Review of Wily Introscope for

minceillusionInternet and Web Development

Jul 30, 2012 (5 years and 20 days ago)

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Review of Wily Introscope for Microsoft .NET


It is 8:15 in the morning, and as you walk by the main conference room you overhear an
animated exchange between the leaders of your IT organization including directors for
Application Development, Production S
upport, Testing and QA. In addition to your
applications team, you also see your company
operations manager
,

the

network manager,

the lead analyst for the database team and
other assorted

technical leads
. O
ne of your
mission
-
critical, composite applicatio
ns is down and the finger
-
pointing is slowly
escalating.


How could this situation have been avoided?


I’ll tell you how. In today’s enterprise environments, composite applications create
dependencies between multiple technologies…and their respective sta
keholders.
Heterogeneity is now the norm, and it can have unintended consequences for large
enterprises.


Imagine in the example above that you’re an enterprise support lead, and one of your
Business Unit
directors
purchased a .NET based marketing analyti
cs product, despite the
fact

that

your company is primarily a J2EE shop. Your team used Services Oriented
Architecture (SOA) enabled Web Services to integrate production J2EE application data
into the .NET analytics tool for consolidated reporting to IT an
d business managers.


Your most senior (and most expensive) IT leads are trying to get to the bottom of an
application problem that is causing your business to lose money due to failing customer
transactions. Even though the point solutions that manage pe
rformance data for
everyone’s individual applications are “all green
,
” the compound application they enable
is not working end
-
to
-
end. Business leaders are complaining about loss of revenue, and
the situation is becoming worse with each passing minute. How

did the complexity of
your enterprise environment get out of hand? How could this costly downtime have been
avoided?


Overview of CA Wily Introscope for .NET


Wily Technology is known for pioneering and leading the market for tools to manage
production J2
EE applications. Their Introscope solution features patented agent
technology that runs inside nearly any J2EE application servers (WebLogic, WebSphere,
etc.), and a system for collecting information and automatically generating real
-
time
alerts that allow

IT leaders to intercept performance problems before they compromise
business performance.






Caption: Introscope for .NET automatically detects your applications and their
dependencies and displays them in OOTB dashboards like this.



The new Wily In
troscope for .NET solution significantly expands Wily’s reach and value
to IT organizations by adding an integrated .NET agent to Introscope that consolidates
both J2EE and .NET application management metrics in a single product. Introscope also
monitors t
he performance of back
-
end systems such as databases and middleware, so the
addition .NET makes it one of the most comprehensive management solutions available
today. This consolidated view of performance management that Introscope for .NET
enables will be

a boon to companies because it streamlines the process of problem
resolution.


A robust, production level application performance monitoring solution, Wily Introscope
is capable of monitoring end
-
to
-
end transactions in real
-
time as they cross complex,
het
erogeneous enterprise applications. The solution monitors performance 24 x 7 of any
production server that supports a portion of a given target application, unlike other tools
like such as BMC AppSight that can only used after there has been a problem has
happened with the odd hope that the same problem reoccurs.


Key Features of Introscope for .NET

Wily Introscope for .NET is the first product that brings comprehensive production
application management and root
-
cause problem analysis to the world of .NET.
With
customizable alerts and detailed reporting, organizations can now elect to end the ‘blame
game’ as illustrated in the beginning of this article and replace it with an informed
conversation between the appropriate IT stakeholders. CA’s new Wily Introsc
ope for
.NET delivers the following features and benefits to people tasked with the management
of mission
-
critical applications:




Comprehensive visibility


Heterogeneity is a difficult, and real management
challenge. Introscope collects performance data f
rom today’s most popular and
important applications including J2EE, .NET, middleware and connected back
end systems and presents the data in a ‘single pane of glass’.



Real
-
transaction monitoring
-

In addition to collecting Permon data, Introscope
uses a Mi
crosoft standard interface and Wily’s patented instrumentation
technology to collect advanced availability and performance data from .NET
applications.



Automatic application discovery


Introscope for .NET adds intelligent new
features including the abilit
y to automatically identify, instrument and assess
normal performance of .NET and J2EE applications and connected back end
systems


something sure to save operations managers a ton of time.



