Self-healing potential

One possible extension of the new generation of performance management tools is what is referred to as "self-healing," or the ability of a Web environment to adjust for optimum performance using the analysis provided by the new tools.

The analysis would be fed back into the system in some form of continuous loop, allowing the system to correct itself and ideally almost eliminating the need for human intervention.

But that approach is unlikely to gain widespread acceptance, at least in the near future, according to Bob Ure, director of marketing for Altaworks Corp., which sells performance management tools.

"It's an area that's being hotly debated right now," he said. "However, a strong majority of our [information technology] customers say they don't want these systems to make corrective changes on the fly."

They point to the possibility of unintended consequences from the changes, Ure said, and believe it will make it more difficult to perform audits on their systems.

Tim Knudsen, director of marketing at TeaLeaf Technology Inc., another performance management vendor, agrees that self-healing is unlikely to be in demand anytime soon. It already exists in some products, such as database tools, he said, but people often disable the feature.

"They don't want things that can make changes to the functionality of an application without them knowing it," he said. "They want to fix the problems themselves."

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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