?

The pace of change in today’s IT world is truly astonishing. The traditional roles and descriptions between various IT roles have been blurred. In today’s complex IT environments, Development, Application Support, and IT Operations collaborate often to ensure application service levels are met. Operations, traditionally, relied on siloed monitoring tools to figure out how the infrastructure support applications. However, a new and emerging approach called ops-centric APM claims to provide horizontal visibility into transaction’s performance across all the silos that support applications. All the way from the desktop, down to the database and to the application code. In this series of posts, I’ll examine the subtleties of the ops-centric APM approach compared with developer-centric APM, and what it means for IT.

Let’s start with the developer-centric APM approach. These tools use bytecode instrumentation (BCI) technology to gather application performance data.  They instrument application at the method level and provide KPI and notification based on the performance of these methods. This allows them to find problems related to the application code. Many of these tools evolved from code profilers. The language and user-interface used by those tools is generally compelling to developers. Bytecode instrumentation technology is known to have overheads and in production the best practices are to limit the instrumentation to API calls only, and avoid deep method instrumentation.

The main drawback of BCI technology is its limited view of application deployments. BCI technology can only be applied to Java and .Net applications. However, a production enterprise application depends on many other components that are simply out of the radar of BCI technology.  For example, proxy servers, web-servers (e.g. Apache, Sun One, etc.), load-balancers, ESBs, SSO, rich clients, and many other components are not visible when depending on BCI. The bottom line is that developer-centric APM lacks a holistic view of how the entire infrastructure supports applications.

An operations-centric approach to APM is different in terms of requirements. Ops handles numerous applications and don’t have the bandwidth to get familiar with the code of each managed and packaged application. They require a tool that can easily be deployed across the enterprise without depending on Development to help set it up, and with a broader visibility into the entire infrastructure that support the application, beyond the .Net and Java processes. Finally they require an “always on” solution that models, baselines and shows the trends of applications performance across the entire infrastructure.

Consider a production deployment on a packaged application. You will have few Apache web-server in the front-end connected to the organization LDAP and SSO platform. Next tier will be a cluster of java processes behind a load-balancer and at the backend you will probably find a database, web-services, ESBs and a mainframe.

IT Operations are in charge of keeping this running and meeting its SLAs. CPU reading, Network throughout, and other resource consumption metrics are important, but, they don’t tell much about the application performance and the end-user-experience. Dev-centric APM tools are usually hard to implement on a packaged application, and even when they work they only provide visibility to the performance of the Java containers. A failure at the SSO level will not be visible to these tools.

Ops-centric APM promises to provide an “always on” horizontal monitoring solution that tracks each end user request from the desktop down to the database, showing how each silo in the transaction path impact the transaction performance and the end user experience response time. The continuous modeling of the application performance helps to sense changes with the application performance and isolate the root cause across the tiers by comparing the performance model to a baseline period.

The operations-centric approach should be strongly considered by IT shops that need broad base coverage in a complex environment. What capabilities are most important to you or your IT team?

September 29, 2011

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Correlsense Named a Visionary in Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring

Framingham, MA | September 29, 2011 - Correlsense, the leader in IT ReliabilityTM software, announced today it had been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the latest “Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring” published on September 19, 2011 by Will Cappelli and Jonah Kowall. Gartner evaluated 29 vendors in the report.

This positioning as a “visionary” was based on evaluations of Correlsense’s SharePath Real User Monitoring (RUM) and SharePath Data Center products.

“We are honored to be included in this Magic Quadrant and considered an APM visionary by Gartner,” stated Oren Elias, chief executive officer of Correlsense. “We believe this recognizes our innovative approach in a tremendously competitive market. In the coming year, we will continue to enhance our SharePath RUM product which is the only downloadable RUM solution on the market today and our SharePath Data Center Edition which provides true end-to-end transaction visibility.”

