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Monday
Jan172005

Oded Noy: PATH Application Manager

While riding on the train, I'm catching up with various blogs, including Jon Udell's. As we move into an age of self-aware or autonomic applications, programs like P.A.M. become pretty interesting.  Why use it as a one-time diagnostic?  Why not make a "permanent" probe that then allows something like PAM to make decisions about infrastructure requirements, resource adjustments, etc. in near realtime?  And then, why not use an open standard for communicating with infrastructure -- like WS-RF -- as the means by which the "self-aware" application reaches down into the infrastructure to get what it needs?

Just some of those random thoughts while riding on the train ...

PATH Application Manager Today's screencast features Oded Noy, CTO of PATH Communications, who demonstrates the PATH Application Manager (P.A.M) -- a tool that instruments and analyzes the behavior of large Java (or C/C++) applications. The label most folks would attach to this product is application performance management, but Oded favors the term application behavior management. The demo begins with an explanation of how P.A.M. injects its instrumentation into your code, and then shows how to correlate observed problems ("the application is running slowly") with underlying causes ("somebody is calling 382 database queries per second").

As you'll see, the tool creates common ground between the operations team who will notice problems, and the development team who will solve them. In the emerging world of composite applications that rely on local or remote components and services, this cross-disciplinary style becomes increasingly vital.

Another interesting aspect of our discussion revolves around pattern recognition. In the realm of source code analysis (see our recent feature on the topic), the patterns of interest are textual and the analysis is syntactic. With P.A.M, patterns are temporal and analysis happens in the frequency domain. The technique, Oded explains, was inspired by the seismological background of PATH Communications' director of technology, Jason McBride.

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