|Keynote Systems Partners with dynaTrace and OPNET; A Step Toward True End-to-End Visibility Into Application Performance?|
|Written by Bojan Simic|
|September 15, 2010|
Today, Keynote Systems and dynaTrace announced a strategic partnership that would allow end-users to leverage these two solutions in an integrated fashion. This is the second strategic partnership that Keynote has created in this space over the last two months, as they formed a similar type of relationship with OPNET Technologies that was announced on July 22. These partnerships might be confusing to some, as it might seem that these three companies are essentially doing the same thing: to monitor the performance of business-critical applications. However, while Keynote is specializing in monitoring the quality of end-user experience and performance testing for Web applications from the outside of the corporate firewall, OPNET and dynaTrace provide solutions for monitoring application performance across enterprise infrastructure inside of the firewall.
The general perception of solutions for end-user experience monitoring, such as the one that Keynote is providing, is that they are very effective in identifying when business users are experiencing problems with application performance, but they are not as effective in drilling down into parts of the application delivery chain to isolate and resolve the root cause of the problem. On the other hand, tools for monitoring the performance of internal infrastructure, such as OPNET or dynaTrace, are able to monitor the transaction flow of applications across the network and into the data center, and provide a deeper dive into how applications are performing, what is causing performance problems and how they can be prevented and resolved. TRAC’s recent report “10 Things to Consider When Evaluating End-User Monitoring Solutions” revealed that the ability to integrate tools for monitoring the quality of end-user experience with tools for monitoring enterprise infrastructure is one of the key aspects of having full visibility into application performance. With that said, there is a clear value that end-user organizations can experience when products that include robust capabilities for application performance management (such as OPNET and dynaTrace) get integrated with one of the leading solutions for end-user experience monitoring from outside of the firewall (Keynote).
However, in order to evaluate a true significance of these partnerships, they should be analyzed in the context of some of the key dynamics in this market. There has been a lot of talk in this market about the need for “end-to-end” visibility into application performance. This trend has been mostly driven by requests from the end-user, as they are looking to have visibility into the entire transaction flow for their business critical applications. However, “end-to-end visibility” is still more of a marketing term, as there is no clear understanding of where coverage of these solutions should begin and end, to be considered a true end-to-end solution. With that said, there are very few vendors that can provide complete visibility into application performance from the point of end-user interaction with the application all the way to the data center and across different tiers. There are even fewer companies that can enable this type of visibility and capture the performance of each segments of the application delivery chain (server, database, corporate network, public Internet, OS, end-user device, etc.).
The good news is that end-user organizations are becoming more vocal about their needs for end-to-end visibility into application performance and vendors are being forced to respond. Keynote’s partnerships with OPNET and dynaTrace, as well as a similar partnership that Keynote announced earlier in the year with Nagios came as a result of a number of end-user requests for this type of integration. Also, these partnerships are not isolated events in the market, as there have been several moves where vendors were looking to enable their customers to expand the reach of their application performance management initiatives and get at least closer to true “end-to-end visibility”. Some of these recent announcements include:
The other important aspect of these announcements is that the importance of capabilities for outside of firewall monitoring, such as the one that Keynote is providing, is increasing as more applications are becoming web-based and being delivered over the public Internet. As organizations are becoming increasingly interested in public cloud services and SaaS applications, outside of firewall monitoring could become a critical part of their application performance management initiatives. However, the number of technology vendors that can provide these types of capabilities is very limited, with Keynote and Gomez (division of Compuware) being market leaders, while some of the other providers of these capabilities include AlertSite, Webmetrics (division of Neustar) and a new entrant in this space, Catchpoint Systems.
The end-users’ request for true end-to-end visibility is forcing vendors to tap into technology capabilities that they currently do not have in house. It is expected that Keynote’s partnerships with OPNET and dynaTrace are just the start of a series of moves – partnerships or acquisitions – that could significantly change how different flavors of APM solutions work together.
Tags: solutions, end-user, performance, application, applications, monitoring, experience, tools