About the Magic Quadrant

The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2011 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner’s analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to choose only those vendors placed in the “Leaders” quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About Correlsense

Correlsense is the leader in IT Reliability™ software. Correlsense SharePath provides a breakthrough in IT Reliability by enabling both a birds-eye and detailed view of how business transactions perform across the four dimensions of end-users, applications, infrastructure and business processes. While other service management and performance management applications focus on identifying problems at individual components (servers, databases, etc.), SharePath automatically detects and traces each entire transaction path, through all its hops across data center tiers. Correlsense was founded in 2005 and is privately held.

July 25, 2011

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ASG Software Solutions Partners with Correlsense to Add Advanced Transaction Management Capabilities

Framingham, MA | July 25, 2011 - ASG Software Solutions announced today that it has entered into a strategic marketing relationship with Correlsense, Inc., a Gartner Group “Cool Vendor” and APM Innovator. Headquartered in Framingham, MA, Correlsense offers cross-platform Application Performance Management through Business Transaction Management to help companies boost IT reliability, lower costs, and gain better visibility into the multi-tiered transaction systems.

“As enterprises migrate infrastructures and workloads to cloud technologies, they need new ways to monitor applications across these increasingly complex environments.”

“Correlsense’s SharePath provides a unique approach to monitoring applications and transactions which complements our diverse portfolio of network and application management tools,” said Arthur Allen, President and CEO of ASG. “As enterprises migrate infrastructures and workloads to cloud technologies, they need new ways to monitor applications across these increasingly complex environments.”

SharePath’s patent–pending technology provides unprecedented transparency into the many paths that transactions follow throughout the enterprise. ASG will be marketing and selling SharePath along with ASG’s real, synthetic and deep-dive monitoring tools such as TMON, TriTune, PERFMAN and others. SharePath views everything flowing into and out of a server at the operating system level. This low-overhead approach makes SharePath simple to implement, easy to use, and available for a diverse range of customer configurations. Today’s dynamic distributed virtualized cloud environments can benefit from real-time tracking of transactions as they move from tier to tier, server to server, and application to application without system constraints. Enterprises can also mitigate mainframe MIPS costs by understanding which applications, transactions, and users create the greatest system loads.

“We are excited to partner with a market leader like ASG,” said Oren Elias, CEO of Correlsense. “Using SharePath, along with TMON and other ASG products, provides in-depth views of application transactions from the end user all the way to the database and mainframe, giving CIOs and IT managers a more effective way to monitor and troubleshoot Cloud, virtual, and traditional IT applications.”

About ASG

ASG Software Solutions is a global software solutions provider that helps more than 85 percent of the world’s largest companies drive business success by managing complex IT operations across distributed, mainframe, and cloud environments.

More than 3,200 customers worldwide successfully reduce costs, improve business-service delivery, and reduce risks by using ASG’s broad portfolio of solutions, including Cloud Management, Metadata Management, Information Management, Applications Management, Infrastructure Management, Operations Management, Performance Management, and Enterprise Automation Management (EAMS). To further capitalize on technology innovation, ASG’s Cloud Orchestration Suite offers companies an easy on-ramp to the cloud by integrating cloud-based applications with existing applications and databases.

Founded in 1986 by Arthur L. Allen, ASG is a privately-held company based in Naples, Florida, USA, with approximately 1,100 employees and 74 Offices in 31 Countries. Learn more at www.asg.com.

About Correlsense

Correlsense is a leading provider of application performance management solutions. The company’s flagship product, SharePath, is a transaction management solution which enables IT organizations to be more agile when introducing new business services in physical, virtual, or hybrid environments. Effortless to install, a SharePath solution can be up, running, and providing value in less than a day. Leveraging a unique approach that combines both transaction tracking and automatic application behavior modeling, SharePath provides IT organizations with actionable knowledge on how to avoid disruptions, maintain high service levels, and constantly improve end-user experience. For more information please visit www.correlsense.com or download the free Express edition of SharePath at www.real-user-monitoring.com

March 14, 2011

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Correlsense Unveils SharePath RUM Express, Enterprise and Cloud Editions to Manage Web-based Application Performance

Correlsense, a provider of IT Reliability™ solutions, today announced the availability of SharePath RUM Express, the only free, purely software-based solution for measuring the end-user experience of cloud-based and on-premise applications. In addition, Correlsense also launched the SharePath RUM Enterprise and Cloud editions, which offer expanded capabilities at an affordable price guaranteed to be 85 percent less expensive than comparable real user monitoring solutions available today.

