Mercury Interactive tunes in app performance service

Enterprise testing vendor Mercury Interactive Corp. on Tuesday launched a new service designed to tune the performance of live applications.

ActiveTune tunes each component of a live production system's architecture to optimize the performance of infrastructure, application, and security components, according to Mercury Interactive officials in Sunnyvale, California.

The ActiveTune service can be administered remotely via the Internet or onsite through Mercury Interactive consultants.

Although an application may perform well in the test lab, the live production environment introduces multiple factors that could negatively impact performance, said David Gehringer, director of product marketing at Mercury Interactive.

"[Lab testing] is good to predict application performance in an ideal situation in a simple architecture. But when you are in the real world it is much more complex," he said.

Moreover, elements that are absent in the testing environment, such as load balancers, security devices, and cache servers, can introduce a substantial performance hit to a production environment, Gerhinger said.

As end-user applications on the Web begin to mature, the management of those applications is starting to pick up speed, according to Corey Ferengul, senior program director at the Meta group, in Stamford, Connecticut.

"We are seeing that some of the most requested tools right now are for Web management and WebSphere monitoring. The demand is there and the technology is so new [that] most customer don't understand the pieces and how it works together," he said. "It is clearly the type of service organizations will need."

ActiveTune's capability to tune the performance of applications in a production environment can increase system capacity with existing equipment and personnel, which can help enterprises save money, according to Mercury Interactive officials.

Additionally, the company announced a best practices framework that offers customers a guide for assessing quality control practices throughout an organization. The ARMM (Application Risk Management Model) includes best practices information, practical recommendations, training, and coaching.

The offering is delivered through a Web-based portal, which provides an online repository of resource materials and an introduction to the quality process. ARMM also provides training courses designed to aid in skill development, and professional services, which offer onsite evaluations, planning, and implementation mentoring.

The ActiveTune service is available now, priced starting at US$35,000 for a three-month subscription. The ARMM portal is available free of charge. Training classes and professional services start at $2,495.

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