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N-Tier Is the New Frontier of IT Operations Management
N-tier distributed applications require new management approaches.
by Glenn Helton and Page Alloo

Posted March 15, 2004

The complexity of n-tier distributed applications complicates management. Fortunately, new classes of application management software will provide a means of managing these new applications in a top-down, holistic way (see Figure 1).

N-tier distributed applications, whether Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE), .NET, or full-blown Web services varieties, create unprecedented IT operations management challenges. How does an IT operations staff stay on top of an application that has multiple, often dynamic interdependencies? How does an operations staff prevent an inappropriate change on one server or router or piece of code from degrading availability of one or more complex applications? How can even experienced operations managers quickly troubleshoot a failing application when so many potential points of failure exist in so many software and hardware layers, or result from a configuration change occurring four or five days earlier?

Fortunately, the answers are coming. Solutions from familiar vendors and innovative startups (see vendor profiles) are appearing across the landscape of application management software.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge.

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