Customer-facing applications, such as online banking and e-commerce, are used by businesses to drive revenue and ensure business continuity. Real user monitoring (RUM) lets businesses isolate problems and pinpoint bottlenecks that exist in the data center, network or applications. With this information easily accessible, enterprises can proactively identify and fix problems before customers are affected, reducing the number of service complaints and solidifying customer loyalty.

“We operate a complex, multi-site Web application, and our customers’ experiences are very important to us,” said Matty Roter, director of IT and operations at SuperDerivatives, Inc., the derivatives benchmark and leading multi-asset front office system provider. “We chose SharePath RUM because it lets us monitor and analyze performance without installing any components on the client side. We installed SharePath on Web servers in our New York and London data centers. Using SharePath RUM, we are able to identify application and networking challenges and take proactive action to correct them, ensuring optimal performance for our customers at all times.”

IT teams can use SharePath RUM to monitor service levels in public cloud environments such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), as well as for privately hosted applications. The solution is preconfigured for easy, rapid deployment. Within minutes, businesses gain multi-level visibility into the user experience, including the time it takes a transaction to complete from a click at the desktop through the IT infrastructure and back.

Other valuable metrics SharePath RUM Express offers include the speed at which the data center processes user requests, the network delays between the end user and the data center, and the time it takes a browser to completely render a Web page. SharePath RUM Express measures every end-user interaction, unlike some solutions that rely upon synthetic transactions and consequently deliver a less reliable picture of true user experience.

The free version of SharePath RUM Express, along with supporting resources, is available for download at http://www.real-user-monitoring.com. This perpetual license supports two Web servers and one application. The SharePath RUM Enterprise Edition offers additional scalability for multiple Web servers and applications at a significantly reduced cost when compared to any other solution on the market.

“IT operations are struggling to manage application performance in agile environments that experience frequent and extensive change,” said Oren Elias, CEO of Correlsense. “With SharePath RUM, enterprises gain visibility into what the real user experience is and the improvements that are needed, leading to greater IT reliability and better customer experiences with online applications.”

About Correlsense
Correlsense SharePath provides a breakthrough in IT Reliability™ by enabling for the first time both a bird’s-eye and detailed view of how business transactions perform across the four dimensions of end-users, applications, infrastructure and business processes. While other service management and performance management applications focus on identifying problems at individual components (servers, databases, etc.), SharePath automatically detects and traces each entire transaction path, from a click in the browser through all its hops across data center tiers. With the ability to record and correlate individual transaction activations across both physical and virtual components, IT gains full visibility of the transaction metrics required to ensure IT Reliability™ for packaged and homegrown applications. The rich data from SharePath is used by major enterprises to rapidly pinpoint and solve problems and to gain unprecedented insights for their IT service management initiatives such as ITIL.

January 31, 2011

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Correlsense and Avada Partnership Provides a Comprehensive Management and Monitoring Solution for Messaging-Based Environments

Framingham, Mass., January 31, 2011Correlsense, a provider of IT Reliability™ solutions, announced today that it has partnered with Avada Software to offer a comprehensive application performance management solution for enterprise IT environments whose application integrations rely upon enterprise messaging products like IBM WebSphere MQ, TIBCO Enterprise Message Service™ or other JMS messaging products. Avada Software provides Enterprise Messaging Management solutions so customers can rapidly pinpoint problems and collaboratively manage performance across the enterprise infrastructure and within enterprise messaging platforms, application servers and Web services.

