Tools to spotlight net performance

ProactiveNet Inc. plans to release by year-end three tools to help companies measure the performance of their networks in new ways.

ProactiveNet will unveil two products, ProactiveAssurance and ProactiveWeb, and update its flagship ProactiveNet performance monitoring software.

ProactiveAssurance software measures how a new application affects a network’s performance. Hurwitz analyst Jasmine Noel says that in the past companies painstakingly tested new applications before deploying them on a live network, but with time demands on companies to get up and running on the Web, the test phase has shortened.

“Usually, the network people discover this new code or application after there’s been a huge problem,” Noel says. ProactiveAssurance lets users see the impact of a new application on the network, rather than work with the predictions that net modelling software may offer.

“The data is real, and it’s from the live network,” she says. “Predictive software…can never cover everything.”

ProactiveAssurance will cost less than US$25,000.

ProactiveWeb monitors response time for Web transactions. Although companies such as Keynote can tell users how their network performs from other points on the Internet, ProactiveNet says those statistics come from simulated transactions, not real Web site performance data.

ProactiveWeb is designed to give small users an idea of their Web site’s performance for US$1,000. The software uses one agent to monitor up to 50 Web site transactions.

ProactiveNet’s flagship software uses statistical analysis to determine the normal operating behaviour of networks, applications and servers, and alerts network managers when abnormal patterns have occurred. This information can help users prevent a problem before it slows network, application and Web site performance, the company says.

The new version of ProactiveNet would be installed on a server, communicating with software agents on the servers to be monitored. The agents process no data and sit dormant until ProactiveNet software requests specific performance data.

Although ProactiveNet says its software can be used as the main root-cause analysis tool on a network, the software also will work with Hewlett-Packard, Computer Associates, Tivoli and BMC.

“It gives users the ability to know what’s a problem and what’s just another alarm,” Noel says. “It will prevent net manager from having to get up at three in the morning every time the network crosses some threshold.”

ProactiveNet 4.1 costs between US$50,000 and US$150,000. The company is on the Web at