Management software monitors Web applications usage


Indicative Software will unveil updates to its flagship service management software that the company says will enable IT managers to measure end-user experience with Web-based applications.

Indicative 8.0 features optional add-on software (packaged on a 1U server) that monitors Web traffic via port mirroring on Web servers. The appliance would store the data locally and help IT managers pinpoint performance issues based on specific sets of users, locations, Web pages or applications.

Competing with similar products from companies such as Coradiant, Indicative’s real-user monitoring add-on works with Indicative 8.0 to add context to the data collected, the company says.

Indicative’s software runs on a dedicated server and comes with an embedded database to store management data locally. The software uses various techniques to gather management information from network devices, Web and application servers, databases and storage systems. For instance, the software would use SNMP to collect management metrics from network devices, Java Management Extensions (JMX) to poll Java applications, PerfMon to tap Windows operating systems, and Secure Shell (SSH) to connect into Unix systems. The company says the software will trigger alerts based on relevant events, quieting the noise of multiple events that do not impact service delivery. The software is able to do this by managing the events in the context of the pre-modeled service.

For Frank Thomas, director of IT operations at Columbia Insurance in Columbia, Mo., Indicative’s software gives him a baseline against which he can determine if service levels are meeting pre-defined expectations.

He uses the software to support 300 internal users across five locations with 30 servers and 15 network devices, but his organization also supports some 700 agencies that could tap the property and casualty insurance company’s Web site.

“My goals are to have a really good handle on my physical environment and to get a baseline on some of the applications that we use. I want to know what the user experience is like,” Thomas says. He says that information will help him fix any deviations going forward and “establish real service-level agreements based on real measurements.”

Also new in this release are capabilities to troubleshoot .Net applications. Indicative today provides troubleshooting and analysis for Java 2, Enterprise Edition applications and is adding .Net support in Version 8.0. Vice-president of marketing Angela Tucci says the .Net capability enables IT managers to monitor and troubleshoot .Net-based Web services in operations environments. The company competes with CA’s Wily Technology in this area.

The company also added the capability for IT managers to define their own monitoring templates for network, system, storage or application elements not currently covered in Indicative’s library.

Indicative 8.0 also features an enhanced user interface with more granular reporting and graphing options. For instance, in the past IT managers could view 10 performance measurements in a graph, and now they can view up to 50.

Indicative 8.0 is priced starting at US$100,000 with an average implementation costing about $300,000. The Indicative Real User Monitoring option costs $50,000 per Web application, including the price of the appliance. And Indicative Application Analyzer for 8.0 costs $50,000 for 25 transactions.

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