BMC, CA unveil system monitoring, Web performance tools

Two major systems management vendors separately announced tools Monday for systems monitoring and control of Web applications.

BMC Software unveiled its second-generation configuration management database, along with three new discovery tools and related products designed to improve systems management.

The BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) 2.0 updates the previous 1.0 version announced in January 2005, the company said. BMC also announced BMC Atrium CMDB Enterprise Manager, a new product; two modules for the Atrium product, including a software product dictionary and software library; and BMC Remedy Action Request System 7.0. Other products included three discovery tools for identity discovery, process discovery and mainframe discovery, as well as two tools for a single view of services and CMDB analytics.

Atrium CMDB 2.0 has been used in a proof-of-concept test at cosmetics and toiletries maker Mary Kay, in recent weeks, and will be implemented in the next year, said Steve Moore, technology leader at Mary Kay.

BMC management products have been in place for two years at a cost of up to US$400,000, he said. The pilot Atrium CMDB release was rolled out last September and resulted in more efficient monitoring of systems used to support 3,500 employees and 1.4 million independent beauty consultants, Moore said.

Atrium CMDB 2.0 will help improve the integration of a variety of discovery and monitoring tools from numerous vendors across Mary Kay's vast service-oriented architecture, Moore said.

"We have the opportunity to integrate [various tools] with one vendor [and] the capability for a graphical representation for everything in the CMDB," he said.

Mary Kay is managing about 825 servers along with 350 network nodes, he said.

While management tools are not completely able to erase the divisions between business processes and IT systems, BMC products are helping monitor and discover what system components are needed for a business process, such as an e-commerce application, he said. Pricing was not released for the new products, except for Enterprise Manager, which is priced at $100,000, plus $10 per managed desktop.

CA's Wily Technology division announced Introscope 7 for monitoring and optimizing the performance of business-critical Web applications.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, plans to adopt the new version this summer, said Keith Kelly, vice president of Web technology at the hotel chain.

Starwood currently uses Introscope 6 monitoring tools, which were added after it launched a new online reservation system in 2001 that crashed nearly every four hours, Kelly said. Today, the system accounts for about 10% of all revenue and is used to book about US$1 billion in annual reservations.

Introscope 6 is being used on eight application servers for the Web-based system and 32 Java virtual machines. Kelly said he is interested in testing new capabilities in the latest version, which offers expanded data views including how long it takes a user to get a Web response. Introscope 7 also provides automatic discovery, monitoring and triage of system problems with no manual configuration, according to CA. Pricing was not released.

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