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Chapter 2. Performance Management > Thoughts on the Future

Thoughts on the Future

The performance tools market is evolving, and a few trends are visible. Vendors are figuring out what their competition does that customers like, and they are implementing it themselves. This strategy leads toward a similar common set of functionality but does not help interoperability. In general, data collected by an agent from one vendor cannot be used by an analysis and display system from another vendor. This reality leads to hard choices when it would be nice to combine the best of two tools. The UMA standard attempts to solve this problem, but it does not have enough support from the tools vendors and has ended up as a Unix-oriented standard, just when users want to include Windows NT in their environments. The full standard is also more complex than most existing solutions. I worked on UMA to improve the data definitions, and that part of the standard is covered in more detail later in this book.

User interfaces are one area where performance tools vendors are in a mess. Some vendors support Windows only, others have separate Unix and Windows products, and many have to support a wide range of Unix releases to get market coverage. There is now a good solution to this problem that several vendors are already working toward. By using a web browser as the user interface, with static HTML for reporting and Java applets for active parts of the GUI, a common interface works across all the platforms. With some care, and by testing on both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer browsers, they can greatly reduce the amount of time and effort required to port and support the GUI.


  

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