Most organizations today leverage several applications that are at least in part java based. Many times, these are the applications that you've either developed in-house or had customized for your specific use. Java is great in this way as there is a wealth of development talent available for it and there is strong community support as well. The difficulties start when you suspect that you're having performance issues with the java apps but you don't have any way to tell for sure or to proactively watch for these occurrences.

Solving these problems was a big part of why APM 4.2 (the SolarWinds Application Performance Monitor) was released. Within this new release you'll find improved capabilities in several areas but especially focused around more intensive monitoring for java based applications and components. Jeremy Morrill, or AlterEgo as many of you know him, highlights the improvements and provides some screenshots here.

One of the strongest trends that we see within organizations today is a desire to tie all of their monitoring needs and strategies together into a single, cohesive set of processes and tools. Java application monitoring is one of the areas that is typically included within these projects. The new version of APM, integrated with the rest of the SolarWinds monitoring products like the Network Performance Monitor, Storage Manager, and Virtualization Manager, offers compelling capabilities to significantly reduce the number of management consoles within your operations center while adding depth of monitoring.

As always, you can download free versions of these applications from the SolarWinds website to try them out and have them up and running in about an hour. That said, regardless of whose applications you decide to implement and purchase, be sure that the solutions are solving your monitoring problems and not creating new ones...

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Last week I was out in Vegas attending VMWorld. As usual, it was a great show. VMWorld is one of those shows that I feel like I just have to get to every year (in addition to Cisco Live and a couple of others in the DoD space). There's always a boatload of new technologies being talked about and demonstrated and it's a fantastic place to sync up and collaborate with other technologists. The Venetian did a splendid job of hosting the event and the Sands Expo Center is a great location, though I do think that for this particular show you just can't beat San Francisco and the Marcone Center.

SolarWinds came away with the Best of VMWorld prize for best product in the virtualization space with the SolarWinds Virtualization Manager. A couple of my good friends, Michael Nels (Engineering) and Jon Reeves (Product Management) were in attendance and since this product has been largely their brain child for the last several years it was great to see it publicly recognized at an event where they were in attendance.

A few key trends that I noticed at the show:

* Cloud - in the past when you talked about cloud it was mostly assumed that you meant public cloud and usually you'd need to specify either public or private. However, at this show it was apparent that when used generically, cloud implied private cloud or implied the style of computing. I wrote a little bit that you might find helpful about cloud computing and definitions here.

* Management - a lot of people were looking to replace existing management tools in hopes of replacing with a single tool or set of tools with an integrated approach to solving their problems. I'd put this in the "reduction of dashboards" category as I heard the term "single pane of glass" many times.

* Virtualization Management - It's apparent that managing only the virtualization infrastructure is no longer enough. The virtualization management tools now need to provide visibility and performance monitoring all the way down to the SAN and up through the network.

* Desktop virtualization - it's come a long ways in the past couple of years and it's hitting mainstream in several markets. Don't be surprised if it stops popping up in your company soon.

All in all, cool show and for all of you that I got to speak with while I was there - thank you for all of the ideas and feedback that you shared. This is an awesome community to be a part of.

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