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Symantec Steps Deeper Inside The Data Center With Performance Monitoring

The enhanced tools can detect when application results are falling below expected levels or service level agreements and diagnose where the transaction is slowing down.

Symantec is moving deeper into data center management by enhancing its application performance-monitoring tools, Insight Inquire, Application Service Dashboard, and I3.

The company has added an embedded database to Insight Inquire Version 3.0 to capture response times when Inquire sends a synthetic transaction through the applications and databases that it monitors. By capturing the results of such transactions, Inquire is able to tell whether an application is running and yielding the expected results to end users, says Rob Greer, director of the performance-monitoring product line.

Inquire can detect when application results are falling below expected levels or service level agreements and diagnose where the transaction is slowing down, helping IT troubleshooters pinpoint the problem.

Inquire can now monitor applications supplied by Oracle, including Siebel and PeopleSoft applications, and by SAP. It has a playback feature that allows a troubleshooter to replay a recorded transaction to determine if it performed as expected.

Symantec has also upgraded the Application Service Dashboard to aggregate information from more sources, allowing users to customize the display of that information. In effect, the dashboard is an individualized Web portal that the user accesses. The dashboard's underlying technology, the open-source Liferay system, allows the display of different Web portal subprograms, or "portlets," to appear as their own icons or in their own separate windows, as arranged by the end user. In the past, a systems manager would have had to write script commands to change the display in an operations dashboard, Greer says.

The dashboard was used by CareGroup Healthcare a year ago to detect an application malfunction that was freezing patient information in a system serving three Boston hospitals. With the upgrade, it should be possible for systems managers to zero in more specifically on the information they wish to use to manage operations, Greer says.

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