Halo Tool Works in Testing, Production

 
 
By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2002-02-04 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Halo Application Fault Management Monitor can be used both in the testing cycle of application development as well as in the production mode to search out bugs and other application faults

InCert Software Corp. today announced the release of a new application fault management tool that straddles the development and production sides of custom applications. The Halo Application Fault Management Monitor can be used both in the testing cycle of application development as well as in the production mode to search out bugs and other application faults.
"What we let people do is work forwards and backwards, in and out of multiple threads to get to where the trouble started," said Jeff Mulligan, vice president of marketing at the privately held Cambridge, Mass. company. "They get all the information they need to find the root cause without having to replicate the problem."
Halo uses an agent, called TraceBack, to monitor applications for exceptions. The agent performs sophisticated code path analysis in a circular memory buffer, tracking the execution history of the applications. The contents of the memory buffer are written into a trace file for line-by-line analysis. Other debuggers require a great deal of overhead and are often too slow to run in production environments, Mulligan asserted. The tools ability to specifically pinpoint bugs or the source of application faults is what sold General Electric Industrial Systems on the benefits of Halo, according to Tom Murphy, Power Management Systems Control Software product owner at the firm in Plainville, Conn.
"The tool points you to very specific areas in an applications code to tell you where the problem lies. It boosts our confidence level that we are putting out a higher quality product. And, we instrumented the product, so if something does happen, we can go in and know what the issues are in a very short amount of time without having to burden the customer. We anticipate it will shorten our cycle time," he said. For operations management in a production environment, InCert added the ability to report into a central management console -- initially BMC Software Inc.s Patrol. Applications instrumented with Halos TraceBack agent technology automatically send alerts to the Patrol console when faults occur. Operators can also restart a service or reboot the server that the application is running on from the Patrol console. For third-party applications where users dont have access to the source code, Halo includes a technology called TouchBack that captures applications behavior without gathering a full execution history. "We give you the last line of each thread that was executed," explained Mulligan. "It gives you 80 percent of what TraceBack gives you without having to instrument the application." TouchBack does take up about two or three percent of a processors resources. Halo is available now. It is priced at about $50,000 per application, and the monitoring agent starts at $250 per server.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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