I worked with Hyperformix products for rather a short period of time, but followed the company for a long time. Hyperformix tried to implement a lot of very interesting things in performance engineering.
The original Hyperformix product, Hyperformix Optimizer, has a modeling language and you may build very sophisticated models with it, including models of new systems (after, of course, you learn the language). Optimizer uses simulation – so while you may build as complex models as you want, it may take a while to run such models. Although Optimizer was rather weak on data collection. It had interfaces to many monitoring tools, but it was a challenge to collect information from a large zoo of servers.
Many other modeling tools, like Teamquest, came from the enterprise capacity planning point of view. You set agents on all servers, collect and report information, and build analytical models based on the collected information. It is not easy to build more sophisticated models or models for new systems. But if the goal is to monitor a zoo of servers, report results, and build some predictions for the existing systems, such tools are a good choice.
Teamquest, for example, didn’t have any meaningful methodology for modeling non-existing systems until my colleague Leonid Grinshpan came up with Multi-tiered Applications Sizing Methodology Based on Load Testing and Queuing Network Models (a CMG’08 paper).
I guess that Hyperformix did the best job to integrate modeling and load testing. For example, see Moving Beyond Test and Guess – Using Modeling with Load Testing to Improve Web Application Readiness by Richard Gimarc, Amy Spellmann, and Jim Reynolds (as well as other Richard Gimarc’s papers – just do a search through CMG proceedings, papers up to 2007 are opened to public, free registration required). For some time, Mercury even re-sold Hyperformix Optimizer as Mercury Capacity Planning.
A group of Hyperformix authors published a very good practical book on performance engineering Fundamentals of Performance Engineering; You can’t spell firefighter without IT. For those without deep math background it may be a good book to start learning modeling / performance engineering from (it has some Hyperformix-inclined stuff, but not much).
And at one moment Hyperformix provided a performance engineering certification – nothing is available in this area yet until now. But they did it too Hyperformix-inclined to interest somebody outside the rather narrow circle of Hyperformix clients. I guess such certification should be vendor-independent to succeed (at least until consolidation starts in this area).
Later Hyperformix created another product, Capacity Manager, which looks similar to other capacity management products (like Teamquest) in goals and methods (somewhat admitting that Optimizer, as it is, is not the best tool for enterprise-level monitoring and capacity planning). And looks like Capacity Manager became the main Hyperformix product even before CA acquisition (so many performance engineering initiatives were forgotten) and Capacity Manager was the main goal of the CA acquisition. Although, of course, it is just as I see it from outside.