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Dynatrace, Emulex team on application performance measurement

With NetPod, Dynatrace and Emulex say networking engineers will be able to accurately diagnose application performance problems.

Dynatrace and Emulex Corp. are rolling out a networking-oriented application performance measurement platform they contend will provide engineers with the tools they need to gauge application behavior across their networks.

NetPod, available early next year, combines Dynatrace's DC RUM real-time application performance analysis platform with Emulex's EndaceProbe Intelligent Network Recorder (INR) packet inspection appliance. The two companies have been working for the past year to integrate their respective technologies, said Mike Heumann, Emulex's vice president of product marketing and alliances.

"The whole idea is to provide [customers] with a comprehensive capability to look at network performance and how it's impacting applications," he said. With NetPod, networking teams will have access to packet-level analysis data, allowing them to more effectively diagnose the cause of application performance problems, he said.

Network engineers can be hamstrung by application behavior as they work to determine the source of performance glitches. Without context to make judgments, they can't see how the network might be affecting user experience. As a result, engineers frequently attack the symptom but do not solve the problem.

"With NetPod, they can dial down directly to see exactly what's happening and fix it the first time," Heumann said.

Extending packet analysis to higher-speed networks

NetPod extends the packet analysis capabilities presented by the companies in their first-generation offering, which was engineered for 10 Gbps networks.

This is a concerted effort to take the technology they have and put it in the hands of network managers.
Jim FreyEMA

NetPod supports high-speed 10/40/100 Gbps networks, and the device has been designed to support more of Dynatrace's probe technology within the INR. NetPod is also built upon the new version of DC RUM, 12.3, which will be generally available later this month. The platform can store up to 64 TB of data, and engineers can access several days' of historical data to diagnose performance issues.

The INR monitors and records real-time transactions across infrastructures that include load balancers, firewalls, servers, WAN accelerators and middleware. NetPod will be sold by both Dynatrace and Emulex. System integrators Forsythe Technology Inc. and World Wide Technology will also market the platform.

Giving engineers a deeper view into application performance

Providing engineers with the visibility they need to gauge application performance is becoming a critical component of today's networks, said Jim Frey, vice president of research, network management at Enterprise Management Associates.

"This is taking existing technologies and repackaging them in a new way to bring the value of what Dynatrace has been doing more directly to the networking engineering audience," he said.

In essence, NetPod gives engineers an application-aware network performance management tool, Frey said. It does that by performing both packet inspection and analysis to determine application quality. "There are really a lot of direct measurements you can make that are application-oriented, but you also get a sense of how all the applications are interacting as well and you can also understand the health and activity on the network as a whole," Frey said.

NetPod will also give Dynatrace technology it needs to compete more aggressively with other network performance vendors, including Riverbed Technology, NetScout and JDSU.

"[Dynatrace] always had a viable option from a technology perspective, but they hadn't focused on the networking community," Frey said. "This is a concerted effort to take the technology they have and put it in the hands of network managers."

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