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Two New Tools Tackle Downtime Dilemmas

Tracking down possible external causes of downtime is always tough. Compuware Corporation is trying to make it a bit easier.

This week the company announced a new, free, online performance analytics solution that it says “raises the intelligence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) application performance management (APM).” The service -- Outage Analyzer -- displays in real-time a map of outages and service degradation of third-party Web services applications around the world, detailing the scope of the problem, its duration, and an explanation of the probably cause of the outage. A separate view shows how the outage has spread or contracted over time, so you can, in essence, replay the problem’s history.

In a preview of the service last week, Jeff Loeb, VP of global marketing for Compuware, told me that the service helps enterprises explore what could be causing product slowdowns or outages. According to a company release, the service uses “big data technologies and a proprietary anomaly detection engine” to correlate over eight billion bits of information every day. This data comes from its Compuware’s Gomez Performance Monitoring Network, which includes over 150,000 global test locations.

Tracing an application’s performance can be tough. Compuware says research shows that “the typical Web site has more than 10 separate hosts contributing to a single transaction, many of which come from third-party cloud services such as social media, ecommerce platforms, Web analytics, ad servers, and content delivery networks.”

Users can view just the most recent outages, look for problems by severity, search for a specific or range of IP addresses (so IT can find service problems that may impact their enterprise), and set up alerts via RSS feeds or Twitter.

Calculating Downtime Costs

Prolexic, a firm that specializes in protecting enterprises from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and released a DDoS downtime cost calculator, available here.

The calculator factors in several DDoS attack variables that can directly impact revenue. By completing a questionnaire about technologies, experience, and cost savings, Prolexic offers tips and advice to help you develop your strategy. Users can use to tool to view a detailed risk assessment and calculate the associated downtime costs with such an attack. The tool lets you play “what-if” scenarios by adjust the formula’s variables.

In a prepared statement, Prolexic president Stuart Scholly noted, “Prolexic developed this calculator so businesses can evaluate their unique DDoS risk and downtime cost based on hard numbers, not guesswork. We know from previous years that DDoS attacks ramp up during the critical holiday sales period, so this calculator will help businesses make more informed decisions about DDoS protection in the coming weeks.”

Posted on 10/24/2012

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