Precise virtualizes application monitoring

Precise now offers its APM platform in an easy-to-deploy virtual container

In an effort to reduce deployment time, software provider Precise Software has packaged its flagship application performance management (APM) application in a virtual machine, making the product the first APM virtual appliance, the company said.

"We've packaged the entire Precise platform and encapsulated it in an appliance," said Zohar Gilad, Precise executive vice president. "Typically, within 30 minutes you can have the entire Precise platform up and running. "

The Precise Virtual Appliance is embedded in a VMware-based virtual machine. Users just download the software to a server, start the virtual machine and point it to the specific network. There is no need to provision and configure a new server for the application.

The package includes not only the basic application, but also the server software and the database of application profiles.

"IT doesn't need to provision the machine, the database and everything else," Gilad said. Gilad noted that, within a large and bureaucratically bound organization, it can sometimes take an IT staff weeks or longer to provision a server and associated software.

Precise is one of a number of companies offering APM products, or software that measures how responsive enterprise applications are in day-to-day operations. Precise's software monitors the overall performance of applications and can offer pointers on where to find problems and how to fix them. The software watches most of the potential trouble spots: the user's client software, the application server, the database and even the storage back-end.

The company has specific profiles of the most widely used applications and platforms in enterprise software, covering Oracle and SAP software as well as Java and the Microsoft .Net platforms. It can watch on-premise applications as well as hosted offerings.

Founded in 1990, Precise was acquired by Veritas in 2003, for about $537 million. Veritas itself was acquired by Symantec in 2005. Symantec spun Precise back out as a stand-alone company in 2008.

The virtual appliance is available now. Pricing is based on CPU or virtual CPU, and, depending on the size of systems being monitored, can range in cost from "tens of thousands of dollars to millions," Gilad said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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