Dirig pinpoints web application problems

When an organisation’s web applications grind to a halt, IT staff need to move fast. But obtaining a clear picture of what has gone wrong is far from straightforward.

Standard system management tools often require users to trawl through a sea of complex performance data that flows from devices, databases, networks and applications,


Company: Dirig Software

Main activity/products: Web application performance management software

Founded: 1997

CEO: Mike Pehl

HQ: Nashua, New Hampshire

Status: Privately held. Has raised a total of $20.5 million in two major rounds of funding from venture capitalists including Battery Ventures, JMI Equity, and Longworth Venture Partners.

Revenues: Not disclosed.

Key competitors: Wily Technology, Precise Software (now part of Veritas), Candle.

Infoconomy comment: Dirig Software’s tools make it easier for IT staff to quickly identify performance problems with web application performance by monitoring and mapping their underlying components. While the end result is undoubtedly alluring, the company has some way to go to hone its sales and marketing if it is to become a major player in an increasingly crowded market.




making it difficult to identify the exact source of the problem.

“We simplify that picture,” says Dave Wilby, vice president of product management at Dirig Software. The company’s technology enables IT managers to view the status of web application’s software components as a graphical map, with performance data fed into the map on a real-time basis.

Server-based agents monitor processor performance, memory usage, and swap and disk-space utilisation. Other agents (collectively known as Fenway Management Extensions) add application-level tracking by plugging into standard application servers such as WebSphere. As well as highlighting when systems administrators may need to take action, the tools can also be set to apply corrective action automatically when certain thresholds are exceeded. This activity is orchestrated by the Dirig Management Server and presented to the administrator through a single interface, the Dirig Global Console.

But the company added real differentiation in September with the release of Pathfinder. This ‘auto-discovers’ all of the potential paths within the infrastructure that a transaction may take to complete and maps out dependent resources so the exact problem causing transaction failures can be isolated.

Since first shipping products in early 1999, the company has built up a customer base of just 38, but that includes bluechip accounts in the US such as the production division of electronics company Canon, Kemper Insurance, and electricity supplier NorthEast Utilities.

But the company faces a tough competition from a host of established vendors and start-ups. Primary adversaries include Candle, Precise (recently acquired by Veritas Software), and Wily Technology, Software. For the time being, though, none of them can provide the level of real-time visibility into web application problems, claims Wilby.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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