Managed Objects tackles application configuration-management

New software helps network executives automate management across distributed homegrown applications

Managed Objects this week introduced software the company says will help network executives automate parts of the process of managing change, configuration and dependencies across distributed homegrown applications.

Application Configuration Manager (ACM) discovers applications, collects configuration data and builds maps of the interdependencies among applications. Managed Objects licenses nLayers technology from EMC to perform the discovery and uses software to normalize data from various applications into a common format to build these application maps. Once built, the software can alert IT managers to changes in real time, the vendor says.

"Service-oriented architecture [SOA] environments introduce more complexity and a higher rate of change, so much so that application discovery and configuration management needs to be automated," says Dustin McNabb, vice president of marketing at Managed Objects.

According to the business service management (BSM) vendor, homegrown applications comprise about 50%, and in some cases up to 90%, of today's business applications. Software products that discover applications and their dependencies can be challenged when not working with packaged applications. Adding to the challenge are myriad changes homegrown applications undergo -- more than 115 per week, according to a recent Managed Objects' survey of 200 U.S. senior corporate executives and IT managers.

ACM software works with Managed Objects' flagship software now in Version 4.0 and can feed data to the vendor's underlying configuration management database, called CMDB360. The vendor recommends ACM to be installed on a server separate from Managed Objects Server 4.0. The technology passively watches the packets that are flowing across a switch, specifically looking at the header information within the packets. The software also works in an active manner, in that through integration with the vendor's other products it can drill down on specific configuration information and update the configuration database with changes.

ACM competes with products from Managed Objects competitors such as mValent, Tideway, Symantec with its Relicore acquisition and IBM and its Collation buy.

ACM is scheduled to be available in July, and pricing for the software starts at about US$100,000.

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