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12/8/2008
07:06 PM
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ExtraHop Eases Application Performance

The company said its APM appliance gives administrators 10,000-foot to microscopic views of network applications on the same appliance.

Application management and troubleshooting is important when something goes horribly wrong.

Many products on the market today are too high level or too detailed, with few capabilities to bridge the gap. ExtraHop recently said its ExtraHop Application Delivery Assurance appliance provides both high-level, aggregate performance statistics, application-aware processing, and packet-level decodes, making the product suitable for both the business manager monitoring status and the network and application engineer troubleshooting issues.

The company founders, Jesse Rothstein, CEO, and Raja Mukerji, president, both come from F5 Networks where they developed and managed the F5 TMOS operating system used in F5 BigIP platform. Their combined F5 experience brings extensive knowledge in building high-performing software products and intimate knowledge of network application analysis, and an understanding of the tools required by IT and application developers to proactively manage application performance.

The key element network analysis vendors are focusing on, in particular vendors relatively new to the network analysis space such as Solera Networks and ClearSight Networks, is allowing users to perform free-form searching of network traffic and control the level of detail they need. Capacity planners need to see overall trends of network and application activity running across the network. Application managers need a more detailed view of how their applications are behaving based on servers and services definitions. Network administrators troubleshooting a performance problem may want to drill down to the individual session or even packet level. The same analysis product applies to three users with different needs.

There are many products that can monitor application performance from flow- and packet-based monitors like NetQoS SuperAgent or NetScout's nGenius Performance Manager. For more comparison between the products, InformationWeek has published an independent analysis, Download the report here (registration required).

Flow-based application monitors identify application-based port numbers and may even perform deep packet analysis to determine that traffic on port 80 is HTTP or something else. ExtraHop's protocol adapters are designed to peer deeper, discovering not only the application being used, but the transaction logic as well. Not only can the product tell you that the database application is performing poorly, but you can drill into the actual queries that are manifesting the issue.

Traditional Application Performance Management (APM) products such as NetIQ AppManager or Compuware Vantage use agents and optionally network probes to provide end-to-end statistics gathering. While these products provide application performance metrics, they don't allow the kind of drill-down necessary to identify specific application issues quickly and easily.

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