Marimba offers new management products

By James Evans, InfoWorld |  Software

Marimba on Monday announced a new family of performance-management software products designed to monitor the performance of online applications and services. In addition, Marimba announced that its existing Castanet and Timbale products will be enhanced and re-branded.

The first product from the performance-management family is the Marimba Web Traffic Monitor, which is scheduled for release in July, said Kia Behnia, Marimba's vice president of product management.

The software, which must be loaded on its own Intel-based Windows NT server on the network, provides a real-time view of the performance and availability of the Web-enabled services and applications, including metrics to measure service-level agreements. It allows the system administrator to react to performance downgrades and better the online services.

"Where Marimba is trying to go with this is to get an overall quality of service across the Internet and network, from the end-user to application and back again to the end user," said Tim Grieser, research director in enterprise systems management software for IDC (International Data Corp.)

Marimba Web Traffic Monitor is designed for large corporations, service providers, and Web hosters. It allows users to passively monitor real and simulated Web-based transactions. The passive monitoring mechanism puts no load on the network. Marimba's Web Traffic Monitor will use XML/HTTP protocols and transport methods, the company said.

The Web Traffic Monitor will take measurements from the network and look at the packet streams and then reconstruct them into messages and records on performance and traffic rates, Grieser said. The object is to look at the Internet services and monitor particular Internet protocols such as HTTP, DNS (Domain Name System), and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) for performance and error rates, Grieser said.

Several vendors, such as BMC Software, Computer Associates, Tivoli Systems, and Hewlett-Packard, are attacking the same problem in their own way, Grieser said. These companies focus largely on the internal diagnosis of the network, while KeyNote Systems and Mercury Interactive focus more on performance outside the firewall, Grieser said.

Pilot pricing for Marimba's Web Traffic Monitor begins at $25,000 and varies based on network configuration, Marimba said.

With its Castanet and Timbale products, Marimba is announcing that it will phase out the two product names during the next couple months. Marimba decided it was too small a company for sub-brand names, and the names were too confusing for analysts and users, Behnia said.

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