Make way for new management tools

A slew of vendors will introduce products and services in Las Vegas this week designed to help firms strapped for cash and IT staffers manage their networks more easily and less expensively.

Many of the products making their debuts at NetWorld+Interop 2001 promise to give companies a better handle on whether they are making optimal use of their network and application resources. New remote management tools and services are largely aimed at companies that don't want to hire more IT staff or can't find any to hire.

"We need products that save us money. In terms of staff training and response time issues, we need something that helps us resolve problems quickly," says Mark Clayman, director of hosting at application service provider Surebridge.

Clayman has been using Entuity's flagship fault management software Eye of the Storm for about nine months and says he's looking forward to trying out features Entuity will unveil this week in Version 2.6.

The company says the software, which had focused on network performance management, now can reveal what impact network problems have on applications and servers.

Microsoft will also reveal more of its plan to ease management of nets based on its applications and operating systems by announcing the final beta-test version before general shipment of its Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM).

The tool monitors event and performance on servers and applications such as SQL Server, Active Directory and Exchange. MOM, expected to ship this summer, is the first part of an object-oriented platform Microsoft is building to manage Windows servers and enterprise applications. The platform will also include the next version of System Management Server (SMS) for managing desktops, code-named Topaz, and Application Center 2000 for managing Web farms.

The platform will exploit new XML interfaces in Windows 2002, the foundation of the management platform. MOM, SMS and Application Center will run on the platform, which will feature a customizable management portal.

NetIQ, a company that licenses the underlying technology for MOM to Microsoft, this week is expected to release MOM modules that will let the Microsoft platform monitor Oracle, SAP and Lotus applications as well as systems based on non-Microsoft operating systems.

Also at the show:

  • Micromuse plans to expand its NetCool/Omnibus product suite with technology that gives customers access to network performance data from any Web browser. Previously, a Unix interface was required. The new NetCool/Webtop is aimed at helping companies remotely moni- tor their networks and provide management views to more people. Micromuse's management offering can collect network performance data from more than 300 devices and management platforms.
  • Start-up Interloci is promising to give companies all the advantages of running Hewlett-Packard's OpenView management platform without the headaches of rolling it out and operating it themselves. This management service provider, headed by IBM Global Services veteran Gordon Garrett, says it will "manage bandwidth and everything on it" on a subscription basis. Interloci's Rent a NOC service comes in two flavors: basic monitoring and monitoring with management. The basic service costs $60 per device per month, with a 10-device minimum. The higher-end service costs $3000 per device per month.
  • Keynote, best known for monitoring Web site performance from outside the firewall, will start giving companies the tools to also monitor Web sites from behind the firewall.

This story, "Make way for new management tools" was originally published by Network World.

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