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i3 Upgrade for .NET Apps and SQL Server

Symantec Corp. boosts .NET features in Application Performance Management platform.

Symantec Corp. released an upgrade to its application performance-management platform in August, adding several features targeted at optimizing Microsoft .NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 in high-transaction, multi-tier environments.

"An interesting trend that we're observing-and why we're focused so much on .NET and SQL Server-is how rapidly the .NET market is expanding," says Sateesh Narahari, a senior product marketing manager for Symantec's APM Business Unit in Cupertino, Calif. "A lot of our customers are embracing .NET technology and building applications on it," he explains. Symantec's customers typically run .NET apps and Java apps in their high-transaction environments.

Made for Multi-Tier
The i3 platform is designed to help developers identify and optimize performance issues end-to-end along a transaction path in complex, multi-tier environments, prior to app deployment. It's a tool for application performance management-not for profiling code.

Once the applications are in production, IT and database administrators can use the same technology to monitor application performance and ferret out issues related to slowdowns and other bottlenecks. The technology works with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM).

Narahari says customers now are building very complicated applications in .NET and SQL Server. "When a performance problem happens, it's not simply a matter of opening up Visual Studio and going to the code and trying to figure out where the performance problem is," he explains. "In a multi-tier application, the performance problem could be in the back-end, which means SQL Server, but it's manifesting itself as a problem on a .NET application, so customers want to quickly get to the root cause of the problem."

Linked Technologies
For the first time in version 8.0, Symantec has extended its SmartLink and SmarTune technologies to Microsoft .NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005. In high-transaction environments, SmartLink can find data problems across multiple application tiers by correlating what happens to the data as a transaction goes, for example, from ASP.NET to business logic in .NET to SQL Server.

Likewise, SmarTune, a support library that offers problem-resolution advice for fixing performance issues, as well as What If Analysis for possible changes, has been upgraded to support Microsoft technologies. If tables are not indexed correctly in SQL Server, for example, SmarTune alerts the developer or database administrator to the problem. If a table is missing an index, the technology tells the user to add it, according to Narahari.

Symantec is also adding Microsoft portlets to the Application Service Dashboard, which ships with the i3 platform. The 2.0 version of the dashboard, available later this year, will support application monitoring in .NET and SQL Server, J2EE, Oracle and SAP multi-tier environments, among other platforms, according to Symantec.

A software development kit, available for the first time in i3 version 8.0, will allow developers and partners to extend the platform or integrate it with other apps. Developers could, for example, extend i3 to support data in a legacy billing system.

i3 version 8.0 is licensed by technology (.NET 2.0, SQL Server 2005, J2EE) with a suggested price of $1,500 per CPU. The i3 platform, which was originally based on technology that Symantec acquired from Veritas in 2005, is available now.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of RedDevNews.com and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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