Paglo unveils free IT infrastructure search engine

The tool is designed to report on a wide range of queries about the hardware and software within the systems.

Paglo Labs, an IT search engine start-up, said Monday it will soon launch beta software that will allow businesses to scour and search all of the IT data from their networks, computers and security systems from a free, Web-based application.

The company said its Web-based Paglo application will crawl a company's IT infrastructure in several hours, depending on the size of the network and systems, and be able to report on a wide range of queries about the hardware and software within the systems.

"We enable IT administrators to capture all the information on the systems, network and users, then be able to search it and pull out results in simple text and rich quantitative data," said Brian de Haaff, CEO of the company. "Today's systems are stovepiped, which makes it difficult to look at things across the network." That effect, he said, hides the relationships between the different systems, which Paglo's search engine then helps to uncover.

The on-demand application will be free for users, he said. The Crawler component is open source, while the rest of the application is proprietary, according to the company. The Crawler runs on Microsoft's Windows operating system but can also gather information from systems running Linux, Unix or Apple's Macintosh operating systems.

The application is scheduled for a private beta later this month. Some 3,500 users at small and medium-size businesses were preregistered to try the application before the company had even launched it today, he said. "That's a good indication so far," he said.

The Web-based application will run on Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox or Apple's Safari browsers.

The Paglo search data is then stored in the company's data center, where users can retrieve it. The data for each user is stored separately in secure systems, de Haaff said.

Paglo's software can't make repairs or change systems configurations. Those tasks remain with IT administrators using network and systems administration software.

"Paglo is not meant to replace other IT management systems, but to make them better," said Chris Waters, the company's chief technology officer. The software can analyze installed software and licenses, performance information, memory utilization, hard-disk storage space and other details, he said.

Paglo isn't the first company in this market niche.

San Francisco-based Splunk has been doing similar enterprise IT systems search for several years, including data search from any application, server or network device in real time.

Users can sign up for Paglo's private beta, which will go live by the end of the month, on the company's Web site.

Guy Creese, an analyst at the Burton Group in Midvale, Utah, said "it's indicative of search to find other types of content to search" beyond text, graphics and Web content.

"I think this is another example of that," Creese said. "I think it's useful because it ends up where we've sort of been trained to look at different IT systems for data. Something like this brings it all together."

Existing large-scale IT systems administration applications, such as Hewlett-Packard Co.'s OpenView, do these sorts of things, but are way too expensive and large for smaller businesses, he said.

At the same time, "even smaller businesses have gotten more pieces of gear" and can reap the benefits of such analyses, he said. "At this point, it's amazing the number of specialized search engines that are coming along."

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