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New Compuware Strobe Broadens and Speeds Proactive Performance Problem Resolution

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The atrium fountain at Compuware headquarters in downtown Detroit. Photo courtesy Maia Cowan.

The atrium fountain at Compuware headquarters in downtown Detroit. Photo courtesy Maia Cowan.

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DETROIT — Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) Tuesday announced major enhancements to Compuware Strobe, the company’s mainframe application performance measurement and analysis software.

Strobe now includes advanced automation, intelligent analytics and improved ease of use. These enhancements further enable developers to quickly identify and resolve poorly performing transactions, thereby reducing costs, increasing customer satisfaction and supporting business growth.

In response to the rapidly increasing demands that web and mobile applications are placing on the mainframe, Strobe now seamlessly integrates with Compuware APM PurePath for z/OS technology to create Compuware APM for Mainframe, also announced Tuesday.

Compuware APM for Mainframe is the industry’s first and only transaction management tool that provides end-to-end visibility across the entire application delivery chain. By combining Compuware dynaTrace’s patented PurePath Technology with Strobe’s unrivaled mainframe application management expertise, distributed system and mainframe teams can resolve performance problems faster, reduce MIPS costs, postpone hardware upgrades and accelerate time-to-market.

Once an offending transaction has been pinpointed with PurePath for z/OS, a single click initiates Strobe to provide deep analysis of application code and logic. With this new capability, mainframe specialists can now determine how distributed application activity impacts mainframe CPU cycles for faster problem solving and smarter MIPS management.

“For far too long the mainframe has been treated as an isolated citizen from a broader APM and service management perspective,” said Dennis Drogseth, vie rpesident of Enterprise Management Associates. “Compuware’s introduction of APM for Mainframe provides both a component and transaction-centric set of unified analytics that should help break down barriers in both triage and application and infrastructure planning across the distributed and mainframe skill groups. Compuware’s ability to link this continuum to true user experience and business outcomes makes the technical drill downs all the more compelling and relevant.”

Strobe’s integration with PurePath for z/OS lets users track transactions 24×7 across the application delivery chain, from the initial customer click, across all tiers, to the mainframe and back. Strobe supplies the in-depth data to locate the source and cause of the inefficiency and makes recommendations for how to correct the performance problem. This total-picture view helps the Strobe user make more informed decisions when managing CPU consumption and hardware costs, as well as anticipate and resolve issues before they impact users.

“IT has been blind to the impact that the distributed environment has had on CICS transactions,” said Kri Manery, senior vice president and general manager of the Compuware Mainframe Solutions business unit. “Teams can attempt to find quick fixes, but without end-to-end visibility and deep analysis of code and logic, they are trying to solve complex problems with incomplete data.”

Strobe’s integration with PurePath for z/OS enables performance specialists on both the distributed and mainframe side to work together to correct inefficiencies in CICS applications as they happen. In addition, integrated 24/7 monitoring of CICS transactions can prevent future issues because IT will have total visibility into how systems interact to impact mainframe workload and MIPS. This breakthrough technology delivers significantly faster mean time to resolution, creating better customer satisfaction.

In addition to Strobe’s seamless integration with dynaTrace PurePath for z/OS Technology, Strobe has also been enhanced with additional features.

IStrobe now includes the “Strobe Advisor,” which enables even IT professionals new to the mainframe to manage application performance issues in changing and challenging environments. Strobe Advisor automatically provides a detailed list of critical performance improvement opportunities based on the intelligent analytics of the iStrobe profile.

CICS transactions will to continue to increase as mainframe applications become the foundation of mobile computing. To meet this growing demand on the mainframe, Strobe now features a significantly enhanced online CICS transactions monitoring capability, which proactively identifies runaway CICS transactions (in addition to batch job steps) using low overhead. Strobe will monitor all selected batch job step and automatically initiate a Strobe session if a job exceeds the 30-day moving average for elapsed and CPU time.

iStrobe’s underlying reporting infrastructure has been upgraded to the Eclipse Business Intelligence Reporting Tool reporting framework, making the iStrobe performance database easier to use than eever before. BIRT is the industry leader in customized report writing, allowing customers to create reports easily to suit their individual needs.

Additional data from IBM System Management Facility (SMF) (type 30 and type 70) is now optionally included in reports to allow for more general trend analysis reporting. This data provides a system-wide perspective and can help in early diagnosis of potential performance outages. Strobe will also capture SMF like data from CICS regions 24×7 allowing users to identify when transaction response times begins to degrade or transaction volumes begin to increase.

Tips and techniques offered via video help IT staff quickly get up to speed on how to use Strobe to manage application performance issues. Also included is a best practices white paper that highlights how Strobe assists in moving up the APM Capability Maturity Model, helping organizations get more value out of Compuware’s APM solution.

“The mainframe market is rapidly changing as new applications of engagement — home banking, airline reservations, inventory tracking — require more mainframe processing,” added Manery. “At the same time, the connections between distributed and mainframe systems are increasing, and this disruptive change requires new system architecture to better manage performance. Compuware is uniquely positioned to address this need through best in class transaction-centric technology in PurePath and Strobe.”

Compuware APM for Mainframe is available in two versions:
* PurePath for z/OS CICS: for monitoring CICS application transactions in a CICS region or CICSPlex; and
* PurePath for z/OS Java: for monitoring mainframe Java applications.

Compuware APM is the industry’s leading solution for optimizing the performance of web, non-web, mobile, streaming and cloud applications. Driven by end-user experience, Compuware APM provides the market’s only unified APM coverage across the entire application delivery chain-from the edge of the internet through the cloud to the datacenter. Compuware APM helps customers deliver proactive problem resolution for greater customer satisfaction, accelerate time-to-market for new application functionality and reduce application management costs through smarter analytics and advanced APM automation.

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