Performance Beyond the PingBy Regina Kwon Print
For most companies, performance monitoring consists of the same availability and response-time metrics used during quality-assurance testing.
But as anyone who's lost an online shopping cart knows, such checks do not show if an application really works. These tests only report if a server is available and how quickly it responds to a request.
New tools now let you measure how applications behave. One method is to look at the content of data being shuttled between client and server; another is to compare actual user behavior with expected patterns.
Naturally, applications for customers and partners—such as handling online orders or customer registration— are the most commonly measured programs. Companies might consider measuring the performance of hosted applications as well, but because most tools of this type must reside on the server, those measures are available only if the application service provider (ASP) has installed the software. As for ASPs, their use of application monitoring software is still a rarity, says Tim Smith, director of marketing at monitoring-software vendor TeaLeaf Technology.
Cary Fulbright, vice president of marketing at ASP salesforce.com, thinks ASPs will welcome the extra record-keeping.
"It makes sense that [customers] would measure and monitor our performance. It's a sign that ASPs are taken seriously by large businesses," he says.
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