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IT's a new niche! Learning how applications behave -- then monitoring their performance

Anand Parthasarathy checks out a Bangalore based IT player , who invented a new buzzword that defines their offering – a crucial service for infrastructure and application managers.

 Application behaviour learning.

Think of a wish list for harassed system managers with responsibility for medium to large enterprise networks, possibly spread across multiple locations: How can I automatically identify application performance outages before they occur and fix them? How can I automate execution of complex IT processes? How can I reduce dependency on so called “subject matter experts” – and how can I get the CFO off my back especially the type that goes on and on about reducing operation cost and increasing efficiency? Managing to ensure the up-time of large systems may be the easier part. How does one manage the performance of the under lying application and fix problems before they become disasters? Applications have become a major cause of unplanned downtime in many organizations, says Gartner, the responsibility of IT managers has to go beyond infrastructure silos to provide acceptable performance for applications. Which is why they have created and have begun monitoring a new niche called Application Performance Monitoring and define it thus:
“The integration of five functional dimensions: end-user experience monitoring; the discovery and modelling of application runtime architecture; user-defined transaction profiling; application component deep-dive monitoring; and the analysis and correlation of the data sets generated by the previous four functional dimensions”.

To do this successfully, one has to understand how applications behave; appreciate their quirks and fix them where ever possible. There is a new buzzword for this: “Application Behavior Learning”, a phrase that is slowly creeping into the vocabulary of IT infrastructure and application managers – at least who live to fight another day, against the ever present threat of disastrous downtime.
The buzzword can be fairly attributed to Appnomic Systems, a Bangalore-based startup who in fairly short time hascreated a name and a brand for understanding and optimizing business applications performance & processes management.

They use their patent-pending “Application Behavior Learning” technology to help corporates carry out hard nosed audits of their systems, to sniff out kinks and where invited, offer managed application performance services. Working for Indian entities like Yatra, TataSky, Ramco, Rediff and Karnataka Bank, to name just a few, Appnomic has helped them reduce IT operations cost from reduced effort, reduced training costs, reduced transition costs and reduction in manual errors, says founder- Managing Director and CEO, D Padmanabhan (“Paddy”), a veteran from Infosys and the team that developed its core banking solution, Finacle .

Technology managed from India is changing the complexion of outsourcing. Remote Infrastructure Management(RIM) is widely perceived to be the service offering for the future – and the ability to offer not just hardware uptime but to ensure that all applications running on the infrastructure are optimally deployed and respond to any sudden surges in usage is an important consideration. The predictive identification of the application performance problems – and the ability to address them before it is too late – that is the USP of Appnomic’s offerings which include:
OpsOne, a platform to automate IT operations and management processes in a shared service environment and ApsOne, a platform for proactive monitoring and management of application infrastructure.
In their office  overlooking the old HAL Airport in Bangalore, over 100 engineers, monitor consoles that link them to dozens of client sites and systems worldwide. If applications show the slightest tendency to ‘misbehave’ or behave in a manner not predicted by the individually designed model, automatic alerts kick in – then experts assess the behaviour, and alert the client with varying degrees of urgency to suggest a fix.
In IT infrastructure as in most walks of life, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry...  to prevent, rather than to cure. Appnomic Systems was started in 2006  as 'Vitage Technologies Pvt.Ltd' and later re-branded as 'Appnomic SystemsPvt. Ltd.', soon after Norwest Venture Partners invested significantly. Their current team includes 400 employees , spread across 5 offices in India and one each in Middle East,Europe and the US.  

Take a virtual slide show tour of Appnomic technologies, for a few days in out Video slot on the home page. August 13 2011