Using both Infrared360™ by Avada Software and SharePath by Correlsense gives customers a broad yet detailed picture to identify where application and message infrastructure issues are occurring and the appropriate actions needed for rapid resolution. Added benefits include significantly reduced operating costs, better use of senior IT resources, improved service levels, and a simplified management process for application performance and business processes.

“IT managers want solutions that simplify administration and monitor the health of their applications, address the business impact problem, and ensure that service level agreements are met so there is no loss of business or customers,” said Peter D’Agosta, acting COO of Avada Software. “In partnering with Correlsense, we are broadening the management capabilities for Fortune 2000 companies down to the transaction level, allowing them greater insight into probable concerns within their message-based enterprise applications.”

Correlsense’s SharePath is an IT Reliability platform that provides enterprises with unprecedented visibility into how transactions perform across the entire infrastructure. Environments that rely on enterprise messaging products are complex to manage from a performance perspective because each end-user request traverses many components and shared services. SharePath provides customers with the visibility required to understand which component impacts the end-user experience even in such complex integrated environments.

“In seeking to provide enterprises with greater insight into their infrastructure and align business and IT mandates, we are partnering with companies like Avada Software who specialize in operational monitoring and management for key enterprise middleware components such as messaging, application servers and Web services,” said Oren Elias, CEO of Correlsense. “This cooperation demonstrates the market need for both horizontal transaction management solutions, with complementary vertical monitoring solutions that drive additional value across the organization.”

About Correlsense
Correlsense SharePath provides a breakthrough in IT Reliability™ by enabling for the first time both a bird’s-eye and detailed view of how business transactions perform across the four dimensions of end-users, applications, infrastructure and business processes. While other service management and performance management applications focus on identifying problems at individual components, SharePath automatically detects and traces each entire transaction path, from a click in the browser through all its hops across data center tiers. With the ability to record and correlate individual transaction activations across both physical and virtual components, IT gains full visibility of the transaction metrics required to ensure IT Reliability™ for packaged and homegrown applications. The rich data from SharePath is used by enterprises to rapidly pinpoint and solve problems and to gain unprecedented insights for their IT service management initiatives such as ITIL. For more information please visit www.correlsense.com.

About Avada Software
Avada Software’s Infrared360™ is the most innovative and cost effective software product that enables collaboration across and between IT and business groups to identify and rapidly resolve or prevent application messaging integration problems which negatively impact business operations.

Infrared360 permits a granularly secure, delegation of critical work to only those resources with the permission and appropriate skill to enable problem resolution. Providing monitoring, managing and testing of message-based, enterprise business applications, IR360 fosters necessary intergroup collaboration, without compromising security or compliance policies.

Top global companies in banking, finance, airlines, pharmaceuticals and others using IR360 have realized short ROI and extraordinary reduced operating costs. For more information please visit www.avadasoftware.com.

January 4, 2011

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SharePath – IT Reliability Through BTM

Managing IT Infrastructure Means Effectively Managing Change

Modernizing a data center, implementing a private cloud, moving to a public cloud or just managing the daily routine of rolling out new applications are initiatives that can have great impact not only on the IT environment, but on end users and the company’s bottom line. The dynamic nature of change—and its increasing frequency—make it a significant issue in IT today. Managing change from an application performance perspective is a key factor for IT success. Likewise, in today’s dynamic environment it is the basis for assuring that end-users are not negatively impacted by critical changes and that service level agreements (SLAs) continue to be met.

Existing Tools are Optimized for Managing Steady State IT Environments, Not Change

Most existing IT management tools do well managing a steady state in environments where today’s system configuration and requirements haven’t changed from yesterday, and will remain the same tomorrow. The problem is that you most need help from your tools when change is occurring. For example, the only way to diagnose a service level degradation is to find out what has changed and use that information to get to the source of the problem.

Change efforts are always started with positive goals and the best intentions—for example, modernizing a data center to lower costs or to roll out a new application with the aim of increasing revenue. Your current tools will ensure that your change efforts don’t completely fail and that you will get the data center migrated or the new application will go online. The nightmare happens when performance issues arise in a new production environment. Legacy applications in a new data center may work, but perhaps they’re not performing as well as they did in the previous environment and they aren’t meeting their SLAs. So, the change efforts that started with the best intentions become exercises in finger pointing and blamestorming.

