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Startup Aternity Brings Advanced Application Monitoring Tools To IT Pros

The last five to ten years have seen a huge number of new technologies that enterprise IT departments need to manage. A decade ago, cloud, virtualization and mobile were not even on IT most IT departments' radar screens, while now they are fundamental to how a company operates.

The last five to ten years have seen a huge number of new technologies that enterprise IT departments need to manage. A decade ago, cloud, virtualization and mobile were not even on IT most IT departments' radar screens, while now they are fundamental to how a company operates. Along with this growth in technology has been a leap in the number of applications in the enterprise as well.

One task for enterprise IT departments is ensuring that all of their applications are performing the way they are supposed to for their employees, customers and partners. While many application performance management tools enable enterprise IT specialists to view the performance of their applications from their own perspective, the real challenge is to ascertain how those applications are actually performing for end users – the view from the end user may be quite different than the view from the enterprise data center. One innovative startup that addresses this challenge of the “Visibility Gap” into the real experience of the end-user is Aternity. Joining me today is Aternity’s VP of Marketing Donna Parent.

IT Specialist: Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions Donna. To start with, can you provide some brief background on Aternity? 

Donna: Aternity was founded in 2005 and is headquartered just outside of Boston, MA. We have more than 100 employees spanning across three worldwide offices. Our customers include Fortune 500 companies in every major vertical.

IT Specialist: At a high level, can you provide Aternity's perspective on the overall state of traditional application performance management (APM), and what problems or deficiencies has it traditionally possessed that has made it difficult to use for enterprise IT specialists? And, how have IT departments traditionally handled APM management? 

Donna: Organizations have struggled to gain comprehensive visibility into how end users are experiencing the IT services they are consuming. They have had to examine the practical, day-to-day end user computing experience from the data center system outward, instead of from the outside in, making it nearly impossible to proactively address performance issues before end user productivity is impacted.

Application Performance Management (APM) tools take an application- or transaction-centric approach to performance monitoring, and therefore do not provide enterprises with the comprehensive user and device dimensions of a user-centric performance monitoring paradigm.

IT Specialist: Turning now to Aternity's solution, you describe your core mission as closing the "Visibility Gap" in application performance for end-users - can you explain what this means in practice? Has this Visibility Gap" always existed for IT organizations, or is this a more recent phenomenon?

Donna: Leading industry analysts refer to the challenge with current Application Performance Management (APM) tools as the “Visibility Gap” – the gap between the information provided by traditional infrastructure monitoring tools and the real experience of the end user.

APM technology has primarily been focused on monitoring the performance and availability of the application components that reside in our Data Centers, on web servers, app servers, databases and hosts – as well as monitoring the networks.

The problem is that enterprises can’t measure end user experience from the vantage point in the Data Center “looking out” – they can only measure end user experience from the End User’s perspective “looking in” – and that’s the primary reason for the “Visibility Gap.”

To close the “Visibility Gap,” enterprises need to have an integrated view of the multiple applications and streams of data that together provide a clear and comprehensive portrait of real end user experience.

And this is exactly what Aternity does, effectively transforming every device –physical, virtual and mobile – into a self-monitoring platform that is user experience aware. 

Our unique, user-centric vantage point closes the “Visibility Gap” existing with network- and server-centric application performance management tools. With advanced, real-time analytics and the ability to monitor any application, Aternity transforms all physical, virtual and mobile devices into self-monitoring platforms that are user-experience aware. We provide user-centric, proactive IT management that empowers organizations with faster applications while dramatically reducing business disruptions and increasing user productivity. 

IT Specialist: What devices or "endpoints" does the Aternity solution support? End-users are increasingly moving away from the traditional desktop PC - does Aternity support application performance monitoring in such areas Mobile, Cloud and Virtualization environments?

