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Remote app checking

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I need some advice.

I need to be able to confirm and measure the Availability and performance of any application from an end users perspective.

I can snmp poll the physical box or ping it, but that doesn't inform me of the application 4 layers higher. It could have crashed and bugged out.

I could port scan and get a tcp port response from the application, I can also automate authentication which can confirm the availibity to an extent but no if it if functioning properly. Any advice or technique??
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umm.... what kind of app? best thing I can think of is to use pstools from systernals.com and do a pslist:

pslist \\pcname.

it will show a list of processes on the remote system including process utilization and memory usage.
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