Service-level monitoring options growing

Options for service-level management will grow this month, with 3Com and two other companies detailing software upgrades to monitor network application performance.

3Com last week introduced an update to its DynamicAccess software that offers both performance monitoring and prioritisation.

Also last week, FirstSense introduced FirstSense Enterprise 2.0. The updated platform will track performance of transactions.

Next week, International Network Services will unveil Version 3.0 of its VitalSuite software. With the new version, enterprises can customise which transactions to track.

The latest additions to 3Com's DynamicAccess software, called LAN Agent 2.0 and Network Performance Manager (NPM), will identify applications at the source and provide real-time data on response times. The software can also prioritise some applications over others for higher performance.

An administrator of a global hotel reservation network said end-to-end performance data is easy to get with LAN Agent.

"Instead of having another hardware device out there, like a probe, I can put it on the [client or server] and it will tell me from end to end what's going on," said Jim Gray, global network manager at RezSolutions, in Phoenix.

Analysts said that 3Com's capabilities could help large enterprises.

"You can almost instantly tell whether it's the server, the application, or the network causing a delay," said John Metz, an analyst at Sterling Research.

3Com's NPM and DynamicAccess LAN Agent 2.0 are set to ship this summer. NPM will run on Windows NT 4.0 and will cost $US10,995 per management server. LAN Agent 2.0 will ship with new 3Com adapters and as a free upgrade for existing adapters. It will also be available for Network Device Interface Specification adapters, priced at $50 in a single pack.

FirstSense Enterprise is available now, priced starting at $25,000. VitalSuite 3.0 will ship next week, priced at $43,000.

3Com Corp., in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.3com.com. FirstSense Software Inc., in Burlington, Massachusetts, can be reached at http://www.firstsense.com. International Network Services, in Sunnyvale, California, can be reached at at http://www.ins.com.

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