Donna:  Aternity supports any application, running on any device, for any user, anywhere. In terms of our application support, Aternity uniquely monitors almost any business process, also known as transaction or workflow, within any application running on any type of physical, virtual or mobile device – out of the box. Aternity’s support of End User Activity Monitoring extends across the broadest range of application technologies, including Thick Client, .NET, WPF, Java, Web-based, Rich Internet, Android and iOS applications.

End Users want to access their applications in the most efficient way possible – whether on their desktops, through a virtualized session or through their mobile devices. For Physical Desktops, Aternity monitors the full Hardware and Software Inventorying, Event Log Monitoring such as Hard Drive Errors, Process Monitoring including Hung Processes, Application Crashes and Blue Screens of Death, the ability to monitor any WMI counter, Top Resource Consumer Monitoring by IO, CPU and Memory, Network Read and Write Monitoring, Boot and Logon Profiling, as well as Real-time Application Profiling.

For Virtual Desktops, Aternity monitors the ability of the Virtual Desktop to acquire sufficient host resources to optimally execute its tasks, hypervisor performance, virtual desktop resource consumption and application usage patterns, remote file share performance and the latency of the remote display protocol responsible for painting the End Point device’s screen.

For Mobile Devices, Aternity provides device and application resource monitoring including storage, running processes, CPU, memory and battery, Wi-Fi and cellular network monitoring, application crash and system-wide error reporting, including stack trace.

Whether at work, at home or on the move, Aternity provides real monitoring for any user, anywhere, at any time - we provide a unified platform for physical, virtual and mobile devices, enabling IT operations to rapidly remediate performance issues for all users. As you can see in the image below, we provide a unified platform for physical, virtual and mobile devices, enabling IT operations to rapidly remediate performance issues for all users.

IT Specialist:  When you talk about Application Performance Management, can you explain what types of technologies or applications you are actually supporting? For example, for Mobile I assume you mean something like iOS and Android apps?

Donna: Aternity’s support of End User Activity Monitoring extends across the broadest range of application technologies including Thick Client, Web-based, Rich Internet, Productivity Apps like Office and Outlook, Java, .NET, Android and iOS applications. Aternity comprehensively monitors the device itself, as well.

Aternity for Mobile provides a comprehensive monitoring platform for all types of iOS and Android applications -- native or web, providing organizations with clear visibility into how, when and why Users are using their mobile devices – and what their quality of experience is.

Aternity also continuously collects detailed device, network and service metrics -- which are often the source of mobile application performance and availability problems. This includes device and application resource monitoring including storage, running processes, CPU, memory and battery, Wi-Fi and Cellular network monitoring, application crash and system-wide error reporting, including stack trace.

IT Specialist: We saw that Aternity launched myUX. What is myUX?

Donna: myUX is the industry’s first personal End User Experience Management application and is available as a free download via the App Store: http://itunes.com/app/myUX.

With more than 80 percent of mobile devices within an organization being employee-owned, myUX provides Users with the ability to see how their mobile performance compares to that of their peers. For personal mobile monitoring, the Freemium version of myUX brings device and connectivity metrics together in a clean interface providing any user with an accurate view of the quality of their experience. Users are able to view the status of their device and connectivity on a single summary dashboard screen. Future versions of myUX freemium will incorporate additional connectivity and applications metrics, as well as historical and comparative views.

myUX complements Aternity for Mobile, our award-winning, enterprise End User Experience mobile monitoring platform that includes breakthrough capabilities for monitoring mobile application, device and network performance.

IT Specialist: Without giving away sensitive information, can you go over in a bit more detail how you monitor the components of End User Experience and what Frontline Performance Intelligence is? Also, how easy is Aternity's solution to use and operate in practice? For example, what is the GUI they actually see when using Aternity?

