Web Site Monitor Checks Security

Avesta Technologies next week will begin shipping an upgraded version of its Web site monitoring tool that caters to companies running World Wide Web servers for electronic commerce and other extranet applications.

The company's new software, IPnetWatcher 1.2, now can check on how well Web site security applications, such as those based on digital certificates or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 3.0, are working.

Such security applications are key for Nortel Networks Channelware and other organizations that are responsible for e-commerce sites.

Barry Gander, director of outreach at this Ottawa-based Nortel business, says he'll migrate to the new version of Avesta's software because of the SSL support. His organization uses IPnetWatcher to monitor Web sites for clients, such as game maker Electronic Arts, that make software available to customers via networks. Security is key because Channelware basically oversees transaction-processing applications for its customers, Gander says.

Available for Windows NT or Solaris servers, IPnetWatcher 1.2 keeps an eye on HTML applications running on any Web server to ensure that server hardware, software and services are all readily available to Web visitors. When IPnetWatcher sees an application slowing down or generating error messages, it notifies the network manager through an alert sent by e-mail, pager or desktop notification.

In addition to gaining new security capabilities, IPnetWatcher has been retooled by Avesta to conduct health checks on back-end database connections used by Web servers, says Jennifer Harris, Avesta's manager of marketing. It performs the checks by running simulated transactions on a round-the-clock basis, she says.

IPnetWatcher also continues to search for problems with e-mail servers and IP services such as Web, Domain Name System, and File Transfer Protocol. The latest version of the software has been integrated into Avesta's enterprise network management software, dubbed Trinity. It also works with Computer Associates International's Unicenter TNG platform and can send trap messages to any SNMP-based management platform.

IPnetWatcher 1.2 starts at US$5,000.

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