Monolith expands dashboard for providers

Providers offering managed or remote services to organizations are always looking for ways to let customers see more of what they’re doing.

Monolith Technology Holdings LLC has tweaked its Monolith network management software in version 3.5 to do that by allowing its customer-facing dashboard to display views of almost any application through a series of pre-made widgets.

“It gives you the ability to effectively do any mixture of fault availability, performance, service level management, topology and key performance indicator data on a dashboard,” said Jeff Parker, the company’s president and co-founder.

“We always had the ability with the dashboard to display any of the Monolith sub-system information,” he said in an interview. “What we now have is the ability to add views of external data.”

For example, he said, a customer could get not only get indicators of network performance, but also issue ticketing and provisioning data.

These “mash-ups” are achieved by using technologies such as HTML 5 and Ajax.

“It really opens up a new world from a presentation perspective,” Parker said.

Monolith can be used for network, systems, application and telecommunications management by service providers and large enterprises. Just over half of the company’s customers are providers.

Parker said v. 3.5 has more than 28 new features. Among them are:

–New intelligent threshold capabilities have been added to Metric Manager, which lets managers trend, graph, establish and monitor thresholds and report on critical availability and performance data. One is called the Abnormal Behavior Threshold Engine, it detects unusual network or application behavior and sends an alert to either the provider or the customer.

Another does trend reporting, which keeps an eye on performance data to predict when resources are close to being exhausted.

–the software’s monitoring ability has been improved with a new Host Agent for data collection. Any command that can be run on a server or any script that can run against a server to collect data can run from Monolith;

–a new Topology Configuration Agent collects device configurations allowing the creation a dynamic map of devices starting at Layer 1, which aids root cause analysis;

All of this will help customers track details such as availability of links, throughput, packet loss, latency and other details, as well as set their service delivery limits.

“The service provider community will find a lot of value in this,” said Jim Frey, research director of Enterprise Management Associates. He said the expanded mapping capabilities are particularly useful because most applications with this feature only map Layers 1 and 2.  

Monolith’s competitors include management suites from IBM Corp. (Tivoli), CA Technologies (Service Management) and Hewlett-Packard.

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