SharePath – Effectively Managing Change through Transaction Management

SharePath is an innovative IT reliability platform that helps companies manage change in their business and IT environments to ensure end-users are not negatively impacted. SharePath’s patent-pending technology tracks every individual transaction across all of its hops—from a click in the browser through all the data center layers and back. It then automatically builds accurate models of transaction behavior that visualize the exact impact of each IT component on end-user response time. Those models are then used to analyze changes that happened or are happening and understand exactly what is impacting, or more importantly, may impact, your end users. SharePath does not require expensive manual modeling of your systems or risky modification of your application code, and it doesn’t add any measurable overhead. SharePath ensures that if a performance problem occurs, you know immediately where, why, and who is affected—and you have all the information you need to quickly resolve performance issues. Think of SharePath as an insurance policy to guard against the risks associated with change, regardless of which phase you are in the project lifecycle.

It is easy to get started with SharePath for these IT initiatives:

  • Data Center Migration
  • Private Cloud Implementation
  • Public Cloud Migration
  • Application Rollout Management

October 18, 2010

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Correlsense and Coradiant Partner to Deliver Complete Application Performance Monitoring

Correlsense, a provider of IT Reliability™ solutions, announced today that it has partnered with Coradiant® Inc., a leading provider of end-user experience solutions, to offer joint customers an end-to-end solution for monitoring Web application and data center performance. Together, the companies provide complete end-user monitoring along with greater granularity and rich contextual data, reducing the costs and time associated with identifying, isolating, analyzing and resolving application performance problems.

Daily user transactions represent the link between IT and business concerns for any enterprise. By using transaction management and on-the-fly transaction path detection throughout the data center – including applications, databases, proxies, Web servers, load balancers, service buses and message brokers – companies can quickly identify and solve problems that would otherwise impede business activity.

“Customers rely on our monitoring solutions to measure and improve the end-user experience and understand when performance problems are occurring,” said Ali Hedayati, president and chief operating officer of Coradiant. “Together with Correlsense, we’re extending the value, enabling customers to effectively isolate problems in the data center and pinpoint their exact origins.”

Supporting the Coradiant Open Application Visibility Architecture, Correlsense’s SharePath IT Reliability™ platform seamlessly works with Coradiant TrueSight® to provide insight into how data center components impact end-user experiences and service levels. SharePath gives enterprises unprecedented visibility into how transactions perform across the entire infrastructure, helping them to move from chasing fires to creating value across the organization.

“Beyond performance management, businesses today need reliability from IT and the kind of actionable data that enables fulfillment of service level agreements,” said Oren Elias, CEO of Correlsense. “This cooperation reflects the market demand for an integrated solution that increases visibility into how transactions perform across the entire infrastructure so companies can quickly diagnose application issues in real time and protect the end-user experience.”

The joint offering will be available in Q4 2010.

About Correlsense
Correlsense SharePath provides a breakthrough in IT Reliability™ by enabling for the first time both a bird’s-eye and detailed view of how business transactions perform across the four dimensions of end-users, applications, infrastructure and business processes. While other service management and performance management applications focus on identifying problems at individual components, SharePath automatically detects and traces each entire transaction path, from a click in the browser through all its hops across data center tiers. With the ability to record and correlate individual transaction activations across both physical and virtual components, IT gains full visibility of the transaction metrics required to ensure IT Reliability™ for packaged and homegrown applications. The rich data from SharePath is used by enterprises to rapidly pinpoint and solve problems and to gain unprecedented insights for their IT service management initiatives such as ITIL. For more information please visit www.correlsense.com.