Low overhead
-

If you are going to use it in production all of th
e time, it has to be
rock solid, and not create the problem you are trying to solve. Introscope has a
very light footprint in terms of both memory and CPU.



Automated alerts
-

There are lots of products that can monitor and alert. Since
Introscope collects

it own data at the applications level, the alerts based upon that
data are truly useful.



Customizable reporting


Transaction performance data is stored in Introscope’s
SmartStor database to generate SLA reports that are based upon true application
level
metrics like response time and applications availability.



Replaying Our Scenario with Introscope for .NET Installed


It is 8:15 in the morning, and as you walk by the main conference room you notice it is
empty. You pass by the
director
of Production Sup
port and the Database Team
lead
in the
hall who want to give you a heads up that there was a problem with the new analytics
application


but that it’s already been corrected.


It turns out that the
director
of Production Support received an automated aler
t in the AM
when response times for the new application were exceeded 1 second. He went to the
Operations Overview of Introscope to get a top down look at performance and could
immediately see that the database performance was below normal levels. He
drill
ed
into
the Database Detail view and
contacted
the Database Manager at his office
,

who
did
the
same.



.


Caption: Introscope’s application detail views are easily available with a single click
from the Operations Overview


Noting that the Backend Summa
ry light was yellow, his next step was to go look at some
back end detail for the database server. Drilling down in Introscope, the Database Team
lead
immediately noticed that the number of Database Connections in use has spiked, and
the number of availabl
e Database Connections has dropped to zero


Introscope allows the team to find and inspect the transactions that are causing the
slowdown, and identify the module that contains those transactions. It turns out that the
module in question was allocating dat
abase connections and not releasing them when it
was done with its transaction, which over time consumed the available pool of database
connections. Now that the Applications Support
T
eam knows that this is an issue with
how the application is using Databa
se connections, they can engage their development
team confident they know the root
-
cause of the problem.










Caption: Use Introscope’s TransactionTracer function to see problematic
transactions and understand why they’re failing


What I Really Li
ke
about
Introscope for .NET


Beyond deep functionality, there are two really important solution
-
wide benefits of this
product. The first is that.NET product leverages all of the development and engineering
work Wily invested over the years as they led the

market for J2EE management. So, the
.NET product literally stands on the shoulders of the J2EE product, and is very stable and
feature rich as a result.


The second is that the .NET product shares the same database, alerting system, and
console with the J
2EE product. With Service Oriented Architecture applications growing
in popularity, it is becoming increasingly the case that one SOA based applications
system will have some pieces written in Java to a J2EE applications server, and some
other pieces writt
en to .NET. Absent this new Wily product, having one application that
uses both Java and .NET adds another dimension to the ‘blame game’ that was depicted
at the beginning of this review.


Areas for Improvement With Introscope for .NET


Wily is well known

for leading the market in tools for J2EE applications management.
J2EE applications tend to be large, complex, business critical, and have their business
logic centralized into relatively few J2EE applications servers. So, the base price of
$9,450 per CPU

in the J2EE applications server is reasonable given the benefits that Wily
provides in the J2EE world.


If you have J2EE applications that you are already managing with Wily, and you are
adding some .NET components or services to these applications, buyi
ng more Wily
licenses at this price is a reasonable way to manage what will become an extremely
complex compound application. However, Introscope may be overkill for shops who are
putting their first departmental or internal .NET application together that
needs to work,
but that is not as business critical as the typical J2EE application.


Conclusion


If your enterprise environment contains both J2EE and .NET based applications,
Introscope for .NET from CA Wily can provide you with a single console that de
livers
visibility into both platforms and connected back
-
end systems for a truly comprehensive
view of application performance. If you’re managing a composite application that
contains both Java and .NET components, then this product could be of even great
er
benefit to your organization.


Author

Bernd Harzog

CEO

APM Experts

Bernd.Harzog@apmexperts.com


Byline
:

Bernd Harzog is an industry analyst and strategy consultant focusing upon the
applications perfor
mance and end
-
user experience markets.