Citrix Application Performance Management
Sometimes, in order to be successful in business, all it takes is a shift in perspective. For example, in the application performance management space, most organizations spend money and energy “bean counting” their links and packets and the like. But those companies are often unable to answer simple questions like “what are users getting?” and “how does the user experience change throughout the day?” Companies like OPNET technologies have taken a different approach to application performance management, changing it from an infrastructure-centric approach to a transaction-centric approach, and that has made all the difference.
According to Alfred Jones, AVP and product manager of the application performance technologies division at OPNET, transaction-centric APM (News - Alert) is more user focused. Infrastructure-centric APM focuses on resources and whether they are being used properly. Jones says this is an important question, but not the first one that companies need to ask. More important, he says, are questions about the user: what was he doing and when was he doing it? What happened with the servers at this time? It is essential that the company nails down an idea of what the user did.
There are many benefits to this type of APM. According to Jones, it helps companies align with what customers want. It allows them to provide services to users despite challenges by delivering applications to users and measuring what is really happening by following what users are doing.
OPNET excels in many different aspects of APM, but one area of specialization is in Citrix application performance management. The challenge with Citrix is to separate the user from where the application is running. Where are the user transactions? What is the user executing? Since the user is separated from the transaction, there is a certain inherent complexity in tying the user identity to what he or she did. Most solutions monitor the Citrix layer and not what the user did. According to Jones, OPNET’s CX-Tracer ties the user to actual transactions, which can then be monitored.
The CX-Tracer solution is a new module for OPNET’s AppResponse Xpert. It gives engineers and application administrators the ability to troubleshoot Citrix. They can go in and find out when a user logged on, what the user wanted to do, what servers he was using, etc. It offers unrivaled visibility, says Jones, using sophisticated techniques to tell what the user was doing in detail and enable transaction analysis.
Jones stresses that APM has evolved; it was always done at the network layer, working with packets, etc. He says that the network layer is a place to start, but that the real value is looking at applications, marrying together to a seamless approach. CX Tracer is a big step past the network and the servers, looking at the app first and monitoring from there. It creates a broader path, and that is the value proposition for the OPNET solution: seeing a better way to handle APM.
To find out more about OPNET Technologies (News - Alert), visit the company at ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s largest communications and technology event. OPNET’s Vice President of R&D, Gurmeet Lamba, is speaking during “Migrating Your Apps to the Cloud: Planning and Key Considerations.” For more information on ITEXPO West 2012, click here.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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