About Coradiant
Coradiant is the leading provider of solutions used to manage, optimize and troubleshoot Web applications. Coradiant’s award-winning TrueSight® products use customer metrics gathered from each Web user visit as their primary data source for IT management. Coradiant Web Performance Management products are deployed in hundreds of leading organizations and Fortune 500 companies including software as a service (SaaS), e-commerce, entertainment, finance, insurance, healthcare, and education. Coradiant is headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.coradiant.com.

September 7, 2010

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Video Series Episode 3 – IT Reliability

My previous 2 posts discuss the new videos we have posted to YouTube about how to solve the end-to-end transaction tracing problem.

Thinking about it some more, I doubt there’s another company in our space that was founded by guys that actually solved performance problems for a living. I’d bet more on big shot founders that forgot what a line of code looks like, or business/product managers from a Java profiling vendor that decided they can do it better. But none of them were actually on the other side.

Well both Oren and I were, and we’ve been doing this for over a decade now. (Check out this short clip on how/why we started Correlsense.) We really feel the pain and frustration when there’s a crisis and you really don’t have a clue. We’ve been in this spot so many times in the past….a true transaction tracing solution is the only product that can help during these situations, and right now, still, there is only one available.

The last part of this 3-part series goes beyond application performance management and discusses how you can use the data we collect for capacity planning, cost allocation, change management, and more. View Part 3: Correlsense SharePath for IT Reliability.

The other 2 videos in the series are:
What is the Transaction Tracing Problem (Part 1 of 3)
How Correlsense Solves the Transaction Tracing Problem (Part 2 of 3)
If you like what you see, subscribe to our channel on YouTube and follow us on Twitter.

August 31, 2010

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Correlsense SharePath for IT Reliability (Part 3 of 3)


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Lanir Shacham, Correlsense CTO, on using transaction data for capacity planning, performance management, cost allocation, change management, and auditing.
Duration: 3:16

August 18, 2010

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IT Reliability Through Business Transaction Management

Every organization wants IT reliability: confidence that technology powered business processes will be available, perform well, and adapt to changing business conditions. Companies need to know exactly what is going on and need to be able to predict what the impact of changes will be. To achieve these goals IT has made significant investments in initiatives and technologies such as service management, application performance management, and ITIL. Yet, the goal of predictable IT reliability is still eluding most companies and our experience with large enterprises indicates that this is due to the lack of a business context and the necessary IT transactional data. Business transaction management technology is the key to solving this challenge by allowing organizations to collect and analyze the transactional data required to drive effective IT management processes and achieve IT reliability.

Reliability is not just an issue for the IT staffer at the operational level. It’s keeping the business decision makers up at night as well.
– Evaluating IT Reliability: Prerequisite to CIO Success – CIO 2 CIO Perspectives

The Foundation for IT Reliability

Consider two analogies where technology breakthroughs in tracking and correlating transactional data have transformed businesses:

  1. When a CFO shows up at an executive or board meeting to discuss how the business is doing and how the quarter is shaping up, she pulls from their financial systems an up to date detailed chart of accounts that includes every financial transaction that has occurred. Aggregating that data into categories, trending data from previous quarters, plus tracking leading indicators provides a complete view of the business. With this data, executives and managers adjust strategies to produce reliable results, respond to changing conditions, and adjust expectations.
  2. Why do large retail businesses know exactly what to ship, when, and where? Because they are able to track every item they sell from manufacturing to distribution center, to trucks, to store shelf, to check out register. They know what is selling and where and they know exactly how to get needed items to stores before the store’s stock runs out. The system is extremely reliable because detailed data is tracked and available.

