Mission Critical bolsters NT management wares

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HOUSTON - Scalability, reliability and availability are on the minds of IT executives using more and more Windows- based servers. Mission Critical Software is trying to ease these concerns with a one-stop tool to manage Windows NT and 2000 servers and the applications running on them.

Mission Critical's OnePoint Operations Manager recently began shipping as the newest addition to the company's OnePoint suite of administrative software.

A key to Operations Manager is a set of ActiveAgents, which run on each server. On the application side, the agents follow a set of rules to monitor critical application components to ensure the applications' integrity. The agents also can monitor application performance, such as the time it takes two Exchange servers to swap mail, to ensure service levels. On the server side, the agents can assess the health of server hardware, and monitor event logs, flat files and the Windows Management Interface to look for problems such as jammed print queues.

Monitoring Windows-based systems is key as corporations deploy more Windows devices in their nets. Companies such as Net IQ, BMC Software and Heroix also are trying to fill NT management needs.

"Enterprises are becoming more dependent on NT apps like Exchange, and they want them up at all times," says Phillip Mendoza, an analyst with International Data Corp., a market research firm in Framingham, Mass. "The key selling point with Mission Critical is quickness, since monitoring can eat up CPU speed. The way Operations Manager monitors is more database-oriented than script-oriented, and that is more efficient. But this tool is for pure NT deployments; in a mixed environment you may need another tool."

Operations Manager has three different console interfaces, including a Web interface, which can be customized based on the duties and authority levels of individual administrators.

Operations Manager is available now and priced at $1,500 per managed NT or 2000 server.

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