Tideway supports virtual environments

Tideway Systems has announced the next generation of its IT service configuration-management product that can now automatically discover virtual environments.

Tideway Foundation 6.0 now includes support for virtualization technologies from VMware, Sun and Microsoft. Specifically, the appliance can now discover and report on Sun Solaris containers, Microsoft Windows Clustering Services and VMware virtual environments. Company executives say Tideway's application dependency-mapping technology becomes more critical in a virtual environment, in which one physical box may contain many virtual elements.

"Customers are intensely concerned with the overhead of managing data centers, and as people turn to virtualization, it is escalating," says Richard Muirhead, CEO of Tideway.

The Foundation 6.0 appliance sits in a data center and is plugged into a network. It uses agent-less collection methods and queries servers and other devices for configuration data. The appliance, which comes loaded with Tideway's proprietary software, collects application configuration data from across a data center and maintains a database of configuration blueprints. It also tracks changes made to configurations to alert staff to potential compliance breaches, and the data Foundation 6.0 collects can be used as a part of a larger configuration management database (CMDB) effort.

With this release, the product is able to model and map virtualized multi-tier business applications, Muirhead explains, using discovery techniques that show how applications depend upon the physical and virtual server environments.

Competitors Appilog, Collation, nLayers and Relicore -- formerly stand-alone application dependency discovery and mapping vendors -- have been acquired over the past couple of years by Mercury Interactive, IBM, EMC and Symantec, respectively. Muirhead says Tideway's technology often plays a part in larger IT initiatives, but remains in the early stages of adoption.

"We perform application dependency mapping and discovery-assisted application modeling. It's no good just bringing a wild bunch of data together. You have to also catalog it in a meaningful way for customers," Muirhead says.

Available now, Tideway's Foundation 6.0 starts at about US$100,000 and is priced depending on customer networks. The company offers various pricing models depending on customer requirements.

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