RealTime IT News

A Wily Agent to Troubleshoot

Ask an application management team to list its biggest headache and you're likely to hear a variant of this: As Web-based applications spread wide and far across enterprise networks, tracking down problems is too complex.

Is the application glitch related to database problems? Sending too many transaction messages? Try the network administrator, or the database administrator. No luck? Check with the desktop administrator.

After all, said Lewis Cirne, founder and CTO of management application player Wily Technology, today's composite Web applications mean many network teams are monitoring controlled and uncontrolled networks. Application transactions can now potentially touch all systems in an enterprise, he added, yet few support teams have a streamlined collaboration system designed to get to the root of the problem.

The Brisbane, Calif.-based Wily, which specializes in J2EE-based application management systems, sees a market ripe for a new strategy to collect trouble data more efficiently in today's distributed networks. The company has launched a new package of services and application management improvements designed to help far-flung network teams collaborate on trouble shooting.

Called Management 360, Wily's package includes an advanced new application performance agent that sits at a critical juncture: where J2EE-based applications are traversing a network. Call it a kind of "flight recorder" that collects transaction data, which is then compressed -- in some cases taking 1 to 2 terabytes of data and compressing it to 70 gigabytes. It then assists with metrics to help admins pluck the data they need for event monitoring.

But Cirne said that's just one aspect of the Management 360 package, which includes software, services, support, training and best practices; it is designed to help organizations implement a collaborative application management strategy.

The package starts with new additions to Wily's Intrascope monitoring product. For example, Intrascope 5.3 features its Browser Response Time Adapter, part of an improved agent system that sits at the hub of activity and monitors responses to end-user browser requests. In addition, Wily officials said full end-to-end monitoring is achieved without additional hardware, synthetic transactions, applets or changes to the application code.

The "flight recorder" feature in the release is called SmartStor, which records 100 percent of the data reported to Intrascope and then makes it available for viewing in customized dashboards, Cirne explained. The data can also be sliced up so that CIO is seeing a top-level view of the network, while other business teams are getting trend analysis, capacity planning or other reports germane to their tasks. The bottom line is that the same data is being viewed in a variety of formats and dashboards across the enterprise, he added.

Other features include command-line functions that let admins launch and execute tasks without being tethered to a workstation, as well as support for Linux.

All the new features and methods are supported by Wily's consulting services, which include training and implementation of best practices. Ultimately, lowering total cost of ownership of far-flung networks -- and their problems -- is the goal.

With the system, Cirne added, enterprise IT staffers can use a shared tool for their own purposes. Not only do they use the tool to monitor their own "silo," but they can also monitor and share real-time application performance data in pursuit of the problem.

The company's release of the Management 360 system also arrived at the same time a major enterprise software provider endorsed the product line. SAP said it is integrating Wily's Intrascope system with its own SAP NetWeaver platform in order to help boost customer service and performance monitoring. The deal calls for SAP to distribute Intrascope with SAP NetWeaver to its customers.

"We really think we're going to change the way people manage their applications for the better," Cirne told internetnews.com. Indeed, Wily Tech officials called Management 360 the most significant upgrade in the company's history.