Aprisma customizes Spectrum software

Although its Spectrum software supports 850 network devices and applications out of the box, Aprisma Management Technologies Inc.’s upcoming releases also give users new ways to customize the software to better manage problems specific to their networks.

Aprisma recently announced it would make two new versions of Spectrum generally available in January 2002: Spectrum Integrity for corporations and Spectrum Infinity for service providers. A third release for smaller companies also is slated for early next year, completing the company’s first major upgrade of the product since May 1999.

“Spectrum has always done a good job of including all the information on a lot of devices that are managed, but it can’t keep up 100 per cent. No one could,” said Michael Wiseman, a network support engineer for the University of Toronto. “But this version is very customizable. I was able to enter some information on Foundry [Networks] devices Spectrum didn’t include. Now I can go in and collect the data from devices once and customize Spectrum to use that information.”

Spectrum network management software provides a map of SNMP-manageable devices, such as routers, hubs and switches. Users install software agents throughout their networks that send data to a central Spectrum management console.

Paul Bugala, a senior analyst at Framingham, Mass.-based market research firm International Data Corp., says Aprisma may have delivered on what customers want, but he thinks the company should educate users on all the functionality in Spectrum.

“If Spectrum is used appropriately, it can eradicate a lot of reactive management in enterprise networks. If a user takes the time upfront to learn the product and customize it, [Spectrum] can lower the resources needed to manage a network,” Bugala said.

Spectrum Integrity includes a new event correlation system. Previously, Spectrum correlated events using a model: Now it will also perform rules-based event correlation. Rules-based correlation lets users write their own rules to make sense of network events.

Also new for the large enterprise customer is alarm-impact analysis. This feature, the company says, lets users prioritize alarms based on the importance of the managed device. The software gives users a list of what devices are not working and what services, applications and users are directly affected.

Spectrum Infinity for service providers adds gateways to let users pull data from service provider systems in Spectrum. The software uses the gateway to receive alarms from non-SNMP devices used in service provider networks.

Spectrum Integrity starts at US$75,000, with volume discounts available. Spectrum Infinity starts at US$125,000, also with volume discounts available. For more information, visit the company on the Web at www.aprisma.com.