Recent research has defined reliability in terms of availability, predictability and manageability. The CIOs interviewed by IDG added a host of factors to that bucket, including adaptability, scalability and security.
– Evaluating IT Reliability: Prerequisite to CIO Success – CIO 2 CIO Perspectives

Now, let’s contrast these two analogies with how IT operates today:

  • IT collects samples of data in disconnected silos – IT knows how application servers and databases are doing, but typically only monitor some of the data. This is like managing a chart of accounts without the detailed financial transactions. Or knowing how many items stores are selling, and how many are on stock, but only for some of the items and some of the stores.
  • IT does not have an end-to-end transaction view – There is end user experience data, infrastructure performance data, and application availability data, but no trace of a business transaction from user action through each data center tier and back to the user. In our CFO example this would be like having no order to cash process and tracking. In our retail distribution example it would be like not knowing where an item is at any time from manufacturing to point of sale.
  • IT simulates transactions – IT uses synthetic transactions in hope it will tell them how applications are performing, but it is not able to constantly track all transactions. You cannot predict how your business is doing by tracking a few select accounting transactions; and you cannot predict on-time stocking, by a few sample items.

What IT has been missing is fully correlated business transaction data, just like financial systems have done for running the business and item tracking has done for retail. This is the foundation of IT reliability. 

Figure 1 – Today’s silo approach, monitoring individual components and tiers.To play a strategic role in the business, driving the transformations that produce top and bottom line value, IT needs to move past just keeping the lights on. But it is hard to be proactive when you are overwhelmed chasing fires and trying to fix problems. To overcome this vicious circle and establish its foundation for IT reliability IT needs to:

  1. Operate and communicate in a business context, not just in a technology context.
  2. Evolve f rom a component focus and silo approach (end users, applications, and infrastructure) to a business transaction focus, so solving problems and planning is done efficiently and holistically.
  3. Access a 24/7 view of business transactional data to understand exactly what is going on and to leverage that across core IT management processes.

4D Visibility into Your Enterprise

The promise of IT Reliability is to finally be able to manage IT f rom a business perspective and make sense of the complexity of modern applications that utilize services across distributed environments, real and virtual, both behind the firewall and in the cloud. Business transactions touch every layer of infrastructure and applications across wide networks, with downtime and poor performance directly impacting revenue, brand, and customer loyalty/retention. Thus the need is paramount for business technology services that can ensure highly reliable transactions.

Transaction tracing across all application stack and supporting infrastructure components is critical not only for rapid fault diagnosis and change impact analysis, but also to proactively ensure the reliability of business technology. Although a number of transaction-tracing solutions have come to the market, they have either brought data accuracy and comprehensiveness at the price of heavy instrumentation and transaction code alteration, or have minimized their footprint but have sacrificed comprehensiveness and accuracy in the process.
– Cool Vendors in IT Operations, 2009, Kris Brittain, Will Cappelli, Debra Curtis, Donna Scott, Milind Govekar, John P Morency, David Williams – Gartner, March 24, 2009

Correlsense SharePath is a breakthrough in IT Reliability that gathers the details and correlations of all the transactions that drive your business in a Reliability Management Data Base (RMDB). Business transactions are tracked starting with a click in the browser all the way through the datacenter including proxy servers, web servers, application servers, message brokers, databases, and mainframe. The 4D glasses of SharePath analytics provide for the first time a view of the connections across the four dimensions of end-users, applications, infrastructure and business processes. And SharePath was designed and proven to accomplish this with negligible overhead to your production systems.

Figure 2 – Correlsense SharePath – Correlated transactional data to feed IT management processes for IT reliability.You are probably wondering where SharePath fits in what you are already doing and with the tools you have in place.

  • Does an IT Reliability solution replace the traditional monitoring and performance tools I already have? SharePath gives you horizontal coverage across your tiers and complements your existing investment in monitoring tools by pinpointing where you should apply them.
  • Do we need new processes and roles to achieve IT reliability? SharePath provides the business context and correlated transactional data required to accelerate and optimize your service management, application performance management, and ITIL processes to manage incidents, problems, changes, releases, configurations, availability, capacity, service continuity, IT security, service desk, IT financials, compliance and auditing

This [SharePath] is a breakthrough in our monitoring capabilities; our operations and applications teams know exactly where a problem is and no longer waste time pointing fingers at each other.
– CIO, Major International Bank

Why Do We Need New Technology?

