We have long believed that virtualization, IT as a Service, Private Clouds, and Public Clouds represent tectonic shifts in the systems management market. These shifts affect every segment of this market, including configuration management, provisioning and updating, infrastructure availability management, capacity management and of course applications performance management.

Applications Performance Management is destined to assume a key role in the future IT environment that is characterized by workloads getting dynamically provisioned (through IT as a Service or Private Cloud management offerings), being subject to dynamic operations (through vMotions triggered either manually, or automatically by DRS or other service assurance solutions), and getting distributed across physical data centers either within an enterprise, or across a private cloud and a public cloud.

These new ways in which applications will get deployed create new requirements for how they need to be managed, hence the central role of APM solutions in management. In the physical world, very few applications were actually managed by APM solutions. In the virtual and private cloud world, we assert that every application needs to be managed for response time, and that next generation APM solutions are what should do the managing. In order for APM solutions to assume this dramatically more prominent role, they need to evolve in the following ways:

  • First generation APM tools have been notoriously expensive to purchase, and difficult to configure and maintain. The new generation of APM tools work on a “zero-config” basis. This means that they can automatically discover the applications in the environment, automatically discover the topology of the applications in the environment, automatically configure themselves to time the transactions of interest, and then automatically instantiate and maintain the proper level of monitoring.
  • First generation APM tools assumed a fixed and static infrastructure for the application where the application support team knew at all times on which servers which components of the application were running and knew that those servers were inside of the four walls of their data center. The new dynamic environment is characterized by things moving around (between data center, or between organizations, i.e, to a pubic cloud on demand). Next generation APM solutions now need to automatically work when applications are dynamically scaled out and/or distributed in this manner.
  • In the past the performance of many applications was simply inferred by looking at the resource utilization profile of the application. In this new environment that approach breaks, and the only way to know what the performance of the application really is, is to constantly measure the response time that the application is delivering to end users.
  • As applications become mashup’s of internally developed services and SaaS delivered applications it will become increasingly difficult to know what the experience is of the end user by looking at the application system (as SalesForce.com is not going to allow you to install your APM solution on their servers). Therefore an understanding of the actual experience of the end user will become of increasing importance.

There are several vendors who are leading the charge in terms of redefining the APM space to meet these new criteria. These vendors are:

  • New Relic – who offers a hosted (Monitoring as a Service) APM solution that supports Java, .NET, Ruby, and PHP applications and that includes both APM and Real User Monitoring (RUM) functionality.
  • AppDynamics – who offers both an on-premise and hosted solution that targets scaled out open source deployments of primarily Java based applications – and that does a great job of automatic transaction discovery.
  • BlueStripe – who offers a solution that works for any application that runs on Windows, Linux, AIX, or SunOS, and that discovers those applications, discovers their topology, and determines end-to-end and hop-by-hop response time.
  • dynaTrace – who has made their mark by using their Purepath technology to be the only vendor that can trace individual transactions from the end user’s browser through the web servers, the middle tier servers, the database servers, through various layers of enterprise middleware, and back to the end user.

The news today is that Compuware has acquired dynaTrace. This is an extremely significant development as this is the first example of one of the “traditional” systems management vendors (IBM, HP, CA, BMC, Compuware, Quest), stepping up their game to acquire one of these new innovators that address these new use cases and requirements.

The full acquisition announcement is copied in below.

Compuware Acquires dynaTrace software, Setting the New Standard for Application Performance Management

Meets Growing Business Demand for IT Agility, Enables Rapid Delivery of High-performing Modern Apps and Cloud-based Services

DETROIT–July 6, 2011–Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ:CPWR), the technology performance company, today announced that it has acquired privately held dynaTrace software. The $256 million cash acquisition closed on July 1, 2011.

“Organizations today depend on the rapid development and delivery of high-performing applications to drive revenues, customer satisfaction and brand,” said Compuware Chief Executive Officer Bob Paul. “To meet these demands effectively, IT organizations must have visibility into the performance of every transaction, from development, through test and in production. Together, Compuware and dynaTrace APM solutions allow IT to meet business demands for performance and agility through unbeatable insight into the user experience – whether in cloud, complex or traditional environments.”

Headquartered in suburban Boston, dynaTrace employs 180 people around the world. Substantially all of these employees, including the leadership team, are expected to remain with Compuware.  dynaTrace has a 92-percent win rate and a five-year CAGR of 125 percent because its unique PurePath technology solves the multi-billion dollar problem of optimizing application performance in a different and better way.

“The APM market is undergoing a transformation; old tools simply can’t meet the competitive requirements of modern applications,” said John Van Siclen, Chief Executive Officer of dynaTrace software. “Compuware sees the same market shift and is committed to building next-generation APM solutions that bring customers greater value, with less effort, faster than ever before. We’re excited to be a part of the Compuware team, which will allow us to meet and increase the skyrocketing demand for dynaTrace solutions.”

Financial Impact

dynaTrace has trailing twelve month revenues of $26 million and will add between $35 and $45 million to Compuware’s FY ’12 revenues. In FY ’13, Compuware expects it to add nearly $100 million to the top line.

Due to purchase accounting, the acquisition will have a three cents per share negative impact on Compuware’s expected FY ’12 EPS. In FY ’13, the impact is expected to be at least four cents per share positive. These estimates reflect the long-term value of Compuware’s investment strategy to become best-in-the-world in the APM market.

For complete details about how this agreement raises the bar for optimizing application performance, visit http://www.compuware.com/dynatrace.

dynaTrace was founded by Bernd Greifeneder, Sok-kheng Tang and Hubert Gerstmeyer in 2005. Ben Nye at Bain Capital Ventures invested in dynaTrace at its founding, and Salil Deshpande of Bay Partners joined the company’s board in 2008. Pacific Crest Securities served as the advisor to dynaTrace on this transaction.

About dynaTrace software Inc.

dynaTrace is the new leader in application performance management (APM). With its patented PurePath technology, the company offers the only continuous APM system on the market, transforming how applications are built, tested and managed. Hundreds of companies including Zappos, SAS, Macy’s, BBVA and Thomson Reuters rely on dynaTrace to drive better business results by optimizing performance, accelerating time-to-market for new releases, reducing application management costs, and bringing business and IT closer together. Visit dynaTrace online at www.dynatrace.com.

Compuware Corporation

Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, provides software, experts and best practices to ensure technology works well and delivers value. Compuware solutions make the world’s most important technologies perform at their best for leading organizations worldwide, including 46 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies and 12 of the top 20 most visited U.S. web sites. Learn more at: http://www.compuware.com.

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Bernd Harzog (332 Posts)

Bernd Harzog is the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Performance and Capacity Management and IT as a Service (Private Cloud).

Bernd is also the CEO and founder of APM Experts a company that provides strategic marketing services to vendors in the virtualization performance management, and application performance management markets.

Prior to these two companies, Bernd was the CEO of RTO Software, the VP Products at Netuitive, a General Manager at Xcellenet, and Research Director for Systems Software at Gartner Group. Bernd has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago.

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