SevOne offering free version of virtual network performance management product

SevOne has made a free, scale-limited version of its virtual network performance management tool available to the general public, and is planning an official roll-out for Wednesday.

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The company says that users with fewer than 1,000 individual "elements" or interfaces -- enough to monitor 30 to 50 servers or 20 to 30 routers, according to Senior Vice President and CTO Vess Bakalov -- are now able to use the virtual application free of charge.

"We're addressing the SMB marketplace, which is a bit of a new place for us, but it's a meaningful volume of [elements] that we are allowing the customers to manage," Bakalov says.

According to CEO Mike Phelan, the peer-to-peer-style communications employed by SevOne's system allows it to be much more scalable and flexible than the competition.

"With a distributed architecture ... every appliance that becomes part of this cluster, whether it's a virtual appliance or a physical appliance, knows what it's responsible for," he says.

To go with the free software, there's also free support -- of a kind. SevOne's SevConnect site offers "community-powered" troubleshooting, where users can post questions and get answers from the company and from each other. While SevConnect doesn't seem particularly active at present, that could change with Wednesday's announcement. Users can opt for paid support instead, of course.

The targeting of smaller businesses, as Bakalov mentions, is something of a departure for SevOne. The company proudly trumpets its large enterprise customers, including, according to Phelan, "16 of the top 17 financial firms" and numerous other household names, such as Comcast and Xerox.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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