While the concept of business transaction management is simple to grasp, implementing it in a mission-critical, distributed, service-oriented environment that is constantly changing is quite tricky. There are six fundamental challenges that a business transaction management solution for IT Reliability must address:

  1. Monitor all components across all platforms that a transaction touches.
  2. Map all the hops of a transaction, beginning at the end user, in a complete transaction topology.
  3. Rapidly implement the solution without invasive instrumentation.
  4. Do it without impacting the performance of monitored systems.
  5. Efficiently manage large amounts of data very fast.
  6. Analyze data and present it in actionable, intuitive dashboards and reports.

Correlsense has successfully addressed all six challenges with its SharePath solution that is based on self-configuring collectors that gather transaction data at the OS level. This is a non-invasive and platform independent approach that is implemented in a couple of weeks and has negligible performance impact on production systems, allowing organizations to monitor all their transactions, all the time.

The largest IT operations management software vendors, built through acquisition, have significant market share, but the product innovation needed to meet some of today’s IT infrastructure challenges remains in the hands of the smaller, more-agile vendors. …Use these innovative point products to augment your IT operations management architecture.
– Has Market Consolidation Killed IT Operations Management Tool Innovation? – David Williams, Gartner, March 23, 2009

SharePath employs patent-pending correlation algorithms to automatically map the topology of transactions and correlate each of their segments in its reliability management data base (RMDB). It then monitors the metrics of each transaction for SLA compliance and applies business analytics to proactively manage services and accurately pinpoint problems.

Figure 3 – SharePath non-intrusive architecture collects detailed transactional intelligence without application instrumentation or impact on performance. These unique capabilities allow companies to: a. Be notified when a business transaction (i.e. “Move money xxxx account A to account B”) does not meet defined SLAs.

Figure 4 – Transaction Watch – This SLA Dashboard displays all of the transaction types that have been auto-discovered, the number of times each transaction has been activated by an end user in the given time-frame and how well the transaction types are meeting SLAs. SLAs can be measured xxx the desktop or xxxx the entry point to the datacenter. b. Understand what layers of the datacenter are touched by each transaction (auto-discovered).

Figure 5 – Topology Map – This is a real-time application dependency map that is based on the actual transactions that are flowing through the application. Each circle represents an application node which could be a proxy server, web server, database, mainframe, etc. Both physical and virtual nodes are displayed. c. Know exactly where a transaction is getting stuck in the data center (what is slowing it down, what process it is waiting for…) before end-users feel there is a problem.

Figure 6 – This transaction breakdown by tier view shows that the bottleneck is clearly in the data warehouse database.

We thought we knew what was going on in our data center, but we uncovered lots of problem areas we were not aware of; and I sleep better now, knowing they are not going to catch me by surprise.
– VP of Operations, F100 Financial Institution

d. Monitor in real time the health of all transactions associated with a particular service or line of business (online banking, claim processing, new accounts, ecommerce…) e. Trace workload back to the user and transaction who originated it.

Figure 7 – Rapidly identifying the specific IP addresses that are creating the extra load.f. Understand the impact of application or infrastructure changes. g. Track compliance and security risks and violations. h. See the impact on all critical business functions of switching to disaster recovery locations. i. Have a common context and language for business, IT, application development and operations to work together.

IT Reliability & Continuous Improvement

Downtime and poor performance of applications directly impact revenue, brand, customer loyalty and retention. IT reliability is therefore critical to business success and competitiveness. But reliability is more than just availability and performance. Reliability is being an effective partner with the business to produce top and bottom line value, to constantly improve and evolve as an organization on all fronts. Approaching IT xxxx a business context and having access to detailed transactional data then becomes a vital requirement to bring together and connect the four dimensions of user experience, applications, infrastructure, and business processes. Business transaction management has emerged as the innovative approach that provides this much needed 4D view. Enterprises that have adopted the Correlsense IT Reliability solution are discovering that the wealth of business transaction data they now have available in their SharePath Reliability Management Data Base (RMDB) is invaluable to drive effective IT management processes and yield the desired value xxxx their service management, application performance management, and ITIL initiatives.