Posts Tagged 'foglight'

Join the Foglight beta

If you read the prior post, a Q&A with our VP of Monitoring, Steve Rosenberg and want to know more, or would just like to try our future Foglight app monitoring solution out, it’s now available in beta here.laptop[1]

Dell Software VP: lightweight app monitoring is, well, just too lightweight – CWDN

Good interview with Steve Rosenberg on our App monitoring strategy, approach.

Dell Software VP: lightweight app monitoring is, well, just too lightweight – CWDN.

Gaining a better city view

10584048_10152680088100530_6382819846875428430_nMckinney Texas is a great city, it contains all the best things about Texas towns and architecture.

Now I’m delighted to say they’ve adopted an become a reference for a number of our products. You can read the full solutions brief here.

The city deployed Foglight Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and Toad Data Modeler from Dell Software to increase application visibility, speed troubleshooting and improve integration giving

  • Better visibility into the city’s critical
    web and legacy applications
  • More-modern applications and services for employees and residents
  • Faster diagnosis and problem resolution
  • Proactive troubleshooting
  • Stronger integration of disparate applications
  • Ability to get more out of existing infrastructure

Yes, the picture is of McKinney Falls State Park, it’s not a city property.

Design and development in a globally distributed corporation

This wasn’t a rehearsed or officially blessed presentation. I was given a last minute opportunity to speak to the students at the Sun Yat-sen University(SYSU) school mobile engineering (SMIE) Industry Elite Lecture Series.

We spent longer than planned looking at a number of the unique mobile/transportation, “Internet of Things” student projects. When we arrived late, at 7:45 in the evening, the room was already packed with students lined up on the back wall, as well as sat on the floor.

1261Speaking to students is always much more challenging than a industry organization. It’s much easier to make assumptions about the level of knowledge of the attendees at Industry events, you can’t make the same assumption about students. Also, giving a talk to those who don’t have the same first language, also requires you to to speak at a cadence that allows them to do realtime translation. A mistake a lot of speakers make, is they speak at their normal pace(often very fast) and stop and wait; the alternative and much worse as both a speaker, and as a listener is when the speaker speaks words slowly and leave big gaps between words, this means lost context and emphasis for both the speaker and the listener, either makes for a dull presentation.

I clearly need to work on my fillers, I said “right?” a few too many times. Based on the long Q&A period after the presentation, both Geoff and I got our points over and overall it was a very enjoyable visit.

The second half of the presentation Geoff talks about the Dell Software Application Monitoring product Foglight, and some of its’ features and functions.

Response time monitoring for AJAX and Javascript

[Updated 10/31, 7:50pm central] John Newsom, VP of our APM (Application Performance Monitoring) team has had a great overview of the issues and challenges around Web 2.0 monitoring published in The DataCenter Journal. He discusses the three main issues

  • Inadequate code-level analysis
  • Incorrect page response times
  • Insufficient context

and the key ways you can address application monitoring, including 1. Capturing functional issues and establishing context; 2.Capturing and troubleshooting JavaScript errors; 3. Looking for detailed insight into page load times; and finally, 4. Isolating problems to individual page elements.

Overall its a great read and served as a great refresher for a couple of issues I’m currently looking at in one of my projects. CTR (Computer Technology Review) has a good fly-by of the Foglight APM. You can read it here. Foglight can help you monitor and manage you applications, middleware and systems.

Quest Software Update

Friday Dell announced that we’d closed on the acquisition of Quest Software. The last 50-days or so has been a blur for me,  as I wrote back in July I’ve moved to the new Dell Software group, and was asked to lead the technical integration and R&D integration of Quest Software. We’ve been busy visiting as many of their R&D centers as we can, and this will continue through the end of October.

I’d describe it as a roller coaster, the ups have been meeting the great teams in Linden UT, Toronto, Ottowa, Halifax Canada, St Petersburg and Moscow in Russia, and spending time both networking with Quest Executives and team members at VMWorld, as well as some of the other teams like AppAssure and SonicWall that are part of the new Dell Software group.

The downs in my roller coaster have been the travel, I really don’t enjoy the day-in, day-out, overnight travel. Especially as things always seem to be more difficult than they should be. For instance, applying for a work visa for China apparently requires submitting both my passport and green card, which means if stopped by the police, or immigration officials anywhere, I can not prove I’m legally in the USA. This happened to me once already on an checkpoint on I10 near Corpus Christi and I hadn’t even left Texas, not a pleasant experience. Then there was the guy sat opposite me on the train from Moscow to St Petersburg, rather than ending up with a Contagion like pandemic infection, I just got a bad cold.

However it’s been tempered by my travel colleagues, Elaine from Quest and Craig from Dell who are the actual R&D project managers for the acquisition.  We’ve been joking about making Rock and Roll style tour t-shirts, a simple Dell Software logo on the front, on the back it would have QUEST: The final tour and a list of the dates and locations. I still may do it, especially as we have Buffallo Grove, Madison WI, Berlin, Dresden, Israel, Horton and Poole in the UK, Honk Kong and China all before the end of October.

The best thing has been meeting all the great software experts, seeing some of the great products, to mention just a few: the great new UI on the Site Administrator for Sharepoint; the Quest Books software for electronic publishing; the Open source work going on at the Linden UT labs; the really great platform work that has been done for the Foglight and Netvault XA software, and much, much more.

In addition to that, the Software Group CTO team is starting to fill out, Jay and Craig are hear from the Enterprise Solutions Group(ESG) team, and we’ve been joined by Graeme, a former colleague and fellow Distinguished Engineer from IBM and of course Don Ferguson is the CTO, and VP for our group. Jai Menon, former IBM Fellow and for short period of time, my manager at IBM, has also joined Dell ESG as CTO and so we are really getting things “better together”.


About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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