Foglight Sheds Some Light On A Post-PC (Or Private?) Dell

Fighting off a moribund PC business and hostile bids to go private, Dell has announced Foglight APM (application performance monitoring) 5.9, a software upgrade which the company claims is unique in its ability to allow IT ‘to see every step of a transaction for a complete picture of the end user’s experience with an application, combined with the exact execution path and other details through the entire application stack from the code and middleware, all the way down through the operating system and hypervisor.’ The news comes less than two weeks after Dell reported its 1QFY2014 results, and a month after releasing Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition 6.8.

The new release represents a significant breakthrough in collaborative customer-centric APM, with user behavior monitoring, end-to-end transaction analysis and contextual forensics that provide critical insight for both IT and the business, said John Newsom, VP of Application Performance Monitoring. Other APM vendors provide part of the picture, but Dell is the first company to cover everything involved in a transaction, combining transaction centricity and customer centricity, he said. “We have the unique ability to pull together all aspects of that transaction.”

Newsom said the best measure of application delivery is the end-user experience, and Foglight APM offers a more dynamic, real-time, transaction-centric view of the entire application, including every aspect of every end user interaction. With Foglight, application support teams can see the exact end user experience, and isolate problems to application code within the browser or on the application server, external third party service calls, the application infrastructure, or anywhere else in the execution path. “When both IT and business analysts are equipped with answers, rather than data, MTTR (Mean Time To Recover) is drastically reduced and end-user experience is optimized.”

Newsom said there was internal debate about this release and what to be included or left for a major update due out within the next nine months. “There is a 6.0 on the horizon for the end of our fiscal year, which will take us further,” including significant UI launch.

The new version broadens the Foglight market, said Newsom, especially to organizations with external-facing models, which is a much broader audience than back-office apps. “This is about the customers’ customer. Instead of having a handful of really big customers like today, we should have hundreds of these.”

By the end of the year Dell will be delivering packages for do-it-yourself; customers. “We want to offer this sort of solution in a self-apply way…that’s what the market wants right now!”

For the first quarter of fiscal 2014 Dell reported a 79% drop in earnings on revenue of $14.1 billion, dragged down by the PC business – End User Computing – which saw revenue of $8.9 billion, down 7% year-over-year. The company’s non-PC segments turned in better performances, and although software revenue of $295 million did result in an operating loss, it said it’s on track to be profitable within the next 12 months.

Dell said Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition offers the ability to manage both data center server virtualization, as well as desktop virtualization, with added capabilities to track virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) performance from the application level all the way to the server and storage hardware level. ‘The former vFoglight (there’s a v in front of the name on purpose) – which was the top-end Quest server virtualization management tool – is now Foglight for Virtualization Enterprise Edition, and vFoglight Storage is now Foglight for Storage Management.’

Foglight APM 5.9 features:

-enhanced support for monitoring of AJAX applications;

-Transaction DNA technology that links all application layer traces back to the end user and their associated session activity;

-interactive pre-defined page content analysis that breaks down by location, browser and content type to understand common attributes of application performance slowdowns and errors;

-funnel analysis of multi-step transactions provides technical evidence for the impact on business transaction completion rates from factors such as web design, performance and more; and,

-Transaction Trace Repository for storage and analysis of high volume, high granularity data to address the Big Data problem in APM.


Disclaimer: Dell is a client of Wordslingers Ink, the marketing communications side of the business.


Author: Steve Wexler

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