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Integration on the Edge: Data Explosion & Next-Gen Integration

Hollis Tibbetts

SaaS and Cloud's "Dirty Little Secret" (the one that could sink you)

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What's the dirty little secret of the SaaS/Cloud application world?  

It's performance. And it could render your new application unusable. And seriously hurt your business.

Nearly every business on the planet now has applications and/or data which are SaaS/Cloud-based. And many of these applications are not only for internal-use, but are customer/partner-facing.

Increasingly, these SaaS/Cloud applications are being enhanced by extending them (typically with Web Services) to pull data from other Cloud-based data stores, or to include new functionality from other SaaS applications - almost like "plug-ins", if you will.

And many places are taking this concept further - building their own applications leveraging the various Web Services or other API calls that these Cloud and SaaS resources provide.

These so-called "composite" applications are a great advance. Yet because they are composed of "pieces" from various different systems which are hosted by various different vendors in various different places, they present a problem. They are inherently difficult to manage with respect to performance. And bad performance can cause your application development project to fail - badly.

Dell Software is one of the few places out there that understands that real-life business transactions span multiple Cloud SaaS applications & data stores - and actually has a product to address this particularly nasty issue.

Because of this silo-spanning reality, APM (Application Performance Management - or systems management solutions which allow you to monitor and measure response times for your business applications) MUST be able to measure business processes which cross these SaaS and Cloud "silo" boundaries.

If you can't measure these cross-silo processes, you can't manage them. And you'll end up with seriously unhappy users. Worse yet, business productivity will suffer.

The situation is far more critical if you have customer/partner facing "composite" applications made up of multiple behind-the-scenes SaaS/Cloud systems. Employees can grumble and productivity may suffer, but they don't typically "walk away" and do business with a competitor.

Dell Software just released a new version of Foglight (Quest Software fans are probably aware of this product). It's one of the few products out there that actually allows you to understand the performance details of these composite systems - and do something about it.  

John Newsom, Dell Software's Executive Director for Application Performance Monitoring provides some insight into this - "Foglight's unique transactionDNA technology delivers a data model that uses transactions as the framework for unifying all those sources of rich data for dashboards, visualizations and simple, preconfigured big data style analytics. With the ability to see the performance and content of every click within every session from every user on your site/application, and directly link that to traces of their transactions, including execution paths through your application and infrastructure from end to end, we have just taken application performance management to the next level."

A number of media outlets have published details of the product's capabilities, so I won't rehash them here. But I'd recommend the following:

 PC World - http://del.ly/6027kRXL

Daily Finance - http://del.ly/6010kRbY

Author disclosure - I work for Dell.

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This blog offers an informed and informative perspective on the ongoing explosion of data and the technologies used to turn this data explosion into assets and competitive advantages.

Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell's Global Software Group. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. His latest communication venture is http://OnlineBackupNews.com - a free resource site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems by providing online backup best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

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