Adlex monitors network quality

Adlex Inc. has unveiled gear that monitors IT service levels by collecting user session information and analyzing performance metrics.

The seven-year-old company designed the products, which are part of its new ITvisibility line, to help companies verify service-level commitments, detect traffic anomalies such as worms, and pinpoint the locations and scope of network problems.

ITvisibility consists of two hardware devices: one for listening to network traffic, and one for storing and mining the traffic data. The traffic monitor is called a Passive Listening Device and typically sits on the span port of a switch or a load balancer. It collects traffic data as users connect to applications and computes service-level metrics, which it sends to the second Adlex device, called a Report Server.

The Report Server functions like a data warehouse. It stores measurements and network data so companies can run reports and identify trends or anomalies with the help of add-on analytical software modules.

This extra analytic step distinguishes Adlex in a crowded field of vendors that offer service-level management software, says Jeffrey Nudler, a senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. BMC Software Inc., IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Computer Associates International Inc. and smaller companies such as Ipsum Networks Inc. also offer tools for monitoring and analyzing network, system and application performance data.

“Adlex looks at the same data the other vendors are looking at, but by slicing and dicing it in a little different way, Adlex extracts a different type of information,” Nudler says.

ITvisibility isn’t intended to replace other event and fault management tools, but rather can be used in tandem, says Dave Swicker, vice-president of marketing at Adlex. For example, in a data center environment, a company could use Adlex to identify a server bottleneck that’s causing users to abandon Web transactions, then turn to a device-focused diagnostic tool to drill down and discover the specific part of the device causing problems.

The ITvisibility products are available now. A typical enterprise deployment costs between US$100,000 and US$150,000, he says.

Adlex is funded by its founders — which include former CrossComm founder Tad Witkowicz — and a group of private investors led by Roger Marino, co-founder of EMC Corp.. Its customers include financial services companies Allmerica Financial Corp. and Prudential Financial Inc., and logistics provider TNT Logistics North America Inc.

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