A few weeks ago my good friend Jon Hodgson was visiting me over the weekend. Jon and I worked together for over five years at Resonate during the startup, through IPO, to acquisition of the company (quite an interesting 5 year ride). Jon has spent the last few years, from Resonate through today, focusing on multi-tiered application performance tuning. This is a complex area that can contain all sorts of technologies within the Enterprise infrastructure (i.e., firewalls, networks, servers, web servers, application servers, database, middleware). He is currently the guy in this area at OPNET with their Panorama product.
If you have a multi-tier application (and who doesn’t today) and are running into performance issues, you need to give Jon and his team a call. He shared with me some of the work he has been doing in this area with clients, and the advances that he has been involved with in this area since we last worked together are amazing.
He showed me some of the capabilities that Panorama and the OPNET technologies have, and my jaw kept hitting the floor. With Panorama, he showed me how the tool can display the communication between each tier in a multi-tiered application, drill into the part of the communication that is causing the most latency, and then pinpoint the source of that latency within the multi-tiered environment. Like that wasn’t enough, he then combined the Panorama capabilities with ACE to then predict what would happen to the application’s performance if various changes were made to the network environment. Like what would happen if you added a firewall and only 1ms of latency between a Java application server and a database?
Jon and I were involved with building some of the early capabilities for a tool in this area at Resonate before the company was acquired and taken private. The recording, playback and predictive simulation capabilities of the tools that Jon has been involved with building at OPNET are mind blowing compared to what we were working on eight years ago! While I haven’t been involved in this space for a few years, I also know that I haven’t seen anything that comes close to the capabilities of the combined OPNET solutions.
While this tool may not work for everyone, OPNET’s Panorama is definitely one of those hidden gems of the technology world that should be considered by anyone responsible for application performance tuning.