The New Data Centre is all about the application and ultimately the business process. Application users don’t care about routing tables and WAN acceleration devices. They want their critical applications to work beautifully every time they are needed.

From a network management perspective, IT makes this happen by ensuring that applications, and all components that support them, work properly all the time, or that they fail over when they run into trouble. That works fine when things are simple and money is plentiful.

Yet the strategy that “all devices are equal” in the eyes of the network management tool begins to crumble as complexity rises and budgets get tight. A far more efficient way to manage the infrastructure is to ensure that priority is always given to the devices that shoulder the mission-critical applications. That’s a wonderful concept — the problem is that network management tools are not designed to look for business processes.

Enter ADM, which automatically maps applications to the infrastructure showing what components the applications touch as they use the network. Products that perform this task mine configuration files, port-allocation tables and device-level management data to analyze and determine application dependencies. The technology isn’t new. For instance, in 2002 industry leader Relicore began shipping Clarity, which discovers application dependencies in real-time.

Despite its history, ADM is only now beginning to generate buzz, in part because industry heavyweights have begun swallowing the startups that founded this niche. Mercury Interactive

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