Donna: Aternity uniquely monitors the three primary components that dynamically interact to constantly impact how End Users experience IT Services in real-time:

  • Physical, Virtual and Mobile Device Performance – Storage, Event Log, Hung Processes, Application Crashes and Blue Screens of Death, WMI, Top Resource Consumers, Network Read/ Write, Boot and Logon Profiling, Hypervisor, Remote File Share, Battery, Wi-Fi and Cellular Network, etc.
  • Application Performance – Latency, response time and “key-to-glass” transaction time for user workflows across any application, e.g., HTTP(s), RIA/AJAX, Thick Client, .NET, WPF, Native iOS and Android apps, ICA, PCoIP and RDP, etc.
  • User Productivity – Application, module and business function usage statistics, e.g. trades executed, calls closed, emails sent, invoices created, etc. including usage trail, execution time and time spent.

Frontline Performance Intelligence is the result of the real-time aggregation, analysis and correlation of all the performance metrics that define and impact real end user experience. By transforming end user experience metrics into actionable business intelligence, Frontline Performance Intelligence enables enterprises to rapidly gain the agility required to address End User issues before they impact business results. In addition, Frontline Performance Intelligence enables organizations to make informed decisions that accelerate business productivity, and gain visibility and insight to measure achievement of strategic business initiatives. 

The Aternity Console is comprised of Interactive dashboards that address the primary use cases impacting End User productivity, providing enterprises with sharp visibility and actionable intelligence into what truly matters for any application, any device and any user. The dashboards uniquely correlate the application performance, device performance and productivity metrics experienced by each user, providing a multi-dimensional portrait of real end user experience. These intuitive, mashup dashboards rollup into a single, real-time “My Enterprise” view culled from an organization’s entire End User population.

The three primary, interlinked dashboard categories that together close the end user experience visibility gap include the following use cases:

  • Application Performance: Application Analysis, Activity Analysis, Remote Display Analysis, Service Level Agreement (SLA) Analysis, Before and After Comparative Analysis
  • Device Performance: Boot Analysis, Desktop Health, Mobile Health, Desktop Reliability, System Crash Analysis, Device Type Comparison
  • User Productivity: Application Usage, User Workflow, Best vs. Worst Performing Users, Productivity Analysis


A Screen Shot of Aternity’s “My Enterprise” Console View

IT Specialist: Turning to Aternity at the corporate level, how has the response in the market been to your technology, and could you highlight any of your important customers?

Donna: We have been described by Gartner as being “unlike many products that attempt to understand end user activity through transaction monitoring,” in that we ”uniquely combine the multiple data streams that separately describe different aspects of end user experience providing an integrated multidimensional portrait.”

Other industry pundits have described Aternity as having “deeper roots and a pedigree that becomes obvious the first time you get a look.” The market response has been tremendous, with numerous awards (14 so far this year) including our first Gold Stevie Award, top-tier partnerships, along with Fortune 500 customers.

IT Specialist: Has Aternity ever raised any capital since you were founded, and if yes, are you able to mention who are your core investors?

Donna: Our investors include Vertex Venture Capital, a top-tier Israeli VC; Genesis Partners, Israel’s leading innovation-driven venture capital fund; Intel® Capital, Intel’s global investment organization; Investor Growth Capital, a global venture capital firm backed by Investor AB; and Clal Industries and Investments Ltd. (CII) an investment company held by IDB Development Ltd.

IT Specialist:  Finally, for customers who may be interested in working with Aternity and/or learning more and/or want to do a trial within their organization, what is the best way to interface with you? 

Donna: If they are interested in evaluating Aternity in their business environment, the easiest way in which they can do that is to register on our web site for a free trial.

And, if they are interested in following the latest news about End User Experience Management and hot topics in business and IT, we offer a free daily newsletter that summarizes the day’s key articles, blogs, research reports and other core news materials. 

Aternity also belongs to a number of social communities, where we share fresh, informative content daily. We also post Employee Spotlights on Facebook; these are in-depth profiles into our world-class employees that really tell the story behind what makes our culture so special.

IT Specialist: Thank you Donna, and best of luck going forward.

 

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