EdgeSight Lets IT See What PC Users See

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2006-02-10 Print this article Print

EdgeSight for Desktops 4.0 helps IT diagnose performance problems before users call the help desk.

Reflectent Software on Feb. 13 will launch a new release of its desk-side application performance monitoring software that refines the ability to centrally monitor the user experience with application performance. EdgeSight for Desktops 4.0, an agent-based program designed to diagnose performance or availability problems and identify those problems to operators before users call the help desk, adds a new, more flexible reporting architecture and a deeper level of data analysis to help speed troubleshooting.
While most application performance management tools focus on the server, few, if any, provide a view into the performance experienced by users, according to early user Rick Berk, CIO at Brown Brothers Harriman in Jersey City, NJ.
"This was the first product that actually looked at the individual client-side PC user experience and started to share statistics in a central environment where I can get a picture of whats going on out there," said Berk, who has used the tool for the last four or five years. EdgeSight 3.1 keeps an eye on desktops. Click here to read more. "Im not convinced to this day theres still any competition out there. For pure desktop diagnostics, theres still nothing like it," he added. Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass. research and consulting firm, estimates that 80 percent of problems are alerted by user calls to the help desk. Berk estimates that Brown Brothers Harriman has brought that down to 50 percent, thanks to EdgeSight for Desktops and more stable operating system software from Microsoft, he said. In the latest release, EdgeSights reporting function exploits the Microsoft Reporting System to allow users to create their own reports or customize Reflectents reports. It also integrates with Microsoft Excel. "The ability to slice and dice reports along user subsets and individuals and start to share that back out to the user in an easier fashion is a good thing," Berk said. "Weve worked with them [users] to improve their reporting to isolate potential areas of concern earlier or highlight things out of the norm." Reflectent also improved diagnostic data capture from systems being monitored by the tool. "Our alerts are much more configurable, so the user only gets a small number of impactful alerts. And they can take a remote snapshot of performance at the time [a problem happened] and append it to the alert," said Derek Slayton, director of product marketing at Westford, Mass.-based Reflectent. That snapshot, which includes run-time conditions that led up to a performance or availability problem, can help developers determine the root cause of the problem and tune applications running in production environments. The new release also improved on monitoring of web applications. The tool can now capture site, page and sub-page transaction times "for a more complete picture of end-user performance of the Web application," said Slayton. The EdgeSight agent, installed on each PC being managed, learns over time what performance is normal for applications. Release 4.0 improves on its ability to recognize what is idle and what is active. "It understands user behavior and treats the user as idle with a lot more accuracy," said Slayton. The new release is available now. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

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