Magnum increases its Advantage

Magnum Technologies this week made available its upgraded Advantage software with enhanced discovery and application mapping capabilities that the company says can now help IT managers better relate how IT service performance affects the business.

Magnum used the fifth annual IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF) USA conference in Chicago to demonstrate the new features of its Advantage software to some 2,000 attendees. Among the enhancements included in Advantage 2.0 are service-level management and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-compliance reporting, the company says. That means Advantage 2.0 could alert customers to when IT service performance is either not meeting pre-defined service-level agreements or the processes being used stray from the guidelines laid out in ITIL.

"We are providing tools to help automate the processes designed by customers using ITIL or other compliance guidelines," says Tim Hadden, Magnum CTO.

Advantage 2.0 is software that installs on a dedicated server and uses polling to collect data from infrastructure elements such as application and Web servers. The software can leverage existing monitors and uses XML documents to send and receive data from third-party management systems, such as IBM's Tivoli Enterprise Console. Advantage 2.0 can auto-discover IT assets and show the interrelationships among assets and applications, the company says. The software has also been enhanced to perform multi-layer correlation, meaning that events collected by the software can be used to determine IT service performance, SLA compliance or application performance issues.

Customers create an organization, or a group of related assets, in a wizard-like tool and Advantage 2.0 can roll that up into a dashboard view, from which customers can track an application performance problem by the line of business impacted or drill down to find the IT cause of the problem.

Industry watchers speculate that a newcomer, such as Magnum - which was founded in 2000 - would have a hard time going up against established competitors such as BMC, Computer Associates, HP and IBM, with which Magnum has a reseller agreement that incorporates Magnum technology into IBM's Tivoli Switch Analyzer product.

"These type of root-cause and correlation capabilities are still pretty incomplete with most vendors, so when you talk about correlating against service models it gets more incomplete," says Stephen Elliot, a senior analyst with IDC. "This is an interesting discovery technology, but there will be user concerns around the size of the company."

Advantage 2.0 is available now, and pricing starts at around US$75,000.

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