HDS improves network performance monitor

 

One of the biggest software companies in the world is increasing its presence in network performance monitoring.

It’s not who you think it is.

Hitachi Data Systems Corp., which specializes in storage area networks and network attached storage, today released version 2.0 of its IT Operations Analyzer, boosting the number of nodes it can watch to 750 from 250 and adding support for virtualized environments.

HDS says it is the 10th largest software company in the world because of its storage management software but that also includes its Japanese enterprise systems management software, which isn’t sold outside the home country.

The latest version of the one year-old IT Operations Analyzer is a bid to chip away at the traditional view of the company, said Patricia Meecham, business leader for the monitoring product.

“The biggest problem we have is HDS is known as an enterprise storage company, and so the branding is challenging,” she said in an interview.

IT Operations Analyzer is aimed at mid-sized companies, is an agent-less heterogeneous application with root-cause analysis capabilities that watches Windows, Red Hat Linux networks, and, with v 2.0, SUSE Linux and Sun Solaris-connected servers, switches and storage devices.

However, an industry analyst says even the expansion of features won’t help IT Operations Analyzer spread much beyond Hitachi-based environments.

Analyzer uses standards such as SMI-S, SNMP, WMI and SSH, said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group of Milford, Mass., and “while they’re getting better they aren’t fully complete.”

Unless an application drills into the application programming interfaces (APIs) of ever device on your network the data it gathers won’t be enough, he said.

As a result, Analyzer probably works best in Hitachi environments, he said – as is most manufacturer-supplied storage monitoring software .

Still, he is impressed that HDS is broadening the reach of Analyzer beyond looking at CPUs.

Meecham said the software division of HDS is “anxious to become a global leader.”

The company’s research found the market for mid-range performance management is still young, with larger makers of monitoring software trying to tailor their enterprise-designed application for medium-sized firms.

In designing IT Operations Analyzer, Hitachi was “thinking about the IT generalist who doesn’t have deep skills either in hardware or software,” Meecham said.

The application can watch networks through a single Web-based interface. HDS says Analyzer creates easy-to-understand topology of virtualized environments and simplified flat view of LAN and SAN with logical and physical connections.

New in version 2.0 is support for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware Sphere virtualized environments. Devices now supported include Cisco Systems Inc.’s ISR routers as well as network equipment from Extreme Networks and Enterasys Networks Inc.

Analyzer also has APIs into other applications IT managers may be using, including Sentrigo Inc.’s Hedgehog, a database monitoring suite; Lumeta Corp.’s IPSonar, a network visualization app; Infoblox Inc.’s NetCordia NetMRI network management solution and DeepNines Technologies’ content management system.

Sold through HDS channel partners, IT Operations Manager 2.0’s pricing is based on the number of nodes covered. Prices start at US$5,000 for 25 nodes.



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